Cincinnati, May 15, 1913 and May 16, 1913. 2 letters, 9 pages and 10 pages (approx. 1700 words total) in pencil on rectos and versos, Remington Typewriter letterhead measuring 6.5 x 8.5 inches. With one original cover addressed to Elden’s sweetheart, Miss Grace Weeter, postmarked Cincinnati, May 15, 1913. Cover somewhat soiled and worn; old folds, some light wear and soiling; in very good condition, quite legible. With a preliminary typescript. Item #20476
Lively and observant letters from a young man operating on commission in Cincinnati (Chrissinger installs and maintains typewriters for the Remington Company), and he here writes back to “My Dear Snookums” with news of his trip in Cincinnati and his plans to see her on his return to Springfield. His earlier letter makes passing mention of the streetcar strike (which had started May 9) but by the second letter goes into detail about the violence downtown around a massive turnout in support of the striking motormen: “There certainly [was] a lively time in the old town to day at noon. The strikers had their parade at noon. There was certainly a crowd down town about 25,000 and I was one of that 25,000. Fortunately I came out of it all OK. Several people got hurt and many arrested. A little boy was shot thru the mouth, and a woman was run down by a mounted Police. Two strike breakers attempted to run a car around the fountain but they failed. The motorman was hit across the forehead with a stick and his head cut open. He was taken to the hospital unconscious. The conductor got off to put the trolley on the wire and was knocked down and kicked around in the street by some sympathizers. There are more Cops here on duty than I ever saw before. There are two @ every corner and mounted police patroling [sic] the main streets. I tell you it is rather gruesome here. I look for State troop to be here tonight or tomorrow. I was on 5th Street when the cops began to open fire. They said they were shooting blanks but how did the boy get shot. *Blank.* When I heard the shooting I beat around on Walnut St. and got far enough away to be safe and stayed away. I didn’t care to be a milk strainer. I saw several fellows arrested for yelling at the strike breakers. You don’t know what such a thing is Grace until you see a howling mob after a couple Scabs. The fellow that run the cars are called all kinds of names. (Pretty Ones) and the Cops get the same for riding on the cars. Two coppers on each car. . . . Women men & children alike made up the crowd today @ noon. The mounted police would run their horses upon on the sidewalk to scatter the crowd. One fellow got arrested for hitting a police mans [sic] horse because he was running him upon this man. The police man told the fellow to come over to him & then put him under arrest. If I had been that fellow, I would have seen that police man on the North pole before I would have gone to him. The chance to get away in such a crowd as that.” (The strike was settled just before midnight on May 19 when the Cincinnati Traction Co. agreed to recognize the union and set up a board of arbitration.) Though the letters are signed only Elden, county records suggest that Ada Grace Weeter (b. 5/20/1893) and Elden Louis Chrissinger (1/22/1892) were married at last on June 8, 1922—their matrimony perhaps delayed in part by Elden’s service in the Army in 1918 and 1919 during the First World War.