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Lewis D. Harbison First World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWI 8, Folder: 1-3
Identifier: 2018-160-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence from Pvt. Lewis D. Harbison, AEF during the First World War era. Included in the correspondence are letters and postcards. Also included in the collection are eight photographs of Harbison and his family from childhood to adulthood, photocopies of postcards, transcriptions of the correspondence, a biographical note provided by the donor, and one letter from the US Department of the Interior regarding Harbison's time at the Grand Canyon. Toward the end of the correspondence there is one empty envelope.

Added 11/13/2018: photocopied Warranty of Deed documents from the a sale to the CO Bar Livestock Company by Lewis D. Harbison and his wife Nellie on May 27, 1939. (courtesy of Northern Arizona University Special Collections, NAU.MS.296 John G. Babbitt collection)

Pvt. Harbison wrote his correspondence while working on ranches in Noble, Oklahoma, Alanreed and Cautillo, Texas, and Flagstaff Arizona for the Babbitt Brothers. He then was drafted into the AEF in February 1918 and wrote his letters to his mother and father separately, often telling them different things regarding his activities in training. In April he explains that there are "no cowboys in the country anymore," and that employers can swear that their business will take a loss to keep a man from enlisting. After training, Harbison was deployed to England and France though he does not discuss the war in any detail, and returned home in February 1919. The last two letters are from his time working ranches in Ash Fork, Arizona around Christmas 1923 to his sister Clara.


  • Majority of material found within 1908 December 12 - 1924 January 24
  • 1890-1950

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Private Lewis Dwight "Jack" Harbison, American Expeditionary Force (4/29/1889 - 5/4/1969) was born in Mountain Home, Texas and was the youngest of five children. He was drafted in February 1918 and trained at Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico with Company D 133rd Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. He arrived overseas in England October 2, 1918 and stayed at a rest camp until moving to France, transferring to Company L 164th Infantry, 41st Infantry Division, or the "Sunset" Division. He returned home February 26, 1919 aboard the USS President Grant from Brest, France to New York and was stationed at Camp Dix before being sent to a camp in the southwest to be discharged. His trip home was discussed as he enjoyed to ride with music and women and boxing, as well as an adventure to save a distressed two-mast ship called the Polarbear that ran into weather trouble.


0.2 Linear feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence from PFC Lewis D. Harbison, AEF during the First World War era. Also included are photographs, photocopies with transcriptions, and one letter from the US Department of the Interior regarding Harbison's time at the Grand Canyon.


This collection is arranged by material type and the correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Family of Lewis Dwight (Jack) Harbison, via Rebecca C. Tobitt.
Finding Aid for the Lewis D. Harbison First World War correspondence
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States