Welcome to the Voices of the Great War. This section of the website explores personal stories of people who lived during World War I. These documents were either shared with or created by the Cedar City community and the Branch Agricultural College. Southern Utah University student Colin Nimer provides the voice-over for the reading of the documents. We recommend you watch the videos in the highest available resolution so you can read along.
The Student Senior Issue 1918: What Three Months Course in a Training Camp Will Do.
In the 1918 Senior Issue of The Student, the following letters were shared. The letters trace the development of one Robert at Camp American University who wrote to recipient Gladys about his experience in training. The first letter is filled with incorrect grammar and misspellings and has a whimsical charm to it, while the second letter shows some improvements in Robert’s writing, but is devoid of the humor of the first. It is currently unclear if this letter is between two residents of Cedar City (Robert apparently left for Camp American University from Los Angeles), or if the people in the letters are even real. Regardless, the letters have their charm.1
Dr. Mac: The Man, His Land, and His People. Pg. 145; letter to Wilkinson
Dr. Menzies Macfarlane left Cedar City in the spring of 1919 to pursue post-graduate studies in medicine in New York. Although his education would be cut short by the untimely illness of his wife, his trip did provide him with new knowledge. In this letter to his friend, Charlie Wilkinson, Dr. Macfarlane expresses his concern for the citizens of Cedar City who were once again being infected with influenza, and voiced optimism for treating the pneumonia – onset by the influenza – which was killing people.2
Dr. Mac, Page 127-128: Deaths of Harry Jones, Elmer Jesperson, and Lionel Dover
While Iron County only had six of their hundreds of soldiers die in the war, the loss of these members in their community still hurt. In his book Dr. Mac: The Man, His Land, and His People, L. W. Macfarlane recounts three of the six deaths from the Great War. Pulling the information from interviews, Macfarlane gives a brief summary of these three’s passing yet still manages to invoke an emotional response.3
Iron County Record: “Experience in the War Zone”
On March 3rd, 1916, the Iron County Record published an article containing excerpts of letters from one Elder Herbert P. Haight describing his experience serving a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. He describes the spectacle of the war and the frustrations of preaching his beliefs to a people preoccupied with the conflict. Due to the length of the article, a voice over has not been provided; instead, a link the the article itself is shared for the reader to peruse at their own bidding.4
1. “What Three Months Course in a Training Camp Will Do,” The Student, 1918, Senior Issue.
2. L.W. Macfarlane, Dr. Mac: The Man, His Land, and His People (Cedar City, UT: Southern Utah State College Press, 1985), 145.
3. Macfarlane, Dr. Mac, 127-128.
4. Iron County Record, “Experience in the War Zone,” March 3, 1916http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/ironco1/id/57524/show/57337/rec/19 (March 14, 2014).