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The Story of Daisy and Billie Henderson
AHS #2014.001

The Henderson’s story unfolds in letters written by William “Billie” Henderson to his
wife-to-be Daisy Burton. Billie was a faithful correspondent all through his training
and during his deployment to post-war Germany.

In 1918, Billie Henderson was a smitten young man who wanted to make sure
his girl was still his:

Do you still think the same that I want’d to know down under the orange trees that night? That you said you would wait till I come back from the army. For I still think the same and hope you do.

Matrimony was at least hinted at under the orange trees in Florida:

Say. Daisy. I do so want to see you so much. And all that I can do is look at your pictures and think of you. I got them stuck in the looking glass and every night I say goodnight Daisy and first thing when I get up in the morning is good morning or hello Mrs. Wm. H x I wish that it was true.

As always, he signed his letters, Daisy be good. I am for you. Write to me.

Daisy and Billie’s story speaks to us of love and longing, and about the uncertainty of being far from the ones we love, wrapped up in Billie’s faithful closing, Daisy be good. I am for you. Write to me.

Mr. and Mrs. Henderson went on to be long-time residents of Ballardvale. William Henderson died in 1959, but Daisy continued to save and care for his World War I memorabilia and letters. In later years, Daisy became a mother figure to her young neighbor Alberta Davis, who was busy raising a family of her own. When Daisy passed away, Alberta Davis gathered up Daisy’s treasures and saved them. She, in turn, donated the collection to us.

In many ways, the Henderson collection is similar to family donations we receive every year each with a unique story to tell.