Just Two Letters

The influenza epidemic of 1918 took its toll on Skidmore, Missouri, as it did many places that year.  One more consequence:  Fewer letters to Santa that year.  We bring you some sad but hopeful holiday spirit from the Skidmore News (Skidmore, Missouri), December 19, 1918:

Just Two Letters

On account of so much sickness among our office force, and because there was hardly a family in Skidmore and vicinity that have not had illness of some form, the News thought it would do well to get out the regular edition.  Therefore we did not invite our little friends to write old Santa a letter, but we would have tried to take care of them had we received them unsolicited.

Wednesday morning a bright eyed little boy came into the News office smiling, with an anxious looking expression about his countenance, and said:  “Good morning, do you send letters to Santa Claus?”  We informed him that we had not sent any this year, and asked him why the question.  “Well, I have a letter here for Santa and I wanted you to mail it to him,” he said, and at the same time showed us the letter addressed:  Skidmore News, Santa Claus, Skidmore, Mo., and we told him we would see that old Santa got the letter.  A ray of sunshine spread over his face and out he went.  We are always delighted to please the little folks, and wish we could do more to make them happier.  If we have made this little boy happy he is perfectly welcome for our little service rendered.  The letter follows:

Skidmore, Mo., Dec. 17, 1918

Dear New, If you see Dear old santa claus Please tell him to bring me a pair of boots with brass toes and a air gun and candy and nuts and not to forget the other little boys and girls and the Boys in France.  From your little friend, John Mayhugh.

Dear Santa: —

Please bring me a mill and some scales.  Edrie wants a doll and doll buggy.  Please bring Delma Lee a train.

Your friend, Bernard Shell.