Friday, November 30, 2012

The John Lewis Barkley Collection at the National World War I Museum

John L. Barkley in WWI Uniform

Even among the vast holdings of the National World War I Museum, it is difficult to overlook the John Lewis Barkley Collection.  This large collection of letters, photographs, postcards, certificates, and other material tells the story of a 22-year-old from rural Henry County, Missouri who became  one of the most decorated veterans in the state.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Over There

Westover, John G., Collection from the State Historical Society of Missouri

Owen "Glen" Tudor, a St. Louis native, sent this four page letter on Thanksgiving Day, 1918, to his brother Ed. The letter was sent from a rest home in France, where Glen was recuperating after time in the trenches. The letter describes American involvement in the war. See a transcription of the letter below.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

St. Louis native opens her home near Paris, France, to U.S. troops during WWI

Missouri women played an integral role in the war effort.  Various women’s organizations participated in programs across the state including,  food conservation, patriotic education and the Liberty Loan program. Women also worked in various industries to support the war effort.  According to Ida Clyde’s, 1918 book,  American Women and the World War, Missouri women had working organizations in 106 of the 114 counties and in 375 towns; by the end of the summer of 1917. Clyde admired Missouri’s organizing so much that she wrote “The plan of organization in this state is worthy of especial study by those states who may still be in the process of organization.”  It is no surprise that Missouri's women were more than happy to aid Grace Gale Humann, a St. Louis, Missouri native, in her efforts to support American Soldiers in France.

Furlough House

Drawing room in Paris Furlough House. Humann is at the piano.
Grace Gale Humann found a unique way to support the war effort. She converted her chateau in Bellevue, a suburb of Paris, France, into the Furlough House, a retreat for American Soldiers on leave in Paris. To raise funds for Furlough House, Humman traveled to St. Louis  several times and gave lectures to women’s organizations and church groups in which she described her experiences in war torn France. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You, Veterans

From the Karl Dietrich Papers at the State Historical Society of Missouri
Ninety four years ago today, the Allied Nations and Germany agreed to an armistice, invoking a cessation of hostilities.  After millions of casualties and four years of fighting, the most savage, far reaching, and technologically advanced war that the world had ever seen was finally at an end. Celebrations broke out worldwide, and "Armistice Day" became a national holiday. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Ward Schrantz Memoirs

Project staff recently examined the Ward Schrantz Memoirs at the Jasper County Records Center in Carthage, Missouri. Ward Schrantz, a resident of Carthage, documented his extensive military service with photos and recollections.  While in the 2nd Missouri Infantry, he guarded the Mexican border during the "Punitive Expedition," was the captain of a machine gun battalion during World War I, and commanded a U.S. Army troopship during World War II.

On April 13, 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany, Schrantz was elected captain of the Carthage Light Guard. The Carthage company then departed for Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma, where it became a part of the Thirty-fifth Division as Company A, 128th Machine Gun Battalion.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Early Findings : The Diary of a Naval Yeoman

Since September, a team of historians across the state have been diligently working to find and evaluate collections that display Missouri involvement in World War I. They have already discovered an exciting array of letters, artifacts, posters, photographs, and more. One of the most interesting discoveries this week was the handwritten diary of naval yeoman Royal Bauer, which vividly describes the daily life of a young Missourian in the Navy.  Although Bauer never experienced combat, his diary is an excellent resource because it tells us the little-known story of US Naval operations off the coast of France in World War I.