Friday, November 21, 2014

Mary Paxton Keeley's YMCA Diary

C0848 - Keeley at YMCA Canteen
Independence, Missouri born Mary Paxton Keeley was the first female graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was active as a journalist, teacher, playwright, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and pioneer in the field of journalism. During her lifetime Keeley befriended many celebrated Missourians, including Bess and Harry Truman, Orrick Johns, Homer Croy, Charles G. Ross, Tom McAfee, and Rose Wilder Lane.

Between 1918 and 1919, Keeley served with the YMCA in France during World War I.  As a canteen worker, she distributed food, drinks, books and periodicals to soldiers to help maintain morale. The Mary Paxton Keeley Collection from the State Historical Society of Missouri, contains the diary Keeley kept during her time in France. Filled with wit, the 100 page diary provides a first hand account of Keeley's experiences as a YMCA canteen worker and will be digitized by Over There staff this year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day: John L. Barkley Radio Interview

John L. Barkley in WWI Uniform
On November 11, 1918 the Allied Nations and Germany agreed to an armistice that brought a cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. World War I was finally at an end. After four years of fighting and millions of casualties the world celebrated the peace, and "Armistice Day" was born.

Thirty years later, after Armistice Day was officially declared a legal holiday, veteran John L. Barkley gave a radio interview on station K.C.K.N regarding the importance of celebrating the historic day.

Friday, November 7, 2014

James R. Davis

National World War I Museum

James R. Davis lived in Marshall, Missouri when he was inducted into the army on April 1, 1918. He was trained as a medical officer at Fort Riley, Kansas and served overseas from October 12, 1918 to August 1, 1919 with the 816th Pioneer Infantry. Arriving in France near the end of the war, Davis missed almost all of the fighting but he wrote vividly of its aftermath.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Charles S. Stevenson Collection, Part 2

Sergeants of Company A, 314th Engineers, 89th Division
Charles pictured in front row, fourth from left
With a page-count over 500, including correspondence and photographs, the Charles S. Stevenson Collection at the National World War I Museum is difficult to miss.  From training at Camp Funston, Kansas, to service overseas, Charles rarely missed an opportunity to write to his family at home.  Project staff could not pass up the opportunity to digitize this wide-ranging and sometimes humorous collection.  This post, concentrating on his activities while overseas, is the second of two posts concerning the service of Charles S. Stevenson.

Friday, October 24, 2014

World War I Art at the St. Louis Art Museum Part II: Otto Dix

Self- Portrait as a Soldier, 1914
On October 30th and 31st, Project Staff will be giving a Gallery Talk at the St. Louis Art Museum on World War One Art and Artists in the Museum's collection.  One of the artists featured in the talk is Otto Dix, who served as a machine gunner in the German Army during the war. Dix is known for using his art to depict the horrors of the war and as a tool to critique post-war German society.

Dix was born in Untermhaus, Germany, in 1891.  From 1906-1910, he apprenticed with painter Carl Senff. In 1910, he entered the Dresden School of Arts and Crafts. In 1914, when World War One began, he, like many other German youths, enthusiastically joined the Army. Dix served in an Artillery unit on the Western front. In 1915, he was awarded the Iron Cross (second class) and was promoted to Sergeant for his heroism during the Autumn Battle. Over the next few years, Dix fought in numerous battles, including the Battle of the Somme. Needless to say, he experienced the horrors of war first-hand. Dix witnessed traumatic scenes of soldiers being killed and wounded all around him. Like many other German artists who served in the war (Max Beckmann, George Grosz, and  Ernst Ludwig Kirchner), Dix was greatly affected by what he saw.   As a result, by the end of the war, he had become a pacifists, a dramatic change from the nationalistic war supporter he was at the beginning of the war (featured in the Self-Portrait  above).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dr. Perrin T. Wilson

Dr. Perrin T. Wilson graduated from the Kirksville, Missouri, American School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1918, and served as President of the American Academy of Osteopathy, President of the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society, and President of the American Osteopathic Association in 1933 and 1934. He was a noted educator and prolific writer. Before his career in osteopathy took off, Dr. Wilson served in World War I with Field Hospital 303, and Camp Hospitals 28 and 57.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Harry M. Bouser - U.S. Navy

Harry M. Bouser ca. 1917
Harry M. Bouser, a resident of Carthage, Missouri, was 26 years old when he enlisted in the United States Navy in April of 1917.  Bouser was assigned to the U.S. Transport Service and served on three different transport vessels throughout the war. Bouser was part of the crew of the USS President Lincoln when it was torpedoed in May of 1918 on its journey back to the U.S. from France. Bouser floated on a raft for 18 hours before being rescued.

Project staff recently had the opportunity to review and scan letters, photos and postcards related to Harry Bouser’s service. Below are some of the photos in the collection and an account of the sinking of the USS President Lincoln.