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Michigan State University

World War II Collections at MSU Archives & Historical Collections: Family and Individual Collections

Family and Individual Collections

Paul D. Bagwell Papers (UA 1.1.6)

  • 1 cubic foot
  • Bagwell was a Professor of Speech at Michigan State College and served as the chairman of the Victory Speakers Bureau during World War II.
  • Included in this collection are printed materials from World War II published by the Office of War Information and speeches Bagwell gave on topics such as rationing, victory gardening, and citizens’ roles in the war.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Frederick C. Belen Papers (UA 10.3.142)

  • 2 cubic feet
  • Papers of Frederick C. Belen, MSC 1937, who served as Deputy Postmaster General under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson (1964-1969). Includes personal and professional correspondence; official bulletins and circulars issued by Belen's office; newspaper clippings; photographs; subject files; and materials from Belen's World War II military service.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

John F. Brower Papers (UA 10.3.174)

Fendley Collins Papers (UA 17.80)

Edmund A. Calkins Papers (UA 10.3.419)

James Henry Denison Papers (UA 17.62)

  • 1.6 cubic feet
  • The James Denison papers include materials that were accumulated throughout Denison’s life.  Denison’s personal papers consist primarily of correspondence, diaries, and newspaper clippings about himself.  Also included are articles, stories, and poems written by Denison. 
  • The bulk of the papers center around Denison’s professional career and in particular his career with the Michigan Office of Civilian Defense, the United States Army, the Office of the Governor of Michigan, and Michigan State University. 
  • The materials collected while working for the Michigan Office of Civilian Defense contain correspondence, reports, and publications including the Operational Plan for a Local Control Center
  • The papers relating to Denison’s military service consist of correspondence, materials from the Provost Marshal General’s Officer School, Fort Custer, Michigan and Denison’s order books.  Materials on the Army Reserves and Denison’s appointment to the Michigan National Coast Guard Reserves are contained in the papers.  Numerous publications dealing with World War II, including French and German newspapers, make up part of these papers.  A number of United States Army publications are also present.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Dewar Family Papers (c.00492)

  • 0.25 cubic feet
  • The bulk of the collection consists of 22 letters from Sgt. Donald M. Dewar, stationed with the United States Air Force in the Netherlands East Indies, to his mother, Jennie (Mrs. Neil A.) Dewar and sister, Marion, in Flint, Michigan, in 1944 and 1945. These letters reflect the day-to-day life of the military bases fairly remote from the actual fighting and contain no references to actual warfare.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

George A. Dibble Papers (00087)

  • 0.25 cubic feet
  • This collection includes letters from Army Air Corps Major George A. Dibble to his parents in Lansing, Michigan, from various places in and out of the United States, between 1941 and 1959.  It also has several letters from his wife, Mary Alice Gillett, to the Dibbles, discussing home life and their daughter, Diane.  There are also some letters from Dibble's brother, Lewis, who was in the Army in Italy during World War II, and who was later in Japan. The collection also holds several letters of commendation for Dibble (1943-1944).
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Virgil and Hazel Egolf Diaries (00179)

  • 0.8 cubic feet
  • Diaries of Virgil and Hazel Egolf. The diaries for Virgil cover the years 1941-1960 and Hazel's cover 1941-1967. The entries describe their daily affairs with little personal information or references to world events. Virgil's diaries do not contain information about his war experience although World War II is mentioned a couple times before he goes off to war.  
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Henry T. Ewald Papers (00032)

  • 0.66 cubic feet, 2 volumes on shelf
  • This collection includes articles on advertising by Henry Ewald; articles and a biography of Ewald and a transcript of addresses made at a testimonial dinner given in his honor; articles, promotional publications, an organizational chart, a personnel roster, an employee rule book, news clippings, meeting minutes, sample advertisements (primarily General Motors and other automobile companies), and a copy of the company newspaper, INSIDE THE CECO CIRCLE, of Campbell-Ewald Company.  It also includes World War II advertising plans, including sales plans for V4 Campaign-War Bonds.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Eva J. Goodyear Ration Book (c.00290)

Maxwell A. Goodwin Papers (UA 10.3.204)

  • 1 folder
  • The papers of Maxwell A. Goodwin include a five-page reminiscence titled “Some College Memories,” and ten photographs. Although it does not go into great detail, the reminiscence describes Goodwin’s college days and life after his graduation in 1929.  He includes references to his captainship of the fencing team, membership in the Eunomian Society and the ROTC cavalry and social life.  He also describes his work experiences immediately following the 1929 stock market crash, and service to the government during World War II.   
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

John A. Hannah Papers (UA 2.1.12)

  • 140 cubic feet (118.5 paper materials)
  • This collection consists of the papers of John A. Hannah, president of MSC from 1941 to 1969.  Records related to World War II in this collection include Memorial Certificates for War Dead (1943-1946), found in Box 51, Folders 44-45; files on the GI Bill, found in Box 56, Folder 25; and various correspondence and speeches regarding World War II.  This brief listing of materials related to the war in Hannah’s papers should not be considered comprehensive.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Lemuel Hart Collection (c.00316)

Donald Hayworth Papers (UA 17.216)

  • 1 cubic foot
  • Born in Toledo, Iowa in 1898, Donald Hayworth graduated from Grinnell College in 1918 and served in World War I as a private.  The Donald Hayworth papers consist of political campaign material, photographs, scrapbooks, and personal certificates of Hayworth’s career. Also, the collection contains a scrapbook of a lecture tour of Louise Morley, “Role of British Youth and Women in World War II”.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Frank W. Holder Papers (00021)

  • 2.5 cubic feet
  • The Holder collection is divided into three basic series.  The first deals with his work for the Taft Highway Association.  This series includes correspondence, records of the association and newspaper clippings.  The second series contains records of the Association and newspaper clippings, and it relates to Holder's position with the Michigan State Highway Department during World War II.  This material contains records of bus line surveys as well as gasoline and tire rationing programs implemented in World War II.  The final series is related to Holder's personal activities.  This series includes correspondence from 1946-1957, account books, address books and magazines commemorating Fielding H. Yost's retirement from the University of Michigan in 1942.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Edward Hutchings Papers (c.00626)

  • 0.1 cubic feet
  • Edward Hutchings served in the First Battalion, Fifth Division of the United States Marine Corps during World War II.  He served in the Pacific Theater and attained the rank of Pharmacist Mate, 1st class. His papers contain correspondence of Hutchings, primarily letters to his mother that were mostly written in October and November of 1945, although there is also one letter from 1937.  The collection also contains photographs of Hutchings, his friends, and Nina Dudley’s relatives, some dated mid-1943, but most undated.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

John A. King Papers (UA 17.206)

  • 1.3 cubic feet
  • The papers of John A. King contain correspondence, diaries, and typescripts of his diaries.  One diary is from his freshman year at the University of Michigan (1939). The diaries describe his experiences in World War II, his travels abroad, and King’s daily life in Michigan.
  • The majority of the diaries contain information about King and his wife Joan’s life in Webberville and Okemos, Michigan.  He writes about daily happenings and social activities that the two engage in. He also makes note of the weather, relative humidity and temperature for each day. In addition, he notes native animals such as fox, squirrels, raccoons, deer, mink and muskrat that frequent his backyard and pond.  Several of the diaries contain notes about raccoons caught in traps; the sex and date caught are recorded. The diaries also list books and movies that King has viewed or read and his comments on each.
  • The correspondence files contain conversations on politics, social functions and discussions about issues of nature and scientific discoveries, as well as talk about families and happenings in each other’s lives.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Frank Knox Collection (c.00189)

  • 3 folders
  • This collection consists of various materials relating to Frank Knox's career.  These include a clipping from the Alma Record (1898) describing Knox's recruiting activities on the Alma campus; an address by Knox to the War Congress of American Industry (1942), stressing the challenges brought by World War II; an editorial written by Knox of the death of John Muehling (1944); press releases and programs relating to Knox's military funeral in Washington, D.C. (1944); and biographical materials on Knox.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Harley Krapohl Papers (c.00574)

  • 2 folders
  • The Harley Krapohl papers consist of letters, photocopies of newspaper clippings, and a partially released Federal Bureau of Investigation file regarding the arrest and trial of George Viereck for violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1943.  Viereck was an author who was a suspected Nazi propagandist in the United States prior to and during World War II.  Senator Donald Riegle obtained the F.B.I. file for Mr. Krapohl, a former employee of the state of Michigan, through the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Madison Kuhn Collection (UA 17.107)

  • 12.4 cubic feet, 57 volumes on shelf
  • The Madison Kuhn collection consists of materials accumulated by Kuhn during his tenure as University Historian. This collection, which was drawn from his reference files, constitutes only a small portion of the total documentation which he donated to the Archives. A large number of manuscript materials have been transferred, based on their provenance, to other University record groups. These separations, as well as transfers of printed maps, artifacts, photographs, publications, broadsides, and stamps, are recorded at the end of this inventory.  Included in this collection, in Box 2412, Folder 97, are various records related to World War II.  In Box 2412, Folder 98, is a list of MSC athletes who served in World War II.  Additionally, Scrapbook 107 records the cancellation of all inter-collegiate athletic competition for the year 1944.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Mrs. Francis McDonald Reminiscence (c.00451)

  • 1 folder
  • A brief, personal account of life in and around Lansing during World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.  Mrs. McDonald recounts her life as a child growing up in a rural community.  She writes about life in general; the difficulty in finding a job, the hardships of the Depression, the relief offered by the New Deal, and a trip to the Chicago World's Fair of 1931.  Throughout her writing, Mrs. McDonald shows how people were able to cope with the problems presented by the Depression and two world wars, and how she, herself, profited from the experience.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Milton E. Muelder Papers (UA 17.77)

  • 13 cubic feet
  • These papers deal with Dr. Milton E. Muelder's service with the Office of Military Government in Germany, spanning 1939-1958. They include maps, plans, reports, policy directives, correspondence on postwar educational programs in Germany, de-Nazification, and the military government division of Germany by the Allied Forces (United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia) after the war.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Gaylord Nelson Letters (00081)

  • 0.75 cubic feet
  • This collection consists wholly of personal correspondence from Nelson to his wife, Hal Fraley Nelson.  Much of it is of a highly personal nature but there is a substantial amount of more general interest.  The bulk of the correspondence falls in the period July 1917 to December 1918.  In the later years, the correspondence contains discussion of the investigation into the cement industry of Michigan in 1923 and the civil unrest involving the Ku Klux Klan in Oklahoma that same year.  Further letters have a limited amount of material on the depression and World War II eras.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Ethel Rathke Collection (UA 17.441)

  • 2.33 cubic feet
  • The bulk of this collection consists of scrapbooks.  The sixteen total scrapbooks are filled with newspaper clippings, magazine articles and picture covering such diverse topics as World War II, the Middle East, Japanese culture and flower gardening.  Also included are Ethel Rathke's prose and poetry and her correspondence with publishing companies.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Clayton Smith Publication (c.00554)

  • 1 folder
  • Published reminiscences of Clayton Smith, titled "Seventy-Five Years with a Country Boy."  In the book, Smith tells about his experiences while growing up on a farm in Barnard, Michigan; his experience in the Merchant Marines in World War II; and his work selling fruit in the Upper Peninsula.  Also included are various short stories of Smith's adventures in fishing and trapping.  The book was published in 1991 by Trapper Cabin Press in Charlevoix, Michigan.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Henrik Joakim Stafseth Papers (UA 17.66)

  • 5 cubic feet
  • The correspondence includes letters (1942-1945) from Stafseth's son, Henrik Ekroll, which were written during World War II while he was stationed with the Sixteenth Naval Construction Battalion in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and with the Navy Public Works Division in New York.
  • Finding aid to the collection:

Perry M. Thomas Collection (00227)

  • 1 cubic foot
  • This collection consists of a photographic scrapbook documenting the nuclear bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll.  There are also a small number of images of tests in Alamogordo, New Mexico as well as copies of published documents of eyewitness accounts of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings from the New Yorker Magazine.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Towar Family Collection (UA 10.3.418)

  • 0.66 cubic feet, 12 volumes (in box 2)
  • The collection contains the correspondence of Towar to various family members as well as correspondence from those family members.  The bulk of this correspondence prior to the Second World War came from James D. Towar.  The letters of the latter half of the collection are from nieces and nephews.  In general the letters are chatty and relate little of the social or economic condition of the times.  One exception to this is the letters from James during World War II, while he lived in Los Angeles, California.  These letters provide some insight into the war economy as well as the war society in Southern California.
  • Finding aid to the collection:    

Laurence H. White Papers (UA 10.3.247)

  • 0.1 cubic feet
  • The reminiscences include a story about the football game between the Great Lakes and Michigan State during World War II.  The MSU coach claimed he would walk on water if the Spartans won the game. After Michigan State won, he was forced to make an attempt at his promise.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

John L. Whitelaw Papers (c.00379)

  • 2 folders, 2 scrapbooks
  • This collection includes two folders of correspondence (1945) from Brigadier General John L. Whitelaw to relatives in East Lansing, Michigan, when he was stationed in Germany during World War II.  In his letters, Whitelaw describes the Ruhr Valley area and Berlin after the German surrender, and comments on the Russian soldiers, trains and the civilian food situation.   Two scrapbooks (1883-1900), compiled by Whitelaw as a child, contain nineteenth-century pictorial advertisements, newspaper clippings, and early "Mutt and Jeff" comic strips.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Whitinger Family Papers (c.00323)

Easton W. Williams Collection (00167)

  • 15 scrapbooks (351-365)
  • The Easton Williams scrapbook collection consists of newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and pictures covering World War II.  Several pictorial reviews of foreign countries and peoples are also included.  Newspapers from around the United States were used, as well as several popular magazines.  The bulk of the information is from 1929 to 1945, with greater coverage being given to the years 1941-1943.  Williams also included a number of articles from 1918, about World War I.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

William A. Wiltberger Papers (UA 17.283)

  • 3.5 cubic feet
  • The William A. Wiltberger Papers make up a large section of Wiltberger’s life, from the 1920s to the 1970s.  They include material from his work as an educator, a police officer, an Air Force Colonel, and his memberships in the International Association for Identification, International Association of Police Chiefs, and Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.  They are divided into six series by subject; the series are internally organized chronologically. The Air Force series has material from Wiltberger’s time in the Air Corps/Force, such as his deployment orders, and informational material he collected from where he was.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

World War II Ration Books, 1942-1943 (c.00360)

Zee and Schober Families Papers (UA 17.144.1)

  • 4 folders
  • James Wilmer Zee was a fruit farmer in Gloucester County, New Jersey.  He had contracts with the U.S. for Prisoner of War labor.  German P.O.W.s assisted with the fruit harvests.  After returning to Germany, some of the P.O.W.s wrote letters to James Wilmer Zee and his wife, Elsie, thanking them for their kindness and requesting care packages.
  • Also included in this collection are post-World War II letters to Elsie Schober Zee and William Schober from family members in Germany.  Many of the letters were translated from German to English by Schober, who was a German immigrant.
  • Finding aid to the collection: