The Serious Side of Jokelore

The following is a guest post from Joshua Koepke (MA Candidate in Folklore and Ethnomusicology/MLS Candidate in the Luddy School of Informatics) as part of the spring course ILS-Z604/FOLK-F804 Folklore Archives in the Digital Age.

Photo of Josh Koepke seated at a table with a box of archival materials
Joshua Koepke, spring 2022

When discussing archival project options for a folklore class, my ears immediately perked up at the mention of a folklore joke collection here at Indiana University Bloomington. Not knowing much about the holdings besides being primarily from the late 1960s and early 1970s, my inner historian was excited at the prospect of period-specific jabs at Richard Nixon and “hippie” counterculture. When going through the collection, I encountered these political jokes, even plenty of one-liners concerning Spiro Agnew, which I’ll ponder upon in an upcoming entry. Not long into searching the extensive amassment of ethnic jokes and their corresponding documentation in this collection, my soul sank with the depressing reality of underlying prejudice influencing the deep stack of Polish American and African American jokes. My, often troubling time, working with this collection inspired an exploration on why this content is worthy of preservation and what archivists, folklorists, and historians can do to manage interactions with offensive collections.

Jokes reflect the social environments at the time of their creation, finding humor in critiques of events and social movements. The 1960s and 1970s saw the “… rise in the consciousness and assertion of ethnicity” with Polish and Black cultures in America.1 Rising racial tensions of this period were represented in jokes of the ethnic and racial variety as a way to reassert subordinate status.2 The ethnic jokes in the IU Folklore Institute Jokes collection proving no exception. The frequent use of blatantly derogatory language, among which was more than a fair share of poorly spelled variants, to enforce a hierarchy of superiority based on the lightness of skin were routinely thinly veiled as jokes. These need not be repeated here. Even more disheartening were interviews conducted by the students of the informants who told the jokes. In these, some joke tellers casually confessed their prejudices for minorities, like this African American joke teller, “Well, to be truthful, I don’t like them [in reference to African Americans]. It seems like they’re trying to interfere with everything…”,3 or another who set out to change the language of the African American joke they told to a more intolerant and explicit term, to which the folklore student eloquently surmised, “This, in itself, tells a great deal [for] the problems in society.”4 More bleak were the occasional students who agreed with racist thoughts put forward by the informants without critical analysis, like this student who interviewed their prejudicial friend:  

I must say that I agree with [name of informant redacted] in every psychological and sociological function of the items, although I am sure that several others would be violently opposed to what has been stated previously. I agree with [name of informant redacted] Mainly [sic] because we are very close friends and we share many interests and opinions. Therefore, I must conclude by saying that I couldn’t have said it better myself!!5

These issues and the often explicit language and racist imagery make this collection problematic to read, let alone curate. While it may be repulsive to modern users, the collection possesses value in documenting the racial and ethnic views of a segment of students at a pivotal time in civil rights history for America. Dr. Julia Rose coined the term “difficult histories” for historic materials with content of oppression and trauma which can make materials hard to digest for modern audiences. References to materials must be delicately interwoven to historic documentation nonetheless in order to confront revisionists and denialists and to hopefully encourage further work towards justice.6 

For historians, curators, and archivists, balancing access and description for difficult histories is problematic, and sparks different solutions depending on the archive. When facing the use of derogatory language and explicit racial content, the Dúchas team at the Irish National Folklore Collection decided to digitize materials but to leave blank any derogatory language from transcription practices, to allow for the restriction of entire pages, and to include a statement on the possible encountering of sensitive and offensive materials. Like Dúchas, Indiana University has a Harmful Language Statement located in the footer of their newly designed search portal. The IU Libraries also utilizes direct community feedback to report potential offensive content,7 like Dúchas, since the collections are extensive and archivists unfortunately cannot review everything. Here at IU, the University Archives and other archival units encourage the reporting of problems to the Harmful Language Report Form. Another tool at the disposal of professionals is the incorporation of content warnings on collections, so researchers know what to expect before opening boxes. 

Assistant Archivist note, August 2022

Collection C735 provided us an opportunity to use a burgeoning body of literature and professional practice related to reparative archival description. Although reparative description is intensive, archivists and other library and museum professionals have done an amazing job building central knowledge bases and communities to support the involved activities. We started with the Anti-Racist Description Resources document published by Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia (A4BLiP). A4BLiP’s annotated and extensive resource bibliography will open many doorways for anyone interested in learning more about reparative description. You can also stay up to date with harmful language and bias statements in libraries through the Cataloging Lab (list last updated August 2022).

While maintaining the original order of records (ie the organization, sequence, and description established by the creator) is a core tenant of the archives profession as it provides evidence of how records where used, ultimately, we decided to replace the outdated and harmful original “Negro” and “Polack” folder titles with the current, more appropriate terms “African American” and “Polish.” We reflected these folder heading changes in the finding aid as well. In addition to the concerns about offense that Joshua explained, updating terms also addressed the collection’s findability online–now, researchers don’t have to know to use outdated search terms to find these files. A warning about the content was also included in the Scope and Content Note of the collection.

As we move forward and develop more robust workflows for reparative description, we aim to be as transparent as possible (with each other at the Archives and with the public) about the changes we make. This includes internally tracking problematic finding aids, explaining curatorial decisions in finding aid notes, and receiving feedback through the Harmful Language Report Form.

If you have questions or concerns about this collection, harmful language, or reparative description in archives, please contact an archivist today!


1 Christie Davies, Jokes and Targets (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), 2.

2Davies, 7.

3Jokes: Ethnic: Negro: 70: 11-20 Instructor: Milspaw: Item 70:15, C735 Folklore Institute jokes, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.

4Jokes: Ethnic: Negro: 70: 61-70 Instructors: Gutowski, Danielson: Item 70:66, C735 Folklore Institute jokes,, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.

5Jokes: Ethnic: Negro: 70: 11-20 Instructor: Milspaw: Item 70:11, C735 Folklore Institute jokes, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.

6Julia Rose, Interpreting Difficult History at Museums and Historic Sites (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 24-29.

7“Copyright, digital preservation, sensitive material and contact,” Dúchas, https://www.duchas.ie/en/info/contact; Gearóid Ó Cleircín, Conchur Mag Eacháin, Anna Bale, “Managing the Digitization and Online Publication of Sensitive Heritage Material in the Dúchas Project,” New Review of Information Networking 20, (2015): 194-199, doi 10.1080/13614576.2015.1112613.

Herman B Wells’s Gastronomical Exploits

This post was researched by Emma McCall, distance education student at Simmons College. This semester she is spending time at the University Archives to fulfill her practicum requirements – many thanks to her for her work on this post!

Students! Are you feeling a little homesick? Missing your favorite home cooked meal? The IU Archives has the solution.

It’s well known that Herman B Wells (Indiana University President, 1937-1962; University Chancellor, 1962-2000) left a lasting impression on the faculty, staff, and students of Indiana University. His contributions were many, including his immense involvement with campus organizations, fundraising, promotion of fine arts, and the cultivation of many personal acquaintances. What’s often at the heart of all these connections? FOOD.

Recipe box and cards
Wells House recipe box and cards; Photo by Michelle Crowe, IU Libraries.

Each First Thursday event this year, the IU Libraries is sharing a recipe card reproduced from the Herman B Wells House recipe collection at the University Archives. This fantastic collection of recipes were collected over the years by Herman B Wells and his housekeeping/cooking staff, including Matilda “Tillie” Hopkins, Mary Jo Chandler, and others. One thing that is immediately apparent from the collection is that Wells loved his sweets, especially sugar cream pie and persimmon pudding, for which there are several recipes. A recipe for “Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings”, clipped from a newspaper, includes the handwritten note “HBW wants this!” Another recipe for “Fresh Peach Cobbler with Hard Sauce” simply says “Keep always.”

While the collection contains timeless comfort foods such as baked chicken, potato salad, apple crisps and chocolate syrup, there are a few recipes that stand out as…let’s say “vintage”… to a 21st century observer, such as Eggs Huntington (casserole made with hard boiled eggs), cheese dainties (a savory Rice Krispie treat), and snow peas stuffed with herb cheese (you can use your leftover cream cheese for…just kidding, there is no leftover cream cheese!). And let’s not overlook the ever-so popular JELL-O mold craze that swept the nation in the late 1940s, either. Wells’s kitchen staff served Molded Fresh Seafood Salad, Molded Fruit Salad, and Chambo (Tilapia) Mousse, to name a few!

Thanks to event calendars (1938-1961) found within Wells’s personal papers at the University Archives, we know that the foods represented in the recipes collection were shared with a wide range of visitors to IU over the years. Throughout the 20+ years covered by the event calendars, Wells hosted lunch buffets, suppers, breakfasts and teas at about an average of fifteen times each year! They ranged from receptions for IU faculty, staff, and students, commencement receptions, and military appreciations to serving presidents and chairpersons of local and national organizations, representatives from other universities, and dignitaries from around the world. He also hosted international student dinners when traveling home during winter break wasn’t an option for them.

Anita Jackson at the home of Herman B Wells, circa 1980. IU Archives P0083094

Within the event calendars, Wells’s secretary meticulously documented the names of events, locations, dates and times, and the menus. Some of the events where we spotted Wells’s recipes include:

Supper in honor of the Sevitskys and Francescatti of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, 1941: Egg Huntington, Coleslaw, Chocolate Cake, and Creamed Sweetbreads with Vinegar and Herbs in a Patty Shell

Sigma Nu Buffet of 1943: Baked Chicken and Potato Salad.

Boy Scouts Executive Luncheon of 1947: Baked Corn

Student Conflict Council Buffet of 1949 were served: Nuts (yes, there is a recipe for this!)

NEA Group Buffet Supper of 1950: Small Cornbread Muffins and Chicken Breast

The Herman B Wells House recipe collection and Wells’s event calendars are available to view at the University Archives – reach out to schedule a time to take a look!

We leave you with a gingersnaps recipe and hope you will also join the IU Libraries for our next First Thursday event on November 4. Stop by the Libraries booth to pick up a recipe for Baked Squash Casserole, which just might be perfect for your holiday table!

INDIANA UNIVERSITY INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMUNICATION

TO: Herman B Wells

DEPT. University Chancellor

FROM: Harry Gonso.

DEPT. University Chancellor

SUBJ. Ginger-snap cookie recipe

DATE. June 5, 1973

To let you know what you have been eating and how they are made, Jonni sends

you her famous ginger-snap cookie recipe.

4 cups flour

2 tea. baking soda

2 tea. cinnamon

2 tea. ground cloves

2 tea. ginger

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

2 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup molasses

2 eggs

1.grease sheet; preheat oven at 350°

2. sift flour and spices together and set aside in a separate bowl

3. cream butter and shortening; gradually add 2 cups sugar and beat vigorously

4. thoroughly beat in eggs and molasses

5. stir in gradually the flour mixture

6. take dough, roll into balls in palm of hand and coat with the remaining sugar

7. bake approximately 10-11 minutes or until done at 350°.

H228 Creating Archival Stories #7

Mary Elizabeth Campbell by Karolina Sroka

Mary Elizabeth Campbell

Devoted, driven, and dauntless. These adjectives describe Mary Elizabeth Campbell’s persona perfectly. She devoted much of her life to make an influential impact on Indiana University. Mary’s driven personality propelled her to publish several original works which includes a popular favorite: Scandal Has Two Faces. Finally, Mary’s dauntless acts throughout her life include serving in World War II, confronting problems that faced professional and educated women, and teaching the first comparative literature course offered at Indiana University. 

Kokomo Tribune

Although Cambridge, Ohio was Mary’s birthplace, she had a connection with Bloomington early on in her life. When she was around thirteen years, Indiana University offered her father a position as a professor. As a result, her whole family moved to Bloomington. Just three years later, her father became a professor at Harvard. Nonetheless, IU remained a short-lived, yet inspiring experience and held a special place in Mary’s heart. In fact, after finishing school from Cambridge Latin School and Radcliffe, Mary became an English instructor at IU in 1927 and rose through the ranks, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1973. Talk about devotion! Throughout her time as a faculty member, Mary took the time to advance her education at Yale, where she gained her PhD in the year 1938. As seen in the clipping from The Kokomo Tribune,  Mary along with other notable IU faculty members discussed an English literature series called British Men of Letters. Not only did Mary devote her time as an English professor at IU Bloomington, but she also participated in spreading her knowledge to a broader audience. 

Indianapolis Star

Mary made the most use of her time as a professor at Indiana. She always had a passion for writing and took it upon herself to publish something. In the year 1938, the same year she gained her PhD, Mary published her first book named Defoe’s First PoemThis publication focuses on Daniel Defoe, a writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and even spy who was seen as an early and passionate proponent of the English novel. Defoe must have been an inspiration for Mary as they share a passion for English literature and novels, and ultimately helped drive Mary to publish her own works. Actually, in 1943, she published yet another book called Scandal Has Two Faces, which sparked more popularity. This murder mystery came out before academic novels were considered popular, so it intrigued critics and scholars. Set in academia, this novel excited all ages with its clever humor and plot. The fictious story takes place on a college campus, making it even more enticing for students. It allowed them to engage and feel a part of the story. Even in the Hoosier Accent, as seen in the clipping, Mary receives much praise on her novel. This hopefulness ande ncouragement the article displays further fuels Mary’s drive for writing. There was a lot of positive feedback on the novel, and for some time Mary seriously considered writing a sequel to the mystery, but ultimately could not because of unplanned yet critical events. This goes to show how great of an impact Mary made on English literature at Indiana, mainly because of her driven personality.  

Shortly after the publication of her mystery novel Scandal Has Two Faces,  Mary took a year’s leave for the unplanned, yet critical event mentioned earlier. It was to serve and help in World War II. Mary specifically went to serve in Italy. There, she worked with the Overseas Hospital Service of the American Red Cross. In all of the hospital service units located in Italy, the nurses and medical teams worked long hours and their time and effort was very much appreciated. One article stated that many units had “periods when the patient load was heavy” (Merrick 40). Mary’s dauntless acts as a nurse and the whole experience impacted her views and thoughts of women, but specifically the importance of their duties. Thus, after returning to the United States in 1945 and Indiana University for the spring semester, she started to engage in the Indiana University Bulletin called “What Makes an Educated Woman.” As an editor, Mary tackled and addressed problems facing professional woman. What makes this so inspiring and daunting, is the fact that these issues were not relevant yet. Amidst all these events, when Mary was at Indiana University, she taught comparative literature, which was actually the first comparative literature course ever taught at IU. Because “literature was alive and exciting” for her and “she was able to communicate its vitality to her classes,” Mary had an innovative style of teaching (IU Bloomington Faculty Council). All of these daunting acts contribute to the moving life-story of Mary Campbell. 

Death certificate, which shows Campbell died as a result of lung cancer.

Mary Elizabeth Campbell passed away on February 21, 1985 at the Meadowood Retirement Community in Bloomington, Indiana, as seen on her death certificate. Mary retired as an IU professor after almost fifty years of teaching in 1973. No surprise when she received emeritus status by the university at that time. She never married, but instead lived an unselfish, courageous, and admirable life. Not only did she inspire and impact her own students, but also faculty across IU and the audience who read her publications. This can be seen not only through her connection to IU from an early age, but also her role as a professor, a writer, and a nurse. Mary Campbell’s devoted, driven, and dauntless personality will continue to live on and influence others not only at Indiana University, but across the United States.   

Bibliography 

“Archives Photograph Collection of Mary E. Campbell.” Indiana University Bloomington, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/archivesphotos/results/item.do?itemId=P0067323.  

“Daniel Defoe.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/daniel-defoe. 

“Indiana Death Certificate for Mary Campbell.” Ancestry.com, www.ancestrylibrary.com/imageviewer/collections/60716/images/44494_351913-00535?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=88f0b9ea827548f57ffb54872139d3db&usePUB=true&_phsrc=kXW1&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=2793800.  

“The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on October 27, 1943 · Page 12.” Newspapers.com, The Indianapolis Star, www.newspapers.com/newspage/104924129/.  

IU Bloomington Faculty Council. “Memorial Resolution Professor Emeritus Mary Elizabeth Campbell.” Bloomington Faculty Council Minutes, 24 Sept. 1985, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/bfc/view?docId=B06-1986.  

“The Kokomo Tribune 6 Mar 1957, Page 11.” Newspapers.com, The Kokomo Tribune, www.newspapers.com/image/2451840/?image=2451840.  

Merrick, Ben A. “The 56th Evacuation Hospital (Baylor Unit) Overseas in World War II.” 

Taylor & Francis, 28 Jan. 2018, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08998280.1992.11929794.

  

H228: Creating Archival Stories #5

We continue to share some of the student work from a recent course collaboration! This semester, University Archives Director Dina Kellams worked with Ron Osgood’s Honors H228: Creating Archival Stories course. For one of their assignments, students were asked to select an IU affiliate from the Archives War Service Register records and dig into their story. Due to COVID, students were not able to visit the Archives so all research was done online, largely through free or subscription services available to them through IU Libraries, and the students did a marvelous job. Hope you enjoy these samples of student work and the stories they discovered!

Frank Elliott by Sam Jones

Junior Frank Elliott, Class of 1931, pictured with the rest of the Rushville High School varsity basektball team (1930). His section reads: Frank Elliott ’31, Forward: “Frank was a constant scoring threat to every team the Lions came up against this season. He is one of the best forwards in this locality and the next year should be one of the best in the state. He also has a ‘dead eye’ for foul shots.”

Who was Frank Vernon Elliott? And how did he go from a small town in Indiana to ending up in England just years after graduating college? Born in about 1914, Frank Elliott was raised Rushville, Indiana, by his parents Mr. and Mrs. William Elliott. Rushville is a small city in rural Indiana about 1-hour east of Indianapolis. Coming from a small area of only about 5,000 residents, Frank Elliott made the most of opportunities to get involved in anything he could at a young age. In his high school days, he participated in many different extracurriculars, including Rushville High School’s varsity basketball team, football team, and agricultural club. He came from a family of two older brothers who previously dominated the sports scene at Rushville High School, however, Frank was arguably the best talent the school had seen. After graduating from Rushville High School in 1931, he took time off from school before later enrolling at Indiana university in the year 1937. 

Text, letter

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Newsclipping from the Carthage Citizen, May 4, 1945.

Frank Elliott enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington to continue his studies with a focus in business. He matriculated September 9th of 1937 and received his Bachelor of Science in Business on June 2nd of 1941. With World War II beginning in the year 1939, it is certain that times were tough, confusing, and stressful for the student population of college students across the nation. The war very well influenced the future generation of college grads, giving opportunities to enlist in the military and make a difference in the war efforts. Frank Elliott was one of these students who had to make tough decisions on how to proceed with his future after graduation. According to his hometown newspaper, the Carthage Citizen, after graduating from Indiana University, Frank Elliott worked as a “paper drying and trimming machine operator for the Container Corporation of America.” After his time in the workforce, Frank ultimately made the decision to  enlist in the military in the beginning of 1943. 

Robert E. Janes (left) and Frank Vernon Elliott (right) inspecting ammunition for a fighter plane, circa 1942.

Elliott enlisted in the military in the midst of WWII. Military records show that he was an ordnance flight chief in Col. Kyle L. Riddle’s 479th fighter group of the 2nd air division. Known as “Riddle’s Raiders,” the group commanded its first combat mission in England in May 1944. Riddle’s Raiders were a part of the Eighth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) (8 AF) and served as the center point of America’s heavy bomber force, a key group in the Allies war efforts at the time. Elliot’s role in the squadron was to conduct regular inspections of both ammunition and bombs for P-51 Mustang fighter planes. In addition to this role, Sgt. Frank Elliott also performed weekly checkups of firearms, tactical weapons, and various supplies belonging to enlisted soldiers and officers. His air force squadron, stationed across the Atlantic Ocean in England, was commended for the part it played in making it possible for the destruction of 43 enemy aircraft and the damaging of 23 others on a German-held airdrome. Sgt. Elliott’s flight group also played a role in both the Normandy invasion, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe, in June 1944, as well as the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II, from December 1944 to January 1945.  

Text, letter

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Newsclipping from the Rushville Republican newspaper, July 14, 1944.

To add to his resume of serving in key battles for the Allied forces, Sgt. Frank Elliott earned recognition through multiple awards and medals. According to the Rushville Republican Newspaper issued in 1944, he was “awarded the Good Conduct medal for fidelity and faithful performance of duty at his Eighth AAF Fighter station in England”. In addition to this award, it was reported that he wore the E-A-ME ribbon alongside five bronze battle stars. 

When reflecting on one’s life from the past, many of their achievements, accolades, information, and overall acknowledgement of success can be absent. Through using the IU libraries and archives, what was thought to be lost information about Elliott turned out to be impactful knowledge and insight about his time both in school and in the armed services. Frank Vernon Elliot, once a buried name in the IU registrar’s list from the early 1900s, is now a recognized name for his achievement in high school and college as well as his selfless dedication to the military in World War II. 

Bibliography 

479 Flying Training Groupwww.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_pensacola/about/tenant_commands/air_force/479_FTG.html

Ancestry Library Edition. ancestrylibrary.proquest.com/. 

“Archives Online at Indiana University.” Indiana University War Service Register, 1920-1946, webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/findingaids/view?doc.view=entire_text&docId=InU-Ar-VAD4127. 

“Historical Newspapers from 1700s-2000s.” Newspapers.com, newscomwc.newspapers.com/. 

Hoosier State Chronicles: Indianas Digital Historic … newspapers.library.in.gov/. 

“Indiana University.” Media Collections Online, media.dlib.indiana.edu/. 

The Golden Book, goldenbook.iu.edu/. 

H228: Creating Archival Stories #4

Elsie Jane Morrow by Mackenzie Brown

Life has a tendency to take every-day people to some unexpected places. One Indiana student  experienced this first-hand. Elsie Jane Morrow’s life of duty and adventure began in 1912 in Hebron, Indiana. Morrow attended Indiana University for three semesters between 1929-1932 but did not earn a degree. She then enrolled in Moser Business College in Chicago, Illinois where she built upon her administrative skills that would later afford her the opportunity  of gaining employment within critical government departments. Once having successfully completed the Moser program, Morrow went on to work within the Social Security Boards of Chicago and Washington D.C.   

Advertisement for Moser Business College

After the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935, these boards were established in order to register citizens for the receival of benefits and to oversee the process of sending payments to eligible beneficiaries (Ourdocuments.gov). This was a massive undertaking.  In the early days of the Social Security Program, employees for the newly established agency were pulled from those that had existed previously (SSA.gov). There was a massive need for workers capable of completing the tasks necessary in order to get the program up and running. Elsie Morrow was up for the challenge.   

After sometime working within the Social Security Boards, Morrow entered into an administrative role within the United States War Department. This was an early iteration of the agency we now know as the Pentagon, which was officially up and running in 1943 (Defense.gov). The War Department was founded in 1789, with the purpose of maintaining the US Army under the direction of Congress (US Gov’t Manual). Morrow held her position within the department until she decided to join the US effort in the second World War as a member of the Red Cross.  

During World War II, this service organization took on responsibilities of  recruiting nurses, collecting blood donations, and overseeing the rehabilitation of civilian war victims (The American Red Cross). Morrow served with the American Red Cross as a secretary for overseas hospital units.  She was only able to do so once she underwent specialized training in Washington D.C. and qualified for duty out of the country. Morrow was one of six local women to join the Red Cross in 1945 (NewspaperArchive-The Vidette Messenger). An article published in a Valparaiso, Indiana newspaper detailed her experience serving in the Pacific theater in 1944. A letter featured within the article described how Morrow’s strangest experiences within her service to the country had largely to do with wildlife, primarily with frogs. In the letter written to her brother, she described her nightly ritual of checking her sleeping quarters for critters ranging from spiders to other wildlife one would not exactly be well acquainted with in small-town Hebron, Indiana. In this clipping is also a description of the barracks Morrow resided in. She described,  “They give a false feeling of privacy, but do not hamper the conversation and talk right through the walls” (IU Archives).  

Wedding announcement, Vidette Messenger, December 3, 1945

At the time this newspaper article was published, Morrow had recently been assigned duties in Australia along with 179 other workers of the Red Cross. It is during her time serving as a hospital administrator in Australia that Morrow met Harry Corwin. Corwin was born in 1911 and hailed from the Midwest as well. In fact, his very small hometown Belle Center, Ohio is located only 4 hours away from that of Morrow. Their paths crossed while working for the Red Cross in Brisbane, Australia, where Corwin served as a field director during this time (NewspaperArchive-The Vidette Messenger). 

Once the war concluded, the couple made their way back stateside to Indiana. Morrow and Corwin married on November 29, 1945 in front of friends and family. 

After marrying, Elsie and Harry relocated to Lima, Ohio. Shortly thereafter, the pair welcomed two daughters named Anna and Jane. Eventually, the family would return to Morrow’s hometown of Hebron, Indiana. Corwin worked for the remaining 52 years of his life as an advertising representative and correspondent for several local newspapers. He also served as a member on the Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitors Commission. Harry Corwin passed away on August 27th, 1997 at the age of 86 (NWI). Members of the community that he and Elsie were so active in spoke of Corwin as a kind individual filled with enthusiasm and kindness toward others. His wife Elsie said of him, “He was a kind man. He was very considerate of others and a very compassionate man” (NWI).  

Elsie Morrow passed away at the age of 89 on November 29, 2001 in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. She lived a remarkable life, one that led her to pursue her education and aid in the war effort across Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. She was a fixture in her community and left an indelible mark on those around her in her mission to serve others. 

Bibliography 

“Elsie Jane Morrow Corwin (1912-2001) – Find A…” Find a Grave, www.findagrave.com/memorial/161620207/elsie-jane-corwin.  

“Elsie Jane Morrow.” Newspaper Archives, Vidette Messenger, access-newspaperarchive-com.proxyiub.uits.iu.edu/tags/elsie-morrow?page=4&psi=38.  

“Frequently Asked Questions.” American Red Cross, www.redcross.org/faq.html.  

Greig, Terri Anne. “Harry Corwin Touched Many Lives.” NW Times, 29 Aug. 1997, www.nwitimes.com/uncategorized/harry-corwin-touched-many-lives/article_fe08f106-3de6-5610-9430-4413d0dee204.html .  

“Indiana University War Service Register, 1920-1946.” Indiana University Archives, Indiana University Libraries, http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/findingaids/archives/InU-Ar-VAD4127.  

Lange, Katie. “Pentagon History: 7 Big Things to Know.” U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 19 Dec. 2019, www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/story/Article/1867440/the-pentagons-history-7-big-things-to-know/.  

“The Social Security Act (1935).” Our Documents – Home, The National Archives and Records Administration, www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false.  

Social Security History, www.ssa.gov/history/orghist.html.  

“United States Government Manual-1945.” HyperWar: U.S. Government Manual–1945 [War Department], ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ATO/USGM/War.html.