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Standefer family World War I letters

Standefer family World War I letters

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Finding aid for the Standefer family World War I letters


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

March 18, 2014

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Central Arkansas Library System. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Title: Standefer family World War I letters
Dates: 1918-1919
Quantity: 0.21 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains letters written during World War I by brothers Sam and Edgar Standefer to their family.
Identification: BC.MSS.14.02
Language: English


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains letters written by brothers Sam and Edgar Standefer to various members of their family during World War I.

Biographical Information

Harry Standefer

Samuel Harry Standefer was born May 2, 1895, in Mt. Ida, Arkansas, to LeRoy Standefer and Luelle Howton Standefer. The family moved to a 160-acre homestead located midway between Mt. Ida and Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1916, Standefer passed the Arkansas teacher's examination and started teaching school at Crystal Springs.

Standefer registered for the draft on June 5, 1917, and was inducted into the armed services in on June 25, 1918, in Hot Springs. He trained at Camp Pike in Pulaski County, Arkansas, and moved to Camp Beauregard, Louisiana where he was assigned to Co. A, 154th Infantry. The company arrived at Brest, France on August 18, 1918. His group moved to Mehun, France, which was headquarters for the company.

Standefer was put in charge of teaching the squads how to disassemble and re-assemble the new Browning automatic rifle. In his memoir, Standefer said he was told he received one of the first automatic rifles to reach France.

His company moved to Coudres, France, in November 1918, to complete preparations to move to the Front. Standefer was transferred and joined the Army of Occupation in Germany. The company was stationed at Bernkastle, Germany.

He left Germany on June 3, arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 25, and was discharged on June 27, 1919. He married Ella Johannah Englemen February 14, 1920, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The couple moved to Colorado where Standefer taught school, worked for an advertising agency, and became a journalist in Colorado Springs. They had five children: Melvin, Roy Clayton, Ralph Carl, Betty Low, and Ann Louise.

In 1929, he opened a neon sign factory in Amarillo, Texas, but lost the business during the Great Depression. He returned to journalism until World War II when he went to California to work for the Atomic Energy Commission in Imperial Valley near El Centro, California. After the war Standefer opened a business as a construction cost analyst in San Diego, where he worked until he died in March of 1992.

Edgar Standefer

Edgar Clayton Standefer was born May 2, 1898, in Crystal Springs, Arkansas. He volunteered and joined the service on June 24, 1918, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Standefer was sent to Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri, which served as a recruitment and training station for soldiers heading to Europe.

Standefer was discharged on December 13, 1918. He married Oradell Rice on December 26, 1924, in Stanton, Texas. The couple had four children: Morris, Imogene, Marvin, Sue, and Jim.

He died on August 27, 1989, in Stanton, Texas.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Soldiers -- Arkansas -- Correspondence
Standefer, Edgar Clayton, 1898-1989
Standefer, Samuel H., 1895-1992
World War, 1914-1918


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Standefer family World War I letters, MSS.14.02, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2014

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