75 Maple Street
Summit, NJ 07901


(908) 273 0350


Letters from the Front

chandlerThe Summit Herald of August 23, 1918 published excerpts of letters from Summit boys serving overseas. Sgt. Eugene Burner of the 107th Infantry said that the food was filling, but not as good as at home, and that they ate mostly stew, canned corned beef, bread, and hard tack (jokingly called "dog biscuits"). Since arriving in France, they occasionally bought wine. Lt. Roy Underwood described his Fourth of July in France. He and another American Lieutenant, a liaison officer to the French military, were honored by the inhabitants of a local village. The mayor and other town officials led a procession which included the schoolmaster and his 40 students, dressed in white and carrying flowers. Sgt. Mayer Raskin wrote from "Somewhere in France" that being overseas had taught him the meaning of the true war spirit. All of the day-to-day work work in France was done by women, children, and old men, as all the young men were in uniform. Cecil Garis of the Signal Corps had the honor of hearing a speech given by General Pershing (he could not repeat the details) and felt that they had "Fritz on the run". Cpl. Nicholas Kenny of the 9th Infantry was wounded three times at the front lines. He kept going after the first two injuries, but a leg wound stopped him, and he spent three hours in a shell crater until he was rescued by an American officer escorting German prisoners. The prisoners were ordered to carry Kenny, which they did very carefully.

In order to help the war food supply, the Board of Health decided to allow the keeping of pigs in Summit, provided that the owners obtained licenses, and kept the sties clean. The Food Conservation Committee shared a wheat-saving recipe for rye bread. The Lyric Theatre announced a three-day showing of the photoplay, "To Hell with the Kaiser".

The Library has a searchable database of local historical newspapers. Search or browse at: