Several years ago, a Carroll Historical Society member, Mary Dallas Fafinski, called to ask me to come over to her house to see something she wanted to donate to the Society. When I got there she was eager to show me the contents of an old cardboard suitcase, saying that her sister, Frances Dallas, had clipped the pictures of soldiers that were published in the Jamestown Post Journal. She wondered if the Society would want them, and after seeing just the top layer, I knew they would. She said that Frances and the rest of the family would be happy to know that they were important enough to be kept.
At Carroll, the pages were copied and the originals were put into protective sleeves to be kept safe. The copies were put into a notebook and another member, Joyce Hansen, made an index for the photos shown on each page. As I worked with the pages, I realized that this scrapbook was far different from any of the other scrapbooks during the World War II-era that I had seen at Carroll. Even at the Fenton History Center, scrapbooks generally included the friends, neighbors, or High School students who enlisted or were drafted, or were specific to one Veteran’s experiences. Frances, however, cut out all of the clippings of servicemen and women and there are a total of 249 pages! These clippings, or most of them, include the Globe Studio photos that were free for World War II service men and women, but only for use in the newspaper. Extra photos couldn’t be ordered, and in many cases, when a service member died during the war, this was the only photo in uniform that the family had.
”I recently spoke with Frances, now Frances Poland, who was a 1945 Frewsburg High School graduate. I asked her about her project and also if she would mind that Carroll had shared a copy of the scrapbook with Fenton History Center, because there are so many soldiers, sailors, and airmen from surrounding towns. “I can’t even remember why I started clipping them, maybe I was bored or was concerned that a lot of people didn’t get the paper. I really can’t believe that they are still around, as they were in a closet at our house in Frewsburg for so many years.”
I have assured her that the suitcase held a bountiful treasure, and added that a current Fenton Research Center volunteer, Cindy Dustin, had made an alphabetized index. I was happy to receive her consent to expound in the newsletter on this valuable resource, which can be found at both Carroll Historical Society and Fenton History Center.
Included are a photo of Frances from the 1945 Frewsburg High School yearbook, and photos of the notebook cover, index page and two samples of the local World War II enlistees. Well done, Frances.