Food and the War

Today I am continuing to highlight some of the new resources available online that highlight the Northfield experience during World War I. In the last post, I shared some aerial photographs from France kept in a scrapbook by Irwin Smith, who served in the Intelligence Division “over there” during the war. Closer to home, the households of the Northfield area were also heavily involved in wartime activities. Since Rice County is a very agricultural area, many local citizens were encouraged to contribute to the production and...

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More Digitized Resources Available Online

Over the last few months, I have been busy with my World War I digitization project for the Northfield History Collaborative. To see all 460+ and counting unique items online, go to http://northfieldhistorycollaborative.org and click on the “World War I in Northfield” link near the bottom of the page. The stories that can be found among the digitized materials of the NHC are set in locations both near and far. For example, Northfield-area serviceman Irwin F. Smith, a sergeant in Division Intelligence of the 88th Division, was...

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Propaganda Posters from World War I

Propaganda posters from World War I have very striking, sometimes disturbing designs and messages. Today’s audiences might laugh them off but at the time they were very successful at uniting the American home front to support the war. Check out some of my favorites from the Rice County Historical Society‘s collection here and also on the...

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Rice County World War I Soldier Records

Highlights of the World War I digitization project, part 1 Today I would like to share with you some of the great resources I have been able to digitize as a part of this World War I project. One of our partners, the Rice County Historical Society, is home to an amazing collection of World War I records created by the Rice County War Records Committee. This committee was formed while World War I was underway primarily to create a historical record of those who served in the war from Rice County. The RCHS’s collection includes a basic...

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Pvt. John Fredrickson and the 54th Pioneers

Item of the Week: Here is Private John Fredrickson’s handwritten poem about his unit in World War I: Company L of The 54th Pioneers, who were cross-trained in combat engineering and infantry tactics, and often were responsible for building the roads for their fellow troops – all while under heavy bombardment. Apparently the Pioneer Infantry units were often overlooked in stories about the war, and Fredrickson felt the need to laud their efforts when he wrote: We read about the dough boys and their valor, which is true, And of the...

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Service and Sacrifice

Two of the major themes we are exploring at the Northfield Historical Society for our centennial commemoration of World War I are service and sacrifice, both at home and abroad. While going through some of the individual soldier records in the Rice County War Records Commission collection at the Rice County Historical Society (2 file cabinets full!) I have already found a few examples of both service and sacrifice from Northfield-area citizens. Miss Delphine Carpenter is one of the few women included in the files. She was from Northfield and...

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