Henry Martin Knauth Photograph Collection
Henry Martin Knauth, First Lieutenant Quartermaster, American Expeditionary Force
D. H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC at Asheville
|Title||Henry Martin Knauth Photograph Collection|
|Henry (Heinrich) Martin Knauth|
|Subject Keyword||Henry Martin Knauth ; First World War ; Paris, France ; American Army ; Woodrow Wilson ; Notre Dame ; Battlefields ; Trenches ; Alsace-Lorraine, Germany ; American Expeditionary Force ; World War I - Battlefields ; Trench warfare ; soldiers, World War I - Life of Soldiers|
|Subject LCSH||Knauth, Henry Martin,|
|Publisher||D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804|
|Contributor||Descendents of Henry Martin Knauth|
|Type||Collection ; Image ; Text|
|Relation||Collection material is virtual|
Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
|Donor||Donor Number 400|
|Description||A collection of two-hundred-eighty-four photographs taken by Henry Martin Knauth during his tour of duty in Europe in the First World War as a quartermaster for the American Army. Photographs include famous sights in Paris such as Notre Dame, Napoleon's Stables, and photos of victory parades during the wars conclusion. Also featured are pictures Knauth took in various parts of France, Italy, and Germany during his travels while on leave. These photos include images of the destruction of the First World War along the Western Front. There are also pictures of Knauth's extended family and hometown in Ludwieler, Germany from which his family had migrated to the United States in the 1890's. Also included is a photograph of Woodrow Wilson flanked by an honor guard at the Paris Peace Conference.|
|Citation||Henry Martin Knauth Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804|
|Processed by||Special Collections staff, 2011-04-08|
Henry (Heinrich) Martin Knauth was born February 1889 in Seelyville, Indiana to Franco-German immigrants from the Alsace-Lorraine region. He was the first member of his family born in the United States. His early primary education took place in his hometown. Later he would attend the State Normal school in Terre Haute, Indiana. For University Martin Knauth studies engineering at Amherst College, Massachusetts. With his graduation he would enter the plumbing and construction contracting industry.
With the outbreak of the First World War Knauth began his service in the Army as a member of the second battery of field artillery attached to the ninth provisional training regiment headquartered in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis. He held this position from May 14th to August 14th, 1917. After this he was commissioned a first lieutenant quartermaster and assigned to the American Expeditionary Force from March 10, 1918 to August 10, 1919. During the war he was the chief purchasing agent at the chief quartermaster’s depot in Paris. Due to his great love of sport, which manifested during his entire life Knauth was the Coach and Manager of the inter-Allied Baseball team during the war.
It was during this period of overseas service that the photographs in this collection were created as a record of his experiences and travels in Europe while on leave from his official duties. Interestingly, with the war's conclusion Knauth took a trip into the border region of Alsace-Lorraine to visit his extended family. These were his father’s brothers and sisters and their families who had remained in Germany when the others immigrated. He also traveled to the south of France and Italy during this time.
Upon returning to the United States with the war's conclusion Knauth joined the construction firm of his brother Victor Knauth. Settling in Vincennes, Indiana Knauth set about establishing a life for himself in his new home. In 1921 he married Fredericka (Rica) Wagner with whom he has three children. These were Henry Martin Jr., William Victor, and Anna Lou.
In his new hometown Knauth became an engaged and important member of the community. In addition to being a father, husband, and prominent local business man, he was prominently involved in many civic organizations. These included the Shriners, the Kiwanis club, the American Legion, the local Harmony Society, and the local Rod and Gun club. He was a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, a member of the local Masonic Lodge, and part of the professional associations' Master Builders and Contractors in Vincennes. He was a well known and passionate devotee of sports in later life and was known by a wide following in his town and county, with a wide circle of friends in the area.
Tragically his life was cut short by pneumonia in 1929 at the age of 39. There is a family anecdote that he contracted the influenza that led to this fatal disease by repeatedly running outside to check the position of the family Christmas tree in the window of their home on a very cold night. It is unknown if this is true or not. He left behind a wife and three children, the youngest of which was five weeks old. He was also survived by his mother and five sisters residing in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was a valued member of his community and his passing was the cause of much grief.