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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Thomas W. Messenger Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1917-1923
Creator: Messenger, Thomas W. (1898-1948)
Extent: 1.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0453
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: 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.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

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

Preferred Citation: Thomas W. Messenger Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

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.

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.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1917
    14 items
  • Correspondence: January-May - 1918
    29 items
  • Correspondence: June-December - 1918
    26 items
  • Correspondence - 1919, 1923
    7 items

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

World War, 1914-1918


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa
United States -- Iowa -- Washington County