The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo


Finding Aid


Herbert M. White Papers, 1916 - 1974



Size: 1 linear ft.

Provenance: The Herbert M. White Papers were donated to the University of Toledo Libraries in 1993 by his daughter, Virginia White Oram of Austin, Texas

Access: open

Related Collections: 

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

 Processed by: Jamie L. Wraight September 1993, Addition by Kim Brownlee August 2009




Herbert M. White of Youngstown, Ohio entered the United States Army in 1917. After a brief period of training at Camp Perry, Ohio he was sent to France as a Wagoner in Co. B. Ammunition Train.  While there, he served as an ammunition truck driver, and took part in many well-known battles such as the Meuse-Argonne offensive of September 1918. When World War I ended in November 1918, White finished his tour of duty in Europe and returned to the United States in 1919. The collection consists of personal diaries, photographs, hand-drawn maps and correspondence between White and his family while he was in Europe. White’s collection of papers presents an engineer’s point-of-view into the war, and his letters and diaries provide a well-written account of what life was like for an American soldier serving on the Western Front during the First World War.

            There are no restrictions on the use of, or access to, this collection.


Biographical Sketch


            Herbert H. White was born in 1897 in Youngstown, Ohio.  In the fall of 1916 White enrolled  as a freshman at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  In  May 1917, he entered the U.S Army as a volunteer and was assigned  to Company B. Ammunition Train as an ammuniton truck driver.  It was in this capacity that he saw action in several important battles on the Western Front during the last year of World War I. 

            After the war,  White returned to the United States and took up residence in Toledo, Ohio in 1924. Upon his return to civilian life, he became a bridge engineer for the Ohio Highway Department.  In 1951 he was a member of an eight-man committee formed in order to protest plans to bring the Ohio Turnpike through Maumee, Perrysburg and the upriver estate section.

            He was married and was the father of four children.

            White died on April 1, 1974 in Toledo, Ohio.


Scope and Content Note 

             The Herbert M. White papers consist of several different kinds of material, including correspondence, personal diaries,  drawings and  maps, photographs, personal artifacts, and miscellaneous items.

            The correspondence consists of a large amount of  correspondence between White and his family and covers the years 1918-1919. Also included in the correspondence is a copy of  a letter  from King George V welcoming American troops to France.

            The personal diaries contained in the collection cover his year at Case-Western Reserve University (1917), his experience while fighting on the Western Front (1918), and his return to the U.S. (1919).

            The collection also contains a drawing entitled “A Thrilling Episode” and a hand- drawn map of White’s travels throughout France and Western Europe.

            Included also are photographs taken at Case-Western Reserve University (1916),  and  his basic training at Camp Perry, Ohio (1917).

            Some of the personal artifacts in the collection, include White’s dogtag, and a medal from his service with the U.S. army.

            In addition, miscellaneous items are comprised of his army discharge certificate, permission slips for leaves of absence, membership cards and instruction sheets to troops, etc.


Folder List

Box-Folder Inventory


Box     Folder  Series                           Item


1          1          Correspondence        Letters to Family Members (1918-1919)

1          2                                              Copy of Letter from “George R.I.” (King George V),       

                                                                        Windsor Castle, Apr. 1918


1          3          Diaries                        Case -Western Reserve University, 1917                           

1          4                                              War Experience, 1918

1          5                                              Trip Home (Arrival in Toledo)


1          6          Legal Document        Discharge from U.S. Army, 1919


1          7          Maps                           Western Front (Clipped from The Daily Mail, 1918)

1          8                                              Travels of H.M. White, 1918, and WWI maps (on CD)   


1          9          Drawing                     “A Thrilling Episode,”  n.d.


1          10        Printed Material        Leave of Absence Permission Slip, 1918

1          11                                            Permission Slip to Visit Dunkirk, France, 1918

1          12                                            “Instructions for Troops” (Brest, France), 1919

1          13                                            Membership Cards, 1972-1974

1          14                                            Instructions For Use of German Hand Grenades, n.d.


1          15        Photographs              1916-1917


1          16        Artifacts                     “My Military Discharge” (cloth), n.d.                                

1          17                                            Dogtag, n.d.

1          18                                            Victory Medal (Ypres-Lys, Meuse-Argonne Defensive                                                                 Sector), n.d.


1          19        Miscellaneous Postcard With Mauser Automatic Bullet Holes, n.d.




Last Updated: 6/27/22