The Grangeville Globe
Thursday, December 5, 1918
LOCAL PEOPLE BEREFT OF ONLY SON Henry John Hesterman, Aged 27, Killed in Action
on November 2nd.
NOTICE GIVEN FRIDAY
Letter Written October 28th,
Received By Parents Just
Before Sad News
Henry John Hesterman, aged 27 years, a member of Co. A, 363 Infantry, American
E. F., the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hesterman of this city was killed in
action in France on the 2nd day of November. This sad news was received here
last Friday evening and cast gloom over the entire community.
The bereaved parents had heard nothing from their soldier son until just a few
days before the sad news was received, when a fine letter written on the 28th of
October came to hand. They felt so proud of their son that the letter was read
in many homes in this city which felt considerable pride in the fact that he was
one of the many young men from this immediate section that was doing his utmost
on foreign soil to make the world safe for humanity.
Henry Hesterman was born at Merrill, Wisconsin, and came to Idaho with his
parents something over 15 years ago. For the past several years and up to the
time he was called to the colors he was engaged in the laundry business in
company with his brother-in-law, Madison Meyer, being the owners and operators
of the Electric Laundry. He was a model young man and a close applicant to
Besides the aged parents, who have our sincere sympathy of the community, he is
survived by three sisters, to-wit: Mrs. Ed Ficke of Canfield; Mrs. Madison Meyer
of Grangeville, and Miss Freda Hesterman of Seattle. As soon as the news of the
brothers death was received, Mr. and Mrs. Ficke and Miss Freda journeyed at once
to the home to comfort the stricken parents.
Below we reproduce the last letter written to the parents:
"France, October 28, 1918.
"Dear Folks;---Here I am again trying to write. I have a very comfortable
place to write just now. I'm sure you would laugh if you could see me and what
I'm calling a comfortable place. I've let down the back board of a dog wagon so
it make a good desk and then I got a fine big German milk stool for a seat, so
I'm at ease in fine style, under this thatched roof. I was up quite early this
morning as I was awakened by the big cannon so while I'm waiting for breakfast
and have a little time I thought it best to spend it this way as it might be a
month before I get a chance again. I have written letters several times and then
couldn't mail them, and had to carry them around until they were worn through.
"Gee! I've been over a lot of country over here in the last three months.
At first everywhere we went the towns were so shot to pieces that a pile of
stone was all that was left, but now that the Germans are moving back so fast we
find lots of nice big cities that have been hit with only a few shots and hardly
any damage done. There are surely some pretty places, all are of brick and look
like our big house at Merrill. When we are on the road it seems like we are in a
town all the time as the country is so thickly settled and when we feel hungry
at any time on our marches we can get a turnip or carrot almost any time, and we
see many odd things. Yesterday I saw a horse and a cow hitch up together to a
wagon; another man was plowing with his milk cow, and then at night sat down and
milked her just the same.
"It is surely surprising how soon the people move back to their homes after
they are retaken from the Germans. Some carry what few things they own in this
world on their backs, some have a small wagon, like this one I'm using for a
writing desk, drawn by a large dog, some have a cow or a horse left to pull
their wagon, and in this way they bring everything they own at one time. And how
glad they are when they find that their places are not damaged, and how quickly
the repair and fix up those that have been damaged.
"We see a lot of breweries and sugar factories in these towns, also places
where they weave cloth and mats made out of flax straw. The Germans retreated
quite fast over this country we are in now, and I guess it looked too good, even
to them, to destroy.
"Well, I must get to work again so will have to quit now. I wish you would
write soon and often; the last few mail days I only got letters from
Alice---they never fail, and I want to say a letter helps. I received another
Globe yesterday; that makes the fourth since I've been over here."
Submitted by Chris