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A Letter from Gertrude Hopkins

From Gertrude (Fifield) Hopkins to her niece Barbara Fifield
Aurora, Nebr
March 5, 1972

Dear Barbara --
Was happy to get your letter. I see it was dated Jan. 18 but I didn't get it till the middle of Feb.

I think I told Dean about all I know about the Fifield clan, but will try to repeat it. I have a cousin living in Aurora that m[a]y know more than I if I can ever get to see her. She is the one who had the letters from our grandfather. Her mother was my father's sister (Ida Isadora Fifield) who married Ferdinand Hosier. Our father Edward Herbert Fifield was 2 yrs old when his father Lory Erwin Fifield died. That is as far back as I can go. When left a widow Sarah Hicks Fifield moved to Illinois and married Henry Hill -- but back to the Fifields.

Edward Herbert Fifield born Sept. 12, 1861, married Sylvia May Moore Dec. 6, 1891. To them was born:
Lory Erwin, Sept 1892, died at 6 mo. old.
Ralph Edward Aug 29, 1893.
Gertrude Isadora Mar 30, 1896.
Son unnamed about 1 yr. later died at birth.
Otis Herbert Mar. 3, 1899.
Ernest Elivell, Jan. 29. Am not sure the yr.
Everett Harold, May 13, 1904.
Irene Dorothy Nov. 10 1906.
Sylvia Emma Sept. 12, 1908.
Josephine Lileas Aug. 2, 1910.
Vera Mae Dec. 16, 1912

My children are:
I was married to Benjamen Hopkins, Oct. 18, 1917.
Leroy Benjamen July 24, 1918.
Verlon Andrew April 22, 1922.
Eugene Franklin Feb. 2, 1924.
Edna Mae, Apr. 3, 1926.

Leroy lives in Aurora, Verlon in N. Platte, Nebr., Eugene in La Mesa, Calif., Edna Mae in Omaha. One of Leroy's sons has been interested in tracing his ancestry. He says he can write to the Archives in Washington, D.C. I believe, and find out our nationality, which I never knew.

Well hope I helped you a little. Was glad to know where you are. Your mother always wrote at Christmas till she remarried, then I never heard from her except thro' Everett. Suppose she can't write to all of us.

I am now retired, altho' I find plenty to keep busy, in church work, etc. Have a Senior Citizens organization, which helps to meet people. After my husband became ill and passed on, I worked as nurse's aid in a rest home for 15 yrs. but just couldn't take it anymore. Now I don't get up till I want to which is usually not very early. This court is a place for low income people, which is just 3 yrs old and very nice.

Hope your mother is in good health. We have had a mild winter for Nebr. and will soon be Spring.

Please write again as I like to know about people. Expect your family of six keeps you busy.

Sincerely with Love
Aunt Gertrude.

Obituary of Vera (Fifield) Sanford

Appeared in The Grand Island Independent, Grand Island, Nebraska, February 21, 1998

Vera Mae Sanford, 85, of Park Place Health Care and Rehab Center died Thursday, Feb. 19, 1998, at St. Francis Medical Center.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bishop Joseph S. Chapman will officiate. Burial will be in the Harvard Cemetery.

Visitation will be one hour before services at the church. Apfel-Butler-Geddes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to the church.

Mrs. Sanford was born on Dec. 16, 1912, to Edward H. and Sylvia Mae (Moore) Fifield of Eldorado. She was raised and educated in Harvard and Deweese.

She married Duane Adams in June 1929 at Geneva. The couple lived in Edgar and numerous other Nebraska towns. She sold advertising and was a bookkeeper for a newspaper in Oklahoma.

She later married Everett Sanford.

She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Survivors include nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by both husbands and eight brothers and sisters.

Four Civil War Letters

The following is the text of four letters written by Lory Fifield while on active duty with the Union Army during the American Civil War, to his wife Sarah Hicks. The spelling is as in the original. Lory died just a few weeks after writing the last letter.


Machanicvill, Va.
June 7th, 1862

Dear wife
I tak this time to inform you of my helth which is good at Present and hope thes fu lines will find you the same--I received your letter and was glad to here from you and to here that you was well and a giting along so well. I have sent you 20 dollars By the express and I want you to rite and let me know if you git it all rite and safet. rite as soon as you git the money and I shall fell esy about it.

I think you would ingoiy yourself to go to keeping house if you can git sent enny where than you care to about. I've fath as tho this war would close soon. if so if god should spare my life i can go home to see you. Wee expcts to go into Battle every hour and I think that this is in a Battle wee all shuld have to fite at, and I hope it will be for I want to git home. I am tiard of war.

I want you to see Gorg Pach and tell him to pay you that monny that he draws from the state for my Bond Bill. it is 12.40. tell him it will be all rite with me.

This is all I can think off now so good by for this time.

From your husband
[signature torn away]


Harisson Landing
Aug 8th, 1862

My Dear Wife
I feel glad that I have a chance to rite you a fu lines to let you let you know that I am well and hope thes fu lines will find you the same. I received your letter and was glad to here from you and to here that your father and mother had com and you had gon to live with them, for I can tell you that I should bee [the?] happies creauter on earth if I could com home and see you all, but I cannot now. You tell Loman not to com out here for I can tell him it is a hard life to live out here.

I soposs you have heard of the deth of Gorge Morgin before you git this. he died the 26th of July. he was so that he could wauk around the day he dide. Samuel Morgin di[e]d the 7the of August. He has bin sick sum time. It is verry sickley out here. Tha die six to ten everyday.

You wanted to no if Chalane had run away. he has not and he cannot run from there. Lacoy is sick, and in the hospitil. I sopoes you think [it] s[t]range that I du not rite to you know oftener. if you new how it was you would not blame me much. wee have had a hard time of it this summer. The wether is verry hot out here. Wee are in camp on the Planttation where President Harisson was born.

Tell Father and mother and Loman I shuld be glad to see them all but when I shall be abale the good lord onley knows. but I have strong fath that the lord will spair my life to com home and see you all.

I want you to rite as soon you git this, I have put ten dolars in it.

This is from your tru husban,
Lory Fifield


Newport Newess
Aug 25the, 1862

Dear wife
I take this time to inform you [of] my helth wich is not enny to good at this time, but I hope thes fu lines find you all well. I rote to you and sent 5 dollars monny, and I have not heard from it, and I dar not send eneny more for I fear I shall loos it. When I can have absence I shall send you sum more. I want yoou to rite me and let me no wether yoou gut that mony or not.

Wee started on a three days march and I was taken sick to the hospitile but I feel better now and am in hopes i shall be able to go to my regment in afu days. I want you to rite and tel me all the news and let me now who inlested in greenwood.

I rote to you about that boand mony that Gorge Patch drawed from the state, if you have not gut it I want you to git it. I will send you a order so you can git it.

rite soon
From your husban
Lory Fifield


Newport Newes
Sep. 22the, 1862

My Dear Wife
I tak this time to inform you of my helth wich is beter than it has bin for sum time Past and I am in hopes [to] soon be weal again. I think if I cold have sum of your good cak and buter and good thints to eat I should git well in afu days, but our living is poor. wee are divied into 3 departmits. them on the furst diet has for breakfast a bread and mollases and coffey, for dinner it [is] supe and Bread and watter, and for supper it is bread and butter and tea. the 2the ditet is about the same as the 1the only tha have afu entrees. but I have bin on the low ditet most the time since I have [been] here and our living is for breakfast is tosted bread and buter and one boild egg apiece, for dinner it is tosted bread and Butter with a little beef tea and for supper the same as for dinner only a little tea. this is our living ever day and you must spose that I should get sick of such living as this, but I feele as tho wee should soon git out of this and have our lebirtry once more.

I want you to rite as soon as you git this for I think I shall s[t]ay long anouf to git a leter from you if you rite as soon as you git this.

be sure and drect your leter:
the General Hospital
2nd Division

My one Prayer is that thes lines will find you all well, for helth is the greates blessen wee can ingoy in this world. rite as soon as you can for I du want to here from you all. I have not heard from the boys scence I left the regment. I have rote once to our capt but have not enny answer yet from him. rite all the news.

From your husban
Lory Fifield

Drect your letter to:
Lory Fifield
General Hospital
Newport Newes
2nd Division

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