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James A. Grimshaw, Sr. Collection

Identifier: 2009.05

Scope and Contents

The James A. Grimshaw, Sr. Collection contains correspondence and personal papers that pertain to Grimshaw's service in the United States Army from May 1945 to August 1946, including his basic training at Fort Hood and his tour in Italy in 1946. The collection also describes his family's lives on the homefront in Corpus Christi, Texas, and in the northern midwest.

The collection is organized into two series. The largest series is Correspondence, 1938-1946, undated. The bulk of the correspondence consists of the letters that James A. Grimshaw, Sr. and Maury Grimshaw wrote to each other on a nearly daily basis. Grimshaw's letters describe what life was like in basic training and Italy. He describes his different responsibilities, his officers, and the conditions of postwar Italy. Maury's letters describe Bo's life, family life, and her job at the Corpus Christi courthouse. Other major correspondents include Grimshaw's mother Charlotte "Char" Grimshaw (from Missouri and then Illinois), and his aunts Marie Rosenfeld (from Michigan), Mary Bingham (from Missouri and Wisconsin), and Estelle Bunch (from Missouri). Besides their letters to each other, the collection does not contain any outgoing mail from James Grimshaw, Sr. and Mauryne Grimshaw. Some letters contain enclosed items, which consist primarily of newspaper clippings and letters that are being forwarded from one relative to another.

The second series is Personal Papers, 1931-1948, undated. This series contains photographs, military documents, published material, and memorabilia. Almost all of the photographs are of Grimshaw's tour in Italy in 1946, primarily from his sightseeing ventures. The military documents include memorandums and notices to enlisted men instructing them on rules and regulations, official orders pertaining to Grimshaw, and paperwork pertaining to Grimshaw (including initial preinduction paperwork from the selective service, life insurance, and separation materials). The published material primarily includes newspapers produced for the American troops, church bulletins, booklets and pamphlets about the war, a few military manuals, army songs, and newspaper clippings about life in the army. The memorabilia mostly consists of brochures, tickets, stickers, cards, and ration books. The series also contains Grimshaw's service medals and ribbons.


  • Creation: 1931-1948, inclusive
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1945-1946,


Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

James A. "Jimmy" Grimshaw, Sr. was born on February 21, 1916, to Charlotte "Char" Grimshaw, in Detroit, Michigan. He married Mauryne "Maury" Haley, daughter of Thomas and Frances Haley. He attended school at the Texas College of Arts and Industries in Kingsville and Wayne State University in Detroit. He worked as the chief chemist at the Wardner Plant in Bishop, Texas, until he received instruction from the Selective Service in April 1945 to report for his pre-induction physical examination. Maury and their four-year-old son, James A. "Bo" Grimshaw, Jr., moved into her parents' home at 501 Cole Street in Corpus Christi. While Grimshaw was away, she worked at the Corpus Christi courthouse.

Grimshaw left for basic training at Fort Hood on May 15, 1945. In November 1945, Grimshaw was briefly stationed in Pickett, Virginia. When he was deployed to Italy, he was promoted to non-commissioned master sergeant for the duration of the trip from Virginia to Italy. He arrived in Naples, Italy, on December 16, 1945. While in Italy, he was able to go on many sightseeing excursions and his letters reflect the country's postwar living conditions. In June 1946, Grimshaw was promoted to sergeant, and the following month was offered a promotion to second lieutenant, but he turned it down because it entailed being away from his family for another year. Grimshaw was discharged around August 1945, but it seems he rejoined the army upon returning home. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the Texas College of Arts and Industries in 1948. In 1949, he was transferred to Carthage, Texas, and Maury and Bo moved from Corpus Christi to Carthage. In 1955, Grimshaw was transferred to Fort Worth. He died in April 1992.


The Dr. James A. Grimshaw Jr. Collection, collection 2009.04, Velma K. Waters Library Special Collections, Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The James A. Grimshaw, Sr. Collection, collection 2009.05, Velma K. Waters Library Special Collections, Texas A&M University-Commerce.


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Correspondence Series is arranged alphabetically by writer, and thereunder chronologically. James Grimshaw, Sr.'s and Maury Grimshaw's letters are written to each other, and therefore have been integrated chronologically and are alphabetized under James Grimshaw, Sr.'s name. Writers who are underrepresented in this collection are arranged alphabetically under the subheading "Various Writers." The Personal Papers series is arranged alphabetically by type, and thereunder chronologically.

Related Archival Materials

The Dr. James A. Grimshaw, Jr. Collection, collection 2009.04, Velma K. Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Processing Information

Newspapers and newspaper clippings were photocopied and the originals were discarded. Duplicate materials were discarded. Items enclosed with correspondence were kept with correspondence to maintain context, but the dates for the Correspondence series and its folders reflect only the dates on letters or envelopes, and do not reflect the dates on the enclosed items. The collection contains a few letters written by and to James "Bo" Grimshaw, Jr. when he was a child, but these were kept with his parents' correspondence, since most letters written by James Grimshaw, Sr. were addressed to Bo as well as Maury, and since Maury Grimshaw signed Bo's name to many of her letters.


James A. Grimshaw, Sr. Collection
Caroline Craig
July 29, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository