The City of Macomb, Western Illinois State Teachers College and Camp Ellis During World War II

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Hartnett, John
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Western Illinois University
This thesis provides insight into an area that is too often ignored in American history. The problems encountered at home during World War II were many and complex. This study of the Macomb community provides unique insights to studies of this nature. The placement of Camp Ellis along with the input and influence of Western Illinois State Teachers College created many new social, economic and cultural adjustments for the community. Situations of this type remain relatively unexplored by contemporary historians. The research involved in this study deals almost exclusively with primary source materials. In particular, manuscript collections, personal correspondence, and oral interviews. The interviews and correspondence provide valuable insights unobtainable in secondary source materials. The value of oral history to a study of this nature is crucial. Those individuals selected provide a sampling of viewpoints from different sections of the Macomb community thus adding unique insights into all aspects of the thesis. This study demonstrates that a small Midwestern community shared many of the same problems that were experienced throughout the country, in particular the Japanese problem witnessed throughout the Western portion of the United States. Despite then, the community's isolated location and relatively small population the problems encountered in this Midwestern area were highly comparable to that of the entire nation.