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RG3943.AM:  Knowles Family

Papers:  1893-1927, n.d.

Cass County and McCook, Red Willow County, Neb.:  

Size:  4 folders


David Knowles was born in Manchester, England in 1811. His father died soon after his birth, and David and his mother moved to his mother’s country of Wales. Knowles’ first job was as a clerk in Liverpool and London. He also taught school in Wales. In 1845 Knowles moved his family to America, settling in Iowa Territory. On January 1, 1846, he was commissioned to preach by the American Home Missionary Society. He organized several Welsh Congregational churches in Iowa and also preached at local English churches. His missionary work in Iowa ended in 1868 when Knowles moved to Cass County, Nebraska, where he lived with his son until his death in 1899. R.G. Knowles, son of David, was a train dispatcher in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska. His son, Griffith R. Knowles, served in World War I as a Sergeant in Company F of the 89th Division, 355th Infantry.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in three series: 1) Reminiscences, 1896; 2) Correspondence, 1918-1919; and 3) Claude Knowles Family materials. This material relates to the missionary work of David Knowles and the correspondence between members of the Knowles family during and after World War I.

Series 1 contains the reminiscences of David Knowles, a Congregational minister who did missionary work in Cass County, Nebraska. Two copies of the reminiscences, written in 1896 and delivered as a speech at the district convention of the Christian Endeavor Society at Trenton, Nebraska, are included. Also a part of this series is an obituary for David Knowles.

Series 2 consists of correspondence dating from 1918-1919. The material in this series consists of letters written by R.G. Knowles, a train dispatcher in McCook, Nebraska to his son, Griffith R. Knowles, while the latter was serving in World War I as a Sergeant in Company F of the 89th Division, 355th Infantry. These letters discuss events on the home front, including the flu epidemic of 1918.

Series 3 contains miscellaneous materials and a few letters relating to Claude Knowles and family.

The first two series of this collection were loaned for copying in March of 1979. The third series was added in 2004.


Series 1 – Reminiscences, 1896


  1. Two copies of the reminiscences of David Knowles; obituary of David Knowles also included.

Series 2 – Correspondence, 1918-1919

  1. Letters from R.G. Knowles to Griffith R. Knowles, 1918-1919, while Griffith was serving as a Sergeant in Company F of the 89th Division, 355th Infantry.

Series 3 – Claude Knowles family materials

  1. Correspondence: 1893, 1924, 1927, and undated

  2. Marriage certificate, genealogy chart, and miscellaneous



Cass County (Neb.) — History

Clergy — Nebraska

Congregational Church in Nebraska


Knowles, Claude

Knowles, David, 1811-1899

Knowles, Griffith R.

Knowles, R.G.

Knowles family

Missionaries — Nebraska

World War, 1914-1918 — Nebraska


AIF/pjm   02-01-1980

kfk   12-31-2003

revised kfk   06-04-2004

11-09-2009   Revised TMM/tmm