THESE LETTERS WERE TUCKED INTO THE BACK OF A SCRAPBOOK OWNED BY WILLIAM DIXON IVEY.
Most of them were written by his friend Jack Jones. It’s clear that both the letters and the man were supremely important to William.
Because they were so important to him, they should be included here. I believe that they will certainly provide some insight into the types of things that interested him, and the man that he was at the time.
I tried to find out more about Jack Jones, but the name is way too common to be sure of anything. If I ever find him, I’ll post that information right here. It would be good if we could find out what he did later in life. His descendants may be interested to know that letters he wrote are available to be seen here.
I’d like to encourage you to load all photos and documents that you’re interested in keeping to your own flash drive. If anything happens to me, this website and everything on it will eventually disappear.
Click on any thumbnail to open the large image file.
If you want any specific high resolution image for your files, let me know and I’ll email it to you.
Ivey Genealogy Information and Photos Scanned and Uploaded October 23, 2021
1. Letter from William Dixon Ivey written to his mother, Orie Harvell Ivey, at end of his WWII deployment. Cover letter for all the letters below. Dated March 17, 1944.
This is a cover letter for the documents that he’s sending back home as the war is ending. He mentions “High Lites”, which I found out was “Hospital Hi-Lites”, a magazine put out by the US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
The envelope was mailed to Orie at 1608 Rocky Hollow Road. I searched on Google for the address, and have included a screen shot of the house. This is the house where William Dixon Ivey and his brothers grew up.
2. “The Hospital Corps” – Song lyrics by “Rusty Ivey” (William Dixon Ivey). Sing to the tune of “The Man on the Flying Trapeze”. No date.
3. Rental document. No explanation.
4. Letter from William Dixon Ivey. Request for gas water heater to replace coal water heater. No date.
5. Letter from Robert M. Hutchins to William Dixon Ivey, thanking him for his support. Dated January 29, 1941.
Robert Maynard Hutchins of Chicago was an American educational philosopher. Read more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Maynard_Hutchins. There is also abundant information about Robert M. Hutchins available elsewhere on the internet.
6. Jack Jones letter. January 5, 1942.
Jack Jones was obviously a very close friend of William Dixon Ivey, and they attended Auburn University together before the war. He was an excellent writer, very erudite, and this letter was interesting to read.
Jack is located at Camp Robinson, in Arkansas.
7. Jack Jones letter. October 24, 1942.
Jack thinks that Ivey hasn’t been receiving his letters, and will stop writing if this one doesn’t get a response. He encloses two poems that he wrote.
8. Jack Jones letter. Sunday, November 1, 1942.
Jack wishes that he and Ivey were back together with the old crowd in Auburn, seeing the play “MacBeth” and afterwards going by Mr. O’Donnell’s for a beer.
9. Jack Jones letter. Dated November 27, 1942.
This is the first letter that Jack has written to go overseas, so he is limiting himself to one sheet of paper. The writing is tiny and tightly spaced, with narrow margins. He is “making the most” of his one sheet of paper!
10. Jack Jones letter. Dated December 21, 1942.
Jack is delighted to get a letter and Christmas card from Ivey, and warns him about the dangers of getting homesick.
11. Jack Jones letter. WWII, no date. Probably early 1943.
Jack has been moved to Camp Wheeler, near Macon GA. He had a five-day furlough, and went to see “Mr. O’Donnell” (see above: 8. Jack Jones letter. Sunday, November 1, 1942.) I found George Marion O’Donnell, who was a writer and poet. There is a lot of information about him online. Here is a start: https://www.mswritersandmusicians.com/mississippi-writers/george-marion-odonnell
12. Jack Jones letter. March 4, 1943.
Jack is learning how to be a laboratory technic, and describes all the various tests that he has learned. He enjoys it so much, that he spends almost every night in the laboratory. Talks about how Auburn has changed since the war started. Jack loves Ivey like a brother. He includes two more original poems.
13. Jack Jones letter. April 18, 1943.
Jack has been made Corporal.
14. Jack Jones letter. WWII, no date. Written before the June 25, 1943 letter below.
Jack has just finished a two week course in Atlanta, where he found an old used book shop, near the Cyclorama at Grant Park. He describes the Cyclorama in minute detail. The bookstore had dim lights and winding corridors and the elegant smell of old and loved books.
15. Jack Jones letter. June 25, 1943.
Jack complains that Ivey’s letters don’t contain any details about his life, his barracks, or his “within-world”, but are coldly scientific. He wants to run over to Armstrong Street (as he would have in Auburn), bother him with poetry and art, and get into a violent argument over anything… then eat sandwiches together at midnight.
The file names on this letter are 1942, but it is actually 1943. Apologies for any confusion.
16. Jack Jones letter. August 19, 1943.
Jack mentions the “Hospital Hi-Lite” that Ivey sent to him with the last letter, with a familiar face on the cover! I searched online for a photo of this issue, but so far haven’t found one. Here are a couple of links for the US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, who published the magazine. The second link allows you to scroll through the November 11, 1943 issue.
US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Office of Medical History Collection
Jack includes three more original poems with this long letter.
17. Jack Jones letter. November 20, 1943.
This letter was actually written on November 18, 1943.
Jack has been moved to Los Angeles, where he single-handedly built a new lab, which he describes in detail. He includes two sketches of his new lab.
18. Jack Jones letter. November 19, 1943.
Jack thanks Ivey for the exquisite Christmas card. He also now has a new hobby – collecting stones from the hills around the Los Angeles base.
19. Jack Jones letter. December 20, 1943.
Jack is enjoying the wildlife at the new place. He’s especially amused by a wild burro that chews on the nurse’s brassieres that are hung out to dry. He believes that the world has gone mad.
20. Jack Jones letter. WWII, no date. Probably early 1944.
Jack is unhappy, but thankful that he’s not crawling through some fever-infested jungle with a rifle.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Jack’s letters, and hope that you have, too. As the best friend of William Dixon Ivey, these letters give us great insight into the man he was in his youth, before any of us knew him.
That’s all for today. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thank you for reading!