Pillow Sham

Donated by Norman and Elsie Young

During World War II, souvenir pillow shams were popular gifts sent from soldiers to family and friends back home. This sham boasts a golden castle in the upper left hand corner, the symbol for the Army Corps of Engineers. In the upper right corner, the blue star on a red and white background is a symbol used by the Army Service Forces from March 9, 1942 through June 11, 1946. The large symbol in the center of the sham represents Fort Leonard Wood’s Engineer Replacement Training Center. The phrase “Victoria Ex Scientia” means “Victory from Knowledge.”

Norman Young (1913-1989) was born near the Madison County community of Wesley. He enlisted in the Army in 1943, trained at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and served with the Army Corps of Engineers. Young’s overseas tour of duty took him to Italy.  PFC Norman Young was discharged from service on October 17, 1945. He returned home to Northwest Arkansas, married Elsie Cress, and worked as a custodian at the University of Arkansas.

Emerson “Patriot” Radio

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This radio belonged to the Carl Smith family of Fayetteville.

In 1940, with U. S. involvement in World War II on everyone’s mind, Emerson Radio and Phonograph Company and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes came out with the “Patriot” radio in red, white, and blue colors. The cabinet is made of catalin, a type of plastic similar to bakelite. Patriots retailed for $24.95.

Pillow Sham

Donated by Pam Redfern

During World War II, Private First Class (PFC) William C. “Bill” Lewis of Vale (Washington County) sent this souvenir pillow sham to Mrs. Ora Smith, a family friend and neighbor.

PFC Lewis trained at Camp Hood, Texas, and served with the 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion in the European theater. Camp Hood, now Fort Hood, was the training center for all tank destroyer forces. The 609th entered action on September 27th, 1944, at Moutiers, France, and remained in the theater through the end of the war. The logo in the center of the sham is the emblem for the United States tank destroyer forces.

Vale was located south of Fayetteville. Today the area is within the Fayetteville city limits, south of Baum Stadium near the intersection of Cato Springs Road and Razorback Road. The Vale post office was established August 27, 1901, and remained in operation until 1951. From 1887 until 1911, children in the Vale community attended a rural school named Dowell’s Chapel.


Donated by Naomi Bickford

While in Europe as a soldier during World War I, Nathan Bickford sent his wife, Naomi, this apron. Nathan Bickford served with Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the war. He was awarded a sharpshooters badge, a World War I victory medal and a purple heart with oak leaf clusters for injuries suffered in France.

The Bickfords lived in Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee before coming to Northwest Arkansas in the 1940s, where Nathan Bickford was an attorney in Gravette and Springdale.