John P. Ambuehl Collection


John P. Ambuehl and family






John P. Ambuehl was a private from Borup, Minnesota, who served as a machine gunner in France during WWI and was killed in action in October 1918. The documents in this collection cover his entry into service in 1917 and paperwork related to his burial arrangements. Other items of note include Ambuehl's pocket journal and correspondence from Clarence Rohlfing, a friend of Ambuehl who corresponded with the family after the war.

The bulk of the collection comes from a photo album of pictures taken during Ambuehl's time in military training. He was stationed at training camps in Indiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Long Island during the fall and winter of 1917-1918, and these photos capture his time there. Ambuehl wrote to his sister that he would often take pictures of his fellow soldiers and sell them the prints as a way to make money, but he would also send home photos of himself and his friends. The subjects of the photographs are soldiers, either formally posed or relaxed, as well as unit mascots, camp buildings, and scenery taken while traveling between camps. There are also several photographs from Ambuehl's brother Bill, who served in the Expeditionary Forces and survived the war. Scans of the album pages and individual photographs are provided.


Gift of Carol Frost, great-niece of John P. Ambuehl, and Mrs. James E. Higgins, 1981.

Carol Frost is the daughter of Elsie Ambuehl Halverson and Ole K. Halverson. She also donated the Halverson Collection to WWPL.


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Ada, Minnesota
World War, 1914-1918
United States. Army
Borup, Minnesota


Ole K. Halverson Collection, MS000199


1 linear foot of documents and photos, 27 PDF scans, 301 jpegs




These papers consist of seven folders of official documents, letters, telegrams, and memorabilia of Pvt. John P. Ambuehl, who was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1917 and died in 1918. Included are transcripts of two letters from Clarence J. Rohlfing describing life at the front and Pvt. Ambuehl’s wounding. There are also two photographs: one portrait of Private John Ambuehl and one portrait of Clarence J. Rohlfing.

Table Of Contents

Ambuehl's Army Service
Personal Possessions
General Correspondence and Miscellaneous Documents
Ambuehl's Death and Funeral
Letters to Ambuehl's Family
Photo Album

Collection Items

John P. Ambuehl Collection Finding Aid
Mostly documents, including letters, brochures, certificates, and photographs. There is also a printed book of transcribed letters.

Dear Sister
Spiral bound book of Ambuehl letters, privately printed by Carol Frost.

Arthur Dahlbom
Picture postcard of Arthur Dahlbom.

Henry Gordon and John Wells
Picture postcard of Henry Gordon (L) and John Wells ( R).

Bill Ambuehl
Picture postcard of Bill Ambuehl.

Torleif Christofferson
Hand written postcard note on the reverse of T100451.

Torleif Christofferson
Picture postcard of a soldier.

Henry Gordon
Picture postcard of Henry Gordon.

Art Fetting
Handwritten postcard note on the reverse of T100449a.

Art Fetting
Picture postcard of Art Fetting

Three Soldiers
Picture postcard of three soldiers, John P. Ambuehl in center

Group of Soldiers in Baseball Uniforms
Group of soldiers in baseball uniforms with dogs

Group of Soldiers in Baseball Uniforms
Group of soldiers in baseball uniforms, Henry Gordon second from right, bottom row

Two Soldiers Carrying Branches
Two soldiers carrying branches




Scenery from Train Window
Scenery from train window

Scenery from Train Window
Scenery from train window

Scenery from Train Window
Scenery from train window


View of Bridges and Boat
View of bridges and boat

View of Water with Bridge
View of water with bridge

Art Fetting with Two Soldiers
Three soldiers sitting outside a tent, Art Fetting on left

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