I've written about the collections in the Clarke for MAA's newsletter Open Entry. Although we declared war on April 2, the war for the US occurred after April 2, and came to involve men and women from across the US, at home, on the front lines, in hospitals, in multiple countries. It change social mores, families, relationships, boundary lines, concepts of war, and so much more.
Here's the article I wrote for MAA about our WWI collections with some photographs.
Our WWI collections include papers/documentation of soldiers, nurses, CMUSATC, and other.
Papers/documentation of soldiers:
Small collections of men who served in various units, mostly the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France, consist of one or two folders of correspondence about their experiences in the war and observations of European life, and some photographs, include the papers of: James A. Bayne, Lafayette Flying Corps, Aero Squadron, 103rd; Ralph D. Crapo, AEF; Lisle Earl, 225th Aero Squadron; James B. Hadley, AEF; Carl Holbrook, AEF, hospitalized in Base Hospital #36 France; Hjalmar Nord, AEF; and Rudolph C. Wiltenburg, AEF. Also, World War I Correspondence, 1918 (1 folder) of an unidentified soldier, a member of Company B, Motor Supply Train 7, AEF, stationed at Camp Merritt (N.J.), who transported supplies in the U.S.
Ethel Barber, African Americans in Saginaw (Mich.) scrapbook, 1913, 2002, 1 Ov. V. Barber and her husband, Rev. Wm. Barber, were important local African American leaders. The scrapbook documents, among other people, her brother, Harold S. Woodward, who served in WWI as a Sergeant in Co. F, 8th Illinois, 370th Infantry.
Clifford “Tip” Carnahan Collection, 1918, 1989, 1 Ov folder. Tip served in an unspecified artillery unit in France. His collection includes two WWI letters by him, immediately before and after the Armistice was declared in France, describing troop reactions to the Armistice, a French regulation artillery form, published WWI song lyrics, a Paris postcard, and a photograph of him in uniform.
Augustus Herbert Gansser Papers, 1891, 1931, 5 cubic ft. Gansser (1872-1951) was a Michigan soldier, politician, and author. His WWI materials include: documentation of the Michigan National Guard (MNG), an AEF field book, circulars, rosters of troops, histories, lists of the dead, WWI photographs, mostly of the MNG, 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry, Co. B, 3rd Michigan and of Camp Bliss in Manistee, and WWI European published maps.
Floyd L. Haight Family Papers, 1900-1984, .75 cubic ft. Floyd served in the U.S. Navy in WWI. His papers include his un/published materials, correspondence, clippings, photographs, some of which are from WWI.
Robert K. Helmle Papers, 1887-1925, .5 cubic ft. Helmle served in AEF in France and Germany. His papers include WWI correspondence and photographs of Europe sent by him to his parents.
Ernest Hemingway Collection, 1901, 2014, 6 cubic ft., includes two original manuscript letters by Hemingway in Petoskey, 1919, with some WWI relevance. The first letter, April 18 and 27, 1919, to his friend Jim Gamble, details his dashed hopes for marriage with a nurse and other topics. The second letter, November 11, 1919, to his mother in Oak Park, Illinois, notes Armistice Day, his prayers for the dead soldiers, complains of President Wilson robbing the “wops”, mentions Fiume, and other topics. For detailed information on Hemingway and his related materials in the Clarke see https://www.cmich.edu/library/clarke/ResearchResources/Michigan_Material_Statewide/Hemingway_in_Michigan/Pages/default.aspx.
Mount Pleasant (Mich.) Court House Cornerstone Contents, 1876, 1926, .25 cubic ft. includes a list of WWI veterans.
Sherry S. Sponseller Michigan history collection, 1872, 1998, 2 cubic ft., includes Harrison H. Saylor biographical notes, photographs, and his WWI dog tags. Saylor (1896-1981) from Mount Pleasant played horns in the army band in World War I while serving in France.
|Both of Saylor's dog tags|
Vernon (Isabella County, Mich.: Township) Township records, 1868, 1969, 3 cubic ft., includes an unofficial scrapbook, Volume III, 1914-1918, 1941-1945, with two loose pages of WWI local history, including a list of Isabella County soldiers reported dead and a photograph with text of Mount Pleasant Indian School student enlistees. See image-20 indian boys
Papers of nurses:
Harriet M. Huebel’s Family Papers, 1894, 1967, 1.5 cubic ft. Harriet (1890-1959) served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in France, Nov. 1918-July 1919. The papers include her: AEF Hospital Paperwork, 1918-1919; American Red Cross Correspondence, 1919; Correspondence to/from Harriet, mostly from other nurse friends and family; Diary, 1918-1919; Nursing Tests, 1914, undated; War Dept. papers, 1919; War Insurance Papers, 1918-1919; photographs of the AEF nurses on board the SS. Missouri, and perhaps another ship, sailing to/ from France, documenting friends, hospitals, nurses, doctors, patients, pets, views of France, etc., and WWI nurses gathering in Detroit, Sept. 23, 1931; her nursing cap; and some nursing pins.
Mary M. Bourgeois Family papers, 1901, 1944, 2 cubic ft. Mary (1884-1974) served as a nurse in the Red Cross during WWI. The papers include two photograph albums of her nursing experiences, 1918-1919. One of the albums, entitled A.E. F., is beautiful, and includes identified and dated photographs of soldiers, patients, graves, French people, parades, religious events, buildings, cities, sites devastated by bombs, and the ships she sailed on to/from France.
|Cover of her scrapbook|
|See the people in the F and R of France? Very clever use of portrait photography|
|Here are all the nurses in her unit, Memorial Day 1919|
Merrie Steere Correspondence, 1918-1919, 1 folder. Merrie (b.1893) served as an American Red Cross volunteer nurse in France during WWI. Her correspondence includes six letters to her family describing her trip on the ship Agar to Europe.
Champion wrestling matches, , 2000, 1 Ov. Folder. WorldWorldWarI
James W. Clapp, Papers and scrapbooks, 1865, 1951, 13 Ov. V., 1 folder, includes U.S. political information, some from WWI era.
Miscellaneous photographic collection, 1901, 1918, 2.75 cubic ft., includes WWI propaganda glass-plate negatives, “Support the War”, 1918.
Addie E. Hill collection, Reflections, 1980, 2014, 1 folder, her memories of WWI from a Gratiot County woman’s perspective.
Michigan scrapbook, 1937-1951, 1 Ov. V., includes WWI leaders from a post-war perspective.
Note: There are no specific WWI papers extant in the CMU Office of the President collections.