Letters From Fort Lyon Sanatorium 1929-1930 by Benjamin Mollenhour
Thirteen letters tell the heartbreaking story of survival not only between a man in a sanatorium but also his wife raising their four kids during the great depression.
Benjamin Franklin Mollenhour was born on October 20, 1889 in Mentone, Indiana. Working as an auto mechanic, he enlisted in the United States Army at the age of twenty-seven. He was sent to France to fight in the trenches enduring mustard gas attacks and after the War, he returned to live in Missouri and met Lulu Link. They married and had four children. Sadly, soon after, Benjamin came down with tuberculosis due in part to the War. He was sent to Fort Lyon Sanatorium in Colorado for treatment. This memoir includes thirteen letters from Benjamin to Lulu between 1929 and 1930. Reading his letters, the sorrow can be felt from within him when all he wanted was to be at home, help raise the children and work to support his family. Through the letters, his hope faded and at the end, he realized he would never work again and wanted to see his family once more. Through his short stay at the hospital and his deteriorating state, Lulu and their four young children struggled and once Benjamin returned home, he died soon after on August 19, 1930.