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Howard C. Rather papers

Identifier: UA-17.442

Scope and Contents

The Howard C. Rather papers consists of Rather's correspondence and diaries documenting his experiences as an Army officer during World War I. Covering the time period of January 1918 to May 1919, the collection includes descriptions of the people Rather dealt with every day, and the conditions he lived in, both in the States and in France. His letters home describe his training at Camp Custer, Michigan; Camp Jackson, South Carolina; Camp Merritt, New Jersey; and Saumur Artillery School, France. The daily routine and activities around him are duly described. He spent the last six months of the war seeing combat duty as part of a field artillery unit in France.

Rather's diaries offer brief entries on his views of his training and activities. The collection includes seven letters written by relatives and fellow soldiers. The entire collection was transcribed by the donor's wife, Lavon H. Rather, and printed in a paperback volume which is included with the collection.


  • Creation: 1918 - 1919


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Howard Christian Rather was born to Henry Robert and Mary Ann Rather on September 17, 1895, in Bay Port, Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1917. From 1917 to 1919 he served as a Second Lieutenant, Field Artillery, United States Army, with the American Expeditionary Forces France, 26th and 80th Divisions. He was honorably discharged. In June 1922 he married Emilie McKnight (died August 1923). He married again on October 23, 1926 to Hazel Cobb. This second marriage saw the birth of a son, Henry Lee Rather.

Following the war, Howard Rather joined the faculty of Michigan Agricultural College, first as an Agricultural Extension Specialist (1920) and later advancing to professor of farm crops, and head of Farm Crops Department (1928-1944). In 1944, he was appointed chairman of the Basic College committee, later becoming dean of the Basic College. He died on December 28, 1950, after a brief illness.


0.75 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Processing Information

Changed record group from 00169 to UA 17.442 to reflect Rather's connection to Michigan State University. M. Badgley Malone, January 2020.


Howard C. Rather Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
D. Gilmore
December 1992
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US