Frank Caldwell Hershberger Papers available for researchers

smith-studios_major-veterinary-corps_national-army_hershberger_1918Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, is pleased to announce that the Frank Caldwell Hershberger papers have been processed and are now available to researchers. The collection would be especially relevant to those who are interested in equine medicine, the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, and global food security matters.

 Frank Caldwell Hershberger Papers [2015-16.044]

 The papers were assembled by Colonel Frank Caldwell Hershberger (1888-1965) over a long international career as a veterinary medicine specialist. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs and postcards gathered into three scrapbooks dating from 1908-circa 1955.  Additional loose photographs date from circa 1905. Augmenting the visual materials are articles, diplomatic papers, typescripts, some correspondence and a diary related to Hershberger’s work for the Chinese government (1914-1918).

 Frank Caldwell Hershberger was born in Veedersburg, Indiana on 20 May 1888. An accomplished horseback rider from an early age, he spent time at George D. Rainsford’s Diamond Ranch near Chugwater, Wyoming. He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Kansas City Veterinary College in 1913. Shortly thereafter, the Chinese government hired Hershberger as a veterinary surgeon specializing in horses and cattle. He traveled to Manchuria and Siberia to investigate an anthrax outbreak. He remained in the employ of the Chinese government until 1918.

 His enlistment in the Veterinary Corps during World War I led to a long career with the United States Army. He underwent cavalry training at Camp Marfa, Texas in 1919-20. He graduated from Medical Field Service School in 1923, from Army Veterinary School in 1924. From 1930-31 he attended Fort Riley’s Cavalry School, where he completed the Troop Officers’ Course. Sent to the Philippines, he inspected abattoirs for Fort Mills in Corregidor.

 A European trip in 1936-37 took Hershberger through Marseille, Berlin and Amsterdam. He gathered postcards and mementos from hotels, clubs and other sites. An assignment with the Veterinary Corps at Fort Hamilton, New York quickly led to a reappointment by the Order of the Secretary of War in February 1938. Hershberger was given the task of inspecting food shipments through the New York Port of Embarkation in Brooklyn. When the United States entered World War II, the port handled inspections for food shipments to troops overseas. Hershberger established and operated a school to provide intensive training to newly commissioned Veterinary Corps officers.

 Upon his death, Dr. Hershberger donated the bulk of his estate to Kansas State University. His relationship with the school began when his alma mater closed in 1918 and transferred its graduate records to Kansas State Agricultural College’s Division of Veterinary Medicine.

Smith Studios, Gallatin, Missouri. Frank Caldwell Hershberger, Major, Veterinary Corps, U.S. National Army. 1918.
Courtesy Frank Caldwell Hershberger Papers, Richard L. D. & Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, K-State Libraries.

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