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WE WANT YOU!

Uncle Sam POSTER

The Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee is seeking photographs, memorabilia, artifacts, correspondence, uniform items, etc. from anyone who was a veteran of World War I AND was:

  1. Living in Brazos County at the time of their enlistment
  2. Born in Brazos County
  3. Attending Texas A&M
  4. Working at Texas A&M
  5. Buried in Brazos County

We hope to preserve and commemorate the service of your loved one by photographing these items and have plans to exhibit those photographs to educate our community on the contributions Brazos County made to the war effort.  Please contact us at brazoscountyww1@gmail.com if you are interested.  Thank you!

Signal Corps Arrives at Texas AMC

In the spring of 1917 Texas A&M College was selected as one of six colleges in the United States by the Council of National Defense to train a unit of the US Army’s Signal Corp.

On December 8, 1917 Detachment Depot Company K, Land Division of the Signal Corps under the command of Lieutenant M. C. Funston arrived at the train depot.  The men were assigned to Goodwin Hall as their barracks.  Two days later the initial 107 men began their twenty-two week specialized training under the supervision of Professor F.C. Bolton, Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, with courses being taught in the Electrical Engineering Building (Bolton Hall).  Besides the military training of soldier in individual, squad and, company; the men received instruction in elementary electrical engineering, telegraphy, radio work, induction sets, pack sets, field work, visual signaling (day and night), telephony, dry and storage batteries, outside wiring, inside wiring, switch boards, construction of lance pole and tripod lines.

By the end of January the ranks of the company had swelled to 125 men, with as many as 45 of them being former students of the College.  In March a change occurred, and the courses were reduced to be eleven weeks, from the original twenty-two.  The designation was also changed to Signal Corps School for Radio Mechanics and was attached to the Air Division.  Later a third change was made back to the Land Division with the designation as the 32nd Service Company, Land Division of the Signal Corp.

On April 10, 1918 the War Department created the Committee on Education and Special Training which in time would expand the use of colleges and universities for specialized training of men for the military.  In early July at the request of the Signal Corps, the Committee took over the operations of the schools that had been established in 1917.  All programs under the Committee of Education and Special Training were designated the National Army Training Detachments.

Eventually the Texas A&M College would see three lines of intensive military training.  Two of the lines were from the Land Division of the Signal Corp, and the third a Training Detachment of Mechanics and Technicians, with an estimated 4000 soldiers receiving specialized training.

“CAMP AGGIE” moves to Brazos County Administration Building

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The Brazos County Administration Building, located at 200 Texas Avenue in Bryan, Texas, is the new home to the Camp Aggie: Texas A&M as an Army Training Base in World War I.  With the opening of the Women of Resilience exhibit at the Museum of the American G.I. in College Station, the photographs and information about Texas A&M’s role in training Army troops in the use of radio, meteorology, aircraft and vehicle mechanics were removed and transferred to this new location for free public viewing.

Camp Aggie at County Annex

The exhibit is located on the first floor in the hallway opposite the From Brazos County to Belleau Wood display.

Exhibit opens for 242nd Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps

From Brazos County to Belleau Wood, now open in the Brazos County Administration Building, features the stories of seventeen residents and Aggies who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought at this historic battle.  These stories are complimented with official records contained within the service files of these men.  The exhibit also contains a tactical map of France illustrating the topographical features and exact location of the Bois de Belleau.  And, there is a list of every Marine from Brazos County who served during the First World War.

[on the left] The biographical sketch of Thomas Reed Brailsford, Texas Aggie Class of 1917 is accompanied by a heartfelt letter from his wife following his death.  [on the right] is the story of Eric Albert Goldbeck, who began his studies at A&M with the Class of 1919.  There are several transcripts of letters written by Goldbeck on display along with a letter from his father containing a photo of Eric while he was in England.

The exhibit is opposite Camp Aggie on the first floor.

Living Legacies exhibit opens

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The Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee coordinated with the Carnegie Center for Brazos Valley History to showcase photographs of Living Legacies — the children of World War I veterans.  Exhibiting nine children, a niece and a nephew, each photograph features those individuals holding a photograph of their veteran.  Each person also shared a memory of their father or uncle, making the exhibit very personal to each individual featured.  With three Legacies in their nineties, we are reminded of how important it is to capture living history within our local communities.  It also demonstrates that there are millions of legacies from the First World War that are often overlooked, but are just as important.  A special thank you to each of the participants.

“Women of Resilience” OPENS

“Women of Resilience” focuses on Brazos County’s women veterans of World War I and the contributions of women at home. It tells the stories of nine women who served as nurses and as yeoman during the war, including Maud Pigford of Bryan, one of only fourteen African American women who served as U.S. Navy yeomen; Lena Wright Perry who served in France and Irene Evans Claghorn who began her nursing career in 1918 and would complete three decades of service to Aggies as the superintendent of nurses at the College Hospital. On the homefront, the American Red Cross played a vital role in encouraging those at home to knit socks and mufflers, sew bedshirts, make comfort kits, and take nursing classes. In addition, women were raising money for liberty bonds, planting gardens, and preserving food through canning clubs. An important advocate of these efforts was the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution who distributed 44 bulletins nationwide on how women could help. Bryan’s William Scott Chapter NSDAR raised money, knitted articles, attended to sick sodiers on the A&M campus, and supported four French orphans.

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This exhibit is an initiative of the Brazos County World War I Centennial Committee chaired by Dr. John Blair of the National Archives and Records Administration. It was prepared by Dr. Shawn B. Carlson, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at Star of the Republic Museum and Regent of La Villita Chapter NSDAR, Mary Shearer, Regent of William Scott Chapter NSDAR, and Pamela Marshall, Honorary Regent of Come & Take It Chapter NSDAR.

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