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Camp Howze Museum



M.A. Texas Woman's University thesis by Barbara Burns
Barbara Burns
Camp Howze's impact on the community of Gainesville, TX
extracted text





AUGUST, 1984

The Graduate School

Texas Woman's University
Denton, Texas
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entitled __"_W o_ r_ l
Gaine svil le an d Cooke County, T exas"

be accepted as fulfilling this part of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Art s


A lo nzo /Jfuiso
n, Ch airman
Depart me�t of H istory an d
Gover nment

When I first entered graduate school, at the back of
my mind I knew that one day I would have to select a topic
for a thesis.

Always loving world history, I thought my

research would incorporate that interest.

Then I took a

course in family history with Dr. Ingrid Winther Scobie.
As part of my assignment, I wrote a research paper on my
parents and their lives during World War II.

From that

research I knew I wanted to do a community study concerning
that time.

Discussing my idea with Mr. Alonzo Jamison,

Chairman of the Department of History and Government, he
suggested that I write about Camp Howze, the military base
at Gainesville, Texas, during World War II.

At his sugges-

tion I contacted Margaret Parx Hays, Director of the Cooke
County Heritage Society.

With her invaluable assistance, I

contacted local residents who answered my many questions
about their experiences and whose anecdotes give life to my

I also thank Warren Flowers, owner of the Gaines-

ville Daily Register, for allowing me to borrow the microfilm
of the Register.

Without his generosity, I would never have

received all the necessary information to complete my research.


I also deeply appreciate the many hours of work by my
committee members.

Without the editing and helpful criticism

of Dr. Michael Collins, my thesis would never have gone
beyond the first draft.

His expertise improved its clarity,

organization, and direction.

To the other members, Dr.

Martha Swain who revised the draft during the week of final
examinations and Dr. Valentine Belfiglio who sacrificed
part of his semester break to make further suggestions, I
acknowledge their words of advice and generosity of time.
Others also helped bring this thesis to its present

Special recognition goes to the library staffs of

both Texas Woman's University and North Texas State University for securing needed information and research materials
and to Beverly Deines who typed this manuscript from a
rough copy and who worked hurriedly, but accurately, so
that I could meet my deadlines.

I also extend heartfelt thanks to my family.


I thank my parents who stressed the importance of an education as I was growing up and who also inspired the idea for
my thesis.

Finally, I wish to thank my husband Loyd who

spent many hours baby-sitting for our three children so
that I could return to school.

Without his love and support,

I never would have accomplished my goal.






















"Scarcely a dozen towns with a population of 10,000 or
• do not have a military installation of some sort. 111


Although an exaggeration, this statement, made by a journalist in 1943, corroborated the emergence of Gainesville,
Texas, with a population of 9,651 into a bustling community
because of the recent building of Camp Howze.

The camp, a

temporary base constructed northwest of Gainesville and
covering almost 60,000 acres in Cooke County, influenced
the economic and social structure of both the town and the
county throughout World War II.


With the rapid growth in population throughout the war
years, the people of Gainesville and Cooke County experienced
tremendous economic and social modifications in their life

While some problems represented concerns shared by

many Americans, other hardships occurred as a result of a
large military base located in the midst of a small, rural

As the war unfolded, various concerns of citizens

in Cooke County typified Americans in general, yet some
events were unique because of Camp Howze.

During the post-

war period, citizens realized most changes which occurred

because of World War II were temporary; few permanent
alterations survived.
Because of its geographical setting, Cooke County stood
as an agricultural area.

Its rolling prairies situated

between two great soil belts--red alluvial and black loam-and sustained by about thirty-five inches of rainfall annually nurtured a variety of crops.

Its location near tribu-

taries of the Trinity River further enhanced farm production.


In spite of favorable natural advantages, the county
experienced severe setbacks during the Depression of the

Although the stock market crash of October 29, 1929,

failed to affect county residents immediately, citizens
eventually felt the shock.

Over the next four years wages

fell sharply, retail sales declined, unemployment more than
doubled, the construction industry collapsed, farm prices
fell drastically, area banks reduced or recalled loans and
raised interest rates, and many businesses failed, including
one of the Gainesville banks.


As conditions worsened, people sought relief.


civic organizations, qnd the County Board of Welfare and
Employment aided Depression victims.

The greatest assis-

tance, however, came through the New Deal programs:


Public Works Administration, the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Agricultural


Adjustment Administration (AAA).

Of all the federal pro-

. grams the AAA proved to be the most important to local
economic recovery.

Established in 1934, its allotment

program, which controlled crop production and restored
commodity prices, paid over $250 million to county residents
in 1937 alone.


Paradoxically living standards actually improved during
the Depression years.

Because of the AAA farm income rose

Tenant farming declined as sharecroppers moved to

By 1945 almost half of the county farms had electri-

city through the Rural Electrification Administration, compared to about four percent in 1930.

Federal assistance had

proved beneficial to area residents during the Depression


Prior to the war Cooke County subsisted mainly as an
agricultural center supported by a number of small businesses.

The county's important agricultural industries

included dairy farming

and the production of oats, wheat,

peanuts, poultry, corn, and sorghum.

By 1940 the county

had 495,874 acres--or,eighty-five percent of the county-in farm land.

The oil business comprised another important

economic activity with many of the thirty-six wholesale
establishments in the county related to that enterprise.
Manufacturing establishments numbered seventeen and employed


a total of 121.

More than 200 retail establishments con-

ducted business in Gainesville alone, including fifty-nine
food-related stores, twenty-four restaurants, thirteen
apparel stores, ten furniture stores, forty-one service
stations, nine lumber stores, thirteen auto-related shops,
and six drugstores.

These merchants realized over

$4,890,000 in sales and employed 554 people.

To serve both

workers and their employers, there existed five banks and
one savings and loan association.

As evidenced by statis-

tics, the economy of Cooke County conformed to the patterns
and needs of a rural populace in 1940.


The United States had not yet fully recovered from the
Depression of the 1930s, and the living standards of people
in Cooke County and Gainesville reflected that fact.


1940 primary cooking fuels used by the people of the county
included wood, kerosene, natural gas, and gasoline.


4,756 residences in the county, 905 homes contained no
running water within fifty feet of the house, but fifty-one
percent of the homes benefited from electricity, although
only about twenty-two.percent of rural dwellings did.
third of all homes, however, needed major repairs.


In spite

of the lack of running water and electricity in many dwellings, seventy-five percent of all households possessed
ra d ios.


Residents of Gainesville enjoyed a higher standard of
living than did people throughout the county in general.
Of 2,809 homes in Gainesville, 2,302 had electricity and
962 had mechanical refrigeration, 2,039 used gas for cooking, 2,084 owned radios, 2,337 contained running water, and
1,762 possessed telephones.
major repairs.

Only 680 residences needed

Although Gainesville managed to surpass the

county, citizens could not possibly have prepared themselves
for the high expectations associated with the construction
of Camp Howze and the subsequent increase in inhabitants.


Before World War II the population of Gainesville
remained fairly stable.

The most dramatic increase occurred

between 1880 and 1890 when the number of city residents
soared from 2,667 to 6,594--a 147% growth.

After that the

pouplation rose slowly yet steadily to 9,651 in 1940.


the war progressed and as the population of the county
increased, however, that record underwent change.


Even before the United States entered World War II,
Congress passed a selective service act, effective
October 16, 1940.

This draft law required all males

between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-six to register
for military service.

By the end of 1940, 16,500,000 had

registered at one of the 5,500 local draft boards nationwide.

To be eligible to serve a man had to meet certain


minimum requirements:

be at least five feet tall; weigh

no less than 105 pounds; have correctable vision; have at
least half of his natural teeth; and not suffer from flat
f ee t , h ernias,
or a venerea 1 d'isease. 11

In spite of such liberal requirements, the military
rejected an average of fifty percent of all applicants

The Selective Service refused many potential

inductees because of bad teeth or poor vision.

Local draft

boards also disqualified many because of illiteracy, examiners declaring one adult in five as functionally illiterate.
In Cooke County, however, men averaged 8.3 years of education, although 281 over the age of twenty-five had never
attended school as of 1940.


Besides physical and educational reasons for military
exclusion, the Selective Service also rejected men with
certain jobs or family obligations.

For example, the Tydings

Amendment of 1942 authorized local draft boards to defer farm
workers and employees in vital defense industries, such as
munitions or shipbuilding.

To show the military's commit-

ment to the importance of family life, draft boards granted
deferments to men with dependents.

By the summer of 1943,

eight million men received deferments based on dependency.
Congress even went so far as to prohibit the drafting of a
father, however unimportant his job, before a man without
children, no matter how vital his work.



In spite of the government's concern for the importance
of agriculture, war industries, and family life, the prolonged fighting necessitated changes in selective service

By February, 1942 the government extended

the draft age to include men twenty to forty-four years of

By January, 1943 draft boards no longer granted

deferments to men with children in cases where the work was
not considered essential.

By 1945 the military no longer

kept eighteen-year-old soldiers on the home front since
they were needed overseas as replacements in infantry and
armor units.
Although some draft requirements changed, one, notification by mail, remained constant.

W. H. Campbell,

Chairman of the Cooke County Draft Board, reiterated this
policy when he learned of one young man's unfortunate
ignorance of the law.

At midnight the man received a

telephone call from a practical joker who told him he had
been reclassified and should report to the board at 5:00
A.M. the following morning.

Not knowing the law, but

wanting to obey it, the man reported--only to find the
office closed at that early hour.


Notwithstanding some pranks, Cooke County men responded
admirably to the nation's call for servicemen.

Even before

the United States officially entered the war, seventy-five


men from Gainesville organized Company B, 111th Medical
Regiment, Texas National Guard.

Then in December, 1941

the company trained as a defense unit at Camp Bowie in
Tarrant County.

By October, 1942, 1,000 men from Cooke

County had joined the army, navy, or marines.

At the end

of World War II, Cooke County's draft board had screened
almost 5,000 men, and more than 3,500 men and women had
served in the armed forces.

When the draft board closed
in 1947, the board had processed 6,165 men.
Of those who served, over 100 lost their lives.


first casualty from Cooke County, Ensign Robert Weinzapfel
of Muenster, died in the Pacific on December 9, 1941.


a naval pilot on the Lexington, he left Pearl Harbor on
December 5.

After the Japanese attack on December 7, the

fun-loving yet dedicated Weinzapfel questioned his ability
to take another man's life, although he never wavered in
loyalty to his country or in his sense of duty.

The day

after Weinzapfel expressed this concern, he left on a
routine mission, ran out of gas, and went down with his
plane, and was lost at sea--never having to face his
d i'l emma. 17
Unofficial news of Weinzapfel's death reached his
family a few days before Christmas.

While out looking at

Christmas lights, the family stopped at the post office,


and J.M. Weinzapfel, Robert's father, went in.
waving a letter, he came out.


Not looking closely at the

air mail letter, he thought it was from his son.


the letter came from his son's best friend and expressed
deep sympathy for the family's loss.

With that letter, the

family confirmed its worst fears and Mrs. Weinzapfel's
haunting premonition.

At the exact time of Weinzapfel's

death, his mother awoke from a dream in which she had seen
her oldest son's plane crash into the water.


official notification, slowed by the chaos in the Pacific,
did not reach the family for several more weeks, the Weinzapfels had a military funeral with full honors for their
son and changed the blue star on their service flag to a
gold star, representing the number of sons either in the
mi·1·itary or wh o

a·ie d.i n t h e



Even though the body was not recovered, the Weinzapfel
family received comfort that many other families did not.
Their son's best friend packed and returned many of his
belongings, including his cowboy boots, diary, and flight

Through his log Mr. and Mrs. - Weinzapfel later

contacted their son's radio man, who survived the crash.
Talking with the last person to see their son alive and
finding out more details about the tragedy comforted the
. f -stric
· . k en paren t s.



The bombing of Pearl Harbor compounded by the subse­
quent death of Robert Weinzapfel caused Cooke County resi­
dents to view the beginning of World War II not just as a
conflict far away but also as a fight closer to home.


in a few months this fight appeared even closer when word
reached citizens of the building of an army base within the

While the war affected most Americans in some way,

for the residents of Cooke County it took on a special form
and meaning as most demonstrated their patriotism by accept­
ing and even supporting the vast changes which would occur
over the war years.


Geoffrey Perrett, Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph:
The American People, 1939-1945 (New York: Coward, Mccann
& Geoghegan, Inc., 1973), p. 351.
Herafter cited as Perrett,
Days of Sadness.

rbid.; U.S. Department of Commerce, Sixteenth Census
of the7fruted States: 1940, Population, Volume I (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1942), p. 420.
Hereafter cited as 1940 Population; Camp Howze Howitzer,
August 20, 1943, p. 6.

A. Morton Smith, The First 100 Years in Cooke County
(San Antonio, Texas: The Naylor Company, 1955), p. 216.
Hereafter cited as Smith, Cooke County.

Michael Collins, Cooke County, Texas: Where the South
and the West Meet (Gainesville, Texas: Cooke County Heritage Society and Texas Committee for the Humanities, 1981),
p. 57. Hereafter cited as Cooke County, Texas; Smith, Cooke
County, p. 200.
5 collins, Cooke County, Texas, p. 57; Smith, Cooke
County, pp. 197-199.
6 collins, Cooke County, Texas, pp. 57-58.
7 smith, Cooke County, p. 214; The University of Texas,
Bureau of Business Research, College of Business Administration, An Economic Survey of Cooke County (1949), pp. 4.0101,
4.0102, 4.06, 4.0801, 4.1301, 4.1302, 4.8002. Hereafter
cited as Economic Survey of Cooke County.

. ·S urvey o f Coo k e Coun t y, p. 4 . 1706 .


rbid., pp. 4.1201, 4.1706.


U.S. Department of Commerce, Census of Population,
1950 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1952),
p.°"43-11. Hereafter cited as 1950 Population.

Perrett, Days of Sadness, pp. 39, 40, 330.


Ib~d., pp. 137, 330; Economic Survey of Cooke County,
p. 3.0102.

Alan Clive, State of War: Michigan in World War II
(Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1979), p. 44.
Hereafter cited as Clive, State of War; Richard Polenberg,
War and Society: The United States, 1941-1945 (Philadelphia:
J.B. Lippincott Company, 1972, pp. 21, 145. Hereafter
cited as Polenberg, War and Society.
14 G '
a1nesv1. 11 e Dai' l y Register,
January 5 , 1942 , p. 1 ;
Polenberg, War and Society, p. 21; Camp Howze Howitzer,
January 5, 1945, p. 1.

· 11 e Dai. 1 y Register,
January 2 , 19 4 2 , sec. 1 ,

p. 6.

Gainesville Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
p. l; Smith, Cooke County, pp. 217-218.

'11 e Dai' l y Regis
. t er, J une 27 , 1946 , p. 5 ;
Interview with Juanita Weinzapfel Bright, Muenster, Texas,
January 27, 1984.
18 Interview
. h Brig
. h t.




In the fall of 1940 Manager Clifford McMahon of the
Gainesville Chamber of Commerce wrote the War Department
and suggested the county as a possible site for a military
facility of some kind.

That same autumn Colonel J. A.

Finch of the Eighth Service Command visited Gainesville and
promised to consider the town as a possible location for an
army installation.

In January, 1941 the United States

Quartermaster Corps at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio sent
a questionnaire to Gainesville city officials concerning
its interest in an army camp ..

The following month many of

Gainesville's businessmen responded by endorsing the idea
of such an installation, even though area farmers had
voiced disapproval of the project.

In spite of the farmers'

opposition, on December 18, just eleven days after the
attack on Pearl Harbor, the War Department designated
Gainesville as one of five sites being considered for a
new army facility.

The camp, therefore, became one of

approximately one hundred army bases soon to be constructed
throughout the United States to train over 1,250,000
recruits and draftees added to its ranks since May, 1940.


After the December announcement, the army began preliminary planning.

In January, 1942 the army awarded the

$30,000,000 project to the Dallas construction firm of
Rollins and Forrest.

After army engineers finished their

survey, Rollins and Forrest began its initial work in

The following month Congressman Ed Gossett who

represented the Gainesville area telegraphed the Gainesville
Daily Register with the news that the county had been
selected as the site of an army base.

By April the contract-

ing firm had begun building a railroad spur from Gainesville
to the camp site, approximately three miles northwest of
t h e city.
Throughout the first phase of the project, the camp had
no designated name.

Although Gainesville citizens submitted

various suggestions, the War Department chose none of them.
Included on the list were the names of Robert Weinzapfel,
the county's first war casualty, and several others who had
also lost their lives in the conflict.

In a survey done by

the Gainesville Daily Register, the most popular choice was
to honor the late United States Senator Joseph
from Gainesville.



In spite of local opinion, however, War

Department officials informed town leaders that the army
usually selected the name of a distinguished officer or
enlisted man.

For that reason, the site under construction

was designated as Camp Howze for twice cited Congressional
Medal of Honor recipient Major General Robert E. Lee Howze,
a native of Rusk County, Texas who had served in World War
I, in Mexico under General John J. Pershing, the Sioux
campaigns, and in the Philippine Insurrection.


Meantime, the army was busy acquiring land for the camp.
The area surveyed encompassed 59,194.16 acres plus six easement tracts of 25.04 acres--totaling 59,219.2 acres.


late spring, 1942 the government informed the first fifteen
property owners that they needed to vacate their land.
Before long about three hundred farm families would lose
their land to Camp Howze construction.


In order to obtain the needed land with the fewest
problems, the Department of Agriculture established a Land
Use Planning Committee in Cooke County, consisting of
twenty-one men and eleven women.

While most people from

the area supported government policies throughout the war,
those who had to give up property for the camp appeared the
most distraught.

Even though they could support the govern-

ment in other wartime measures, they had a difficult time
accepting the right of the government to seize private
property for public use by virtue of eminent domain.


displaced families eventually bought other farms in the


Some moved to other areas while others simply


Still others moved into Gainesville.


One family forced to give up land to make way for Camp
Howze was that of Paul Yarbrough.

Since his family lived at

Era and did not have a home on the property, they did not
harbor the bitterness that some did, even though they felt
the price they received for the land was below the current

mar k et price.


On the other hand, some families, such as the Henry
Fuhrmans, did not feel as fortunate.

Relieved at first

that their farm was not taken for the army camp, the Fuhrmans suffered even more acutely when they learned that
their land would be needed for a proposed air base adjacent
to Camp Howze.

Although upset, the Fuhrmans believed that

they had no choice but to sign over their 121.3 acres to the

Before they lost their land in July, 1942,

they managed to sell their house, barn, and a double garage
but kept the chicken coop, about one hundred chickens, and
four cows.

To increase their frustration, the Fuhrmans lost

their peach crop to thieves.

Still worse, the government

took their land before they could harvest their corn and
cotton crops.

As some measure of compensation for their

loss, the family went back later and harvested what corn and
cotton they could haul away from their former land.


Having lost both valuable, productive land and a wellbuilt house, the Fuhrmans faced the challenge of finding a
new home.

After relinquishing their holdings, they lived

in Lindsay with Mrs. Fuhrman's mother for five months while
they looked for a new home.

The search took them throughout

Cooke and several other counties.
John Yosten farm in Muenster.

Finally they bought the

Although they improved the

new farm and lived there until 1964, the Fuhrmans felt
bitter about the loss and betrayed by their own government.
Having worked hard to buy the land, build on it, and improve
it, the Fuhrmans resented the methods employed to deprive
them of the products of years of hard work.

No amount of

money nor feeling of patriotism could remove the bitterness-a typical response of others caught in similar circumstances.8
Even after the camp was built, farmers remained hostile.
For example, a lone displaced farmer caused a group of
infantry to abandon training.

One day the disgruntled man

appeared brandishing a double-barrel shotgun and ordered
the soldiers off "his" property.

Regardless of the maps,

he said the land belonged to him and no soldier would "dig
it up."

Since the angry farmer seemed ready to carry out

his threat, the captain in command ordered his men to


In spite of such antagonism, other groups, especially
businessmen, welcomed the camp and the prosperity it

The camp provided many jobs for local citizens.

New businesses opened to meet the demands of the increased

And established businesses increased both

personnel and profits.
The first economic boost to the county came with
construction of the camp.

By June, 1942 about two thousand

people were employed there--500 carpenters, 1,094 common
laborers, and 261 Rollins and Forrest personnel.

Within a

matter of weeks, twenty-five hundred more joined the payroll.
Throughout that hot summer plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and painters labored long hours to prepare for the
incoming troops.

By August 17, most of the barracks, mess

halls, and office buildings had been completed for the
arrival of camp commander Colonel John P. Wheeler.


Once major construction ended, other jobs became
available at Camp Howze.

One of the largest employers of

civilians was the camp laundry, which opened in the spring
of 1943.

Beginning as a limited operation with three hun-

dred civilian employees--mostly women--the laundry by 1944
would become one of the largest in the United States, the
payroll for that year alone being $329,266.13.


In addition to the laundry business, civilians assumed
a variety of other jobs at the camp.

Some became office

Other worked at the camp post office.


others, such as Norma Jane Estes, a high school student
employed by the telephone company, worked weekends on the
switchboard to relieve camp personnel.

By the end of 1944,

Camp Howze employed 1,430 civilians, five percent of the
total civilian population of Cooke County, and had a monthly
payroll of $286.731.88.
One of the busiest civilians at Camp Howze became Jo
Gilbert, a teacher turned photographer.

Hired with her

sister, Mary Block, the two ran the camp's studio throughout the war.

As the camp photographer, Miss Gilbert had

to make all the identification photos for both army and
civilian personnel, division corps pictures, portraits of
individual soldiers; and--if time permitted--civilian
photographs. · To help with the studio, the sisters hired
· wives of soldiers and teacher friends for after school
hours, and they also received help from relatives on weekends.

In order to process pictures before the soldiers

were shipped overseas, the sisters worked until late in the

On one of the busiest days, Miss Gilbert had eighty-

four sittings.

In spite of the exhausting schedule and the

volume of work, Miss Gilbert remembered only one soldier


who was dissatisfied because his pictures had been misplaced and could not be redone before he was transferred

Because of the tremendous amount of work and

the fair treatment of the men throughout the camp years,
Miss Gilbert received a letter from the Camp Howze commander who promised to highly recommend her work if she wanted
to open another studio after the war. 13
The camp also spurred business activity in Gainesville.
In order to serve camp personnel, many service-related
businesses either started or expanded operations during the

One of the first new businesses was a bus line which

was authorized by the Gainesville City Council on the same
day Camp Howze construction began, March 23, 1942.


man R. D. Clack and well-known former Texas Ranger Tom R.
Hickman received permission to operate the service from
Camp Howze to Gainesville and within the city at a cost of
five cents per person.

Within the next few months, however,

the city council and county commissioners court transferred
the line to businessmen Merle Gruver and R. W. McKissick.
By 1943 two competing lines, Dixie Motor Coach Corporation
and Gainesville Bus Lines, served the camp.

At the end of

the year one million passengers had ridden the buses, a much
needed service, especially because of rationing.
· the syst~m because they had no _tires for their own

Many used

automobiles and because many merchants had discontinued
delivery service.

Trying to meet the needs of both the

camp and the city, the bus lines periodically rescheduled
t imes
an d routes d uring
the war. 14
Other transportation-related businesses likewise
flourished during the war.

Although Gainesville had two

railroads--the Santa Fe on a north-south route and the
Missouri, Kansas, Texas ("Katy") on an east-west line-business increased tremendously during the war.


example, in 1944 Gainesville ranked eighth in ticket sales
among all cities served by the Santa Fe system.

In fact,

the trains and buses carried so many passengers that many
often had to stand in the aisles all the way to Fort Worth
or Dallas. 15
Still, other forms of transportation prospered during
the war.

Soldiers, desperate for rides to the recreation

offered in larger urban areas, would pay up to $5 each to be
loaded in the back of a truck and taken to Dallas or Fort

For those less adventuresome, the city offered a

taxi service.

After the war began, the city council, to

protect cab operators, limited to ten the number of
vehicles each company could operate without a special permit.

Of course, the most widely used means of transporta-

tion, in spite of war-time controls, remained the automobile.

To solve the parking problem created by the increased population, city officials ordered the purchase of three hundred
parking meters in 1942.

Despite the various means of trans-

portation available, many soldiers resorted to hitchhiking.
For instance, Thelma Atkins, a Gainesville resident, often
picked up four or five soldiers on her way to Oklahoma; and
Miss Gilbert, often going to Eastman in Dallas for photographic supplies, offered rides to Camp Howze trainees.
Either to make a profit or just to help military personnel,
or both, businessmen and citizens did what they could to
shuttle soldiers to and from Camp Howze. 16
Nontransportation-related businesses thrived as well.
To acquaint businessmen with military procedures, requirements, and adjustments, the city conducted a two-day merchants clinic in March, 1942.

Because of the camp,

merchants had to increase personnel during the busiest
times of the day.

Some businesses, such as Austin's Drug

Store, even opened a second store.

Many small family-

operated grocery stores as well as large chain markets
enjoyed more business than ever before.

Some of those

markets included Safeway, Helpy-Selfy, Trasher's Grocery
and Market, Temple Food Market, and Tyler and Simpson
Company, a wholesale supplier.

The larger department

stores, such as Penneys, Teague Company, and Montgomery


Ward, tried to meet the growing demands of a growing population.

Area merchants had little difficulty selling mer-

chandise in stock, even managing to sell articles that had
been on the shelves for years. 17
The restaurants also flourished, most of them small
family-operated businesses, such as Hocker's Eat-Well Cafe
managed by J. R. Hocker and Chat and Chew owned by Royce
Dean ("Pud") Albert.

Since many proprietors promoted high

health standards and cooperated with army officials, most
owners and patrons had only one major complaint--the crowds.
The owners could not easily expand because of the shortage
of building materials and the rationing of food items.


and their customers generally tried to deal with the problem-the owner by serving people as quickly as possible and the
customer by waiting patiently.

According to Mr. Hocker,

most soldiers remained polite in spite of crowds everywhere.
Local movie houses likewise experienced longer lines
at the box office.

Although Camp Howze had several theaters,

many soldiers chose to venture into Gainesville to escape,
even if only for a few hours.

Most popular for servicemen

were the State Theater, the Plaza, the Ritz, and the Texan.
Experiencing growing crowds, theater operators, therefore,
advertised little in the local newspaper. 19


For that matter, few businesses needed to advertise in
the Gainesville Daily Register.

To make up the loss in

revenue, the newspaper personnel had to be more imaginative
and creative than ever before.

Elizabeth Graham, an employee,

promoted the idea of a full page advertisement with names of
businesses listed at the end.

For example, one announcement

promoted the sale of war bonds, another encouraged salvage
drives, still another supported rationing.

In this way the

paper gained badly needed revenue, and businesses advertised
. ,
t h eir
support f or patriotic
causes. 20

Although the Register worked diligently to sell advertisements, there was no need to promote circulation.


townspeople subscribed to the paper to keep abreast of the
war news and rationing changes, and servicemen subscribed
to hear the news from the area.

To appeal to servicemen

and their families and to learn camp news of concern to the
community, the Gainesville newspaper assigned a full-time
staff member to Camp Howze.

Of still further assistance,

the Register also printed the Camp Howze Howitzer, a fourpage weekly newspaper.


The presence of Camp Howze meant an economic windfall
for Cooke County.

Business activity rose to an all-time

Gainesville's retail sales rose from $4,100,000 in

1939 to $7,677,000 in 1944.

In spite of restrictions and

a shortage of building materials, building permits increased
from $127,853 in 1942 to $569,732 in 1946.

In addition to

home renovations, some major construction projects included
the Cooke County Fair Grounds, school improvements, a new
sanctuary for the First Baptist Church, an addition to the
Whaley Methodist Church, and numerous new store fronts.


The post office also showed a marked increase in activity.

Postal receipts soared from $66,611.77 in 1942 to an

all-time high of $192,979.34 in 1944 because of increased
population in Gainesville and the addition of Camp Howze as
well as the decrease in travel due to gasoline rationing.
As a comparison, Sherman and Denison, nearby towns with
larger populations, had less postal receipts combined than
Gainesville in 1943.

Postal receipts in Gainesville dropped

from 1944 to 1945 with the opening of a new post office at
. post o 23
Camp Howze to re 1 ieve
at t h e main

Bank deposits also evidenced economic growth during
the war years.

Deposits in Gainesville swelled from

$3,761,779.87 in 1942, before the completion of Camp Howze,
to a high of $11,425,645.00 in 1945.

They gained an average

of forty-one percent in 1944, compared to an average gain of
thirty-seven percent for twenty-eight banks in Grayson, Hunt,
Lamar, Denton, Collin, Fannin, and Cooke Counties.

Even the

small town of Muenster documented a one hundred percent gain

in deposits in 1944, netting over one million

dollars for

. its
h'istory. 24
. t t·ime in
th e f irs
Camp Howze not only created jobs on the base and for
nearby businesses, but the facility also indirectly provided
employers with a much-needed, though unlikely, source of

Since so many young men had left to serve in the

military, employers faced the almost impossible task of
finding replacements, even if the job required no special

The Depression trend reversed itself as the war

created a surplus of jobs and a scarcity of men.

To alle-

viate the shortage of labor, some businesses, such as the
Gainesville Daily Register, hired women who often learned
their duties simply by training themselves.
tors employed high school students.
neither source met the demand.

Other proprie-

Although helpful,

Once again, however, Camp

Howze furnished another boost to the county economy-prisoners of war.


By 1944 about fifty-six temporary camps sheltered almost
200,000 German, Italian, and Japanese prisoners throughout
the United States.

All army camps in Texas, except Fort

McIntosh at Laredo, housed prisoners of war.

Camp Howze

received German prisoners, numbering 2,976 at its height.
One reason for the diffusion of POWs was as a labor supply.
Jobs vit~l to the war effort, including farming, received


In the South, POWs picked cotton and fruits, cut

sugar cane, harvested peanuts, rice, and tobacco, and worked
at army bases.

Those assigned to civilians even received

about eighty cents a day, most of which was paid in coupons
to be redeemed at army posts.

The remainder--$22 million

by 1944--the army deposited in the United States treasury. 26
For Cooke County farmers the POW labor came at a most
opportune time.

Prior to their use, farmers relied upon

women and children.

According to Juanita Weinzapfel Bright,

a student at the time, many of them took the time off from
school as more of a holiday than as a job.

She remembered

eating a big breakfast, working awhile, stopping to eat a
lavish lunch, and then picking more cotton.

Because the

farmers needed help desperately during harvest time, they
took whatever help they could get--however unreliable.
Fortunately, prisoners of war gave farmers a dependable yet

source o f 1 a b or.
Although army personnel guarded the POWs, most seemed
as content as possible under the circumstances, especially
with the German communities of Lindsay and Muenster nearby.
Bertha Pick, a farmer's wife, recollected baking bread or
other pastries for the prisoners even though they brought
their own lunch.

While they ate, her German-born husband

enjoyed talking to them.

Norma Jane Estes, a student,



remembered another act of kindness which the Germans misinterpreted.

As a treat, the community served corn-on-the-cob

to the POWs, who in turn claimed that it was food fit "only
for swine."

After trying it, however, some admitted that

it was a different, even better variety than they were
accus t ome d t o h arvesting.
Not only did civilians treat the prisoners courteously
but some POWs returned the kindness.

For example, one who

was befriended by a man from Ardmore, Oklahoma, expressed
his appreciation by working at nights by candlelight to
make a doll house from matches for the man's young daughter.
As a gesture of good will, the last German POWs to leave
Camp Howze, after spending only a portion of their allowance
for cigarettes, candy, and assorted personal items, contributed the balance of $7,142 to the Gainesville Red Cross.


Another incident revealed at least one German's sense
of humor and knowledge--even if limited--of some American

All German prisoners wore clothing with the letters

PW imprinted on them.
lettering to read PWA.

One, however, decided to change his
Even for non-Americans, the impact

of federal programs from the Depression
era 1·ingere d . 30

While most prisoners of war at Camp Howze seemed content, some tried to escape.

Whether the plan was to escape

and return to Germany or to remain in the United States was


not clear, however.

Teacher and landlady Thelma Atkins

remembered the experience of one boarder who spoke German
and, therefore, received assignment as a guard to some of
the prisoners of war.

Not knowing he spoke German, several

prisoners plotted to escape.

Hearing the plan while pre-

tending to rest, the guard slowly picked up his gun without
letting anyone know he heard the conversation, quickly
foiling the escape attempt.

Another incident, published

in the Register, told of thirteen POWs who escaped from the
camp but who were later recaptured.


In spite of some incidents of unrest by POWs and bitterness of farmers who lost their land to Camp Howze, the military base represented a tremendous economic boost to Cooke

The camp provided jobs for many, led to business

expansion in surrounding towns, and became a source for
cheap labor.

Because of Camp Howze, the people of Cooke

County thus experienced prosperity as never before in their

To them during World War II the words Camp Howze

and prosperity became synonymous.


camp Howze Howitzer, August 20, 1943, p. 6; A Camera
Trip Through Camp Howze: Picture Book of the Camp and Its
Activities, p. 1.
Hereafter cited as Camera Trip Through
Camp Howze; Perrett, Days of Sadness, p. 194.

Gainesville Weekly Register, January 8, 1942, p. l;
October 14, 1942, p. 6; Camp Howze Howitzer, August 20,
1943, p. 6.

Gainesville Daily Register, April 16, 1942, p. l;
April 27, 1942, p. 6; May 6, 1942, p. l; Interview with
Bright; Camera Trip Through Camp Howze, p. l; Who Was Who
in American History--The Military (Chicago: Marquis, 1975),
p. 272; Camp Howze Howitzer, August 20, 1943, p. 6.

Mariann E. Alexander to Barbara K. Burns, December 23,
1983, in possession of author; Camp Howze Howitzer, August 20,
1943, p. 6; Smith, Cooke County, p. 216.

Gainesville Weekly Register, January 1, 1942, p. 4;
Smith, Cooke County, p. 216.

Interview with Paul and Frances Yarbrough, Gainesville,
Texas, January 25, 1984.

rnterview with Elsie Fuhrman, Muenster, Texas,
January 27, 1984; Cooke County, Texas, County Clerk's Office,
Cooke County Deeds, Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville,
Texas, vol. 267, p. 604.

rnterview with Fuhrman; Cooke County Deeds, vol. 267,
p. 604; Cooke County Deeds, vol. 315, p. 592.

Camp Howze Howitzer, August 27, 1942, p. 2.

lOGainesville Daily Register, June 3, 1942, p. l;
June 11, 1942, p. l; Collins, Cooke County, Texas, p. 59;
Interview with Norma Jane Estes, Gainesville, Texas,
January 25, 1984.
11 Gainesville Daily Register, April 3, 1943, p. 2;
July 25, 1945, p. 2.

12 I t
. h Jo Gilbert,
Gainesville, Texas,
n erview
February 1, 1984; Interview with Estes; Gainesville Daily
Register, July 25, 1945, p. 2.
13 I t
. h Gibert;
n erview
Weekly Register,
March 28, 1946, p. 8.

smith, Cooke County, p. 209; Gainesville Weekly Register, July 23, 1942, p. 8; Cooke County, Texas, County
Clerk's Office, Commissioner's Court Minutes, Cooke County
Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas, vol. 13, pp. 43, 70;
Gainesville Daily Register, January 19, 1944, p. 2;
November 20, 1944, p. 6; December 22, 1944, p. l; Camp
Howze Howitzer, December 22, 1944, p. l; Interview with
Elizabeth Graham, Gainesville, Texas, February 17, 1984.

Interview with Julian Smith·, Gainesville, Texas,
January 11, 1984; Interview with Estes; Gainesville Daily
Register, January 1, 1946, pp. 1, 3; Interview with Marie
Cannon, Gainesville, Texas, February 8, 1984.

Interview with Yarbroughs; Interview with Estes;
Gainesville Daily Register, August 13, 1942, p. 3;
October 14, 1942, sec. 3, p. l; Interview with Bright;
Interview with Thelma Atkins, Gainesville, Texas,
February 1, 1984; Interview with Gilbert.
17 Gainesville Daily Register, February 27, 1942, pp. 3,
6; March 6, 1942, p. 3; March 10, 1942, p. 6; March 27,
1942, pp. 5, 6; April 9, 1942, p. 8; Gainesville Weekly
Register, November 26, 1942, p. 5; Interview with Atkins;
Interview with Graham.
18 Interview with J. R. Hocker, Gainesville, Texas,
February 8, 1984; Gainesville Daily Register, January 21,
1944, p. 4; October 1, 1945, p. 3.
19 Gainesvi
· 11 e Dai· 1 y .Regis
. t er, F e b ruary 10 , 1945 , p. 6 ;
Interview w~th Graham.
2 0 Interview
. lle Dai'ly Regis
. t er,
wi· th Gra h am; Gainesvi
July 4, 1945, pp. 5, 6.
21 Gainesville Daily Register, November 25, 1944, p. 2;
Camp Howze Howitzer, August 20, 1943, p. l; Interview with


Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1944, p. 2;
January 2, 1945, p. 6; June 11, 1945, p. 2; January 2, 1946,
p. 3; April 1, 1946, p. 2; December 28, 1946, p. 2; Gainesville Weekly Register, January 6, 1944, p. 2 ;. January 9,
1947, p. 1.

Gainesville Weekly Register, January 9, 1947, p. i;
Gainesville Daily Register, January 4, 1943, p. 2;
January S, 1944, p. 3; January 8, 1944, p. 2; January 3,
1945, p. 4; January 29, 1945, p. 3; January 1, 1946, p. 4.
24 G .
a1.nesv1.'11 e Dai'l y Register,
January 12 , 1945 , p. 3 ;
January 25, 1945, p. 2; July 9, 1945, p. 6; July 10, 1946,
p. 8; Gainesville Weekly Register, January 9, 1947, p. 1.

Interview with Graham; Intirview with Bright.


Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, 1945-1946
(Dallas: A.H. Belo Corporation, 1945), p. 78. Hereafter
cited as Texas Almanac 1945-1946; Camp Howze Howitzer,
January 14, 1944, p. 2; B. C. Mossman to Barbara K. Burns,
September 13, 1983, in possession of author; Edwin R. Coffee
to Barbara K. Burns, October 21, 1983, in possession of
author; Captain Eugene N. DuBerry, Camp Howze, Texas to
Morrison Milling Company, Denton, Texas, July 28, 1945,
North Texas State University Archives, Denton, Texas;
Gainesville Daily Register, October 19, 1945, p. 5; Denton
Record-Chronicle, October 12, 1983, p. 2D.
27 Interview with Bright.
28 Interview
· h At k'ins; Interview
. h Bert h a Pie
. k,
Muenster, Texas, January 27, 1984; Interview with Estes.

Interview with Graham; Gainesville Daily Register,
March 29, 1946, p. 4.
3 o · . '11
. t er, Novem b er 15 , 1944 , p . .
Ga1.nesv1. e Dai· 1 y Regis

Interview with Atkins; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 1; 1945, p. 3.



The economic growth of Cooke County centered around a
phenomenal increase in population.

Not only did Camp Howze

increase the county's population by at least 35,000 men,
but it also added a large number of service wives and

Women flocked to the area to be with their

husbands for as long as possible before their divisions
departed for Europe.


During the camp's brief history, three major units
trained in Cooke County.

By August 20, 1942, the first

officers for the 84th "Railsplitters" Infantry Division
had arrived.

Four months later the 86th "Black Hawk"

Division had also been activiated.

In preparation for over-

seas duty, the men learned marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, and survival procedures.

As further instruction,

engineers built pontoon bridges, infantrymen performed
tactical maneuvers, artillerymen learned gunnery skills,
armor units received training in tank deployment, and
reconnaissance aircraft pilots flew mock missions.


long after both divisions disembarked in 1943, they were
replaced by the 103rd "Cactus" Division. 2


Since the camp accommodated such a large number of
servicemen with families, the city of Gainesville doubled
its population by October, 1942.

Having few public facil-

ities, Gainesville and surrounding communities attempted to
find adequate housing for this overflowing population.


find dwellings servicemen and their families appealed to
local residents.


To locate housing, to supervise fair prices, and to
curb the possibility of slums as well as to insure health,
local and federal officials worked together.

As a prelimi-

nary measure in preparing for the expected 15,000 construction workers to build Camp Howze, the Gainesville Chamber
of Commerce planned a house-to-house canvass to determine
the number of vacant houses, furnished and unfurnished
apartments, and rooms for rent.

In other action, the city

council passed an ordinance regulating trailer parks and
soon required people to obtain permits to move, remodel, or
rebuild structures.

Not only to prevent slums but also to

insure proper health measures, the county came under the
jurisdiction of a sanitation district.

Anyone with a tent

or trailer had to have showers with proper water disposal
and pit-type toilets which were subject to inspection by
the Cooke County Health Unit

headed by Dr. H. H. Terry.

The guidelines required Camp Howze to have its drinking


water analyzed, to keep garbage in metal containers, and to
operate a satisfactory sewage disposal unit.

In these ways

city and county officials attempted to meet housing demands
and health requirements for a rapidly increasing population.


Federal authorities also enforced measures which aided
the county in its search for adequate housing.


one of fifty-seven rural defense areas in Texas, Cooke
County came under the jurisdiction of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

As one of its first actions, the

OEM froze rent rates at the March 1, 1942, level.


few local residents had listed dwelling units, Lt. Thomas
A. Arnold, billeting officer at Camp Howze, appealed to
citizens to rent apartments, houses, and rooms to camp

By fall, 1942 the Office of Price Administra-

tion (OPA) imposed rent controls in Gainesville and Cooke

County, requiring landlords of dwelling units, such as
houses and apartments, but not hotels or rooming houses,
to register with area OPA Rent Director Ray Winder.


early as that November, 2,611 residences and 110 hotels and
rooming houses had complied with registration requests.


March, 1945, 6,500 local rental units had registered.
Unlike many areas where landlords refused to place property
on the market in order to avoid OPA rules, Cooke County
residents responded patriotically to the appeals of servicemen.


To satisfy the desperate need for housing, some servicemen lived in whatever became available--from apartments and
rooms to makeshift dwellings.

Some local residents managed

to find building materials to convert an upstairs into an

For example, Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Estes converted

an attic into a five room apartment and rented it to officers
from Camp Howze for $100 a month.

Others rented extra

bedrooms, sharing their kitchens and bathrooms with the

School teacher Thelma Atkins rented two bedrooms--

one an extra bedroom, the other a converted dining area-for $10 a week, including room and board.

Marie Cannon's

family had converted two of their six rooms into an apartment for friends who had married before the war.

Since the

rooms were no longer used, they rented them to Camp Howze
soldiers for $12.50 a week.

Others, mainly families with

husbands in war-related jobs and wives at home with children,
built two-room dwellings throughout southeast, northeast,
and northwest Gainesville.

Although most of these residences

contained no water, gas, or electricity, they nevertheless
provided shelter for families who could not afford the high

Still others lived in mobile homes or trailers.

Because the need for housing exceeded the supply, some even
lived in remodeled sheds, and the story was told of one man
who even fixed up a chicken coop _for habitation.



such as Thelma Atkins, set up beds and cots outside, hanging
blankets, quilts, or sheets on clotheslines around them to
afford some privacy for those who had no place else to
stay. 6
Travelers Aid, a division of the USO, helped to locate
lodging for wives of servicemen, especially those with

Even when a critical housing shortage no longer

existed in 1945, the wives and children of servicemen had
a difficult time finding someone willing to rent to them.
But appealing to Travelers Aid, they could locate either
temporary or permanent lodging.

For those wives who came

for short visits or for holidays and needed a place for
just a few days, Travelers Aid, through its list of available housing, could offer assistance.


If servicemen failed to locate housing in Gainesville,
they searched elsewhere.

Many lived in nearby towns, such

as Muenster, Lindsay, Era, and Woodbine.

Others commuted

from Denton, about thirty miles south, and some commuted
from as far north as Marietta and Ardmore, Oklahoma.


and Frances Yarbrough, who farmed at Era, rented a room to
a lieutenant and his wife for $2 a day including meals.
Another family, the J.M. Weinzapfels of Muenster, became
landlords quite by accident.

Their teenage daughter

Juanita met a young soldier's wife with a baby.

The wife


asked the young girl if she knew of amy rooms available in

Without thinking, the teenager said no and proceeded


Still thinking about the request, however, and

fascinated with the woman, who reminded her of Audrey Hepburn, she began telling her mother about the incident.
Shortly thereafter, she saw the young mother on the street
and told her to speak to Mrs. Weinzapfel.

Since the entire

Weinzapfel family also became charmed by the young woman,
they converted two of five upstairs bedrooms into a small
apartment, consisting of a bedroom and kitchen.

Soon others

who also were having difficulty finding rooms begged the
Weinzapfels to rent out rooms.

Without hearing complaints

about the crowded space and shared kitchen and bathroom,
the Weinzapfels occasionally rented the two rooms to two
couples, each with a baby.


Because a critical housing shortage existed in spite
of support from Cooke and surrounding counties, the federal
government approved building projects for both Camp Howze
and Gainesville.

The United States Army constructed thirty-

five family units and twenty single dormitory units on post.
The National Housing Administration (NHA), created in 1942,
provided funds to construct decent housing nationwide for
congested production and defense areas.

In all, the NHA

supervised construction of over two million dwelling units.

Through this agency Gainesville built fifty new houses and
fifty-six private conversion projects, with the stipulation
that the housing be rented to Camp Howze military personnel
who had moved to Gainesville since February, 1943.

W. E.

Woods, a local contractor, constructed the first government
funded housing project on North Clements Street.

Known as

the Ernwood Addition, it became Gainesville's first subdivision in 1945, the same year that the second government
housing project, not awarded as a unit, began.

The five-to

six-room houses on Clements Street cost a maximum of $6500
and rented for $55.

In 1946 the NHA approved an additional

535 housing units to accommodate 1700 people.


In spite of federal and local efforts, those still
searching for housing placed their appeals in the local

Many simply requested a room.

Some, either

with more money to spare or through desperation, placed
advertisements offering $5, $10, $25, $35, even $50 rewards.
One apartment hunter could only offer a pair of nylon hose
as a bonus.

Others relied on emotional appeal.

For example,

one listing, placed by the men under an army lieutenant,
praised their platoon leader for twenty-six lines--at the
rate of four cents per word--in the hopes of finding a home
for him, his wife, and baby.
Still another request read:

I know it's hopeless,
But thought I'd try
To find a small house or apartment
For my wife and I.
For 31 months I have been overseas
And am a permanent cadreman.
so.won't rou please
Write Register, Box K2.
Even though most citizens opened their homes to renters and
( the government approved additional housing, people crowded
the foyer of the Register daily in their search for a place
to 1 ive.

Most servicemen fortunate enough to locate a place
off post to be with their families made the best of the
often cramped and less than comfortable quarters.


lords, wanting to be patriotic, also tried to make life as
pleasant as possible under the circumstances.

Since many

families shared kitchen and bathroom privileges with their
boarders, each person had to be willing to adjust to the
others' routines and to the limitations caused by the war.
Renters customarily gave their ration coupons to the landlady since she usually bought the groceries and cooked the

They even willingly slept on the floor to share

their one-room with guests of the landlord when necessary.
Many landlords helped servicemen by entertaining their army
friends with homemade ice cream, fish fries, and other homecooked meals.

Others, like Thelma Atkins, sometimes loaned

the family car to a boarder so he and his wife could drive

to Sherman or another nearby town for an evening by themselves.

One local resident went so far as to write to the

Gainesville Daily Register complaining about a neighbor's
roosters that crowed at four o'clock each morning and
requesting that something be done because it was not
patriotic to awaken the two soldiers who lived with her;
after all, they needed their sleep before reporting to duty.
Another unique experience occurr~d at Mrs. Atkins' home.
One of her renters, a sleepwalker, tied a cup to his ankles
at night in an attempt to wake himself up, but he could
still be heard at nights wandering through the house.


morning he awoke to find himself in the second rented room
which belonged to a major and his wife.

Luckily for the

private, the other boarders had spent the night elsewhere. 13
While most landlords and tenants attempted to minimize
the hardships, a few renter-boarder relationships appeared

One serviceman habitually mailed his rent so he

would not have to see his landlord.

Given human nature,

all people could not possibly like each other, especially
considering the crowded conditions and the often inadequate

No doubt, in some instances the soldiers were to

blame, in other cases, the landlord.


When problems arose between boarders and owners, the
Office of Price Administration followed certain guidelines


to hear complaints and insure fairness to concerned parties.
Other than personality conflicts, the major area of disagreement involved rental rates.

According to guidelines,

landlords could not charge prices above those of March 1,

But landlords often considered the allowable rent

rate unfair, weighing the cost of remodeling.

Even though

against OPA regulations, some charged extra for such services
as providing linens and disposing of the garbage.

A number

of soldiers even cooperated with the landlords by paying
more while saying nothing--making an added hardship for a
private who could not afford the increased cost for housing.
In spite of numerous petitions to OPA requesting an end to
rent control in the area, ceilings remained in effect
throughout the war years.


To insure that the ceilings remained in force, the OPA
investigated rental properties in Gainesville and Cooke
County and advised military personnel to check the price
. guidelines before signing a lease.

In 1943 OPA checked

1300 homes, apartments, and rooms in Gainesville, resulting
in numerous violations.

The following year twenty-one OPA

officials investigated rental properties as well as stores
for possible violations.

In about one hundred cases, renters

received refunds ranging from $1.50 to $145.

In 1945 Camp

Howze established an Office of Price Control to handle cases


of excessive rent.

While OPA officials had no intentions

of making hardships for those landlords who violated minor
technicalities, they did target those wartime profiteers
who knowingly and flagrantly violated OPA regulations, for
which violators could be sued for as much as $50,000 for
every rent overcharge.

In spite of stringent regulations,

violations continued until the OPA closed its Gainesville
office December 1, 1946.


Although·some landlords attempted to extract the
largest possible profit, most local residents opened their
homes to Camp Howze soldiers from a sense of duty and
patriotism--not with the intention of making a quick dollar.
Citizens rented their homes because of appeals from servicemen and their families--not because of pressure from local
and federal authorities.

While many benefited financially,

others considered monetary rewards as a secondary concern.
Besides, the sacrifices--cooking for others, living in
cramped quarters, and sharing kitchens and bathrooms--hardly
seemed worth the profit earned.

To make the hardships

worthwhile, most had to be willing to see through their
humdrum existence and view the larger picture--getting to
talk to people from various places with different attitudes,
habits, accents, and ways of life.

Those who benefited

most from the wartime experience were those people who gave

of themselves, learning to adjust to other customs and, in

. .
. d s. 17
t h e process, acquiring
new f rien


camp Howze Howitzer, August 20, 1943, p. 6; Interview
with Atkins.

Gainesvi1le Weekly Register, September 17, 1942, p. l;
Gainesville Daily Register, September 9, 1942, p. l;
September 17, 1942, p. l; October 14, 1942, sec. 3, p. l;
December 15, 1942, p. l; November 24, 1943, p. l; January 1,
1944, p. l; Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, 19431944 (Dallas: A.H. Belo Corporation, 1943), p. 208.
Hereafter cited as Texas Almanac 1943-1944; Smith, Cooke
County, p. 211; Camp Howze Howitzer, November 25, 1943, p. l;
Camera Trip Through Camp Howze, p. 2; Texas Almanac 19451946, p. 76; Collins, Cooke County, Texas, p. 59.

Gainesville Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
p. 1; Elaine Schad, "The Great Ice Storm of 1945," All
Around Gainesville, IV(January, 1984) :7.

Gainesville Daily Register, April 16, 1942, sec. 2,
p. l; July 6, 1942, p. 6; October 14, 1942, sec. 3, p. l;
March 29, 1944, p. 4; Smith, Cooke County, p. 209.

Gainesville Daily Register, April 30, 1942, p. 5;
August 15, 1942, p. 6; October 14, 1942, sec. 1, p. l;
November 26, 1942, p. l; November 1, 1944, p. 2; Smith,
Cooke County, p. 209; Gainesville Weekly Register, March 1,
1945, p. 4; Clive, State of War, p. 104. According to the
· Gainesville Daily Register, November 1, 1944, p. 2, an
estimated three of every five Gainesville residents had
become landlords.
6 Interview with Estes;
Interview with Atkins; Interview with Cannon; Gainesville Daily Register, February 22,
1943, p. 5; Interview with Graham; Interview with
7 Gainesville Daily Register, December 22, 1944, p. 6;
March 17, 1945, p. 3; May 25, 1945, p. 3; Interview with

Interview with Graham; Gainesville Weekly Register,
August 13, 1942, p. 4; Interview with Yarbroughs; Interview
with Bright.


Gainesville Daily Register, February 23, 1943, p. 6;
January 1, 1944, p. 4; January 6, 1945, p. 5; July 27, 1945,
p. 6; August 11, 1945, p. l; July 19, 1946, p. 6; Polenberg,
War and Society, p. 95; Philip J. Funigiello, The Challenge
to Urban Liberalism: Federal-City Relations during World
War II (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press,
1978), pp. 106, 109, 110. Hereafter cited as Funigiello,
Challenge to Urban Liberalism; Clive, State of War, p. 105;
Gainesville Weekly Register, May 6, 1943, p. l; Interview
with Graham.

Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1944, p. 5;
January 5, 1944, p. 5; March 8, 1944, p. 5; June 17, 1944,
p. 5; July 3, 1944, p. 5; December 5, 1944, p. 5; January 5,
1945, p. 5; February 23, 1945, p. 6; March 27, 1945, p. 5;
May 7, 1945, p. 7; January 1, 1946, p. 7.
ll Gainesvi
'11 e Dai· 1 y Register,
Marc h 30 , 1945 , p . 5.

. h Gra h am.


· h At k.ins; Interview
. h Cannon; InterInterview
view with Melissa Keel, Gainesville, Texas, February 24,

Gainesville Daily Register, March 27, 1943, p. 2;
Interview with Atkins.

Polenberg, War and Society, p. 95; Gainesville Weekly
Register, June 14, 1945, p. l; Camp Howze Howitzer,
March 24, 1946, p. l; Gainesville Daily Register, January 1,

1944, p. 2; January 15, 1945, p. 6.
16 carnp Howze Howitzer, October 29, 1943, p. l; Gainesville Weekly Register, September 28, 1944, p. 6; November 8,
1945, p. l; November 28, 1946, p. 6; Gainesville Daily
Register, January 12, 1944, p. 5; September 27, 1944, p. 2;
January 6, 1945, p. 3; July 19, 1945, p. 6.
17 Interview
· h Yar b roug h s; Interview
. h Smit;
. h
Interview with Atkins; Interview with Graham; Interview
with Cannon.



While Camp Howze dominated the events, policies, and
activities of Cooke County during World War II, area residents experienced some changes attributed to the war itself,
not just the close proximity of an army base.

At the same

time, however, the presence of the camp accentuated many of
those developments.

With the war so close to home, patri-

otic citizens tried to do their part for both the servicemen abroad and for the soldiers at Camp Howze.

Not only

did they volunteer time and money to fight the war in Europe
and the Pacific, but they also willingly gave of themselves
to help make life more pleasant for soldiers at home.
As one of the first of many voluntary acts of the wartime period, Cooke County residents organized a civil
defense unit.

At the first meeting in January, 1942 thirty

v6lunteered for such jobs as air raid wardens, emergency
fire fighters, first aid and hospital workers, ambulance
drivers, and typists.

Following the example set by women

in Denton, that February Gainesville females organized a
Woman's Motor Corporation to instruct themselves on how to
replace men in home defense activities if the need arose.


As part of their training, women attended weekly drills and
took courses in first aid, mechanics, map reading, radio
operations, fire fighting, and ambulance and truck driving. 1
In addition to civil defense work, residents also
enrolled in first aid classes and nurse's aide programs
through the Red Cross.

At the end of 1942 over two hundred

people had successfully completed a first aid course.


February, 1944 nineteen Cooke County housewives graduated
from a rigorous eighty-hour, six-week course to become the
first Red Cross volunteer nurse's a L:es in an army hospital
in Texas.

As the war progressed, however, fewer Cooke

County women took the course.

Most volunteers came from

Camp Howze, which helped the local situation only temporarily because most service wives did not stay long at the


Even though few volunteered for the nurse's aides program, many area residents worked diligently in other Red
Cross services.

Workers organized a canteen to serve

mili~ary personnel.

Some volunteered at the local bus

station to assist army wives in locating their husbands.
If buses had halted service for the night, workers found
the women a place to stay overnight.

Others, including

servicemen's wives, sewed such items as pot holders, bandages, operating sheets, hospital gowns, scrub caps, and

x-ray room curtains.

Red Cross volunteers--one thousand

strong by 1945--demonstrated a cooperative spirit in serving
the needs of the comrnunity. 3
Without belonging to any organization, many citizens
responded to the war effort, contributing in a variety of

Many gave blood, including 300 Gainesville residents

and 307 Camp Howze soldiers in 1943, and 547 Gainesville
citizens, 100 from Muenster, and 150 from Camp Howze in

Others donated books, phonograph records, and play-

ing cards to be used by servicemen.

Some at Christmas time

gave gifts to the men at the Camp Howze hospital.


enthusiastic young girl even contributed her best dresses
to a clothing collection--without her mother's knowledge.
Upon discovering this, however, the mother managed to
retrieve the clothes.


As another demonstration of community concern for the
servicemen, county residents attempted to provide recreation
for soldiers from the camp.

Knowing that many were home-

sick, that some had limited finances, and that most needed
a place to relax and forget the routine, local residents
devised various activities--a must in the midst of the large
number of servicemen and the few commercial recreational
facilities available.


To entertain soldiers in their free time, Camp Howze
provided recreational facilities.

The camp organized two

service clubs which contained an 8500-volume library, a
soda fountain, cafeteria, dance floor, lounge, and twelve
individual telephone booths.

Each night Lieutenant W. N.

Petre, service club director, planned a different activity.
Diversions included the weekly radio broadcast of "Here's
Howze" on Friday, games, songs, wiener roasts, taffy pulls,
bingo, and free movies.

The base also provided recreational

buildings for such sports as basketball and boxing.


boring towns provided programs such as the Dallas Little
Theater and the A Cappella Choir from Texas State College
f or Women in Denton.

Although the camp had its own recreational facilities,
many servicemen preferred to spend their free time away
from the base.

While the camp was still in the planning

stages, Raymond Forsburg, Field Representative of the
Recreational Division of the Federal Security Agency, met
with the Gainesville recreational committee and stressed
the responsibility of citizens in providing activities for
the soldiers.

He suggested three areas:

music and drama,

including concerts, storytelling, puppet theaters, and
dancing dramatics; crafts, such as building of model
airplanes, craft rooms, and Junior Red Cross activities;

and athletics.

He also emphasized the need of USOs, church

functions, dances, separate recreational facilities and
activities for blacks, and recreation committees in sur.
roun d ing towns.
To comply with the suggestions, the Gainesville War
Recreation Council worked diligently to establish a USO in
the city.

When the first USO at 207½ W. Elm opened in the

fall of 1942, servicemen from forty-six states, Canada,
England, and Ireland registered.

By the following fall,

the city had provided two new USO buildings.

At a cost of

$8,000 the city remodeled a former church building to house
the first new USO on Lindsay Street.

The two-story struc-

ture contained a music room, a shower room, a dressing
room, and ping pong and other indoor games.
government provided the second new USO.

The federal

The Fair Park USO

on California Street replaced the Elm Street Club.


$80,000 structure contained five club rooms, a theater or
recreation hall, a shower room, and a snack bar.


ing segregationist attitudes of the times, Gainesville civic
leaders then established the Travelers Aid and the Muller
Street Negro Club.


The USO facilities sponsored many activities for

One popular activity was dances.

To make

some of them more festive, hostesses decorated for special



For example, one spring the women used blue-

bonnets for favors and decorations and called the affair
the Bluebonnet Dance.

Camp Howze soldiers often supplied

the music for such occasions.

Other pastimes included

variety shows, dance routines, comedy skits, and vocalists
with talent from both the hostesses and the servicemen.
For another activity the clubs furnished cake and ice cream
at a monthly birthday party for the soldiers and their

On special occasions, particularly Christmas, the

USOs served refreshments and provided carols and presents
for thousands of servicemen, their wives, and children.
The USOs attempted to organize events daily and to plan
special events to help servicemen enjoy their free time.


Churches also planned activities to help soldiers and
their families feel less isolated.

Church groups organized

Sunday night suppers, games, youth meetings, and other
functions to involve the men in the life of the community.
Many families invited servicemen to their homes for picnics, fish fries, or Sunday dinner.

Most churches experi-

enced a tremendous increase in attendance during the war

Feeling a need to be part of the community, even if

only for a short time, servicemen, particularly those with
families, established their ties through church congrega~



9 .



As another example of community involvement, performers
from the Gainesville Community Circus sometimes entertained
at Camp Howze.

The circus, begun in 1930 as an effort to

raise money for the local drama club, expanded into an
attraction which boasted of trapeze artists, tumblers,
jugglers, ballet dancers, acrobats, clowns, and much more.
By 1941 the non-profit venture had emerged as the third
largest circus in the United States and had entertained
over 400,000 people in thirty-three cities in Texas and

But because many members of the circus either

joined the military or were drafted, the operation was
suspended following the 1942 season.

During the war, how-

ever, those performers who remained at home entertained
. l occasions.
camp personne 1 on specia
Not only did local residents entertain servicemen, but
many talented soldiers and their wives, in turn, also took
part in activities.

For example, the Railsplitters of the

84th Division performed in a variety show dressed as chorus

Men in the group had performed with some of the

popular bands of the time.

In another instance, the wife

of one serviceman played the piano before a large audience
in Dallas.

The woman, an Italian musician, received a

s~anding ovation and repeated encores to continue her

Not wanting to disappoint her audience, she

played--sometimes composing as she went--for three hours.
Each time she paused, the appreciative listeners answered
with a thunderous applause.


Gainesville also welcomed many famous entertainers
during World War II.

The First United Methodist Church

hosted the nationally renowned singer Miriam Anderson.
Camp Howze received such notables as actor Guy Kibbee and
heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis.

Other celebrities

who visited the area included Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive"
Buck, Gainesville native and internationally famous big
game hunter and wildlife conservationist; Marvin Jones, War
Food Administrator; Congressman Ed Gossett: and Edith B.
Joynes, president of the National Education Association.


In addition to the activities of the USOs and churches,
businesses catered to servicemen, often increasing personnel
to handle the demand.

Although Texas forbade the operation

of public pool halls, owners circumvented the law by calling their establj_shments "private" clubs and having them
sponsored by some organization.

Other forms of entertain-

ment for soldiers included roller skating, miniature golf,
horseback riding, and bowling.

While Gainesville provided

various forms of entertainment, some pastimes remained

At the time the town had no swimming pools

and no nearby lakes: Lake Texoma did not yet exist nor did

Moss Lake.

As a "dry" community, Gainesville had no places


t o b uy 1 1.quor.


While enlisted men pr~ferred the social life of the
service clubs on the base, the Gainesville USOs, the
churches, and the theaters, officers usually had homes in
town and could, therefore, entertain and become part of the
social li£e in Gainesville.

Since Gainesville had no coun-

try club then, people entertained at the Flower Garden of
the Turner Hotel.

Officers also joined many of the civic

and service clubs in the community, taking an active part
in the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, and other organizations, often
appearing as guest speakers at club functions.


Not only did county residents and servicemen search
for amusement, but they, like other Americans, also worked
diligently to contribute to the success of the eight war
bond drives sponsored between 1941 and 1945.

Even before

the United States officially entered World War II, the
government encouraged citizens to purchase bonds.


Pearl Harbor was attacked, however, sales soared nationwide.
After the United States declared war on Japan, the government set bond quotas for each community.

Although banks,

insurance companies, and corporations bought $135 billion
worth of the securities, indi~iduals purchased one-fourth
of the total.

Americans bought bonds for many reasons:

to show their patriotism, help a family member in the armed
forces to invest money safely, preserve the American way of
life, combat inflation,and save for postwar purchases. 15
Like Americans nationwide, Cooke County residents
responded to the call and purchased bonds to finance the

As an example, Austin's Pharmacy in Gainesville

sponsored a "Slap the Jap" sale where the drugstore gave
defense stamps with each cash pu~chase and stressed that
every stamp would help to defeat the Japanese.


also encouraged students to purchase stamps weekly until
they had the $18.75 needed for a bond.

To promote bond

purchases by adults, city officials obtained an honor roll
on the courthouse square, and people paid to have the names
of Gainesville and Cooke County servicemen listed on it.
Another promotional idea involved the purchase of $21,000
worth of war bonds to buy a fighting plane and have the
War Department name it "The City of Gainesville, Texas."


Not only did civilians purchase bonds, but the men at
Camp Howze also promoted their sale and bought many.


the 84th Division left, its men had spent $45,581.25 for
bonds, and the 86th Division purchased over $30,000 worth.
As a way of showing their support for the sale of bonds,
one thousand Camp Howze soldiers participated in a parade
in Gainesville to begin the fourth war loan campaign.


265th Army Band also performed at rallies at both the
junior and senior high schools.

To help with the fifth

drive, the army, using tanks and jeeps, closed off the
business district to demonstrate the importance of fast
training and war production.

Other servicemen, who were

members of the Army Ground Forces Band-Orchestra, boarded
a truck with a sign that read, "Climb aboard the band
wagon; buy more war bonds; it's smart to save. 1117
Both area residents and servicemen purchased enough
bonds to allow Cooke County to meet--and often exceed--its
eight war bond quotas.

The county surpassed its first goal

of $928,600 for 1942, passed its third quota of $3,790,900,
and the fourth one of $1,110,000, as well as all subsequent

After the first month of the fourth campaign, forty-

four percent of the national $14 billion quota had been
achieved while Cooke County had reached sixty percent.
Although many areas nationwide fell far short of their
quotas of E-Bonds--which could only be bought by individuals-Cooke County exceeded that requirement in all war bond
d rives.
In addition to providing recreation for soldiers and
buying bonds to demonstrate their patriotism, area residents-like most Americans--faced shdrtages of items considered
vital to the war effort.

Since winning the war became the

first priority, in 1942 the Office of Price Administration
(OPA) instituted ten major rationing programs, issuing
coupons for the purchase of designated goods, including
meat, shoes, fats, sugar, and coffee.

The OPA also required

merchants to accept as a ceiling the highest price they had
charged in March, 1942.

When price ceilings went into

effect, the quality of goods usually suffered.

Shirts were

manufactured mainly of low-grade percale instead of cotton;
suits of rayon rather than wool; leather shoes became soggy
like paper; the size of cereal boxes decreased by one or
two ounces.

In every community local rationing boards set

quotas for each family, with some board members being more
lenient towards their neighbors, friends, and relatives.


Although many Cooke County residents fared better than
Americans in general, both because of the agricultural
setting and the proximity of an army base, they still were
forced to contend with food shortages.

When coffee ration-

ing started at the rate of one pound per person for five
weeks, an individual averaged only about one cup a day.
Another item often in short supply was sugar.

As rationing

began, the OPA asked that anyone with more than two pounds
of sugar per person return the excess to the grocer for a

Even though the OPA granted an extra five pound

allowance for each individual for canning purposes, County

Home Agent Nette Shultz urged housewives to use corn syrup
and honey when possible in order to conserve sugar.


recipes with reduced sugar appeared in the local newspaper.
Despite such conservation measures, by 1945 sugar supplies
had greatly diminished because of the liberal allowances in
earlier years.

Since the population of Cooke County

decreased after August, 1945, the OPA cut the sugar allotment for the area even further.
a scarcity of oleo.

Housewives also experienced

In one instance a local grocer placed

a sign advertising the sale of margarine in his store window.
Before the itore opened, a long line formed along the front
entrance, another one at the back.

Consumers also faced

meat rationing, as early as 1943 individuals receiving an
allowance of two pounds--or sixteen points--of steak a

By the spring of 1944 the OPA removed a11 · meats

except beef from the ration list, but citizens continued to
experience meat shortages anyway.

Numerous advertisements

appeared in the Gainesville newspaper requesting chickens
to sell.

One grocer · even asked farmers to sell non-laying

hens to his store so that, in turn, people could have meat.
On November 24, 1945, the rationing of all foods except
sugar ·ended.

Although the war was over, meat supplies had

decreased twenty-five to fifty. percent because store owners
could not purchase enough beef to fill the quota.



While most area residents believed food shortages to
be an inconvenience during the war, many Cooke County
inhabitants considered the gasoline shortage even more

When gas rationing began in December, 1942,

only 3,927 of 6,595 automobiles in Cooke County--not including army vehicles--registered for ration coupons.

As one

precaution against unscrupulous car dealers who reported
less gasoline than they received, the OPA required that
people who sold cars report ration cards to their office
and sign a joint certificate with the dealer testifying
to the amount of gas still allotted on the coupon.


too many people refused to conserve by sharing rides, in
1944 the OPA required local boards to prove that gas
recipients belonged to a car pool.

If they did not, they

received enough gas for thirty days of home-to-work driving
instead of the usual three-month allowance.

In spite of

rigid controls, in November, 1944 the Fort Worth District,
which included Cooke County, issued more gasoline in
proportion to the amount allotted than any other district
in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or Missouri.
While Cooke County residents--typifying most Americans-generally used more than their quota, Camp Howze received a
military commendation for leading in the conservation of
both gas and tires in
a f'ive-state area. 21

Tire rationing caused many area residents to make
sacrifices and experience hardships.

Even though people

applied to the rationing board for new tires, they sometimes
received old ones, oftentimes none at all.

One farmer

requested an odd sized tire for his farm equipment, only to
find that the OPA had declared it obsolete.

In order to

conserve tires as well as gas, several Gainesville businessmen were forced either to reduce or eliminate delivery

To conserve rubber, steel, and copper--all vital
materials for the production of tanks and airplanes--in 1942
the War Production Board outlawed the manufacture of cars
and light trucks.

Although auto sales increased dramati-

cally in 1940 and 1941, the average number of cars per
person decreased from one for every four people in 1943 to
a one to five ratio :·. by 1944.

With the discontinuing of

the manufacture of automobiles, used car advertisements by
both individuals and dealers soared.

The OPA advised

potential buyers to be wary of unscrupulous car promoters
who charged extra for clocks, seat covers, horns, foglights, spotlights, or mirrors--although dealers could
charge more for heaters, radios, warranties, and taxes.


The car shortage caused some inconveniences for
agencies within the county.

The city of Gainesville managed

to purchase a new 1942 Ford police car--increasing to two
the number of patrol cars on duty twenty-four hours a day.
From 1944 to 1946 county commissioners authorized the purchase of several used vehicles:

a maintainer for $5,000;

a dump truck; a $1,000 Chevrolet truck; a $1,400 bulldozer;
a $900 truck; and another maintainer for $7,400.


While food and transportation-related shortages
created the most hardships for Cooke County residents,
rationing of clothing, shoes, and personal items also
caused numerous inconveniences.

Clothing styles reflected

material deficiencies, such as the men's so-called "victory
suit" which had no cuffs, slimmer trousers than normal, and
more narrow lapels.

The government even asked ex-soldiers

to return their clothing for use by other servicemen.


women, the shortage of nylon hose caused them to take extra

More carefully now ladies hand washed their

stockings so as not to snag them.

To make them last longer,

one women even kept them in the freezer.

Because of the

decrease in supply, some women bought leg paint in lieu of
nylons, although the results left much to be desired.
OPA also rationed shoes made of rubber.


Toiletries manu-

facturers encouraged women to switch to perfume because it
contained less alcohol--a cr±tical war material--than

The government reduced razor blade output to one


per week for each man.

Until 1944 regulations required

consumers to return the old toothpaste tube before receiving
a new one.


Since rationing began about the same time that produc~
tion of consumer goods was curtailed by twenty-nine percent,
government agencies urged citizens to decrease purchases.
As part of its anti-inflation campaign, the Office of Civil
Defense reminded people that every time they decided not to

buy something they helped to win the war.

The Home Service

Advisors of the Texas Power and Light Company encouraged
consumers not to waste

precious food, clothing, or energy,

specifically advising customers to keep refrigerator doors
closed as much as possible and to defrost often.


As another way of promoting conservation, the Office of
Production Management encouraged salvage campaigns.


ing the example of other Americans who collected rubber,
fats, paper, and scrap metals, Cooke County organized a
salvage committee to coordinate scrap drives.


members asked farmers to save burlap, scrap metal, paper,
and rags.

They cooperated with Camp Howze, the school

system, and Gainesville to sponsor scrap metal drives.
Even before the first salvage campaign began, the committee
had collected more than 750,000 pounds.

In one instance

county officials, aware of the importance of steel to the


war effort, authorized that four bridges soon to be dismantled to make way for the Denison Dam Project--amounting
to almost nineteen tons of steel--be classified as scrap
and sold.

Then a few months later, the commissioners court

had to authorize the purchase of a $35 second-hand, seventyfoot, steel bridge from nearby Grayson County.


Area groups sponsored the collection of paper--a badly
needed commodity which sold for as much as $21 a ton for
corrugated board.

Cooke County residents, however, lagged

behind other towns in paper collection for several reasons.
After one paper drive, mischievous children vandalized the
building, scattering paper everywhere, causing city officials to pay for it to be gathered, baled, and disposed of,
which cost more than the receipts for the paper.


that, people often set out paper which was never collected.
In an attempt to solve the problems, the city encouraged
residents to set out waste paper separate from their trash
so that the garbage collector would carry it to the dump
site and place it in a storage warehouse: when the building
reached capacity, Camp Howze soldiers removed the paper.
In spite of some problems, during one collection people
gathered more than could be crammed into a boxcar capable
of holding fifty thousand


Being patriotic and

civic-minded, citizens gathered waste paper for drives


sponsored by the Boy Scouts, the Federated Business and
Professional Women's Club, and other civic organizations.


In addition to metal and paper collection, residents
also conserved fats needed to manufacture medicines, parachutes, synthetic rubber, munitions, paints, varnishes,
soaps, stockings, electrical appliances, insecticides,
telephones, tires, and automobiles.

As an incentive, OPA

either paid up to four cents a pound in cash or gave two
red ration points for each pound.

Housewives continued to

save fats even after the war ended until the United States
could once again import products from the South Pacific.


During World War II, Cooke County residents took an
active part by conserving items

· sential to the war.


some people faced critical food shortages, others managed to
conserve and learned to adjust to rationing.

Many Cooke

County residents fished, planted victory gardens, raised
chickens, pigs, and cows for butchering, and shared food,
canning supplies, and rationing stamps with friends and

Although some complained about shortages,

rationing, and the strains of wartime existence, they
nevertheless maintained a higher standard of living than
most people in the world and experienced greater prosperity
t h e Great Depression.
d uring


Area residents also contributed to the war effort in
other ways--some good, some bad.

Many volunteered time to

various organizations, while some planned recreation for
the soldiers at Camp Howze and purchased savings bonds.
But in spite of a general attitude of patriotism and congeniality between citizens and soldiers, the county experienced an increase in both crime and disease--not surprising
considering the large increase in the number of inhabitants.
Some incidents of crime related directly to the war
and to the increase in population.
thefts were too common.

Tire and automobile

At least one incident involved

several soldiers from Camp Howze who confessed to stealing
twenty-three tires from the Townsley Motor Company of

Congressman Ed Gossett informed the Chamber

of Commerce that thieves stole new tires, slashed them, and
then sold them to salvage dealers.

In one thirty-six hour

period eight automobiles were stolen, seven of the owners
having carelessly left their keys in the ignition.


Alcohol-related crimes also escalated during the war
despite the fact that Cooke County had not legalized the
sale of beer and liquor.

In one case, the sheriff, con-

stable, liquor board members, and a Texas Ranger destroyed
over one hundred
of Gainesville.

bottles of berry wine during a raid east
In another incident, a drunk serviceman

knocked at the door of a man he thought sold liquor.
Instead, he went to the wrong house, and the man who opened
the door held a gun on the soldier until the military police

Other violations included the sale of liquor and

countless charges of drunkenness.


"Window peepers" and prowlers likewise became a public
nuisance during the war years.

Elementary teacher Thelma

Atkins remembered waking early one morning to set out her
milk bottle.

Seeing a soldier at a window, she threw the

bottle at the man as he jumped up and ran away.

In another

incident, the wife of the Methodist preacher, returning home
from a meeting, saw someone in the bushes by her daughter's
bedroom window.

Thinking it was her husband, she grabbed

the man by the collar, only to realize that he was a stranger.
She then began slapping him.

Later when a parishoner asked

her minister husband why he had not pressed charges, he said
that the beating the peeper received from his wife was
punishment enough.

Other women reported episodes of being

molested in their homes and accosted on local streets,
especially in poorly lighted areas.
Traffic violations rose too.

Overparking, failing to

stop at traffic lights, and omitting hand signals became
common occurrences.

Petty thievery also increased.

week women reported purses stolen.


One angry resident even


notified the local newspaper that someone had stolen onions
from her garden, adding that if the culprit were that hungry, she would gladly give him more so that he would not be
forced to steal from others.

Due to burglaries in some

county departments, officials began closing the courthouse
at 5:00 P.M. daily.

Hardly a day went by that a business

or an individual did not report the theft of meat, sugar,
canned goods, cigars, money, lawn mowers, tools, or other


The rapid growth in population logically contributed
to a natural increase in the crime rate.

Camp Howze

soldiers, therefore, could not be blamed for all incidents.
In fact, servicemen caused few disturbances of any consequence in Gainesville during the war.

As a rule citizens

d eve 1 ope d a peasant,
h armonious
h'ip. 35
an d so ld iers
re 1 ations
An additional area of concern involved public health.

To serve the needs of so many people, the Gainesville City
Council created a county-wide sanitary district and a Board
of Health chaired by Dr. H. H. Terry.

As another precaution,

the council passed a meat inspection ordinance which required
that veterinarians inspect all animals before and after

The city further stressed the need to dispose of

trash properly to prevent the spread of flies and the
breeding of vermin and insects.

Health officials urged

that school children receive immunizations for diphtheria,
typhoid, and small pox.

They also suggested the use of

. h were more sanitary
1 36
paper cups, wh ic
an d more economica.

Since Cooke County housed a large army base as well as
an airfield, civic and military officials concerned themselves with the threat of venereal disease, which affected
three million people a year in peacetime and for which
Cooke County health officials administered 5,517 treatments
in 1941, even before Camp Howze.

In an effort to control

cases of VD after the base opened, the army, navy, and
United States Public Health Service presented a conference
in Gainesville, stressing the ne~d to deal with the problem
as a disease, not the people as criminals.

In spite of

efforts to curb VD, . the commanding officer at Camp Howze
informed the city of a startling increase in the number of
cases at the camp that were traceable to Gainesville.


suggested an increase in the budget of the county health
unit, an effective measure in nearby Paris, Texas, and
Ardmore, Oklahoma.


Officials also concerned themselves with other illnesses.
Influenza attacked the largest number of people.


At one

time the health unit reported seven hundred cases in just
one weekend.
in 1945.

A dysentery outbreak among children occurred

When officials traced contamination to one of the

city wells, the city closed the well and chlorinated the
entire water system.

Officials also diagnosed several

cases of polio, a disease of special emphasis since President Franklin Roosevelt had been afflicted.

Other common

health problems included three-day measles, impetigo, and
head lice.

Since most diseases occurred without regard to

Camp Howze--except for the number of cases involved--the
county continued to experience the same illnesses after the


Even though most developments would have occurred
simply because of World War I I itself, Cooke County residents
experienced a broader scope, being given the opportunity to
aid servicemen--and themselves--directly.

As one USO volun-

teer aptly stated, her only problem with shoes came, not
from rationing, but from "dancing the soles off."


measures tended to create only minor hardships, difficulties
which most overcame.

Accustomed to a lack of both goods and

money during the Great Depression, most people actually
experienced greater prosperity in spite of government controls.

Rather than associating Camp Howze with increased

problems, most women saw the base as a social outlet--an
opportunity to go to dances, parties, concerts, and benefits,
most of which would have been either dull or nonexistent
without male companionship.

Even bond campaigns and salvage

drives became pleasurable events because of the involvement
of Camp Howze soldiers.

At the same time that Cooke County

residents entertained servicemen and supported wartime
policies, they provided themselves with a patriotic escape
f or d iversion
i. n t h e mi. d st o f


1 crisis.
· ·
a nationa



Gainesville Daily Register, January 3, 1942, sec. 1,
p. l; January 5, 1942, pp. 1, 8; October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
pp. 1, 3; Gainesville Weekly Register, January 1, 1942,
p. 1.


camp Howze Howitzer, February 4, 1944, p. 4; Gainesville Daily Register, January 18, 1945, p. 2.

· 11e Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
p. 3; January 11, 1945, p. 4; Interview with Graham; Interview with Cannon; Gainesville Weekly Register, March 25,
19 4 3, p. 4.

Gainesville Daily Register, February 7, 1942, p. 6;
February 25, 1942, p. 6; July 18, 1942, p. 5; January 1,
1944, p. 2; December 16, 1944, p. 2; April 3, 1945, p. 2;
Gainesville Weekly Register, January 22, 1942, p. 6;
June 22, 1944, p. 4.

Gainesville Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
p. 3; Camp Howze Howitzer, October 22, 1944, p. 6; Camera
Trip Through Camp Howze, pp. 4, 27.

Gainesville Daily Register, March 26, 1942, p. l;
June 1, 1942, p. 6.

Gainesville Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,
p. 3; November 7, 1942, p. 6; September 15, 1945, p. 2;
Camp Howze Howitzer, August 27, 1943, p. l; September 24,
1943, p. l; November 19, 1943, p. 3; Interview with Estes.

Gainesville Daily Register, May 2, 1944, p. 3;
September 1, 1944, p. 3; September 5, 1944, p. 6; December 27,
1944, p. 3; January 29, 1945, p. 6; Camp Howze Howitzer,
May 12, 1944, p. 1.

Interview with Gilbert; Interview with Cannon; Interview with Atkins; Interview with Bright; Interview with
Keel; Interview with Estes; Interview with Graham.

collins, Cooke County, Texas, pp. 60-63.
Interview with Estes; Interview with Atkins.


Interview with Atkins; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 1, 1944, p. 2.

· h Estes; Interview
' h Gra h am; Camp
Howze Howitzer, May 26, 1944, p. l; Gainesville Daily
Register, May 29, 1944, p. 2; January 16, 1945, p. 2;
April 7, 1945, p. 5.

· 11 e Dai' l y Register,
Octa b er 14 , 1942 , sec. 3 ,
p. l; November 16, 1944, p. 3.

Gainesville Weekly Register, January 1, 1942, p. l;
Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1942, sec. 1, p. l;
Polenberg, War and Society, p. 30; John Morton Blum, V Was
for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World
War II (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976), p. 20.
Hereafter cited as Blum, V for Victory.

Polenberg, War and Society, p. 29; Blum, V for Victory,
p. 17; Gainesville Daily Register, January 17, 1942, p. 4;
March 11, 1942, p. 6; August 19, 1942, p. l; Camp Howze
Howitzer, September 24, 1943, p. l; Interview with Graham.

camp Howze Howitzer, September 24, 1943, p. l; June 9,
1944, p. l; Gainesville Daily Register, May 20, 1944, p. 3;
June 12, 1944, p. 2; January 1, 1945, p. 3.

Gainesville Daily Register, January 9, 1942, p. l;
November 7, 1942, p. 6; October 4, 1943, p. l; January 1,
1944, p. l; February 3, 1944, p. 2; February 17, 1944, p. l;
July 8, 1944, p. 6; December 21, 1944, p. 2; June 15, 1945,
p. 2; July 13, 1945, p. 3; October 24, 1945, p. 7; Camp
Howze Howitzer, January 14, 1944, p. l; Gainesville~kly
Register, June 7, 1945, p. 6; December 13, 1945, p. 1.
19 Blum, V for Victory, pp. 227, 229; Polenberg, War and
Society, p. 31; Perrett, Days of Sadness, p~ 132.
20 Gainesville Daily Register, March 12, 1942, p. 5;
May 7, 1942, p. 3; October 26, 1942, p. l; March 29, 1943,
p. l; March 15, 1944, p. 6; May 3, 1944, p. l; March 23,
1945, p. 4; June 5, 1945, p. 3; November 23, 1945, p. l;
May 30, 1946, p. 2; September 12, 1946, p. 8; Gainesville
Weekly Register, March 29, 1945, p. 6; May 31, 1945, p. l;
August 1, 1946, p. l; Karen Anderson, Wartime Women: Sex
Roles, Family Relations, and the Status of Women During
World War II (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1981),
p. 87. Hereafter cited as Anderson, Wartime Women.



Robert J. Havighurst and H. Gerthon Morgan, The Social
History of a War Boom Community (New York: Longman, Green
and Co., Inc., 1951), p. 129. Hereafter cited as Havighurst,
War-Boom Community; Polenberg, War and Society, pp. 16, 18;
Gainesville Daily Register, November 25, 1942, p. 5; July 14,
1944, p. 2; August 2, 1944, p. 6; Gainesville weekly Register, July 20, 1944, p. 4; January 25, 1945, p. 1.

Interview with Yarbroughs; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 10, 1942, sec. 1, p. 6; January 12, 1942, p. 3;
May 13, 1942, p. 6; Interview with Estes.

Polenberg, War and Society, p. 11; Perrett, Days of
Sadness, pp. 23, 86; Gainesville Daily Register, January 9,
1945, p. 4; February 7, 1945, p. 2; February 16, 1945, pp.
4, 5.
24 Gainesville Daily Register, April 20, 1944, p. 2;
Commissioner's Court Minutes, vol. XIII, pp. 188, 189, 213,
249, 310.
25 Havighurst, War-Boom Community, p. 129; Perrett, Days
of Sadness, pp. 135, 246; Camp Howze Howitzer, November~
1943, p. l; Interview with Graham; Interview with Atkins;
Gainesville Daily Register, March 25, 1942, p. l; August 11,
1942, p. 3; September 29, 1942, p. 5; January 10, 1944, p. 2.
26 Gainesville Weekly Register, April 30, 1942, p. l;
Polenberg, War and Society, pp. 11, 133; Gainesv~lle Daily
Register, May 22, 1942, p. 5.
27 Funigiello, Challenge to Urban Liberalism, p. 46;

Perrett, Days of Sadness, p. 233; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 13, 1942, p. 6; August 29, 1942, p. 6; October 14,
1942, sec. 3, p. l; Commissioner's Court Minutes, vol. XIII,
p. 112.
28 Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1942, sec. 1,
p. 2; January 30, 1942, p. 8; January 17, 1944, p. 6;
January 28, 1944, p. 2; September 2, 1944, p. 2; March 29,
19 4 5 , p . 6 ; May 8 , 19 4 5 , p . 1 ; Ju 1 y 11 , 19 4 5 , p . 2 ;
March 13, 1946, p. 6; Gainesville Weekly Register,
October 22, 1942, p. l; March 22, 1945, p. 5; April 12,
1945, p. 1.

Gainesville Daily Register, February 5, 1945, p. 3;
May 24, 1945, p. 2; October 8, 1945, p. 3; Gainesville
Weekly Registe~, December 6, 1945, p. 6.

30 Interview
. h Estes; Interview
. h Cannon; Gaines.
ville Weekly Register, May 21, 1942, p. 6; Blum, V for
Victory, p. 94.
31 G .
ainesvi. 11e Dai. 1 y Register,
January 3 , 19 4 5 , p. 3 ;
January 30, 1945, p. 3; April 22, 1945, p. 2.


Gainesville Daily Register, March 29, 1945, p. 6;
March 30, 1945, p. 3; June 4, 1945, p. 3; June 22, 1945,
p. 3; Interview with Estes.

33 Interview
. h Estes; Interview
. h At k.ins; Gaines.
ville Daily Register, February 9, 1945, p. 2; Interview
with Graham.
Gainesville Daily Register, · February 5, 1943, p. 2;
April 4, 1944, p. 3; April 7, 1944, p. 2; August 8, 1944,
p. 2; November 23, 1944, p. 2; December 22, 1944, p. l;
April 19, 1945, p. 3; July 9, 1945, p. 6; Gainesville
Weekly Register, January 4, 1945, p. 6; March 29, 1945,
p. 4.
35 Gainesvi
'11 e Dai~y
. t er, J u 1 y 10 , 1945 , p . 2

Gainesville Daily Register, March 7, 1942, p. 5;
May 14, 1942, p. 3; August 24, 1942, p. 3; October 14, 1942,
sec. 3, p. l; February 17, 1944, p. 3.

37 Perrett, Days of Sadness, p. 332; Gainesville Weekly
Register, November 5, 1942, p. 5; Gainesville Daily
Register, July 11, 1944, p. 6.
38 Gainesville Weekly Register, December 30, 1942, p. l;
September 13, 1945, p. l; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 2, 1942, sec. 1, p. 5; July 8, 1943, pp. 1, 3;
January . l, 1944, p. 2; January 13, 1945, p. 2; September 25,
1945, p. 3; Interview with Cannon; Interview with Atkins;
Economic Survey of Cooke County, p. 4.1711.

39 Interview with Cannon.



In February, 1946, almost four years after the announcement of the building of Camp Howze, the government declared
the base surplus--in spite of local efforts to retain the
si' t e as a permanent f aci·1·ity. l

tha t time
t h e county

experienced tremendous economic growth and expansion.


while the camp brought prosperity, it also created problems:
a loss of property, lack of housing, overcrowded conditions,
and inadequate recreational facilities.

The proximity of

Camp Howze sometimes magnified the hardships caused by wartime measures, such as food, gas, and tire rationing.


other times, the nearness of the camp stirred a patriotic
desire in residents to help the war effort through the
buying of bonds, the sponsoring of scrap drives, and the
volunteering of time to the Red Cross, USO, and other warrelated activities.

While some local citizens disliked the

camp because of problems either real or imagined, most
residents heralded its construction, the prosperity it
brought, and the chance it afforded to associate with people
from diverse backgrounds and distant places.

The deactiva-

tion of Camp Howze in 1946 ended a prosperous and energetic
period in the history of Cooke County.


After Japan surrendered in August of 1945 ending World
War II, many Cooke County citizens, aware that prosperity
had stemmed from Camp Howze, wrote to the War Department
and asked that the base remain as a permanent facility.


September the army conducted a survey of the camp to determine the need and practicality of retaining the post.


the study army personnel noted that all housing, except for
the hospital, had been constructed for temporary use; the
sewage disposal system required major renovation; the cost
of permanent housing was estimated to be $51 million--two
and a~half times the cost of operating the camp to date;
maintenance for both cantonment and access roads and for
the two railroad lines would be costly; and the quality of
city milk and city water was questionable.

On the other

hand, the study observed that the relatively dry climate
afforded ample training time, that the area maintained an

effective mosquito control program, that the six water
wells on the base were constructed of permanent materials,
and that the Texas Power and Light Company supplied adequate
and dependable electrical power.


During the final stages of the war and through the
first few months afterwards, the future of Camp Howze
remained unsettled.

Just a few weeks before the Japanese

surrendered, the army tentatively scheduled the assignment


of another division, the 91st, but later rescinded the

By October the War Department placed the camp on

the inactive list and retained only a small number of men
to protect the base.

On February 19, 1946, the army

declared Camp Howze surplus.

Two months later, the War

Department transferred the camp from army control to the
office of the District Engineer.

By August, 1946 the post

was deserted, a virtual ghost to~n.


Although business-minded residents unhappily accepted
the deactivation of Camp Howze, Congressman Ed Gossett at
a Gainesville Chamber of Commerce meeting informed residents
of the future possibilities of the site.

Even though former

owners received priority on land sales, the site contained
other possibilities, such as for oil development or industrial expansion, especially considering the warehouses,
a ·r tesian water wells, · and unlimited electrical power.
Instead, previcms landowners reclaimed most of the land. 4
Before the government gave property owners the chance
to buy back their land, however, the War Assets Administration authorized the sale of surplus property.

After the

army deactivat~d the camp, officials began selling surplus
propsrty--vehicles, equipment, and~uildings.

The law

listed the order of priority for the purchase of the items:
first, federal agencies; second, veterans: third, Gainesville

businesses; fourth, state and local government; fifth, nonprofit organizations; and last, the public.

At the first

sale, veterans--numbering about one thousand from six different states--bought 352 jeeps for a total of $283,777.
In another transaction the Boy Scouts bought five former
prisoner of war buildings which were to be moved to a scout
camp on Lake Texoma.

Later the Cooke County Fair Board

bought a building for a 4-H Club, and the community circus
purchased one for its use. · Dallas contractors and former
landowners wanted materials for building purposes.


Methodist University in Dallas purchased six barracks for

By August, 1946

the army approved the dis-

mantling of approximately 2,200 camp buildings.

In Septem-

ber age~ts began selling plumbing, electrical, and sewer
supplies, tools, and miscellaneous property at cost, giving
ex-servicemen the opportunity to build their own homes.
While selling the surplus property, the government also
transferred Camp Howze to the War Assets Administration in
three separate parcels between August 5, 1946 and March 10,

The Surplus War Property Administration (SWPA) also

enacted guidelines for the disposal of army camp sites.
Agency administrators wanted the land sold in family-sized
parcels as quickly as possible at current market values.


They also sought to avoid selling for speculative purposes,
preferring that former owners be given the first right of


In keeping with agency desires, many former owners
reacquired their lands, repurchasing the acreage either at
present values or at the price paid by the government less
any damages.

Because of the misuse of much of the property,

many bought their land back in 1947 for less than the
government had paid them in 1942.

For example, Laura

Josephine Jones had sold 4,646 acres for $141,175; she
reclaimed it for $103,000.

In another instance, John

Blanton had sold sixty acres for $2,900; he bought it back
for $1,350.

H. G. Perry also paid less for his property,

. giving $2,100 for 375 acres after having sold it for $12,700
five years earlier.

Likewise, Lester Embry repurchased 320

acres for $10,200 which he had sold for $24,400 in 1942.


assist furtheri. the War Assets Administration reallocated
253 barracks for purchase by former landowners.

In an

effort to be as fair as possible, government officials
attempted to make amends for the previous hardships encountered by the many farmers and ranchers who had been forced
to sell their land.


Not all of the approximately 59,000 acres, however,
reverted to the former holders.

If original landowners did

not want to buy the property, the government extended the
option to former tenants, then to veterans, and finally to
the highest bidder.


But the government did not offer all land for resale.
The major site kept off the market was the 1500-acre air
base built

3½ miles west of Gainesville on U.S. Highway 82

in July, 1942.

Once the airfield was declared surplus,

county commissioners waived the right to purchase it in
favor of the city of Gainesville.

On February 24, 1948,

the city thus gained control of one of the largest and best

• ?
d airports
i. n t h e Sout h west.
The closing of Camp Howze allowed many property owners
to regain control of their land and gave the city of Gainesville the opportunity to purchase a modern airport.

On the

other hand, the deactivation of the base exacerbated the
problem of high unemployment.

With the return home of

many ex-servicemen and the loss of a major employer at the
same time, Cooke County experienced increased joblessness.
By September, 1945 the United States Employment Service
(USES) in Gainesville saw a thirty-five percent rise in job

In March, 1946 alone the USES had 1,209

applicants in Cooke County, 847 of whom were veterans.
the end of that year, the employment service had placed


2,645 people, although many of those jobs--such as the
. ·
d emo 1 ition
o f Camp Howze--were temporary. 10

Businesses in the county also experienced a temporary
decline in activity following the war.

While most boasted

of more customers than they could manage during the war,
afterward many were forced once again to begin advertising
in order to sell their products.

For example, many res-

taurants placed advertisements in the Gainesville Daily

Jack Heslop, Sr., owner of "Jack's," listed

lower prices for meals--from twenty cents for chili to $1.25
for steak--and announced that his cafe had even begun to
open for breakfast.

Other business establishments also

began placing advertisements, such as Acme Cleaners, Gainesville Laundry, Loper's Bowl Lanes, and the various movie

Clothing stores also announced their new items--

from fall coats to fuller skirts, longer jackets, and lower
necklines--at discount prices.

In an effort to stimulate

sales, appliance dealers who had experienced shortages
because of wartime rationing once again advertised automatic
washers, dryers, ranges, frozen food lockers, and refrigerators.11
Even though Cooke County experienced rising unemployment and decreasing business activity following World War
II, the economic situation gradually improved.

In 1946

Gainesville lost several prospective businesses because of
the housing shortage and inadequate office space.


however, the county experienced a major expansion in the
oil industry.

One petroleum company opened a district office

in Gainesville, and another began operating a supply house.
Planned highway construction also improved the county's
economic outlook.

State and county agencies approved the

building of several farm to market roads in 1948.
builders likewise boosted the sagging economy.


Because of

the post-war boom in housing construction, area home
builders numbered sixty by 1947--fifteen more than seven
years earlier.

In 1946 Cooke County residents spent over

$800 million on home repairs and improvements, and many
merchants also renovated and remodeled their businesses.
While the. economy failed to regain the vitality and profits
of the Camp Howze period, the county experienced a return
to prosperity ~fter a period of post-war economic dislocation, reaching a new bank deposit high of $11,324,228.26
on September 30, 1947, again indicating a brighter economic


Even after the war had ended and most of the personnel
at Camp Howze had departed, the housing shortage . still
existed in Gainesville as in other places--but for a different reason.

Now instead of soldiers creating the

shortage, 1,300 returning veterans compounded the problem.
Even with the building of the Ernwood addition in northern
Gainesville and the planned construction of fifty-two new
homes in 1946, dozens of people still searched for housing.
Ex-servicemen, half of whom were married, wanted a decent
place to start civilian life with their families.


the government offered dwellings that cost less than $10,000
to veterans at a maximum rent of $80 per month.

In other

action, federal agencies, in spite of building restraints,
allowed returning soldiers the opportunity to construct
homes in Gainesville and Cooke County.

Still, suitable

housing remained in short supply, as returning veteran and
circulation manager for the Gainesville Daily Register,
Warren Flowers, discovered.

Like so many others, he

experienced a difficult time trying to find living accomoda13
f or h'is f ami'l y.
Realizing the critical situation, Congressman Ed Gossett
suggested that the city of Gainesville acquire "Howzeville,"
a 312-unit housing project at Camp Howze which consisted of
dwellings averaging from one to three bedrooms, more than
half of them vacant.

In February, 1946 the Gainesville City

Council voted to obtain the housing project, with the
stipulation that the city would receive the profits and
abide by the rent regulations of the Federal Public Housing


Administration (FPHA).

The agreement also required tenants

to be veterans, except for the seventy-five families already

The FPHA allowed the city to maintain the housing

units only for "the duration of the emergency and for two
years thereafter" before requiring that the dwellings be
town down.

By April, 1946 almost 150 families lived at
Many preferred to live there because of low

rent rates--varying from $20 for an unfurnished living room/
bedroom combination to $44.50 for a three bedroom furnished

Although many women whose husbands were overseas

enjoyed the companionship available at Howzeville, other
residents experienced a transportation hardship because the
bus line no longer operated between the camp and the city. 14
Because Gainesville continued to face a critical lack
of housing in 1947, the city council, listing several
reasons for its request, urged the FPHA to open the Howzeville Housing Project to non-veterans for a one-year period.
First, highway construction and the expanding oil business
had created an influx of people into the area.


since of the 321 apartments, tenants occupied only 172 units,
the council resolution emphasized the urgent need for
opening the vacant apartments to non-veterans. 15
The Howzeville project continued to serve area residents· for several years.

In 1950

the city requested the


purchase of the project under the Lanham Act, which made
the apartments available to eligible parties.

Two years

later Gainesville withdrew its petition, the city no longer
needing the units.

By then the deteriorated condition of

the buildings rendered them unsafe for occupancy.

In 1952,

therefore, the projects were scheduled for demolition--thus
becoming the last section of Camp Howze to be razed.


To make the transition from military to civilian life
as stress-free as possible, both federal and county agencies
attempted to help veterans in various ways.

The Service-

men's Readjustment Act of 1944 provided educational benefits, readjustment allowances, low-interest loans, and
unemployment compensation.

To take advantage of govern-

ment programs, in the fall of 1946 thirty-nine
ex-servicemen--of a total of 114 students--enrolled at
Gainesville Junior College.

In 1948 the county maintained

eight agricultural schools for 172 veterans and operated
the North Texas Vocational School for Negroes.

The 162

black students learned such skills as tailoring, automobile
mec h anics,
ra d'io repair,
an d carpen t ry.
The GI Bill also gave veterans the opportunity to
obtain loans for homes or businesses.

Veterans' loans

accounted for twenty percent of all new homes built nationwide in the decade following the war.

In Cooke County, as

elsewhere, Gis applied for and received loans to construct

Many also purchased Camp Howze surplus for building

purposes--thus benefiting from both low interest, long-term
loans and through the acquisition of less expensive building materials.

Through the Reconstruction Finance Corpora-

tion, veterans could obtain small business loans if they
had to liquidate a business upon entering the military,
could show business experience, possessed the proper amount
of capital, or could demonstrate a legitimate economic need

f or t h e b usiness.


When returning servicemen failed to opt for education
or housing loans, agencies endeavored to locate suitable
jobs for them or to find companies willing to offer on-thejob training.

Some county veterans returned to their former

Many, however, looked to the USES for help.


January, 1946, 1,864 servicemen had returned home to Cooke
County, and by June almost 1,200 had registered with the
USES for employment.

Of 158 county firms approved for

on-the-job training, about 120 actually participated in
assisting veterans.

For those who failed to find work, the

Servicemen's Readjustment Act offered unemployment benefits
of up to $20 a week for a year.


While the county faced problems caused by the lack of
housing, a decrease in business activity, and returning


veterans, area residents also welcomed many acitvities which
had been either nonexistent before the war or had ceased
after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Once the war ended,

Gainesville once again concentrated on new recreational
programs and facilities.

The city started a new park,

began a playground program for children, and purchased the
USO Building as a community center.

For the first time in

several years, in 1945 city officials planned to place
Christmas lights along town streets.

In 1946 the Gaines-

. ville Community Circus resumed its performances, the first
in five years.

That same year the Cooke County Fair was

held for the first time since the war began.

Once again

families also returned to a semblance of normal activity
by holding reunions at city parks.


Even though the population of the county and of Gainesville in particular increased dramatically during the war
years, by 1950 the census actually revealed·a slight decline
over the entire decade.

By 1950 the census showed that the

population of Cooke County had changed little--from 24,909
in 1940 to 24,100 ten years later.

The 11,246 residents

also reflected only a sixteen percent growth for the city-compared to fifty percent during the time of Camp Howze.
One reason the overall population for the county remainad
stable while the rate for the city increased was the


tendency of people to move from farms to towns.

In the

South alone five million persons set the pattern for this
Also consistent with the national patterns, the birth
rate for Gainesville soared during and after the war.


birth rate climbed noticeably throughout the 1940s, reaching its height in 1947 but remaining unusually high for the
remainder of the decade.

The large increase in population

during the war, the return of many veterans ready to marry
and raise families, and the sixteen percent growth rate
for Gainesville attributed to the increased birth rat~-varying from about 250 births per year in 1940 and 1941 to
over 550 in 1947.


Camp Howze scarcely affected school enrollment in

Although some army officers had wives and

children, few enlisted men could afford to relocate their
families because finding living accommodations proved
almost impossible for soldiers with children.


enrollment thus fluctuated from a low of 1,776 in 1943 to
a high of 2,010 in 1947.

The influx of families from rural

areas to the city contributed to the increase in the last
half of the decade.
While the death rate in Gainesville remained fairly
stable throughout the 1940s, violent deaths in the county

rose sharply, due mostly to traffic accidents, the number
ranging from a low of twelve in 1942 and 1943 to a high of
twenty-three in 1945.

Other types of violent deaths also

occurred from plane crashes, suicides, an occasional homicide, burns, drownings, and oil well accidents.


Many deaths of Cooke County residents occurred as a
direct result of World War II.

Those who lost a son, father,

or brother tried to accept the tragedy.

Of 3,310 Cooke

County inductees, almost 120 young men lost their lives in
combat between 1941 and 1945.


In commemoration, Gaines-

ville citizens constructed a twenty-three foot monument with
the inscription, "In memory of those who made the supreme
sacrifice for their country in World War II. 1126

Instead of

reflecting upon the number of casualties, however, most
rejoiced at the return of the servicemen--even those who had
lost ·a family member--the arrival home of the men in uniform
symbolizing to them a return to normalcy.


Still another dramatic change resulted because of the
war and Camp Howze--a variation from past marriage trends
and tendencies.

Nationally the marriage rate rose before

and during the early months of the war.

Then the rate of

marriages declined during the war years but increased
during the first two years afterward.

Cooke County, however,

varied from the general pattern, experiencing a tremendous

increase in the number of marriages during the war.


the county clerk issued less than 400 licenses per year
from 1940 to 1943, marriages averaged over 900 annually
during the next three years.

Since the county contained

a military base, this addition of available men contributed
to an increase in the number of weddings, although most
Cooke County brides subsequently settled in other parts of
the United States.

Others, who could have married during

the 1930s, waited until the economic picture improved in
the 1940s.

Marriages also increased because in 1946

Oklahoma enacted a three-day waiting period for marriages
while Texas revoked the stipulation.

By 1950 marriages had

begun to decrease in number, although still remaining above


Not only did Cooke County differ from the norm regarding marriage patterns, but along with the rest of the
nation, the area also varied from the expected wartime
divorce rate.

Typically the number of divorces declined

during war and increased afterwards.

During World War II,

however, divorces nationwide rose steadily, peaked in 1945,
and then began to decrease.

Cooke County also experienced

a growth in divorces during the war years and then a decline

From 1940 to 1943 divorces averaged about

ninety per year, then growing to over 150 per year on the

average until 1947.

Then for the next three years the

number of broken marriages returned to less than 100


The number of divorces during the war increased for
several apparent reasons.

Although the Civil Relief Act

of 1940 stated that a serviceman did not have to answer a
divorce summons, many occurred anyway.

Some veterans

divorced . because they had only married in hopes of obtaining
a deferment or receiving an allotment; others married too
young or were separated from their spouses for long periods
of time while both experienced new roles; still others just
met someone else; a few no doubt experienced tensions due
to overcrowded wartime housing conditions.

Logically too,

the increase in the number of wartime marriages naturally
increased the probability of subsequent divorces.


many marriages ended, no conclusive data supported the
hypothesis that veterans divorced more frequently than nonveterans.


While Camp Howze reshaped the economic and social life
of Cooke County between 1942 and 1946, few enduring changes
resulted from the experience.

Other than the men stationed

at the post and those civilians involved in wartime employment and activities, few people vividly remember the bustle
of activity caused by Camp Howze.

Today on the rolling

prairie northwest of Gainesville, only a few mute reminders
have withstood the weathering of time.

Once used as plat-

forms for barracks, concrete blocks, although barely visible
above the tall grass, dot the countryside.

Several other

structures also stand as mere hints of the past.

The Fair

Park USO, built with federal money and purchased by the city
in 1946 for $15,400, became the Gainesville Community Center
on California Street.

A few surplus barracks converted into

remodeled homes can be seen around the county.

Of eleven

chapels at Camp Howze, only one has survived, having been
moved to the corner of Denton and Scott Streets in Gainesville as part of the Westminister Presbyterian Church.


Southern-style church with its colonial decor deceives
visitors until they view the interior which retains the
open-beam rafters, the lighting fixtures, and the original
floor and windows.

Camp water wells purchased by the city

of-Gainesville are still utilized.

The airport west of

Gainesville remains in operation to this day.

And many

· use. 31
roads built
t h roug h t h e camp are sti'11 in

Although many people from Cooke County tended to
accept wartime conditions and to appreciate the learning
experiences, others saw only the problems.

Some disliked

the crowded conditions, others resented the loss of their
land, while a few even considered the military presence as

detrimental to the morals of the young.

While some of the

problems were no doubt real, many were only imagined.


though crowds existed, most servicemen waited patiently and
courteously along with area residents.

Many had to sell

their land for the construction of the base, but most
regained their property after the war.

And few soldiers

committed major disturbances or crimes of any consequence. 32
Inasmuch as area residents disliked some situations
caused by the camp, soldiers also voiced complaints about
their hosts in Cooke County.
enough recreation.

Gainesville failed to provide

Businessmen overpriced merchandise.

Landlords charged excessive rent rates. · Buses, restaurants,
and movie theaters were always too crowded.
dull and uninteresting.

The town was

But in no instances did the soldiers

accuse the citizens of being unfriendly.

In fact, Colonel

J.P. Wheeler, the first camp commander, once commented that
he had never found people anywhere to be more cooperative
. 11 e.
than the residents
o f Gainesvi


While the material effects and disadvantages from Camp
Howze were evident, other influences--perhaps even more
substantial--remain less noticeable.

Because of the close-

ness experienced from having boarders, entertaining servicemen, and helping in many other ways, area residents formed
lasting friendships with service families, many of whom


still occasionally write and visit.

For example, Marie

Cannon, a Red Cross and USO volunteer who also rented out
rooms, communicates with friends in five different states.
When her mother died, the five families jointly purchased
the floral arrangement that covered the casket for their
"service mom."

In another situation, a mother of a Camp

Howze soldier wrote a letter to a local pastor, thanking
him and the congregation for helping her son forget his
. k ness. 34
h omesic

In addition to lasting friendships, people gained an
awareness of and an appreciation for cultural differences.
This insight occurred when one of the first groups at the
camp arrived.

Many of them from Brooklyn, New York, felt

contempt for Texans, and area residents returned the sentiment.

Finally realizing that the men had arrived at the

pewly constructed base in a rain storm, causing horrendously
muddy conditions, communities opened their doors to welcome
the soldiers.

As more servicemen arrived at the camp,

people became aware of customs in other states, particularly
in the North.

Also, area residents met talented musicians,

singers, and others from various backgrounds and countries.
Perhaps even more important than the economic benefits
derived from Camp Howze was the social and cultural impact--

a chance to broaden the experiences of people who had
neither journeyed extensively nor met travelers.


Besides cultural differences, both groups gained an
awareness of language variations.

For example, first-grade

teacher Thelma Atkins taught a student, whose father was
stationed at Camp Howze, that words have many meanings.
While explaining about cowboys and cattle on the range--a
favorite topic of many non-Texas service families who
thought all natives wore cowboy hats and boots and rode
horses--the bewildered young fellow finally summoned enough
courage to ask how a cow could "sit on a stove."


another instance, Marie Cannon invited friends to "go out
to eat"--and they came dressed for a picnic rather than
dinner at a restaurant.

The situation at times reversed

Non-Texans laughed about Southern words, such as

you all, and about accents, imitating such words as oil
("all") , corn fritters, four (" foah") , and other words with
the letter "R."


While reactions among military personnel and civilians
varied, most retained fond memories of those wartime years.
Although some labeled the Camp Howze experience a nightmare,
others considered it an interesting period and a financial
life saver.

A few of the men stationed at the post liked

Gainesville enough to return after the war and make it their



Having relied upon federal money to ease the hardships
incurred during the Great Depression and having further
depended upbn assistance during World War II, the people
of Gainesville now resolved to subsidize their own post-war

New Deal programs, especially the Agricultural

Adjustment Administration, brought prosperity to the county.
Then during World War II, the economic assistance came in
the form of a military base.

The camp employed hundreds of

civilians and pumpprimed business activity in nearby communities.

In addition, the federal government granted $5,000

to Gainesville to finance a garbage collection system and
provided other· funds for housing projects to relieve the


overcrowde d con d itions.


Once the deactivation of the camp became a reality,
many people feared a subsequent business slump.

Yet the

Gainesville post-war planning committee still refused
federal assistance, claiming citizens could finance their
own projects and preferring economic individualism to
reli~nce upon the state.

In some instances, the city

managed to recover from the high unemployment and economic

Several industries spurred that revivification

in the form of oil industry expansion, highway construction,
and residential building.

But because of some of these

very devalopments, the city profited indirectly from


federal assistance.

Loans made to veterans stimulated

residential construction and business development.


lease of the Howzeville housing project, purchase of the
USO building for a community center, and acquisition of the
military air base saved the city thousands of dollars in
construction costs.

Although Gainesville perhaps directly

avoided federal assistance, the presence of Camp Howze
during the war years proved advantageous to the area in the
. d 39
pas t -war perio.

In spite of the economic advantages realized by the
county both during and after the war, most people recognized
that the real riches reaped were those not measured solely
in terms of dollars and cents.

The only ones who truly

suffered during the war were the servicemen who returned
home wounded or the anguished families who had lost loved

Other than those heartaches, most sacrifices seemed

trivial because people derived satisfaction from contributing
~o the common good.

People converted inconveniences into

chal~enges--often fun challenges.

They learned to accept

minor deprivations--secondary compared to the adversities
endured by those in the war-torn areas of Europe and the

Because of the proximity of Camp Howze, Cooke

County residents saw that the world was much bigger than
their own backyards and that the war was not so far away.


By bringing global events closer and by reaching out to
others, those who profited the most from wartime experiences
were those who took the time to get involved, to help others,
to care.

By putting themselves into the center of activity,

many transformed minor hardships into lasting friendships
f on d memories.
an d unp 1 easant circumstances


Gainesville Daily Register, August 28, 1945, p. l;
January 1, 1947, p. 1.

Gainesville Daily Register, July 17, 1945, p. 2; U.S.
Department of War, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Postwar Utilization Studies (Camp Howze, Texas: September,
19 45) , pp . 1- 3.

Gainesville Weekly Register, July 26, 1945, p. 6;
August 30, 1945, p. l; March 14, 1946, p. l; Gainesville
Daily Register, October 9, 1945, pp. 1, 6; February 21,
1946, p. 2; August 15, 1946, p. l; January 1, 1947, p. 1.

Gainesville Daily Register, February 21, 1946, p. 3;
Smith, Cooke County, p. 216.

Gainesville Daily Register, March 26, 1946, p. 3;
April 4, 1946, p. l; Mary 29, 1946, p. l; June 25, 1946,
p. l; July 25, 1946, p. l; August 1, 1946, p. 4; September 18, 1946, p. 3; September 26, 1946, p. l; October 4,
1946, p. 2; January 1, 1946, p. l; August 22, 1946, p. 6;
November 14, 1946, p. l; Smith, Cooke County, p. 224;
Mossman to Burns; Alexander to Burns.
6 Gainesville Weekly Register, August 17, 1944, p. 1.
7 smith, Cooke County, p. 216; Gainesville Weekly
Register, February 28, 1946, p. l; September 9, 1946, p. 8;
October 17, 1946, p. 8; Cooke County Deeds, vol. 265, pp.
269, 271; Cooke County Deeds, vol. 267, pp. 318, 337; Cooke
County Deeds, vol. 324, p. 624; Cooke County Deeds, vol. 325,
PP• 10 5 I 2 2 0 •
8 Gainesville Daily Register, February 28, 1946, p. 1.
9 Gainesville Daily Register, July 9, 1942, p. l;
July 13, 1942, p. 6; January 4, 1946, p. 3; June 4, 1946,
p. l; Smith, Cooke County, pp. 218-219; Commissioner's
Court Minutes, vol. XIII, February 2, 1948, p. 468; Interview with Smith.


lOG a1nesv1
. 11 e Dai· 1 y Register,
Septe mb er 18 , 1945 , p. 2 ;
December 6, 1946, p. 2; January 18, 1947, p. 6; Gainesville
Weekly Register, March 21, 1946, p. 1.

Gainesville Daily Register, September 15, 1945, p. 3;
September 18, 1945, p. 6; September 24, 1945, pp. 1, 3;
September 27, 1945, p. 6; October 1, 1945, p. 3; October 12,
1945, p. 2; January 11, 1946, p. 3; February 23, 1946, p. 3;
March 6, 1946, sec. 2, p. 5.

· 11 e Dai· 1 y Register,
January 2 , 1946 , p. 6 ;
January 29, 1946, p. 3; February 5, 1946, p. 2; September 6,
1946, p. 2; Economic Survey of Cooke County, pp. 4.07,
4.1002; Smith, Cooke County, p. 218.

Gainesville Daily Register,· January 6, 1945, p. 5;
December 11, 1945, p. 2; December 21, 1945, p. l; February 1,
1946, p. l; February 28, 1946, p. 7; January 1, 1947, p. 2;
Clive, State of War, p. 125; Interview with Graham.

Gainesville Daily Register, January 17, 1946, p. 6;
March 5, 1946, pp. 1, 6; March 13, 1946, p. 8; April 24,
1946, p. 5; Smith, Cooke County, p. 218; Gainesville, Texas,
Municipal Department, City Council Minutes, February 20,
1946; Gainesville Weekly Register, February 28, 1946, p. 1.
15 Gainesville Daily Register, May 3, 1944, p. 2; City
Council Minutes, December 15, 1947, pp. 1894-1895.
16 city Council Minutes, July 5, 1950; City Council
Minutes, July 15, 1952, p. 2293; Smith, Cooke County, p. 218.
17 Polenberg, War and Society, p. 96; Clive, State of
War, p. 216.; Camp Howze Howitzer, September 22, 1944, p. 3;
Perrett, Days of Sadness, p. 341; Gainesville Daily Register,
September 19, 1946, p. 3; Economic Survey of Cooke County,
pp. 3.0210, 3.0213.
18 perrett, Days of Sadness, p. 341; Gainesville Weekly
Register, September 26, 1946, p. l; Gainesville Daily
Register, October 4, 1946, p. 2; Camp Howze Howitzer,
March 17, 1944, p. 1.
19 Blum, V for Victory, pp. 336, 338; Interview with
Graham; Economic Survey of Cooke County, pp. 3.0201, 3.0204,
3.0206, 3.0210, 2.0213; Gainesville Daily Register, July 3,
1946, p. 3.


Gainesville Daily Register, November 2, 1945, p. 8;
December 12, 1945, p. 8; January 1, 1946, p. l; May 27,
1946, p. 2; September 3, 1946, p. l; January 1, 1947, p. 2;
Smithe, Cooke County, p. 224.

smith, Cooke County, pp. 207, 210; 1950 Population,
p. 43-11; Economic Survey of Cooke County, p. 3.0201;
Merrill, Wartime Influences, p. 17.

Gainesville Daily Register, October 24, 1945, p. 8;
Merrill, Wartime Influences, p. 51; Elizabeth Janeway, ed.,
Women: Their Changing Roles, in The Great Contemporary
Issues Series, Set I (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 228;
Gainesville, Texas, County Clerk's Office, Cooke County
Courthouse, City Birth Records, 1938-1953.
23 Interview
. h Atk'ins; Dr. W. C. Vincent,
Jr. to
Barbara K. Burns, January 19, 1984, in possession of author;
Gainesville Daily Register, May 2, 1942, p. 3; September 9,
1942, p. l; September 13, 1943, p. 5; January 1, 1944, p. 4;
September 12, 1944, p. 6; April 6, 1945, p. 2; April 12,
1945, p. 3; April 10, 1946, p. 2.


Gainesville, Texas, County Clerk's Office, Cooke
County Courthouse, City Death Records, 1932-1953; Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1944, p. 2; January 1,
1945, p. 7; January 1, 1946, p. 6; June 27, 1946, p. l;
January 1, 1947, p. 8; Gainesville Weekly Register, April 4,
1946, p. l; Interview with Keel.

smith, Cooke County, pp. 217-218; Economic Survey of
Cooke County, pp. 3.0201, 2.0204, 2.0206; Gainesville Daily
Register, June 27, 1946, p. 5.
2 6 Gainesvi
. 11 e Dai. 1 y Register,
Septemb er 7, 1 9 4 6, p. 1.
27 rnterview with Bright.

Anderson, Wartime Women, pp. 76-77; William Fielding
Ogburn, ed., American Society in Wartime (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1943); pp. 6-7, 23; J. Lipman-Blumen,
"Crisis Framework Applied to Macrosociological Changes:
Marriage, Divorce, and Occupational Trends Associated with
World War II," Journal of Marriage and the Family, XXXVII
(November, 1975): 893, 895. Hereafter cited as LipmanBlumen, "Marriage, Divorce, and Occupational Trends;"
Gainesville Daily Register, January 4, 1944, p. 3; January 3,

1946, p. 3; January 30, 1946, p. 2; Gainesville, Texas,
County Clerk's Office, Cooke County Courthouse, Marriage
Records, vols. 18-24; Gainesville Weekly Register,
January 9, 1947, p. 1.

Merrill, Wartime Influences, p. 26; Ogburn, American
Society in Wartime, p. 25; Cooke County, Texas, District
Clerk's Office, Divorce Minutes, vols. 14-15, Cooke County
Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas; Gainesville Daily Register,
January 6, 1942, p. 5; December 31, 1946, p. 3; Sandra
Stencel, "The Changing American Family," Editorial Research
Reports, I(June 3, 1977): 417; Anderson, Wartime Women,
p. 83.

Merrill, Wartime Influences, pp. 28, 42, 44-45;
Gainesville Daily Register, May 5, 1944, p. 4; LipmanBlumen, "Marriage, Divorce, and Occupational Trends," pp.
896-897; Anderson, Wartime Women, p. 80; Divorce Minutes,
vols. 14-15; Marriage Records, vols. 18-24.
31 Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1946, p. l;
June 7, 1946, p. 8; July 18, 1946, p. l; October 26, 1946,
p. 5; Interview with Smith; Interview with Estes; Gainesville Weekly Register, July 8, 1946, p. l; Smith, Cooke
County, p. 223; Interview with Kyle Thurman, Gainesville,
Texas, January 25, 1984; Interview with Graham; Interview
with Yarbroughs.
32 Interview with Fuhrman; Interview with Graham; Interview with Keel; Interview with Cannon.
33 Gainesville Daily Register, October 14, 1942, sec. 3,

p. l; September 14, 1944, p. 5.
34 Interview with Cannon; Gainesville Daily Register,
April 29, 1944, p. 2.
35 Interview with Bright; Interview with Graham; Interview with Cannon; Interview with Atkins.
3 6 Interview
. h Atk ins;
I n t erview
. h Cannon; Interwit
view with Graham.
37 Gainesville Daily Register, September 24, 1944, p. 5;
September 21, 1945, p. 6; September 24, 1945, p. 2;
September 21, 1946, p. 2; Interview with Smith.


collins, Cooke County, Texas, pp. 57-58; Gainesville
Daily Register, November 19, 1942, p. 6; February 26, 1943,
p. 3; January 1, 1944, p. 2.


Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1944, p. 2;
March 1, 1946, p. 2.

Polenberg, War and Society, p. 132; Interview with
Bright; Interview with Graham.

Government Documents
Cooke County, Texas. County Clerk's Office. Commissioner's
Court Minutes. Vol. XIII.
Cooke County Courthouse.
Gainesville, Texas.
Cooke County, Texas. County Clerk's Office. Cooke County
Deeds. Cooke County Courthouse. Gainesville, Texas.
Cooke County, Texas. County Clerk's Office. Marriage
Records. Cooke County Courthouse. Gainesville, Texas.
Cooke County, Texas. District Clerk's Office. Divorce
Cooke County Courthouse. Gainesville, Texas.
Gainesville, Texas. County Clerk's Office. Cooke County
Courthouse. City Birth Records.
Gainesville, Texas. County Clerk's Office. Cooke County
Courthouse. City Death Records.
Gainesville, Texas. Municipal Department. City Council
Minutes. February 20, 1946-July 15, 1952.
United States Department of Commerce.
Census of Population:
1950. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office,
United States Department of Commerce. Sixteenth Census of
the United States: 1940 Population, Vol. I. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942.
united States Department of War. Office of the Chief of
Engineers. Post-War Utilization Studies. Camp Howze,
Texas. September, 1945.
Unpublished Letters and Interviews
Alexander, Mariann E., to Barbara K. Burns.
In possession of author.


December 23,

Atkins, Thelma.

Gainesville, Texas.

Bright, Juanita Weinzapfel.
January 27, 1984.
Cannon, Marie.

Interview, February 1,

Muenster, Texas.

Gainesville, Texas.


Interview, February 8,

Coffee, Edwin R., to Barbara K. Burns.
In possession of author.

October 21, 1983.

Duberry, Eugene N., Captain, Camp Howze, Texas, to Morrison
Milling Company, Denton, Texas. North Texas State
University Archives, Denton, Texas.
Estes, Norma Jane. Gainesville, Texas.
January 24, 1984.
Fuhrman, Elsie.
Gilbert, Jo.

Muenster, Texas.

Interview, January 27,

Gainesville, Texas.

Interview, February 1,

Graham, Elizabeth. Gainesville, Texas.
February 17, 1984.
Hocker, J. R.
Keel, Melissa.

Gainesville, Texas.
Gainesville, Texas.

Mossman, B. C., to Barbara K. Burns.
In possession of author.
Pick, Bertha.


Muenster, Texas.


Interview, February 8,
Interview, February 24,
September 13, 1983.

Interview, January 27, 1984.

Smith, Julian.

Gainesville, Texas.

Interview, January 11,

Thurman, Kyle.

Gainesville, Texas.

Interview, January 25,

Vincent, W. C., Jr., Ed.D., to Barbara K. Burns.
In possession of author.

January 10,

Yarbrough, Paul and Frances.
January 25, 1984.

Gainesville, Texas.


Published Works
Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women:
Sex Roles, Ramily Relations,
and the Status of Women During World War II. Westport,
Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1981.
Blum, John Morton. V Was for Victory: Politics and American
Culture During World War II. New York: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich, 1976.
Bureau of Business Research, College of Business Administration, The University of Texas. An Economic Survey of
Cooke County. Prepared for The Texas & Pacific Railway
Company, 1949.
A Camera Trip Through Camp Howze:
Picture Book of the Camp
and Its Activities. Brooklyn: Ullman Company, 1943.
State of War: Michigan in World War II.
Clive, Alan.
The University of Michigan Press, 1979.


Collins, Michael.
Cooke County, Texas: Where the South and
the West Meet. Gainesville, Texas: Cooke County
Heritage Society and Texas Committee for the Humanities,
Funifiello, Philip J. The Challenge to Urban Liberalism:
Federal-City Relations during World War II. Knoxville:
The University of Tennessee Press, 1978.
Havighurst, Robert J., and Morgan, H. Gerthon.
The Social
History of a War-Boom Community. New York: Longmans,
Green and Co., Inc., 1951.
Merrill, Francis E.
Social Problems on the Home Front:
Study of Wartime Influences.
New York: Harper &
Brothers, 1948.


Ogburn, William Fielding, ed.
American Society in Wartime.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1943.

Perrett, Geoffrey. Days of Sadness, Years of Triumph: The
American People 1939-1945. New York: Coward, Mccann
& Geoghegan Inc., 1973.
Polenberg, Richard. War and Society: The United States,
1941-1945. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company,
Smith, A. Morton.
San Antonio:

The First 100 Years in Cooke County.
The Naylor Company, 1955.

Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, 1943-1944.
A.H. Belo Corporation, 1943.


Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, 1945-1946.
A.H. Belo Corporation, 1945.


Who Was Who in American History--The Military.
Marquis, 1975.


Denton Record-Chronicle, October 12, 1983, p. 2D.
Camp Howze Howitzer, August 20, 1943-April 28, 1944.
County Library. Gainesville, Texas.


Gainesville Daily Register, January 1, 1942-January 31, 1947.
Gainesville Weekly Register, January, 1942-January, 1947.
Janeway, Elizabeth, ed. Women: Their Changing Roles, in
The Great Contemporary Issues Series. New York: Arno
Press, 1978.
Lipman-Blumen, J. "Crisis Framework Applied to Macrosociological Changes: Marriage, Divorce, and Occupational
Trends Associated with World War II." Journal of
Marriage and the Family, XXXVII (November, 1975):
Schad, Elaine.
"The Great Ice Storm of 1945."
Gainesville, IV (january, 1984): 3-7.

All Around


Stencel, Sandra.
"The Changing American Family." Editorial
Research Reports, I (June 3, 1977): 413-432.