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Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Louisville and the First World War: Manuscript Collections

Manuscript Collections Relating to World War I (in alphabetical order)

American War Mothers/Mattie Jenkins, 1918-1988, bulk 1955-1988
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The American War Mothers organized in 1917 in response to a call from the national government for food conservation. By March of 1924, the AWM had 23,000 members. Congress granted the organization its national charter in 1925. Indiana and Kentucky have several branches of the national organization. The establishment of the Jefferson County Chapter in April 1919 came a month after that of the Kentucky State Chapter, organized in March 1919. The AWM sponsored many memorials around Kentucky to honor fallen veterans, including the bridge over the Kentucky River at Frankfort, the flagpole on the Jefferson County Courthouse lawn, the "Quiet Room" at the Veterans Hospital, and many other "memorial markers." This collection contains records of the organization, such as by-laws, minutes, financial reports and artifacts, as well as some personal papers of member Mattie Jenkins. Jenkins served as a nurse during World War I.

Avery Insurance Co., Inc. Records
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General account ledgers, 1910-1922

Isaac W. Bernheim Papers, 1852-1970s
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Financial records including ledgers, inventories, journals, and cashbooks; writings and clippings; and biographical information, 1914-1918.

Louis D. Brandeis, Microfilm
World War, 1916-1920, 1926. Reels 62-68.

Donald and Charlotte Wimp Butler, 1911-1981, bulk 1912-1918
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These papers contain University of Louisville memorabilia collected by the Butlers. The major topics contained in this collection are University of Louisville men's and women's basketball from 1913 to 1921. Also included is material relating to the Louisville public schools, particularly Girls High School. There are also letters from friends serving in World War I.

Camp Taylor Records, 1917-1920
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This collection consists of two types of materials relating to Camp Zachary Taylor, a training camp for US soldiers located in Louisville, Kentucky, during World War I. One series includes lists of names, presumably soldiers, and employment information. These lists are not alphabetized, and are sometimes undated; the exact purpose of the lists is unknown. Those dated 1919 are presumably as soldiers were discharged from the armed forces. The other series consists of paperwork, including correspondence, from the base library. The base library was part of the American Library Association's work to provide library services to servicemen during the First World War. This material dates from July 1917 through 1920, most of the period in which the ALA was providing these services. These records contain correspondence about fund raising drives, and donations, as well as financial records of the library.

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Floyd Smith Carpenter Papers, 1905-1961
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Floyd Smith Carpenter apparently grew up in Louisville before attending Rose Polytechnic Institute (Terre Haute, IN) and graduating from there in 1917. He attended the University of Louisville as a graduate student in 1918-1919. This is a collection of approximately 600 letters between Carpenter and his family, mainly dating from 1913-1922. Eight folders of the letters date from 1914 through the immediate post-war year of 1919.

Craik-Lord-Stitzel Family Papers,1818-1950s
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The collection contains letters, business and legal documents, genealogies and clippings, which document the lives of descendants of eighteenth century physician James Craik, and nineteenth century president of Dartmouth College Nathan Lord. The Lord-Stitzel subgroup contains materials relating to phosphate mining in Tennessee and World War I.

James N. Cunningham Papers, 1918-1968
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Louisvillian best known for his restaurant, Cunningham's, he served in the Army during World War I. Upon returning to Louisville he was active in Republican politics. He was named secretary of the Louisville Police Department, and by 1920, was named a captain. Two letters from Cunningham while in the Army and three other items from France, dated 1919-1920.

Davidson Family Papers
Philip Grant Davidson, Jr., was born in 1902 to the Rev. Philip Grant and Jessie Davidson, Sr. Until 1942 he taught history at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. From 1942-1951 he served as Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University. He came to the University of Louisville as its twelfth president in 1951. He left the university in 1968 to serve as a Ford Foundation advisor in Bangkok, Thailand. He then returned to Nashville, where he lived until his death in 2000. He was married to Jane Foot Davidson and together they had two children. This collection includes materials documenting the life and career of Philip Grant Davidson, Jr. as well as the entire Davidson extended family. There are journals, correspondence and writings by the Davidson, his parents, his sister, his wife and some of her family members, their children, and various other relations, some of which falls in the time period of 1914-1919.

Ethel Wilson Ewen, 1906-1981, bulk 1906-1918
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Ethel May Wilson was born in rural Kentucky in 1888 and graduated from the Berea College of Nursing in 1910. In spring 1918 she joined the Army Nurse Corps, where she was assigned to Base Hospital #59. The unit sailed for Europe in September 1918 and was the first at the hospital center at Rimercourt, France. In November Wilson was sent to St. Dizier and assigned to #41 French hospital. She was discharged from the Army Nurse Corps in August 1919. In October she married Edward T. Ewen, an Army medic who she met in France. Wilson raised children and then worked as a nurse until age 70. This small collection includes Ethel Wilson Ewen's school records from Berea College, her Army Nurse Corps paperwork, some other World War I memorabilia.

Salem Ford, 1896-1976
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Salem Ford, son of University of Louisville president Arthur Ford, was a 1914 graduate of Male High and he attended the University of Louisville. These papers include a listing of travels during and photographs of his World War I unit's reunion.

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Eva Gaunt - Theater programs, playbills and memorabilia, 1890-1919
The collection contains playbills, clippings, and memorabilia from Louisville at the turn of the twentieth century. Included are items from Macauley Theatre and Temple Auditorium and articles from the Louisville Courier Journal concerning World War I, the trial of alleged conspirators in the assassination of Kentucky Governor William Goebel; and the postwar Versailles Conference.

Howard Clifton Griswold Papers, 1863-1956
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Griswold was born in 1866 and earned a degree in civil engineering from Stevens Institute of New Jersey. He worked at L&N Railroad and Illinois Steel Co. then took over management of family-owned printing business, J.P. Morton & Co. in 1915. Included in collection are printed reports from various companies and professional organizations for the years of World War I, 1914-1919.

Jewish Community Center Records, 1864-1959
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Records include the organization's minutes, copies of the YMHA Chronicler, financial records, a scrapbook, and photographs from the 1914-1919 time period.

Willard Rouse Jillson Papers, ca. 1910-1970
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Willard Rouse Jillson was born in 1890, one of four children of Willard Rogers and Anna Delle Jillson of Syracuse, New York. He studied geology receiving a B.S. in 1912 and an M.S. in 1915. He married Oriole Gormley of Kentucky in 1917, and in 1919 was named Kentucky State Geologist. He worked in state government until 1931, when he went into the private sector. His two brothers served in the military in World War I, thus getting him an exemption from service. There are two boxes of correspondence from the 1914-1919 time period.

James A. Kennedy, 1917-1977
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James A. Kennedy joined the faculty of the University of Louisville Medical School in 1934 teaching Bacteriology until 1946; then from 1946 to his retirement in 1965, he taught Microbiology. The collection consists largely of pamphlets concerning public health and medicine. Also includes Dr Kennedy's personal files, including lecture notes, pamphlets relating to World War I and pacifism, and correspondence.

Kentucky Irish American, 1898-1968, Microfilm
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The paper was established and edited by William M. Higgins in 1898. It was a four-page weekly published as a vehicle of communication among the Irish-American population of Louisville. Early issues of the paper were ethnic in character, dealing with such issues as the situation in Ireland, Hibernian pride, and Irish nationalism.

Kimbrough Family Papers, 1918-1953
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The papers include World War I letters to Lola Fields (later Lola Fields Kimbrough) from Hugh Summers, a soldier friend.

Michael Lewis Papers, 1913-1919, bulk 1918-1919
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Michael A. Lewis was born in 1891 in rural Kentucky then moved to Louisville and became a streetcar conductor upon completing school where he was drafted in 1917. After completing his training at Camp Zachary Taylor he was sent overseas to France as part of the Third Army. He participated in the Second Battle of the Marne and later as part of the occupation force near Coblenz. He returned in home 1919, bought a farm in 1921, married and in 1928 became a rural mail carrier for the Glendale area. He died in 1970 at the age of seventy-nine. The papers focus on the seventeen months of active duty with the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. Lewis kept a pocket diary from the day he reported for duty until he returned to the family farm near Glendale, Kentucky. Entries describe the movements of Company G across France. Some thirty-five letters home have also survived, and in them he comments more colorfully on events. A dozen photographic souvenir post cards also form part of the collection.

McVaigh Camp Taylor collection, 1918
Three copies of "Trench and Camp" (Oct. 7, 14, 21, 1918). Includes information on the Spanish Influenza. One picture of Charles Newberry (1895-1974) in WWI uniform. One panoramic photograph: Battery C 3rd Bn. F.A.R.D., Lt. Fred R. Deaton, Comdg. (dated 8-1-18 by the American Studio, Louisville, Ky.).

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Robert Paul Papers, 1913-1979
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Paul was born in Scotland, was reared in England, and came to the United States following his service in the British Army during World War I. He went to work for Louisville distiller Isaac W. Bernheim in 1926, eventually becoming Bernheim's personal secretary and executive director of the I.W. Bernheim Foundation. These are Paul's personal papers, consisting of literary manuscripts, correspondence (both personal and business), photographs, and memorabilia documenting his career and family life.

Benjamin and William Pike Letters, 1916-1919
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World War I letters from the Pike brothers to family home in Kentucky. Some letters were written from France. Photocopies only.

H. Porter Pryor Papers, 1917-1981, bulk 1917-1921
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Pryor, a native of Owen County, owned Pryor Petroleum Products in Louisville. The collection contains photographs, postcards, news clippings, souvenir editions of newspapers, war poems, Army and civil service records, and museum items such as shells and leggings relating to Pryor's World War I service. The newspapers in the group are American, French, and English.

Louis E. Schneeberger papers, 1900-1950 (bulk 1917-1919)
Personal papers of Louis E. Schneeberger. Comprehensive correspondence, unit list, photos, maps, pamphlets and memorabilia documenting a Louisvillian’s military service in Europe during WWI; other materials include patriotic poems, programs and American Legion membership cards. Materials date from the early 1900s to 1950, but the bulk of the material was created between 1917 and 1919.

Eva Sesmer and Herbert Mitchell Snyder papers, 1908-1978
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These papers primarily reflect the numerous interests of Eva Sesmer Snyder of Louisville, Ky. Snyder, a Russian native, worked as a World War I Army nurse. Herbert Snyder's papers relate to his education, work as a pharmacist, and service in both World War I and II.

Alice Speed Stoll papers, 1914-1945
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Alice Speed Stoll, daughter of William S. Speed, president of the Louisville Cement Company was married to Berry Stoll, vice-president of the Stoll Oil Refining Company. She was an officer and a member of the board of governors of the J.B. Speed Art Museum. There is some miscellaneous correspondence present, a few photographs, some news clippings, World War I orders and a ration certificate, and some general printed material.

Thompson Family Papers, 1918, 1944
Includes one letter home from Frank A. Thompson dated November 24, 1918, from Chavenay, France.

Henry Watterson Papers, 1857-1983, bulk 1882-1921 Microfilm Journalist Henry Watterson became editor of the Louisville Journal in 1868, the same year he and Walter N. Haldeman established the Courier Journal. For the next 50 years Watterson continued to edit the Courier Journal during which time he received the Pulitzer Prize (1919) for his editorial writing chiefly for articles. He was the author of several books including "Marse Henry" (1919). His papers are preserved on microfilm and include letters, telegrams, editorials, speeches, newspaper clippings, family history, photographs and Watterson's autobiography, documenting his career including a rift and subsequent reconciliation with Woodrow Wilson, his views on American involvement in World War I, his opposition to woman's suffrage and other political/social/economic issues.

Women's Overseas Service League, 1917-1918
This small collection contains pictures, news clippings, and other memorabilia concerning women who served overseas in World War I.

World War I Photographs and Postcards, 1917-1919
A small collection of photographs and postcards from the First World War. Images include individuals and groups of various sizes in military uniforms, individuals and groups in civilian attire, women, ships, and airplanes, mostly unidentified.