WWI Love Postcard







Boerjans - Crookston, Minnesota

After Bill went into the army, Valerie moved home, into the Boucher house on East Robert Street in Crookston, for the duration of her pregnancy. Her family was very welcoming and her mother took very good care of her throughout the months before the birth of her first child. Anita was born on February 28, 1919. She was premature and only weighted 3 or 4 pounds. Valerie shared a room with her sister, Dora, and tiny Anita slept in the bed between Valerie and Dora. Valerie is sure this is how Anita survived. She was kept fed, warm, safe and very loved for those crucial first months of her life.

Valerie and Anita

Bill was always thinking about Valerie and his daughter back in America. His soldier friends were always flirting with the pretty girls in France, and they would often tease Bill about going after one of those pretty French girls. Bill always answered, "I have my own pretty little French girl waiting for me at home!" He wrote Valerie often while he was overseas and when he returned home he brought her many gifts from France, such as handkerchiefs and scarves.

French Postcard 1917
Souvenir from France

Bill returned from Europe and he and Valerie were married on July 12, 1919. His intention was to move his family to the Boerjan farm at Elrose, Saskatchewan. Valerie's parents and siblings really wanted them to stay in the Crookston area but they understood that families often don't stay together. However, Bill promised Julia, Valerie's mother, that he would bring Valerie to visit once a year. Bill and his young family drove to Saskatchewan in a Model T Ford convertible.


Val - 1919

To see a full account of the Boerjan Story, please go to The Belgiums.

For more information on Belgium, go to


Boerjan History in the Old Country

Ben Boerjan Grows Up in Belgium and Marries Nathalie

Bill Moves to Minneapolis and Meets Val.

Bill Goes to War and Val Stays with Her Parents in Crookston

Bill Moves His New Family to Canada - up to 1946

The Boerjans Retirement Years