Wear Your Flu Mask, Santa

Skidmore and surrounding communities were weary and worn in 1918.  Many Skidmore boys had gone to fight in the Great War – some were not coming home, and those who would eventually return would never be the same.  The influenza outbreak had hit the community especially hard that winter, and with Dr. J. E. Pierpoint and other area doctors called to serve in the war, conditions were a little tougher as the town looked toward Christmas.

Still, the Skidmore News did what it could to keep spirits up.  Although it declined to issue its yearly call for letters to Santa, a few did arrive at the newspaper office, and those were faithfully printed.  These are from the December 26, 1918 edition, but no doubt Santa caught them in time:

To Santa Claus

Skidmore, Mo., Dec. 13, 1918
Dear Santa:
I wont ask for much this year so the poor little boy and girls may have my share.  I am eight years old I want a knife and a gun.
Your loving friend, Raymond Hays


Skidmore, Mo., Dec. 18, 1918
Dear Santa:
I don’t want much for Christmas this year.  I want an ink pencil, an orange, some candy and nuts.
My sister wants a rubber dolly.
Be sure you wear a Flu mask in Skidmore.
With Love, Mary Rebekah Botkin


Skidmore, Mo., Dec. 18, 1918
Dear Santa:
I dont wont much for Christmas.  I just wont a watch and a knife.  I hope that you take the boys and girls in France lots of toys.  Santa wear your Flu mask while in Skidmore, Missouri.
Your little friend, James Thomas Argo.


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