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Thomas W. Messenger Papers

Identifier: MsC0453

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Scope and Contents

The Thomas W. Messenger papers consist of seventy-five letters written by Messenger to his parents and family between 1917 and 1919. There is also a 1923 letter mentioning him. These items are arranged chronologically.


  • Creation: 1917-1923
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1917-1919


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas William Messenger (1898 -- 1948) of Washington county, Iowa, served as a corporal in various machine gun battalions during World War I. Enlisting in April, 1917, Messenger was shipped from Iowa to Camp Cody, New Mexico. He started with Co. A, 125 Machine Gun Battalion, but was quickly transferred to Co. D, 126 Machine Gun Battalion. Messenger spent over a year in New Mexico before being shipped to France, by way of Fort Dix, New Jersey. In France he served with Co. B, 111 Machine Gun Battalion. He was bitterly disappointed to have missed seeing action by only a few days. His unit arrived just as the armistice was declared.


1.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



World War I soldier. Letters written by Messenger during his service in W.W.I. He was a corporal in Co.B, 111 Machine Gun Battery in France, after the armistice was declared.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Messenger's niece, Mrs. Thomas R. Smith, in April 1986.

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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)