Letters from the Past

Written by Jack Bell

This letter was submitted by Kellie Scott. She provided the following information about it: "I found this old letter on microfilm as I was looking for an article for the Bourbon County Genealogical Society. Imagine my surprise, the letter was written to my great-great grandmother and many members of my family are mentioned. I copied the letter and at the end will explain who the people in the letter are and how they relate to each other."


The Kentuckian-Citizen
May 22, 1945

The following letter was received by Mrs. J.R. McDermott, 130 West 7th Street, (Paris, KY) from her nephew, Jack Bell.

Marseille, France, May 5, 1945

Dearest Aunt and Uncle,

Surely I mentioned that I received your last package. Just in case I didn't, I'm thanking you again right here. Everything was swell and in good shape. I believe this accounts for all the packages you have mentioned in your letters.

Those Wednesday letters are coming through regularly and am always glad to see them.

First of all I can't tell you about the weather as it is always changing. We will have a cold spell and then a hot one. There has been little rain and thus the water supply is low. That means we don't get to wash our faces as often as we should. When we get home we will want to continue living like tramps.

That sweet little Barbara writes a cute letter. She must have drawn a good poster to win out amongst so many entries.

I'm glad that Tommy is getting to stay at home. We have enough in the Army. They just don't know how to use them. The U.S. is clothing the American and French armies and lots of Russians. Here everything is dressed in G.I. clothes. Not only are we clothing half of the world but we are feeding 75 percent of the people of the world. Now that we've taken Germany, they have cut our rations as well as yours to take care of the extra mouths.

I am sure Jay is leading a life of Riley, but Bruce has been hit if he sent you a Purple Heart. Maybe it wasn't too bad but that's the only thing a Purple Heart is given for. He just didn't want his folk to worry for him.

Don't tell Sue Del that I'm saving nine licks for when I get home. Imagine her having a birthday and not telling me of it. She just pulled a fast one. Ha, Ha.

Love always,


Mrs. J.R. McDermott is Molly Bell, born 20 February 1884 in Clinton County, KY and died 5 November 1951 in Bourbon County. She was married to John "Jack" Campbell first and had two sons, Herbert and Delbert Campbell. She becomes a widow in 1905 with 2 small sons to rear alone. In 1921, she married J.R. McDermott in Bourbon County, known as "Uncle Mac".

Barbara is Barbara Campbell, daughter of Herbert and Christine Florence Campbell. Tommy is Thomas Wallace, son of Thomas Wallace and Hallie Jones Wallace. Tommy married Helen Campbell, daughter of Herbert and Christine Campbell. Sue Del is Sue Del Campbell, daughter of Delbert and Christine McCord Campbell.

The writer of the letter is Jack Bell. He was the son of Clarence and Bertha Bell. Clarence was the brother of Molly Bell.

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