Creator: James Poole; various
Dates: 1819-1977 (bulk 1916-1919 and 1940-1957)
Quantity: 1 box
Acquisition:  Accession #: 2019.008 ; Donated by: Lynne Routhier
Identification: A92 ; Archive Collection #92
Citation: [Document Title]. The James Poole Collection, [Box #, Folder #, Item #], Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.
Copyright: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language: English
Finding Aid:  Processed 2019 by Amber Wingerson, Curatorial Assistant. Updated by Karla Kaneb, June 2020.


James Edward Poole was born in Hamilton, Massachusetts, on June 24, 1897, to Alfred and Minnie Poole. Poole and his family lived in Hamilton through 1910 and later moved to West Lynn, Massachusetts. Poole enlisted in the army prior to his 18th birthday and served in the Mexican conflict as well as the European theatre of World War I. During World War I, Poole served 20 months overseas and was part of Battery D of the 101st Field Artillery. Poole experienced chemical warfare in the European theatre and suffered from its effects throughout his life. 

Following World War I, Poole married Nellie B. Webster and returned to Massachusetts. The couple moved to the homestead of the late Thomas Poole on Holly Street, Annisquam, at the beginning of their married life. James and Nellie had two daughters and later moved to Saugus, Massachusetts. Poole worked as an electrician until his health started to fail and the family moved in with his brother-in-law’s family. In 1941, James Poole passed away at the age of 44 at the United States Veterans hospital in Rutland, Vermont, where he had been a patient for a year and a half. 

Following James’s death, Nellie and his daughters received veterans’ benefits from the United States government, including a stipend and educational benefits. The family also received certificates of appreciation and remembrance for James’s military service years after his passing.


Gift of Lynne Routhier, the granddaughter of James Poole.


This is a manuscript and object collection of James Edward Poole regarding his military career in World War I, private life, and information about his family following his death in 1941. The collection includes paper, photographs, small bibles and a dictionary, and military objects that include military patches and pins, a candies bucket distributed to support the troops, military cap, and buckle. The paper contents range from correspondence to legal documents to official certificates. The collection dates from 1819-1977 with bulk dates of 1916-1919 and 1940-1957.

The largest series, Series 1: Correspondence, ranges from correspondence with his family, mainly addressed to his father and his wife, to postcards to government correspondence following his war injuries and death. There is also a section of correspondence detailing benefits that his family were due to receive in light of his military service after his death in 1941. 

Series 2 contains World War I souvenirs, certificates, and publications that date between 1916 and 1963. This includes postcards that were made from personal photographs, certificates of recognition from the state and federal government, and a poem by an unknown soldier.

Series 3 is a collection of certificates from academic institutions and society memberships. 

Series 4 contains legal and financial documents, including a marriage certificate, will, casket warranty certificate, and financial documents pertaining to James Poole’s death. Series 5 is secondary genealogical materials. The materials range from newspaper articles to handwritten family trees.

Series 6 includes municipal documents from Eastern Underwriters, Hamilton Police Department, and a document addressed to James Poole outlining Massachusetts Fish and game Laws of 1920. 

The photographs of Series 7 include World War I era photographs as well as undated family photographs.

Series 8 consists of James Poole’s Webster dictionary and two small bibles. 

Series 9 comprises of several objects, including many objects related to World War I. These objects include a candy bucket that was sold to support the troops, pins, patches, ring, and accessories worn by the troops. A card set with a leather case is also part of this series.


I. Correspondence (1819-1977)

II. World War I souvenirs, certificates, and publications (1916-1963)

III. Certificates for academics and memberships (1911-1944)

IV. Legal and financial documents (1941-1959, undated)

V. Secondary genealogical materials (undated)

VI. Municipal documents (1916-1920, undated)

VII. Photographs (undated)

VIII. Books (1894, undated)

IX. Objects


Box 1

Series I: Correspondence (1819-1977)

I. Early 19th century correspondence, 1819, 1833, 1834

II. Postcards; from James Poole, 1907, 1916-1917

III. James Poole correspondence to his father, Alfred Poole, 1916-1917

IV. Telegraphs, 1917

V. Government correspondence; about James Poole World War I injuries, 1918- 1919

VI. Correspondence; from James Poole to Nellie Poole, 1940-1941

VII. Cards; from James Poole to Nellie Poole, 1940

VIII. Correspondence; regarding James Poole’s death, 1941

IX. Poole Family Correspondence, undated 1942, 1977

X. Correspondence about benefits for families of deceased veterans, 1945-1957, undated

XI. Government correspondence, marriage application, undated


Series II: World War I souvenirs, certificates, and publications (1916-1963)

I. Postcards; not sent; military scenes and photographs, 1916-1919

II. World War I publications, 1917-1919

III. Honorable discharge documents; James Poole, 1920

IV. Presidential certificate commemorating military service; James Poole, 1963

V. Poem by a soldier; J.E.S.; undated

VI. Souvenir postcards and photographs, undated


Series III: Certificates for academics and memberships (1911-1944)

I. James Poole, academic certificates, 1911, 1912

II. James Poole, American Legion, charter membership certificate, undated

III. Commencement; Boston University, 1944


Series IV: Legal and financial documents (1941-1959, undated)

I. Marriage certificate; James Poole and Nellie Poole

II. Financial documents; pertaining to James Poole’s death, 1941

III. Will; Nellie Poole, 1959

IV. Batesville Casket Warranty certificate, 1974


Series V: Secondary genealogical materials (undated)

I. Handwritten secondary genealogical material, undated

II. Newspaper articles, James Poole, undated

III. Family newspaper articles, undated


Series VI: Municipal documents (1916-1920, undated)

I. Hamilton, Mass. Police Department; 1916, undated

II. Massachusetts Fish and Game Laws, 1920

III. Eastern Underwriters Inspection card, undated


Series VII: Photographs (undated)

I. World War I era photographs

II. Family photographs, undated


Series VIII: Books (1894, undated)

I. Webster dictionary, James Poole, 1894

II. Bibles, prayer card, undated


EmbARK location: Storage, Main Complex, Lower Level, Storage Room 2, C03 R

Series IX: Objects (undated)

I. Candies bucket, “Remember the Boys” Victory brand candies

II. Card game with leather case

III. Official Candy Salesgirl, Camp Fire Girls pin

IV. Military patch, unknown

V. Small ring with blue bird in profile

VI. Yellow bird pin

VII. Airborne patch

VIII. Small, handheld compass

IX. Military cap

X. Belt buckle, “GOTT MIT UNS”

XI. Two military patches, two military pins, attached on a piece of black velvet



Oversized (1919)

Series II: Massachusetts government certificate commemorating military service, 1919