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

Digital Records Available from the John P. Ambuehl Collection