Primary Source Documents
During our research on this project we came across many primary sources from nurse uniforms to a buffalo skull. These items, no matter how small a part of the story they tell, each helped us understand what we were learning. Some of these resources had nothing to do with John at all, but they told us what it was like for other soldiers overseas.
We took a class trip to the Hendrick Museum and we found primary sources pertaining to Gina Hexem. She married a man named Edwin Nelson and never left the area. She worked at the Hendricks Hospital and volunteered at the museum. Many of the nursing items found in the museum were donated by Gina. Don Erickson showed us around the museum and explained what the items were and what they were used for.
Gina Hexem's House
Don Erickson is related to the people who maintain Gina Hexem's land. When we went to visit him at the Hendricks Museum, he brought us out to the house. We were able to take pictures and explore the property.
Ag Heritage Museum
We visited the Ag Heritage Museum in Brookings, SD. While there, we looked at a lot of scrapbooks kept by family members at home for their relatives. We also were able to look at ration booklets, gas receipts, and memo booklets kept by truckers during the war.
The Census records we found gave us a starting point in our search for information. It told us a little about his life, where he lived and where he grew up. We learned about his family and some of the things he experienced. One of the interesting things we learned while looking through these documents was that he lived in a neighbors house for a while after his mom died.
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