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RG5178.AM: Larry Vaughan (Lawrence Edward), 1922-2012

Papers:  1935-2007, mostly 1940s

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb:  World War II serviceman, educator

Size:  2.5 cu. ft.


Born in Brunswick, Nebraska, on August 4, 1922, Lawrence E. “Larry” Vaughan was the only son of Gordon and Beatrice Vaughan. In 1925, Larry moved with his family to Lincoln, Nebraska, where his father was hired as the Deputy Registrar of Deeds at the Lancaster County Courthouse. Gordon Vaughan later earned the position of Registrar of Deeds, a job he held until his death in 1958. Beatrice Vaughan dedicated her life to helping the community; she was an active member of the Trinity Methodist church, the Women’s Society of Christian Service, and the Women’s Wesleyan Educational Council.

Larry Vaughan attended Lincoln schools throughout his life, including Randolph Elementary, Irving Jr. High, and Lincoln High School.  He later earned college degrees, including a PhD in education from Nebraska Wesleyan University.  During his early years at Wesleyan, Vaughan met his future wife, Ruth Norton.  They were married in August 1942 and had one son, Victor Vaughan.  Soon after his marriage, Larry began a tour of duty that lasted from March 1943 and January 1946.  After both pursuing careers in education, Larry and Ruth retired but remained active in the Lincoln community.  Larry was a charter member of the Lincoln Capital City Kiwanis Club and continued to participate in the Kiwanis Grandpa program.  The Vaughans enjoyed traveling as much as possible.  Larry Vaughan died on May 15, 2012.  Ruth Vaughan died on June 29, 2013.  They are buried in Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in seven series:  1) Larry Vaughan materials; 2) Victor Vaughan Correspondence to Larry and Ruth; 3) Beatrice Vaughan diaries; 4) Ruth Vaughan materials; 5) Harry Vaughan materials; 6) Vaughan family materials; and 7) miscellaneous materials.

Series 1, Larry Vaughan materials, is the largest series in the collection.  The bulk of this series consists of Larry’s letters to Ruth during his military career, some of which contained poetry written especially for her.  Also included are Larry’s letters to his parents from the same time period.  The letters are descriptive and provide a wonderful first-hand account of military service during the 1940s.  Another significant portion of this series are Larry’s diaries that he kept while in high school and in the military.  Two comprehensive and meticulously identified scrapbook/photo albums that document Larry’s tour of duty from induction to discharge are also included in this series.  Series 2, Victor Vaughan Correspondence to Larry and Ruth, describe his military service in Germany during the 1960s.  Later in that decade he developed lymph node cancer and died on June 4, 1969.  The Series 3, Beatrice Vaughan diaries, are the journals Larry’s mother kept before and during Larry’s military years.

Series 4, Ruth Vaughan materials, include her own diaries kept during Larry’s military career. Because Larry, Beatrice, and Ruth were all keeping diaries at the same time, it is often possible to see what each family member was doing on the same day, two women at home in Nebraska and a soldier serving half-a-world away.  Series 5, Harry Vaughan materials, consists of poems written by an extended family member.  Series 6, Vaughan family materials, includes detailed genealogical materials on the Vaughan family.  Series 7, miscellaneous materials, contains photocopies of a scrapbook and newspaper clippings.

Note:  See the photo, moving image and sound recording components [RG5178] for related materials.


Series 1 – Larry Vaughan materials

Subseries 1: Correspondence

Box 1


    1. Correspondence to Ruth, 1943

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, January-February 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, March 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, April 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, May 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, June 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, July 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, August 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, September 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, October 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, November 1945

    1. Correspondence to Ruth, December 1945

    1. Correspondence to parents, 1943-1945

    1. Christmas letters, various years

    1. Bulletins regarding Vic’s illness

    1. Correspondence, 2004-

Subseries 2: Diaries

Box 2


    1. 1935-36

    1. 1938-1940

    1. March 24, 1943-December 31, 1943

    1. February 15-March 10, 1945 “24 Days at Sea”

    1. Photocopy of “24 Days at Sea” diary

    1. March 11-May 20, 1945

    1. June 8, 1945-January 21, 1946

    1. 1953 datebook

    1. 1990, 91, 93, 94 datebooks

Subseries 3: Writings

    1. Autobiographical essays

Box 3


    1. Autobiographical essays

    1. Relationship of Values to Leadership, Scholarship, and Vocational Choice by Larry Vaughan, 1959 (dissertation)

    1. Poetry

Subseries 4: Miscellaneous

Box 3


    1. “Buddies” books (servicemen addresses, with comments)

    1. Thank you letters for Kiwanis Grandpa program

    1. Kiwanis Grandpa program materials

    1. Appointment books, 1970-75

    1. Appointment books, 1982-84

    1. Autograph book from Jr. High

    1. Miscellaneous, includes copy of military discharge papers

    1. Scrapbook assembled in the 1940s (see oversize)

    1. Scrapbook assembled in the 1940s (see oversize)

Series 2 – Victor Vaughan correspondence to Larry and Ruth

Box 4


    1. August 5-October 29, 1964

    1. November-December 1964

    1. January-March 1965

    1. April-December 1965

    1. January-December 1966

    1. Miscellaneous materials regarding Victor

Series 3 – Beatrice Vaughan diaries

    1. 1930, 1933

    1. 1941-43

    1. 1944, 1945

Box 5


    1. 1946, 1947

    1. 1948, 1949

    1. 1950, 1951

Series 4 – Ruth Vaughan materials

    1. 1943, 1944 diaries

    1. Miscellaneous materials regarding Ruth’s career

Series 5 – Harry Vaughan materials

    1. Poems

Series 6 – Vaughan family materials

    1. Clippings

    1. Genealogical materials

    1. Family history

Series 7 – Miscellaneous materials

Box 6


    1. Scrapbook (photocopies)

    1. Translated diary of a Japanese soldier

    1. Miscellaneous materials, including clippings

    1. Differential Value Patterns of College Students by Wesley A. Poe, 1954 (dissertation)

    1. Nebraska Wesleyan University materials


Subject headings:

Military service

Soldiers — Nebraska

Vaughan family

Vaughan, Beatrice Fern, 1895-1954

Vaughan, Lawrence Edward “Larry,” 1922-2012

Vaughan, Ruth E. (Norton), 1923-2013

Vaughan, Victor Lane, 1943-1969

World War, 1939-1945


EC/kfk                  06-04-2004

Revised TMM      07-10-2019