From the beginning they were a pair. Maud Andes, 16, from the city of McPherson, Kansas, 1201 Simpson St. and Raymond Lundberg, 21, from the country, in New Gottland, Kansas, Route 1 Box 39. What brought them together were the letters they shared for nearly four years. The letters were penciled on scratch paper, inked on stationery, written on cards, and printed on message forms from Western Union, where Maud delivered telegrams in town while Raymond worked on the family farm 12 miles northeast of McPherson.
These letters reflected the stages of their friendship, from pals, to friends, to loves, each letter another brick in the foundation that supported their lives together. They began their early correspondence calling one another "Dear Friend" graduating their greetings to "Dearest Friend" to "Sweetheart" and concluding with "Yours Forever."
Maud wrote far and away more letters than Raymond and longer letters, as well. Maud easily wrote eight-page letters, while Raymond's longest were about four pages and often one page or card with writing on both sides.
Letters were often mailed and delivered on the same day, as well as answered. The 1922 Annual Report of the Postmaster General indicated that depending on their size, cities received from three to seven deliveries per day. That changed in 1950, when the mail service generally went to one delivery per day per city.
Some letters were hand delivered. And the letters were read by others when the writers allowed; Raymond's brothers or more likely, his older sister, might read a letter from Maud and Maud's mother might read a letter from Raymond. Aside from face-to-face conversations, letters were the main communication of their day. Raymond's older sister, who the family called Sister Ruth, had introduced her brother to her friend, Maud. After meeting one another, Ray and Maud decided to correspond when Raymond left town to pursue seasonal farm work in Nebraska.
Surviving members of the Lundberg family, years later, would find the letters in the bottom of a cedar chest tied in a bow. Granddaughter Debbie Lundberg Myers immediately realized the significance of her find, as family members cleared out the house at 301 South Chestnut in Lindsborg, where Maud and Ray lived into old age. There were 212 letters in the box.
What follows are their stories as drawn from their letters written from October 1924 to August 1928.