Collections Spotlight: Ture L. Johnson Papers

17 04 2019

 

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Ture Johnson in uniform poses in front of Beaumont Tower, circa 1937

Ture L. Johnson graduated from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1937 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. He came from Negaunee, Michigan, born to a family of Swedish immigrants. While attending Michigan State College, he was a member of the band and ROTC band. He played saxophone. He also was a member of band club, forestry club, the Band Formal Committee, and the basketball team.

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Michigan State College Band, Season 1936-37

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Ture L. Johnson’s diploma from Michigan State College, 1937

After graduation, Ture returned to his family in Nagaunee and worked as a forester.  He married Helen Catheryn Petrie in September 1938.  Together they had a son.  They moved to Ohio, where Ture first worked in maple sugar production, then for the state of Ohio Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.  Following Helen’s death in 1951, Ture married Erma Mae Ramseyer in Trumbull, Ohio in 1953.  Ture continued to live and work in Ohio until his death in 2001.

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Foresters Shindig dance card, May 29, 1937

forester dance card

Foresters Shindig dance card cover, May 29, 1937

In 2012, a family member transferred materials from Ture’s time at Michigan State to the MSU Archives.  Included in the collection are photographs of Johnson in his ROTC band uniform, commencement programs from 1937, band roster for the 1936 season, dance cards, and a Michigan State College B.S. diploma from 1937. There is also a map of campus published by Redfern and Reynolds and drawn by James F. Trott in 1940. The Ture L. Johnson papers are open to the public during our Reading Room hours.  The finding aid for the collection is available online: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua10-3-281.html

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Map of Michigan State College campus drawn by James F. Trott, 1940

 

Content curated by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist

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A one-of-a-kind 1900 Photo Album

15 02 2019

Back on October 16, 2017, I wrote a blog post about the history of the Michigan State University yearbooks. In this blog, I reported on all of the yearbooks that the Archives knew that we held in our collections. Between the Archives, the Libraries, and the Museum, the Archives have the largest and most complete collection of MSU yearbooks. While searching for materials related to an upcoming exhibit about the Kedzie Family, I came upon a folder in Frank Kedzie’s collection labeled, “M.A.C. Yearbook, 1899-1900.” Intrigued, I pulled the folder and saw that the item inside was not the 1900 Wolverine yearbook which with I am familiar.

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Cover of the 1900 Class Album

While the folder for this item is labeled as a yearbook, it is more of a photo album. It is like previous photo albums: it only has photos with very little text. The album itself is in great condition. The cover has no writing to indicate what it is and it has faded over time from a dark green to brown. The cover itself is a very thick, construction-like paper material and is missing one corner. A gold cord ties the book together. The inside pages are in great condition. The only drawback to this album is that most of the faculty portraits are displayed horizontally when they should have been placed vertically. It just means the reader has to turn the album 90 degrees.

What is confusing about this photo album from 1899-1900 is that we already have a yearbook from 1899-1900, so why do we have two items covering the same time span? The 1900 Wolverine was a new format for the yearbook and is the standard that we used to today. I compared the photo album and the yearbook and realized that almost all of the pictures are the same, but there were some different photos.

Women's Building

The original drawing of the Women’s Building, later known as Morrill Hall.

So why two different formats? There are many possible theories. Since this year saw the transition to the new format of the yearbook, maybe this photo album was produced for the people that preferred the “old” photo album format versus all the added content in the yearbook. Maybe it was cheaper to produce and sell the photo album than the yearbook, so both versions were made available to the public. My favorite theory is related to another blog post I wrote in 2017, The Forgotten Class Stone. The senior class of 1900 and the junior class of 1901 had a competition to publish the first Wolverine yearbook. The juniors beat the seniors, which caused the seniors to steal 75 copies of the yearbooks. I’m wondering if this class photo album is what the seniors produced. It’s a fun theory, but without any supporting documentation, there is no way to prove any of these theories true.

While most of the photos are the same in both the photo album and the yearbook, there are a few images that are either different or do not appear in the yearbook, such as the portrait of Major C. A.  Vernou and a faculty group shot in front of a giant American flag. There are also different images of the various buildings on campus.

This photo album is unique because it is the only copy we are aware of in the Archives. Since it was part of Frank Kedzie’s collection, it was overlooked when the yearbook collection was created. This photo album has been scanned and made available to the public. The Archives is currently digitizing MSU’s yearbooks, starting with the earliest, but it is a very slow process. To view the yearbooks that have been digitized, please visit, http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-18BD/msu-yearbooks/.

Sources

M.A.C. Yearbook, 1900, Box 1166, Folder 54, Frank S. Kedzie papers, UA 2.1.8, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Written by Jennie Russell, Acting Records Manager





Valentines and Love Letters

14 02 2019

People have a tendency to save things that bring them joy and happiness.  As such, it should be no surprise that many Valentines and love letters have been donated to the University Archives over the years.  We recently installed a small exhibit in the Reading Room (101 Conrad Hall) featuring expressions of love from our collections.

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Below are images of a few Valentines in the exhibit.  Some are from students to their teacher and others from children to their parents.  One is from a young woman to her soon-to-be husband, and includes a sweet love note hidden within the folds of the Valentine.

 

 

The love letters featured in the exhibit are from two collections – the R. E. Olds papers and the Zee/Schober families’ papers.

Lansing automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds wrote numerous letters to Metta Woodward, whom he married in 1899.  In his personal life, Olds was a devoted family man.  Even though his correspondence to Metta merely discusses day-to-day affairs, the letters show a sweet and affectionate side of Olds.  Valedictions such as “Ever your true and devoted Ransom” close the letters.

The great love they shared can be seen in photos taken after nearly six decades of marriage. They were parted when Ransom died August 26, 1950.  Metta died a week later, on September 2, 1950*.

Ransom and Metta

Metta and Ransom Olds

The second set of letters in the exhibit were written by Wilmer Zee to Elsie Schober.  The letters from early in 1928 are short and polite, but by the end of the year the content becomes personal, with the letters addressed “Dear sweetheart” [his emphasis] and signed “Your sweetheart love, Wilmer.”  He surrounds his signature with Xs to symbolize kisses.  In another letter, circa 1928, Wilmer writes “Sweet one it seems ages since I last saw those beautiful green eyes of yours and the last kiss from those only lips.”  Wilmer and Elsie courted for approximately three years, before marrying in July 1931.  They were together until Wilmer’s death in 1987.

 

For those of you in more of an Anti-Valentines Day mood, check out the Mark Flowers letters to Emma Miller on our Civil War history website (http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-7/emma-miller/).  The relationship has a promising start but ends in heartbreak.

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Not a good sign when a letter starts “Dear Friend Emma,” instead of the usual “My own darling Emma.”

To learn more about these collections:

Ransom E. Olds papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/027.html

Zee and Schober families papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/215.html

Leo M. Christensen papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/174.html

Emma Miller papers: http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-7/emma-miller/

*Interesting side note: Metta and Ransom Olds were born three days apart (June 6, 1864 and June 3, 1864, respectively), and died a week apart.

Written by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist





The Forgotten Expedition of World War I

15 11 2018

In 1918, as the Great War was ending in Europe, British and American forces launched a new joint offensive into Siberian Russia. Beyond the general fear of unrest brought about by Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, what this offensive was to do was, frankly, vague. The Vladivostok forces worked to “assist Czechoslovak military units trying to make their way out of Russia to the Western Front,” yet  the forces in Archangel had even less direction. Both groups of men came to be known as the “Polar Bears,” but the American soldiers at Archangel would become known as the “Polar Bear Expedition.”

The Polar Bear Expedition, or the North Russia Expeditionary Force (NREF), was comprised of men from the 85th Division, primarily Michigan and Wisconsin men, who completed training at Camp Custer in the summer of 1918. The 339th Regiment, along with the 310th  Engineers, the 337th  Field Hospital, and the 337th  Ambulance Company were slated to fight in France but were diverted to Archangel. The resources of the MSU Archives and Historical Collections and the MSU Museum provide a look into several of the Polar Bears’ experiences in Northern Russia.

Archangel Streets

Archangel Streets (courtesy: Michigan State University Museum)

To Russia

The journey from Camp Custer, Michigan, to Archangel, Russia, was not a direct route. The journal of one Polar Bear, Clyde Arnold, of Grand Rapids, shed light on the journey. Initially, the 85th Division was to join the rest of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) along the western front line in Europe. The 339th Regiment, along with some other units, was diverted to Archangel, but not after the men had made half of the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

Clyde Arnold, who enlisted on April 26, 1918, started his training at Camp Custer. From there, he left for Camp Mills on Long Island, New York, on July 15. At Long Island, he made the journey to England, landing in Liverpool on August 3. Once in England the regiment traveled across the English Channel to Le Havre, France. Over the next few days, the men would make their way down to La Vallée near Saint-Genis-Pouilly, France, arriving on August 12. Arnold notes that La Vallée is the “best place, outside USA,” claiming he enjoyed “good times,” there. However, the men of the 339th were eventually recalled across the English Channel to Dundee, Scotland. Arriving in Dundee on September 19,  Arnold with the rest of the “Polar Bear Expedition” embarked on a ten-day voyage to Archangel, Russia.

Arnold’s experience arriving in Russia differed starkly from his arrival in France. As he noted, he was billeted in “Bolshevik” structures. There he experienced “rain, mud. Poor chow, somewhere.” Arnold foreshadowed the experience of the 339th Regiment, assigned under pretenses to holding back a German advance, but in reality assisting in a Russian civil war.

Aggies in Archangel

A Michigan Agricultural College student  R. S. Clark, through a letter home, detailed his experiences in Archangel. Clark, at the time, was the only known M.A.C. serviceman in Russia.

RS Clark 1920 yearbook

R. S. Clark’s senior picture (1920 yearbook)

The key port is located roughly 600 miles north of Moscow on the White Sea. In 1918, it had  about 40,000 inhabitants. Shipping, Clark observed, was essential to the city as there was “practically no agriculture in this vicinity, only marsh hay and small garden fluff.” The city, as a timber center, is constructed of log buildings, but Clark made the distinction that their log cabins are “not the rough cabin our American pioneers built but veritable log castles.” Utilizing hand tools and time, the Russians made hardy structures that mirror their stalwart nature. Their roads were less admirable than their homes, however. Clark noted that “the Russian streets and roads are very, very miserable, not to say absolutely rotten.” Clark rode a bike to and from his post, which imaginably was a feat in and of itself, considering “a motor truck last[ed] about six months.” As a result, the main modes of transportation out of Archangel would have been walking, sleighs, or small ships and barges (and only in warm months). Considering the rather poor conditions of their roads, the infrastructure Clark described was relatively modern: “Archangel has a street car line, electric lights, telephones, wireless, and a railroad.”

Clark’s interaction with the people of Archangel was that of an outsider looking in. With their elaborate uniforms, the Russian men in Archangel were representative of power and authority. Clark joked that “a night watchman in Archangel has an American Admiral beaten a mile so far as uniform goes.” Despite sharp style and well-made housing, Russians, according to Clark, knew little about modern “American” cleanliness:

The well-dressed people, men as well as women, affect strong perfumery. The ragged people wash only once a year and I shall not try to describe the result—it simply has to be experienced to be appreciated. The houses are devoid of ventilation. There is no adequate sewerage system, open sinks are used that smell to high heaven. Refuse of all sorts is dumped in the street.

Russian peasants were experiencing wartime inflation of around 500%. Clark noted that  “it takes a hatful of [rubles] to buy anything.” The NREF constructed its barracks out of “hurrying methods” that the locals reckoned would collapse in comparison to their hardy cabins. On the contrary, the barracks did not collapse and were better than those on the Western Front in that they were “free from vermin.” The fact that the NREF did not have to immediately deal with rats was a blessing as they could and would scamper across a sleeping soldier, and attack the immovable dead in the trenches or no man’s land. Overall, the conditions within Archangel were bearable and were potentially more enjoyable than the rest of the AEF in France.

The Allied effort throughout the fall and into the winter was to move south along the Volga River and then eventually east. While in Bereznik, slightly north of Shenkursk, members of the British Y.M.C.A. worked “with the American Engineers … to carry out the work” of preparing a building to carry out formal association business. Another Michigan Agricultural College student,  310th engineer S. L. Schneider, may have worked with these Y.M.C.A. personnel. Shneider entered service with the 310th Engineers at Camp Custer in Michigan after spending “two years with the class of ’18.” He was decorated by British authorities for “gallantry in action in the campaign about Shenkrusk” in January 1919.

Left Behind

Shenkursk was overrun in January 1919, several months after the Armistice, and the Polar Bears were pushed east by Bolshevik forces. The winter was a tough challenge as the Polar Bears were constantly on the run, even though the Great War was over. Clyde Arnold’s journal details how his situation changed from a relative comfort with poor food to desperation: “Not enough to eat. Tired out. Cold.” On December 27, Arnold wrote “to hell with the U.S. Army.” The men in the expedition continue to press harder and harder for why they were fighting in Russia. The U.S. government had appeared to have forgotten them, yet it was ice-locked ports that prevented the NREF from leaving Russia until June 1919.

Scene From North Russia

Scene From North Russia (courtesy: Michigan State University Museum)

The overarching strategy of the Archangel Polar Bears—linking up with Czechoslovakia Legion in the interior Russia and fostering support for an anti-Bolshevik force—was ultimately scrapped as there was no logistical support in that action. The men in the “Polar Bear Expedition” were essentially forgotten, shivering on the icy frontier along the Volga River.

Currently on display at the Michigan State University Museum, in the exhibition “War and Speech”, is a vitrine of trench art created by Clyde Arnold.

Documents and images for this article were collected courtesy of Michigan State University Museum and Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections. Contextualization for The Polar Bear Expedition was found courtesy of the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library.

Sources include:

M.A.C. Record, Vol. 24, No. 12; December 20, 1919.

M.A.C. Record, Vol. 24, No. 26; April 1919.

“Y.M.C.A. Official Reports circa 1918,” Waldo Family Papers and Waldo Travel Agency Records, 00042, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Clyde Arnold Collection, Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Michigan.

“American Intervention in Northern Russia,” University of Michigan: Bentley Historical Library, https://bentley.umich.edu/research/catalogs-databases/polar-bear/polar-bear-expedition-history/, 15 November, 2017.

Written by Matthew Brazier





Howdy Doody, and MSU Football in Color

5 11 2018

1955 was special for Michigan State in many ways.  Not only was it the year the school celebrated its 100th birthday, but it was also the year it graduated from being a college to a university.  The centennial was a yearlong celebration where everything seemed better, more fun, and more important.

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One of the three NBC-TV color mobile units on campus for televising the MSU vs Notre Dame football game, as well as several other national broadcasts from campus in October 1955

Take the middle weekend of October — a normal football weekend it was not.  That weekend, NBC produced five television shows on campus for national broadcast, including the first color televising of a MSU football game.  The hoopla surrounding the game was the biggest the campus had seen.  An estimated 400 people were in the press box, including a 35-person television crew.

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A color television camera located on the roof of the press box at Macklin Stadium for televising the MSU vs Notre Dame football game on October 15, 1955

There were also four other color TV shows produced that weekend – NBC’s “Home Show,” telecast from Brody Hall, a coast-to-coast, closed circuit broadcast about speech and drama, and a short, closed-circuit preview telecast filmed at the football field for one of the network’s new shows “NBC’s Matinee Theater.”

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Drama and Speech students enact a scene for a nationwide closed circuit color TV broadcast on NBC-TV from Macklin Stadium in October 1955

The fourth program rivaled in popularity with the football broadcast itself.  The Howdy Doody Show, televised October 14, 1955 from Macklin Stadium (now Spartan Stadium), featured Coach Duffy Daugherty, the freshman football team and, the Spartan Marching Band, led by famed director Leonard Falcone.  Mr. Nick (Bobby Nicholson) and Clarabell the Clown (Lew Anderson) hosted the show.  Approximately 200 children were in attendance, with 100 joining through arrangements with the Ingham County United Community Chest.  Howdy Doody, himself, did not seem to have attended.

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Mr. Nick and Clarabell of the NBC-TV Hoody Doody Show broadcast in color from Macklin Stadium in October 1955

The fifth and final broadcast, the MSU-Notre Dame game was NBC’s “Game of the Week.”  The Spartans won 21-7, with 52,007 in attendance at Macklin Stadium and 50 million watching on TV.

 

Written by Whitney Miller, processing archivist





Hallowe’en Revels – UA 10.3.35 Irma Thompson Papers

26 10 2018
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Irma Thompson, circa 1900. (People 2687)

A collection less than one cubic feet that highlights life on the campus of M.A.C. at the turn of the 20th century is the Irma Thompson Papers. Irma was born in 1880 in Van Buren County, Michigan. While still in high school, the Thompson family moved to Lansing so Irma would have the opportunity to attend college. She entered Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) at the age of sixteen, one of forty-two women to major in the new Home Economics program. Although an off-campus student, she was very active in campus extracurricular activities. She was class secretary, vice-president of the Art Club, and a member of the Themian Literary Society. She graduated in 1900. In 1905, she married Mark L. Ireland, ‘01, whose name appears occasionally on her dance programs.

In her collection are a program and scripts related to a play she was involved in during her senior year. The play, Hallowe’en Revels, was performed in the Armory on November 10, 1899 with an audience of 300 students and faculty members. It was the first production by the “College Dramatic Club.” The play was a mixture of burlesque and vaudeville styles. Today, most people think of a burlesque show as a strip tease, which is partly true, but burlesque also means “an absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody.” (Oxford Dictionaries) That definition properly describes Hallowe’en Revels and in the M.A.C. Record reminder a week before the play was to be performed, an editor wrote, “It will cost you but 10₵ to ‘see yourself as others see you.’”

The backdrop for this play was the M.A.C. campus, making fun of real people on campus, mostly faculty members and a group of men. Included was a prologue and six acts: the trial scene, the rhetorical class, the advanced German class, the cooking class, the midnight spread, and the Calethumpians.

For the trial scene, students acted out the roles of the professors, who were also portrayed as animal characters, such as Miss Kellar representing a dragon and M.A.C. President Snyder as a sheep. In the trial scene, the animals/professors are judged for their bad behaviors/breaking the rules, such as smoking, not attending church, attending too many dances, climbing up a tree, and wandering outside the college grounds by an escort not approved by the Dean. While these “bad behaviors” do not seem to be an issue today, early students had several rules imposed upon them, such as a set amount of dances they could attend, mandatory attend at chapel, and strict curfew times.

 

“The Calethumpians” from the 1900 Wolverine yearbook, page 170.

The last act of the play was “The Calethumpians.” This act is interesting because we can’t verify if this was a true society or not; it might have just been a group men calling themselves that. The Calethumpian Society is listed in the 1900 Wolverine yearbook and it doesn’t list actual names for the six male members, just their nicknames. From the yearbook, “The Calethumpians are a society of high spiritual and physical intentions, having for their object the betterment of the moral and athletic conditions at M.A.C.” and their motto was “never work between meals.” (page 170) For the play, all women played the roles of the males and in the program it stated, “The Calethumpians is a society with high moral purpose whole by-laws prohibit profanity, and work between meals, and whose yell requires athletic training.” In the act, the midnight revels of the Calethumpians in Wells Hall are revealed. Obviously, the women were poking fun at the men.

Along with the play, a poem written in the style of Dante by Harriette Robson and read by N. A. McCune, entitled, “The Abbotiad,” described the storming of Abbot Hall by the nightshirt paraders. The Nightshirt Parade happened at the end of the school year, with the men dressing up in their nightshirts parading around campus. Usually they would stop by faculty member’s homes asking them to serenade the group and/or hijinks would ensue between the classes. According to the M.A.C. Record, “the program ended with ‘A Scene in Hades,’ in which all the characters of the play appeared in costumes weird and grotesque.”

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M.A.C. Juniors pose after the Nightshirt Parade in the Chemistry Lecture room, June 1899. (A004617)

Between the acts, the audience was entertained with lantern slides of original drawings, depicting life on campus, by Irma Thompson and S. J. Kennedy, ’01. A few illustrations by Thompson and several by Kennedy appeared in the 1900 Wolverine yearbook. It seems that the play was a success, but really long.

Thompson Illustration

Illustration by Irma Thompson, depicting the race between the Seniors and Juniors to publish the 1900 yearbook. Unfortunately for the Seniors, the Juniors were the winners. This illustration appeared in the 1900 Wolverine, page 105.

Sadly, the University Archives does not have any photographs from this play. Luckily, in Irma’s papers, we do have the play program and scripts from three of the acts. Even though this collection is only one box, it highlights the time of the first women who enrolled in the Home Economics Program. Irma’s scrapbook contains a few photographs, several illustrations she created of her time on campus, and clippings. She kept in touch with her class mates, keeping a record of their lives. She also wrote her own memoirs about her college experience near the end of her life.

Hallowe’en Revels is a unique play that was written by the students of M.A.C., reflecting their life at that time. Even though it wasn’t performed at Halloween, the play does an amazing job of highlighting the spirit of Halloween by allowing the person to become somebody/something else for a brief moment of time.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Sources

“At the College,” from the M.A.C. Record, Vol. 5 No. 9, November 7, 1899.

The Calethumpians: A Play, circa 1899, Box 761, Folder 29, Irma Thompson Papers, UA 10.3.35, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

The Faculty Meeting: A Play, circa 1899, Box 761, Folder 30, Irma Thompson Papers, UA 10.3.35, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

The Faculty Trial: A Play, circa 1899, Box 761, Folder 31, Irma Thompson Papers, UA 10.3.35, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

“Hallowe’en Revels,” from the M.A.C. Record, Vol. 5 No. 10, November 14, 1899.

Hallowe’en Revels: A Play, November 10, 1899, Box 761, Folder 32, Irma Thompson Papers, UA 10.3.35, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Midnight Spread Scene: A Play, circa 1899, Box 761, Folder 33, Irma Thompson Papers, UA 10.3.35, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Wolverine Yearbook, 1900. Pg. 170. Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Written by Jennie Russell, Assistant Records Archivist





M.A.C. World War I Casualties

4 09 2018
memorial grove plaque

Memorial Grove plaque located at the Beal Street entrance to campus, next to Sarah Williams Hall.

World War I took a toll on the small college known as Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University).  Many alumni lost their lives during the conflict.  Below is a list of our gold stars.

April 9, 1917: John Woodbridge (short course student, 1915) was believed to be the first person with a M.A.C. connection to die during the war.  He served with the 72d Highlanders, Canadian Infantry.  Woodbridge was killed at Vimy Ridge, France.

February 6, 1918: William R. Johnson (class of 1912) became the first alumnus to die during WWI, when the SS Tuscania sank off the coast of Scotland.  He served in Company F, 6th Battalion 20th Engineers.

William Johnson

from the 1918 Wolverine yearbook

March 8, 1918: Earl Halbert, class of 1920, died at 22 years old of “broncho pneumonia.” He was a private in Company A, 126th Infantry, U.S. Army.

March 16, 1918: Donald A. Miller, class of 1916, died from diphtheria at the Naval Rifle Range in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He was a Yeoman, 3rd class, U.S. Navy.  Miller was 24 years old.

March 29, 1918: Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919, was a private in Company G, 338th infantry, U.S. Army.  He died of broncho pneumonia at 22 years old.

Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919

Burrell F. Smith, class of 1919

April 21, 1918: Norman F. Hood, class of 1915, died at a field hospital from injuries received in action at Monthairon Le Petit. A member of Company G, 23rd Infantry, U.S. Army, he was “buried at [the] American Cemetery of Monthairon (Meuse) Grave 13.” Hood was 26 years old.

June 13, 1918: Gordon Webster Cooper, class of 1918, died of injuries sustained in an airplane crash at Barron Field, Texas. U.S. Army PFC Cooper had finished his 8-week training course with honors. The 23-year-old was the first M.A.C. aviator to die during WWI.

Gordon Cooper

June 15, 1918: LaVerne Thompson Perrottet, class of 1919, died at 22 years old when a shell made a direct hit on his front line trench. He was fighting in the Chateau Thierry sector of France and was buried in the Bois de Belleau.

L T Perrottet

LaVerne T. Perrottet, class of 1919 (portrait: Wolverine yearbook, grave photo: Find a Grave)

June 19, 1918: PFC Louis Kurm Hice, class of 1918, 23 years old, was wounded on June 16 and died on June 19, 1918. He served in Headquarters Co., 119th Field Artillery, U.S. Army.

louis hice

July 1, 1918: Leonard Crone, class of 1913, age 27, was killed in an airplane crash in England. He was a lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps.  He enlisted in the Canadian Flying Forces at Toronto, Canada.

Leonard Crone

The M.A.C. Record; vol.23, no.35; August 30, 1918

July 8, 1918: Thomas William Churchill, class of 1915, died from heart failure following an operation. The 27-year-old Alpha Psi member was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Veterinary Reserve Corps. He was buried at West Point.

Thomas Churchill

July 9, 1918: Lester P. Harris, class of 1917, died from wounds received during a German air raid near the village of Catenoy, France. A street in Johnson City, Tennessee is named in his honor.  For more information visit the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association (https://etvma.org/veterans/lester-p-harris-7073/)

harris

Lester P. Harris (Image source: East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association)

August 1, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Donald C. McMillan, class of 1915, served with Company G, 126th Infantry.  He served overseas from February 17, 1918, until his death at age 27 from wounds received in action.  He was buried in cemetery 404 in Bezu-Saint-Germain, France.

Donald McMillan

August 5, 1918: Edwin Harold Ewing, class of 1917, died from wounds received in action during the Second Battle of Marne.  He served in Company G., 32nd Infantry of the Michigan National Guard from June 19, 1916 to September 23, 1917, and in Company I, 126th Infantry until his death.

August 10, 1918: U.S. Army Corporal William B. Lutz, class of 1920, Battery A, 119th Field Artillery, was killed in action at age 20. Lutz fought near Chery, Marne, France.

August 10, 1918: Cosmer Magnus Leveaux, class of 1917, died on August 10, 1918 at 21 years old. He was a corporal in Battery A. of the 119th Field Artillery. Leveaux was killed in action at Chateau Theirry.

Cosmer Leveaux

August 12, 1918: U.S. Army PFC Samuel Rottenberg, class of 1919, age 22, was killed in action. He served overseas in Company A, 1st Infantry, from May 22 until his death.

Samuel Rottenberg

Samuel Rottenberg (image source: Wolverine yearbook

August 19, 1918: Frank Huston Esselstyn, class of 1918, died from wounds received in action on August 11. He was a member of the National Guard 119th Field Artillery company and  fought in France.

frank esselstyn yearbook

August 22, 1918: 20 year old U.S. Army PFC George Smith Monroe, class of 1918 was killed in action.  He served overseas with Battery F, 119th Field Artillery from February 26 until his death.

August 31, 1918: U.S. Army Platoon Sergeant James Shrigley Palmer, class of 1918, was killed in action in Juvigny, France while leading his platoon to the attack. He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre and Silver Star Citation.

James S Palmer-text of citation-from The_City_of_Detroit_Michigan_1701_1922

Text of James S Palmer’s citation (source: The City of Detroit Michigan 1701-1922)

September 1, 1918: William H. Rust, class of 1918, died on September 1, 1918.  He was a 1st Lieutenant in Company K, 125th Infantry until his death.  He was wounded in action on August 29 while in battle Near Juvigny (Aisne).  Rust was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.  The citation states “The only remaining officer of the company, he led it to the attack with bravery and remarkable energy.  Was killed near the objective which had been assigned to him.” Rust was 25 years old.

September 25, 1918: Olin C. Luther, class of 1919, was killed in action at age 24. He served in the Headquarters Co., 122 Field Artillery, U.S. Army. He participated in the St. Mihiel, defensive sector engagement.

September 27, 1918: Otto William Wissmann, class of 1920, was a Seaman 2nd Class with the U.S. Navy Reserve Force. He died at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, at 21 years old.

September 27, 1918: Ernest Elwin Peterson, class of 1915, died of lobar pneumonia at age 28. He was a corporal with the Medical Detachment Signal Corps.

Ernest Peterson

October 2, 1918: Hubert B. Wylie, class of 1917, died from Influenza lobar pneumonia at 23 years old. He was a private with the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps, Company D, 307th Repair Unit.

H Wylie

October 7, 1918: Alanson Bartlett King, class of 1919, age 23, died from lobar pneumonia. He was a Master Engineer, Junior Grade with the Headquarters Company 107th Engineers, U.S. Army, and served overseas from January 30, 1918 until his death.

October 8, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Frank M. Stewart, class of 1918, died at 26 years old. He served with Company C, 111th Infantry. He participated in the Argonne Forest engagement and died of wounds at Bois de Chatel field hospital.

October 10, 1918: Herbert J. Sheldon, class of 1914, was killed in action at the age of 28. He was 1st lieutenant in Company G, 125th infantry and was acting as intelligence officer of his battalion. Sheldon served overseas from July 22, 1918 until his death.

Herbert Sheldon

October 10, 1918: Eugene E. Ewing, class of 1915, was killed in action at age 25.  He belonged to Company A, 18th Infantry at the time of his death. Ewing fought in the Battle of Verdun and the Metz advance.

Eugene Ewing

October 11, 1918: Samuel Robinson McNair, class of 1920, died from bronchial pneumonia on the hospital ship, the USS Mercy. He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Alabama as a Seaman 2nd class. He was 21 years old

October 17, 1918: PFC Harold R. Siggins, class of 1917, died of pneumonia. He served with the U.S. Army 591st Ambulance Service. His illness was worsened because he had been gassed rescuing a damaged vehicle from a heavily shelled area. His lieutenant wrote; “He is missed by everyone of us. He was our brother.”

October 19, 1918: U.S. Army Private Erling F. Edwardson, class of 1913, died from pneumonia at 27 years old.  He was part of Battery C, 119th Regiment, training detachment.

October 19, 1918: U.S. Army Corporal Rudolph T. Lekstrum, class of 1917, died from wounds received in action. He served with Company A, 107th Field Signal Battalion and was involved in offensives in Chateau Thierry and Soissions sectors. He was 25 years old.

R Lekstrum

October 31, 1918: U.S. Army Major Ira D. MacLachlan, class of 1910, died of wounds received in action at the age of 31. He served with the 125th Infantry and was buried at the Military Cemetery Mars Sur Allier in Nievre, France.

October 31, 1918: Stevenson P. Lewis, class of 1916, age 25, was in killed in action in Romagne, France.  He served with Battery E, 124th Field Artillery, and the American Ambulance Field Service in France.  He was “Awarded [the] Silver Star….this officer was posthumously promoted to First Lieutenant of Field Artillery by the President”

November 5, 1918: U.S. Army Colonel Robert Sylvester Welsh, class of 1894, was killed in action. He was with the 314th Field Artillery and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious services. He was buried at grave 88 in Argonne American Cemetery, France.

Robert S Welch

November 13, 1918: Laurence J. Bauer, class of 1918, enlisted in the Reserve Corps at Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1917, and was called into active service on June 1, 1918.  He died of wounds received in an airplane accident at a French hospital at Bar Le Duc.” He was buried at Central Cemetery 542, France.

L J Bauer

November 14, 1918: Garth J. Williams, class of 1919, was a U. S. Army private for Company C., 321st Machine Gun Battalion and served overseas from July 30, 1918 until his death.  He was severely wounded on September 15, 1918 and died from a perforated duodenal ulcer on November 14.

G J Williams

December 2, 1918: Farquhar L. Smith, class of 1920, was a U.S. Army private in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 160th Depot Brigade. He died of broncho pneumonia at 22 years old.

December 27, 1918: U.S. Army 1st Lt. William Thomas McNeil, class of 1913, died at 28 yrs old, from wounds received in action near Bois Belleau. He served overseas with Company I, 101st Infantry from January 23, 1918 until his death. He was buried at cemetery 290 Friodes (Meuse) Grave 293.

Wm Thomas McNeil

This list was compiled by Catharine Neely, who completed a joint internship with the MSU Archives & Historical Collections and the MSU Museum during the 2017-2018 academic year.  Please note that this list may not be complete. If you have information about additional M.A.C. alumni who died during World War I, please contact the University Archives (http://archives.msu.edu/about/contact.php?about_contact)

Below is a slide show of certificates from the State of Michigan Adjutant General’s Office with information about some of the M.A.C. alumni who died during World War I.  The certificates are part of the Frank S. Kedzie papers (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-1-8.html).

 

 

 

 

Written by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist