|Philip William Dasch (left) and his brother, Millard Eugene
Philip William Dasch (1894-1958) was born in Independence, Kansas and moved to Whitman County, Washington with his family in 1897. After graduating from high school and passing a qualifying examination for beginning teachers, he taught at Glenwood School near the town of Palouse. He began studying geology at Washington State College in 1916, but interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army in 1917. He was assigned to the 4th Division, 13th Field Artillery, Battery "A," serving in France and Germany. At the time of his discharge in 1919 held the rank of corporal.
In these letters from Dasch to his family in Palouse, he tells the story of his military service. They begin with a letter dated June 3, 1917, as he travels to Texas for training at Fort Bliss, and end with a letter dated June 27, 1919, as he approached the end of his service with the American Expeditionary Force in Germany. There are 78 letters (some incomplete) and 10 postcards in the collection.
After completing his military service, Dasch worked as a teacher in Sunset, WA, near present-day St. John. There he met his future wife, fellow teacher Emma Alcliffe Randall. They married in 1922, and soon after moved to Colfax, WA, where they settled and raised their family. Philip Dasch worked in the Whitman County auditor's office, at the Emerson Knox department store as a bookkeeper, and at the United States Post Office in Colfax, where he became assistant postmaster.
The letters are part of the Dasch Family Papers (MS 2008-36).
Dorothy Evangeline Dasch Lukins and the estate of Philip Randall Dasch provided financial support for this digital collection.