Rock Island couple finds old letters in their wall; Searching for family members

Local News

A couple from Rock Island found letters from the 1950’s while renovating their attic and they’re searching for the remaining family members to return the letters to. 

“I ripped open the drywall there and there was this stack of letters right in there,” Mario Rangel said.  

Rangel and his wife Tara Rangel live on 21st Avenue in Rock Island. They were both excited to find the stack of letters. 

“I honestly felt like I found a treasure. It kind of took me by surprise, and I stopped doing what I was doing for about a good hour and a half. Just to go through all of the letters,” Mario said. 

“I think I literally was driving faster just to get home because I was so excited to see them,” Tara said. 

The letters were addressed to Thomas and Eva Morgan, from a man named R.L. Gibbons. It is believed that Gibbons is Eva’s maiden name, and that R.L. Gibbons could be her uncle. The letters show that he was based in California and served in the Korean War. The couple went through the letters and learned about his journey. 

“To just see the difference between today and how it was back then. And seeing a soldier, it was kind of like, okay, maybe somebody needs these. Maybe we need to find these people,” she said. 

This is why the couple decided to post the letters on Facebook with hopes that someone would claim them. 

“I think it would mean a lot to somebody. If somebody brought me these letters, and they were letters from my grandfather or my great grandfather, that is something I would love to have in my posession,” he said. 

Tara hopes they can bring their family joy. 

“With everything that is going on, and everything that everyone has been through, this type of stuff is really appreciated. It’s almost refreshing to find something cool like this,” she said. 
If you believe you know who these letters belong to, send an email to

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