West Chester Methodist Church: War Scrapbooks

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Collection Title: West Chester Methodist Church: War Scrapbooks

Collection Number: 205

Dates of Collection: 1917-1965

Box Numbers: Books 1-8

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society


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During World War II and the Korean War, members of the West Chester Methodist Church made a great effort to maintain contact with its members who were in the military. Mrs. Hazel McCoy Downs was appointed to the Secretary of Servicemen position, which aided both the soldiers and their families in a variety of ways. Every month, Mrs. Downs sent a church newsletter and a small pamphlet containing biblical readings and lessons to each soldier who was serving away from home. If the soldiers or their families had any grievances regarding their mail, Mrs. Downs was in charge of investigating the issues. She wrote many letters to post masters, Army officials, and even President Franklin Roosevelt to ensure that the soldiers received their mail on time. Mrs. Downs also created several scrapbooks which included photos, letters, Christmas cards, and military documents from each person who served. Mrs. Downs resumed the same duties during the Korean War as well. She maintained communication with over 40 servicemen and women during the time and once again created a large scrapbook for them. She also created a scrapbook containing photos and documents of her husband and his battalion during World War I. For her impressive work and lasting dedication, Mrs. Downs was awarded the American Legion Award and a decorative pin from the Women’s Society of Christian Service in 1965. She eventually donated all of the scrapbooks to the Chester County Historical Society. 

Resources Used

CCHS Clippings File, West Chester Methodist Scrapbooks

Collection Scope:

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Collection Scope: 

The scrapbooks contain assorted documents pertaining to each soldier, generally ranging from their time of enlistment to their discharge or, unfortunately in some cases, their untimely death. The documents include photographs, newspaper clippings, personal letters, holiday cards, official military papers, and occasionally objects such as badges and even bullets. The total number of soldiers in the World War II scrapbooks is 238. The total number of soldiers in the Korean War book is 41. The collection also includes a volume with some of the church newsletters, and another scrapbook containing material regarding Frank J. Downs and his experiences in World War I. 

Collection Contents:

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Collection Contents: 

Book 1: World War II: A-F

  1. Charles J. Adams
  2. John T. Adams, Jr.
  3. Richard J. Adam
  4. Edgar A. Alexander
  5. Robert F. Allen
  6. Robert Ammerman
  7. Lawrence Andress
  8. Lewis E. Andress
  9. Warren K. Andress
  10. Harold R. Ash
  11. Chester D. Bannon
  12. Joseph H. Barber
  13. Joseph C. Barnett
  14. Joseph W. Bartholomew
  15. Harold S. Beecher
  16. William L. Bender
  17. Paul E. Benkendorf
  18. Walter E. Bevan
  19. Allan Bonsall
  20. Caleb Bonsall, Jr.
  21. Carl Bonsall
  22. Victor E. Brice
  23. Robert W. Broomall
  24. Thomas Burneson, Jr.
  25. Harry A. Carlisle
  26. Joseph Richard Carter
  27. Robert S. Carter
  28. Norman N. Cherry
  29. Dorothy M. Clark
  30. Townsend E. Clark, Jr.
  31. Joseph G. Clark
  32. George F. Colley
  33. John Thomas Crabtree
  34. Marcus Blair Crisman, Jr.
  35. Martha L. Cunningham
  36. Dallett Dale
  37. Edward H. Davis, III
  38. Calvin E. Detwiler
  39. Whitney Dough
  40. Harry L. Dowdall
  41. Henderson T. Dowlin
  42. John W. Dowlin
  43. Samuel P. Downing
  44. William Harlan Dutton
  45. Elwood G. Faddis, Jr.
  46. Walter E. Faddis
  47. Lewis H. Farra
  48. Joseph A. Ferrer
  49. Mariam E. Fiorelli
  50. Harold E. Fitch
  51. Walter E. Fitzgerald
  52. George Randall Fox
  53. Harvey A. Fox
  54. Robert E. Fox
  55. Howard E. Friele, Jr.
  56. Caleb Sharpless Fulton

Book 2: World War II: G-K

  1. Curtis H. Gallagher
  2. Rachel E. Garrett
  3. Warren T. Garrett
  4. Earle H. Gates
  5. Jack T. Gibson
  6. Daniel Leroy Godshalk
  7. John Linderman Gottier
  8. William E. Graham
  9. Robert G. Grant
  10. Harold F. Green
  11. Martin L. Grainer
  12. Howard A. Griffith
  13. Joseph R. Griswold
  14. Fred Gysin
  15. Jacob D. Gysin
  16. Milton C. Gysin
  17. George J. Haeberle
  18. Evard B. Hall
  19. Charles Halliday
  20. James A. Hallman
  21. David Bishop Hand, II
  22. Ezra Cromwell Hand
  23. Daniel Hartz
  24. Alfred C. Hayden, Jr.
  25. J. Holland Heck, Jr.
  26. William B. Heed
  27. Roger P. Hentz, Jr.
  28. Janice T. Hicks
  29. Ruth E. Hicks
  30. James Frederick Hill
  31. Joseph Hill
  32. William Hill
  33. George Clinton Hoppel, Jr.
  34. Wallace M. Hunt
  35. Wilmer Hunt, Jr.
  36. Warren W. Jackson
  37. Francis T. Jamison
  38. Harry C. Jamison, Jr.
  39. Boyd E. Jarrett
  40. Edward C. Jarrett
  41. Harold M. Jarrett
  42. Norman E. Jarrett
  43. James C. Johnson
  44. Marvin H. Johnson
  45. Charles Keith
  46. Robert E. Kinckiner
  47. Wilson O. Kirk
  48. David J. Knavor
  49. Wayne C. Kofke
  50. Dorothy L. Kolb
  51. William H. Krimmel, Jr.

Book 3: World War II: L-R

  1. Harold Vincent Lammey
  2. Walter Leonard Laws
  3. William Palmer Lear
  4. W. Earle Leslie
  5. Parke L. Lessig
  6. Walter M. Lessig
  7. Fred Lewis, Jr.
  8. Calvin H. Lilley
  9. Edward Lindecamp
  10. Robert Love, Jr.
  11. Raymond R. Love
  12. William Edward Love
  13. Charles E. Lucas, Jr.
  14. Willart H. Lutz
  15. Samuel R. Lyons
  16. William D. Lyster
  17. Frank March
  18. George March
  19. Vernon B. March
  20. Francis K. Marshall
  21. Arthur R. McClure, Jr.
  22. Albert T. McCombs
  23. Walter D. McCombs
  24. Gerald McCowan
  25. Joseph T. McGinty
  26. James McNeil
  27. Emily Virginia Meckley
  28. Norman E. Meckley
  29. Raymond Eugene Meckley
  30. Richard E. Meckley
  31. Herman Meiers
  32. Gerald Menhennett
  33. Edwin D. Michener
  34. James W. Miles
  35. Edwin Wilson Miller
  36. Atkins Reed Moore
  37. John Dewees Mosteller
  38. Paul S. Mosteller
  39. William R. Murphy
  40. George H. Naylor
  41. Walter J. Nickerson
  42. Carleton H. Norman
  43. Charles Palmer Ogborn
  44. John J. Ogborn
  45. Walter M. Ogborn
  46. Jesse W. Pearson
  47. John Ward Pearson
  48. Archibald C. Pennell, Jr.
  49. William Joseph Phipps
  50. Donald Prutzman
  51. William J. Prutzman
  52. Victor H. Pyle
  53. Donald H. Ratchford
  54. Robert H. Ratchford
  55. William George Reigner
  56. Joseph Lewis Reynolds
  57. Wilson B. Reynolds, Jr.
  58. Richard W. Rhoads
  59. Chandler H, Rigdon
  60. Ralph Ritter
  61. Lawrence A. Roberts
  62. Willard L. Ronk, Jr.
  63. Stephen E. Rulon


Book 4: World War II: S-Z

  1. Gladys M. Saum
  2. Harlon K. Saylor
  3. John A. Scarborough
  4. Richard Sharpless Scott
  5. Walter Wesley Scott
  6. Henry L. Seal
  7. Norman N. Shank
  8. William H. Schoffner
  9. Charles H. Singer
  10. Lee. C. Sistare
  11. James A. Skardon
  12. Kenneth B. Skardon
  13. C. Philip Skardon
  14. William R. Skardon
  15. Calvin M. Smith
  16. Herbert D. Smith, III
  17. Roy A. Smith
  18. William Francis Smith
  19. William R. Smith
  20. Clark R. Smyers
  21. Robert Snyder
  22. Richard H. Stamper
  23. Bayard E. Swayne
  24. Hollister B. Sykes
  25. Warren N. Temple
  26. William C. Temple
  27. Robert C. Thomas
  28. William E. Thomas
  29. Frank D. Thompson, Jr.
  30. Thomas R. Thompson
  31. Frank G. Thompson
  32. Charles W. Tomlinson
  33. Harry Tomlinson
  34. John Blake Tomlinson
  35. Reece Irwin Tomlinson
  36. Matthew J. Tress
  37. Joseph H. Velek
  38. Harold Ernest Walton
  39. James R. Walton
  40. Samuel Waltz, III
  41. George A. Ward
  42. Ernest L. Watson
  43. Paul G. Watson
  44. Paul L. Wayne
  45. Ross Wayne
  46. StanleyE. Wayne
  47. Howard H. Weaner
  48. Bette L. Weinert
  49. Charles R. Wiegand
  50. Herman G. Williamson, Jr.
  51. Jack F. Williamson
  52. Robert C. Williamson
  53. Adon T. Wills
  54. Allan C. Wilson
  55. John E. Wilson
  56. William H. Wilson
  57. William W. Winans
  58. Randall Yarnall
  59. Willard L. Yarnall, Jr.
  60. Eugene C. Yoder
  61. Paul L. Yoder
  62. Harry Yohn, Jr.
  63. Jesse B. Zerr

Book 5: Miscellaneous

-          Mrs. Frank Downs Correspondence

-          MethodistChurch Newsletters

-          MethodistChurch Brochures

-          Soldiers

  • Charles E. Lundberg
  • William Hurley
  • Edward C. Thomas
  • Harry W. Smith
  • Walter Wayne Girdner

Book 6: Mrs. Frank Downs Letters and Church Newsletters

-          Various letters written to and from Mrs. Downs usually in regards to soldiers’ mail being delayed or limited

-          Newsletters to church members which report conditions in West Chester as well as the actions and events following soldiers in the community. Some of these newsletters were written during the Korean War. 

Book 7: Korean War

  1. John T. Angle, Jr.
  2. Kenneth R. Ash
  3. Stuart R. Ash
  4. Foster W. Aungst
  5. William D. Beam
  6. Charles L. Bishop
  7. Lester L. Brackin
  8. Robert L. Brooks
  9. Robert T. Cooper
  10. Bruce E. Crisman
  11. Marcus Blair Crisman
  12. Richard Douglas
  13. John Elinsky
  14. William Fair Gilchrist, Jr.
  15. Earl W. Glisson, Jr.
  16. Johanne Harris
  17. John H. Hawkes
  18. Joseph Hill
  19. Wallace M. Hunt
  20. Robert Francis Huss
  21. Allan H. Johnson
  22. Stanley W. Johnson
  23. Francis V. Kofke
  24. William L. Kofke
  25. William H. Krimmel
  26. William Lessig
  27. George H. Malin
  28. Wayne Moulder
  29. Leo O’Brien
  30. Henry Stanton Outland
  31. Joe M. Peters
  32. Russell Harvey Pyle
  33. Howard Rudolph
  34. Frank B. Seabold, Jr.
  35. John M. Super
  36. Richard Swanenburg
  37. Charles E. Swope
  38. James Edward Thomas
  39. Robert Clark Thomas
  40. Frank D. Thompson, Jr.
  41. Franklin J. Thompson


Book 8: World War I

-          Focuses primarily on Frank J. Downs and the 314th Infantry in World War I

-          Newspaper Clippings, Photographs

  • Frank Downs’ Induction
  • U.S. Ship “Leviathan”
  • 314th Infantry activity in Europe
  • Infantry Reunions
  • Obituaries

-          Annual Reunion Brochures