Chester Bock

  • Chester is Adopted by Carl and Emilie Bock

    Chester's mother died in 1891. In 1895 he was legally adopted by his grandparents, Carl Friedericke Ludwig Bock and Emilie Bock. He lived previously in the care of the Mackie's according to the probate.
  • Bessie to Chester

    Pensacola, FLA. I thought I would wright to you because I have not heard from you in a long time.Next time you wright to George you tell him to wright to me and give me his right address. the last time he wrote to me he was in some part of new york and he said that in a week or two he was goitn to Aunt Augusta's. Major has to take part in the Thanksgiving exercise in the church. He has to say a speech with about 20 others in concert. I hope you are all right. Papa is working at Frt Pickes now.
  • Bessie letter to Chester Bock

    Ma is in San Francisco with the kids. George is in Kansas. Ma is visiting her brother. Pa and I climbed mount Franklin. You ought to see the dust storms. I have been clerking for .75cents a day.
  • Letter from Anne

    Disappointed he didn't come visit her for Christmas. She stayed home like a good girl. Not feeling well. I don't see Bertha anymore. I couldn't tell her much anyway, since I don't know much do I? I am not working now, so visit anytime.
  • Chester from ann stewart

    I heard you were here but I was out. If I would have only known you were coming I sure would have been here. there is no one else that I love like I do you. We played the new records last night when we got home and I only sih you would have been here too. Now Dearie come out any night. I am so lonesome this morning for you. Your loving cousin, Anna Stewart.
  • Dear Chester from Ann

    I am delighted to hear from you. I have been sick. Please do not misunderstand anything. I prefer you and love you over any other person.Pleasee come visit on Thursday.
  • Dearborn

    Chester Receives steamy letter from someone named Ann. lots of secretive references to something happening on February 5th. She writes from Dearborn.
  • Chester from Ann

    Dearborn Mi
    Sorry to hear that you have been sick. Hope you feel well soon for I am so LONESOME. and especially since Bessie is gone. She left last night, Emma, Clara and I went with her but Emma and I had to leave to catch the last car. I am so tired I can hardly see. Wish you a very speedy recovery.
  • Chester from ann

    My hands are so cold, I can hardly write. If only you were to here to warm them. I have been sick all day but felt a little better. I wish you were coming out Sunday. Please try. It is such a long day until Tuesday, you know love will do anything. P.S. I was not a bit tired the next day. Honest.
  • United States Marine Corps Enlistment

    United States Marine Corps Enlistment
    Chester enlists in the Marine Corps. Names Bertha as Aunt in case of emergency. Enlists in Dearborn. Marine Barrakcs, Norfolk VA.
  • Trip to Santo Domingo

    Trip to Santo Domingo
    USS Prairie trip to Santo Domingo. On a Sunday here, a pretty busy place. you can see th elower class of Mexicans going to church in their dugouts along the river, an odd sight to look upon. The men with their bright red shalls on, the women sitt so straight and still that they look like if they were made of stone.
  • Guantanamo Bay

    Guantanamo Bay
    USS Meade, army transport. We had some very good times at Guantanamo. Visited Native huts made of grass and watch them weave them large Cuban hats. Had plenty of music in camp. The USS Minnesota gave us a minstrel show. The whole Atlantic Squadron was anchored in the bay at that time. There were almost 5,000 men in camp.
  • Portsmouth, N.H.

    Portsmouth, N.H.
    Received last letter in Guatanamo, but left Cuba and couldn't write. this was second trip to Cuba. First run was worse. First time was at Santo Domingo. Seas were rough. Broke the anchor chains and drifted out to sea. Talks about cheap fruit Stayed about three months. Has been practicing marskmenship with a rifle. Shooting at a 36 inch bullseye at 1,000 yards.
  • Vera Cruz, Mexico

    Fe Stirring events. The situation here looks pretty bad. Mexican Navy inside breakwater. Our Navy anchored out in the bay. We are inside the breakwater a Mexican gun boat anchored ahundred yards from us. We have orders to carry arms on watch. We are expected to land at a moment's notice. I am just a little nervouse to see a little skirmish.
  • Vera Cruz Mexiico

    Went aboard the USS Michigan for a real smoker.Motion pictures, vaudeville and bocing bouts. As guests aboard the Michigan there were ex Gov Lind of Minnesota his wife Admiral Fletcher commanding second dix Atlantic Fleet. Gov. Lind is the American Counsil here. Aweful warm down here. Expect to leave for New Orleans for Christmas.
  • Tampico Mexico.

    Arrived in Tampico the 12th. Looks quite a prosperous place. It is up the San Juan Rio. There was great fighting amongst themselves. Among the rfugees on board ship was Felix Dias a reporter from the New York Herald. The ship was a real bee hive. I am writing a diary of all the places I go and see. I have got a jim dandy watch a birthday present I bought for myself. solid gold. On our last run, the engine quit for two hours as they worked on it we amused ourselves by catching two sharks.
  • Tampico, Mexico

    Tampico, Mexico
    Sunday day off. German Cruiser Bremen came in this morning. must be an old type for she doesn't carry electric lights, only in the officers quarters. Lovely weather here. Lonely. I only get one letter a month, and that is from Bertha. I am not very far from Brownsville Tx, almost two hundred miles. Hope you have had rain enough to fill the wells for I know what it is not to have rain. (except this is november in Michigan.... strange, secret code?) Christmas card included.
  • Tampico Mexico

    To Bertha:
    William Buck has moved to the city and JOhn Buck is married. How is Emil and his Auto business? Lots of visitors on ship. Will send some cotton when I get to New Orleans. Will send you a spoon for Xmas. I am hungry for a home made cake. I am picking up the lingo around here. Men calling me a "spick" as my skin color is becoming brown like theirs. This is the hardest thing I ever tackled, this letter writing. will close for this time.
  • Tampico, Mexico

    Tampico, Mexico
    Surpised to hear that you are setting up coal stoves. His majesties ship the Bremen dropped anchor this for noon. Second time they've been here. Dinner here was beej, snow potatoes, sweet corn and peas, breat and butter and coffee. So Roxey is well and fat. I don't blame her for not wanting to go behind that old lumber wagon of ours. So you are going to have a teacher boarding with you? Several battleships. things look serious. All anxious for a fight. on guard today. Someone tried to jump ship
  • Vera Cruz Mexico

    USS Wheeling.
    Chester writes that the army mail is really slow. They have had no liberty except some baseball on the outskirts of town. He is thinking about taking the civil service exams. Thinks about settling in the East P. J islands. He can take the exam in Detroit but doubts he will stay for a few weeks. He has a friend in the service that was going up for the exam. He was in Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Tampico, Mexico

    USS Wheeling, Rough trip. Rebels are bombarding the city now. Refugees are given until 12 this evening to clear our. The ships are crowded with refugees. USS Cruiser Chester and gunboat TAcoma. I was watching the shrapnel bursts and rifle cracks. The Mexican gunboat Bravo is firing her gun over the city. We are preparing rounds. Just what I have been waiting to see, some shooting. You can see Am flags on all the buildings. Will tell you more when I am home. Hope nothing serious happens.
  • At Sea, USS Wheeling

    At Sea, USS Wheeling
    Enroute to Vera Cruz. Fine trip. Brought 125 refugees with us. Ysterday and day before they were fighting. Three rebels caught by federals, saw them hanged in the morning. Horrible sight. Took stores on again in Vera Cruz. Coal ship tomorrow. Then to Tampico again. Just got a letter from aunt anna and mon yesterday. He lost 1000$on his hogs that died. John Lapham bought a farm Will send large photo of myself in uniform soon.
  • Chester to Cleveland At Sea

    Chester to Cleveland At Sea
    USS Wheeling Traveling to Tampico. Fine Trip. Will leave there for New Orleans and hten through the Panama Canal with tthe Atlantic Fleet.Then on to San Francisco for target pracitce with both fleets. Describes his travels. Visited the British Cruiser Berwick in Vera Cruz.470 feet long. Says USS Wheeling is more like a hotel. Talks about fishing, cigars, sharpshooting, refugess on board. Hears that things are changing a lot at home.
  • Tampico, Mexico

    Tampico, Mexico
    The Refugees have all went back to their respective places. Have a bad headache. Anchoring in Tampico, will not be going up the river. Waiting orders to head to New Orleans. Will be a happy bunch when we get the order to up anchor. Toured the English Cruiser Berwick while in Vera Cruz. was shown all through the ship. Got some english coins that I sent. Next to Guantanamo Bay for Target practice. Probably will have a chance to shoot the rest of my course.
  • Chester to Bertha

    USS Wheeling, Tampico Mex. All of our mail will be sent to New Orleans. I expect to be on the way in a couple of days. Wish I was home when you had your box party. What did John Lapham do? Sell his farm in Dearborn and move to Flat Rock? You will have all kinds of new neighbors if they all start to leave. While we were ancchored overnight the rebels
  • Tampico, Mexico

    Christmas here is lovely. Heading up the river again. German ship still here and the English. Think the scare is all over with now.We are painting part of the ship so we look presentable when we reach New Orleans. I heard that Anna Stewart is married. How is Roxy? I am special first class so far. Traded my rotten Mexican beer for six cigars. Watched German sports, football. Was surprised how well I spoke German.
  • Chester to Bertha

    USS Wheeling.
    Well we have left Tampico at last for new Orleans. Left this morning a happy looking bunch. Feels good to be going North instead of going South as we have been.
  • New Orleans

    Happy to be back in the good old USA. The ship is crowded with visitors. Must be quite a novelty for them to visit a gun boat. Piece in the newspaper with pics of the crew and ship. Had my picture in the newspaper regarding the things we did in Mexico. saving the refugess from the town. People around town talk to you. Suppose you all are half froze and the roses are in bloom here. What a difference a couple thousand miles makes. Mentions a postcard with wide streets. twice as wide as woodward av
  • New Orleans

    New Orleans
    So you received the spoon and the cotton. Heading south again soon. Hopefully cuba, not mexico. More shore leave. Our captain is sick and in hospital. You framed the painted potals I sent you from Mexico?Tell the teacher to stop talking while you are writing so you can send more news. Gave tours this Sunday.Some people are green, they wanted to know how far the four in guns would fire. They could carry from our place to Dearborn.
  • USS Wheeling New Orleans, LA

    Dear Cleave, We have a new draft of men, marines. only five of us old timers left. they hail from Charleston S.C. I suppose you all are wearing over coats now, while I am looking for a shady place to keep cool. We leave the third of next mo. for Cuba. It will be the third time I will be down there. Will send the smokes when I get there. This is a very old town. dated back to the 18th century. Any changes in Detroit or is it the same? I suppose that cousin of mine is married. I heard that she was
  • New Orleans, LA

    Having a gloomy day. Eight marines will be transferred tomorrow. and we expect new recruits. The rest of us will be the old timers. Have been here almost nine months. They are still at it in Mexico. We sail for Guantanamo Bay Cuba for target Practice on the third, from there to Santo Domingo City, Cuba. So a few more months of the high seas. I will send you a piece of rock containing iron ore, slate and real gold that a friend gave me. It comes from Denver, Colorardo.
  • En route to Cuba

    Sad to be leaving New Orleans. Trip down the river better than coming up. The river is really muddy with a strong current. Weather warming with each mile. No idea about orders. Nice on the upper deck. Awnings out and music playing. Arrived in Sivilla Bay. The present grounds for government target practice. There are about six battleships and supply ships. Will send Cleave his cigars as soon as we get shore leave. There is a small town about the size of Flat Rock.
  • Santo Domingo RD

    Santo Domingo RD
    Heard from mon Mackie two days ago that mother has been very sick. troubled with the gripp. I am a short timer now. We are all going to be transferred back to the states. The Wheeling is going out of commission. Probably will go back to Mexico on an expedition with the army. Probably transferred to Portsmouth NH or New Orleans.
  • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    Back in the same old place again. Had fine weather the whole way from Civilla Bay Cuba. Going to coal the ship. Gunners crew are rigigng the guns on the port side so the coal lighter will not have any trouble. Quite a number of ships here at present belonging tothe Atlantic Fleet 2nd Division.
  • Cape Haitian Haiti USS Wheeling

    We have returned to the ship. Some some exciting times. Reinforced the town forces. They were expecting a midnight attack. Supported the American Counselate. Packed with refugees. Had out pictures takend in heavy marching order. The scenery and mtns are great. the town is nestled in the little valley. All of thesed doings will take up a lot of space in that PRICELESS log of mine. Even now I like to look through it more soe when I am discharged.
  • Cape Hatian Haiti, American Counselate

    Things happening quickly. We left Port de Parix yesterday. settled here in the counsel. Haitian gunboat is here tyring to quell the fighting. We relieved the guards from ths USS San Francisco. The ship left. There are only 20 of us. One of our dollars is worth four of theirs. excuse pencil, nothing else. The ship is still here in the bay. Combat orders: use butt of gun, then bayonet, then shoot. Relieved to be off ship. odd events.
  • Cape Haitian Haiti, USS Wheeling

    Invited by the American Railroad Co of Cape Haiti for a few days outing by train through the mts. Teh scenery was finest I have ever saw. Natives washing clothes in the streams. The orange trees look great loaded with their golden fruit. They walk barefoot on blistered feet, but don't seem to feel it. Wish that we had just a little of the cool weather that you have now.
  • Cape Haiti, Haiti.

    USS Wheeling to Cleveland
    Wouldn't mind some of your cold weather. Hope you received your smokes in good shape. Santo Domingo is where you can get good cigars. Thick as your thumb. Bertha writes that she is bldg a hen house. Too bad I am not there but you can slam in a few nails for me. Had a snow ball fight with oranges the other day. Trip through the moutains with the RR. They have a fruit here that tastes like ice cream. Will send Bertha seeds so she can plant in a small jar.
  • Puerto Platte RD Cuba, USS Wheeling

    Place looks the same as in 1912 on the USS Prairie. The counsel came on board this morning. and will stay here some time. Relieved the gunboat Petrol which is enroute back to the USA after coaling and 6 mos here. I haven't found those cards which were stolen Many men complaining about things stolen from their lockers. Offense like this meanst time at the naval prison on Portsmouth.
  • USS Wheeling

    USS Wheeling
    Yes, the rock I sent really has gold, bronze and silver in it. You sure are getting classy with your new mantle lamps with their 100 horsepower. I won't know the place when I see it again. So Henry Makcie si getting a gas plant built in his house. I odn't see hwo he can do it. I suppose you will be glad when your teacher leaves. The natives here are almost like canibals. They fought for our scraps. Man in postal 108 years old. The R.R tracks along the side of a stream in mts.
  • USS Wheeling en route to Santo Domingo

    Aweful storm. Had to cut the stern lines so we could shove off and get out to sea. While at sea the moon emerged and we watched an eclipse. Certainly an ominous sight while at sea. Been traveling to many places since. Had teh President of the Reupbulci of Santo Domingo and his followers on board. Will send pictures.
  • Santo Domingo

    Arrived in Santo Domingo. Received by large crowds including their President and Military. 21 gun salute from the fort. Going to visit the city. A church claims to have the remains of Christopher Columbus. Has traveled 20, 836 miles so far.
    Recieved a letter from home. Said the old buildings were being torn down and replaced with ones with concrete foundations. Also indicates that there is a problem with water
  • Santo Domingo

    USS Wheeling Trip back to the states will be delayed now. They are fighting again. The tables are turned now. The Rebels have taken the town and overthrown the Haitian Government. They have stationed troops in the citie with rapid fire weapons. We will probably not be allowed ashore anymore. Baseball game this afternoon. Marines and the 2nd division. I have tried twice to find a stamp when ashore. The PO is always closed.
  • Chester to Cleveland Lapham

    Santo Domingo R.D.
    Sorry to hear that you will have to cut down the orchard. The place will not look the same.They were almost a deadline when I left. Traded with a native for some smokes for you. Send me some cabbage when it is in season. Do you have another techer at your house or is it a new one? Well leave me out. I am not in the least interested. I am after somethingg more solid at the present. How is Uncle Emil doing is he still in the auto businiess? Best regards. Tell Bertha to write.
  • Santo Domingo, RD

    Santo Domingo, RD
    Just finished coaling the ship. Expect to leave for Mexico very soon. Vera Cruz, The Marines have taken the city. They lost 12 men with 27 wounded. Wireless news from the flagship Louisianna at harbor there. The US has their hands filled with trouble. If war is really declared, Mex we will get twenty percent bonus in pay That is all you can hear on the ship now is war. The German SS Praisident docked here yesterday.
    See "The Tampico Affair."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampico_Affair
  • Santo Domingo

    Rebels are fighting very closte to Puerto Platta at the present time. Buildings back home probably almost done. Big ball game last Sunday between the Wheeling and the Dominicans. Wheeling won score of 8-5. I have put in for a transfer to Dear Point Guantanamo Bay. Haven't heard much about the trouble down in Mexico. I miss the sailing races herer that we used to have. Did you get the scales in the last letter and the Haitian bill I sent you some time ago?
  • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Had fine weather for the trip from San Domingo. Took on cargo and stores. Waiting for orders. Hoping to receive transfer orders. We are th only ship in the bay. If I can I am going to have a picture of the bunch coaling ship if so, I will send you one.
  • Chester to Bertha

    USS Wheeling, Portsmouth N.H. Back to Portsmouth arrived a few days ago. Sorry to hear that Bertha had not been feeling well. I was so surprised when you mentioned the little girl. What are you going to name it? Mentioned in your letters something that she had, but hope its not something bad. I expect to be transferred to the barracks soon. Had a pleasant trip from Cuba except for crossing Cape Heterus (?). lost a few meals there. Still adjusting to the weather here. rest of letter missing.
  • Portsmouth prison detail

    Got transferred off the ship at last. at the Naval Prison here. Will stay here for the rest of my service. 60 cents a month you get your clothes washed, uniforms and civilian clothes pressed, a shave every morning, hair cut twice a month and bed made by the prisoners. All you have to is direct prisoners to work. Some lifers here but mostly 2-10 sentences. Officers club features books, billiards, games, moving pictures. A long looked for change and relief from the gunboat.
  • Portsmouth, NH

    I haven't heard from anyone in over two weeks. AS you know the scenery along the New England Coastline is incredible. I missed the last trip to the tropics and am glad for it. This place is more like a hotel with its elevator. But the cell blocks with the prisoners are horrible. For stimulants they get hot water three times a day with meals. They are forbidden to talk at the table. Their arms must be folded. This place is a great curiousity for tourists. Going to SC to transfer prisoners.
  • Portsmouth, NH

    Odd typed letter, out of character and very secretive, Maybe nonsense, maybe a secret code: I have a serious question to ask you that means life or death to me. Please destory this as some one may read it. "Do you think that, "Jeff" will ever be as tall as "Mutt?" Think my firend think hard and I will.
  • Portsmouth N.H.

    Talks about slippers that were sent home. Cleveland's were too small. will send more. Hopes the thrashing went well, always hated that chore. Bad luck in the Kolab family. Hope their boy gets better. One prisoner has gone completely daffy. Prisoners can't read or write, can barely scribble their names. Says they mentioned that it has been dry in Michigan, bad for the melons.
  • Portsmouth NH

    A lot of short timers now here. Weather so bad it does not permit one to leave the building. What do you think about the situation in Europe? The Wheeling is out of dry dock now. She is minus quite a bit of her interior. Her boilers and engines are taken out and new ones are being made.
  • Portsmouth Prison

    Dear friend, just received a new bunch of men from Mex. calls them spicks for short. One of them was shot in the shoulder and other places three times while trying to escape. He has been here for five years before being transferred to the Boston Prison now back here after attempted mutiny. When released they get a hand me down suit, ten dollars and trapnsortaiton to the place they are interested in and what they can save from their $3 a month tobacco allowance. I'm smoking my old trusty cornpipe
  • Portsmouth NH

    Portsmouth NH
    A little excitement today. Prisoner escaped from the prison ship Southery. (pictured here) Went to general alarm. He was caught a half hour later. He tried the water for his source of getaway but failed due to cramping and almost drowned. There are many prisoners getting discharged from here. What do you think of this war?
  • Portmouth Big Storm

    There is a big storm coming, thundering like all possessed. big breakers pounding on the reef. Storms are frequent along the New England Coast. Expect more men from Norfolk VA. Talks about his pay and getting out of the military to head south. No more northern winters for me. I just filled my beloved pipe. What do you think about the war? Do you think we will get into it?
  • Portsmouth N.H.

    Thinks that Bertha has been busy taking care of baby Catherine (Aunt Katie?) Is sending pictures. Talks about the maple trees changing colors and asks about ma. How is she doing? Referencing Mother Mackie?
  • Portsmouth N.H.

    Thanks Bertha for the Christmas Candy. Says he is soaring from eating half the box. Ate them while giving out presents to the prisoners. Had entertainment in the mess hall. Boxing, a battle royal and pie eating contest. all done by the prisoners for the benefit of their visitors. Prison post exchange gave all the guards gifts if they pitched in 1.25. Watched six reels of moving pictures. Prisoners were free to roam the basement from one to four and most rules like tobacco were lifted.
  • Porstmouth N.H.

    Says everyone he hears from lately is sick. He feels perfectly fine. Has gained 30 lbs in the last couple of years. The boys think he has become a hermit. Work on the outside is getting pretty scarce. They will have a war tax on almost everything. Is studying the railway mail clerk course Will take the exams in Boston and probably stay there. From the Franklin Institute. Test costs thirdy dollars but is dead gone on that job.Was on watch last night.
  • Portsmouth NH.

    Heard from Genieve a few days ago the sad news of mother's death. I only wish I could of seen her but one more time. I guess there were not many at th efuneral. Henry wasn't there, also the Buffalo people. I have her picture taken not so long ago. How is Catherine? I hope that she is recovered from her illness.
  • Portsmouth, N.H.

    Hope all is well at home. I have a bad cold. I heard some time ago about mother's death. I am glad she went peacefully as you say she did. You mentioned if I knew of my fathers address. I do not. I have not the slightest of his whereabouts. the dearborn people could tell you. This is Mexican paper. What do you think about the war in Europe after the shipping trade now. Mex situation getting worse. Might have to go there. Genevieve has my diary. Many interesting things in it. Ask her for it.
  • Portsmouth, N.H

    Received inheritance check. Asks Bertha about her health and new home. Asks about Genevieve. "What do you think about the possibilities of warwas in this country, it is about all on hears out here now."
  • Chester Bock to Bertha

    Chester Bock to Bertha
    The weather here is disgusting. Nothing but rain every day. How do you like your new home? I hardly think I will see Detroit again, unless on a visit. Boston is the place that I might locate in. Portsmouth went wild the night of the fourth but no one was hurt which is something unusual. with cordial regards, love to all Chester.
  • Portsmouth NH

    Portsmouth NH
    Haven't heard from no one in quite some time. Hope you and Catherine are both well. Had quite a fire here a few days ago. Destroyed the bldgs at Hampton BEach. 250,000 damage. Cold winter, will be the last one for me. Beautiful fall weather here. not so many tourists. Had a letter from Aunt Ida recently about the residence of the estate. Has it changed hands or are you not administering it anymore? Hoping to hear from you soon.
  • Portsmouth

    Writes home that he has heard from Esther. Chester asks about the old neighborhood with the orginal settlers moving on and all. Says he is very busy. Written on C.A. Bock Groceries, Tobacco and Confectionary official stationary. No personal information.