The E. M. Violette Museum
|While E. M. Violette was a graduate student in the
University of Chicago, he became interested in the use of visual aids in the
teaching of history. As a professor of history at this institution, then the
First District Normal School, he began to experiment with visual materials in
the classroom. In 1923, the Museum contained several hundred items. Since then,
its collections have grown to include thousands of catalogued items. The
following are but a sample.
The Frank Cassity Collection
The Civil War Collection
||One of the outstanding collections given to the Violette Museum is that of
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cassity of Purdin, Missouri. In this collection of 105 items
are many tools, farm implements, cooking utensils, pieces of furniture, and
various household items found in the homes of Northeast Missouri during the
middle of the 19th century. The washer pictured here was made by Richmond Cedar
Works, Richmond, Va. The wooden dual-direction agitator inside is hand-powered
by turning a cast-iron wheel. The attached wringer was made by the Rival Company
and patented in June 1898.
|Mr. and Mrs. Cassity's daughter, Ethel Cassity Schwengel, an
alum (class of 1932), was married to another Truman State University alum, Fred
Schwengel. For information about the Schwengels' contribution to Truman State
University check out the Schwengel Lincoln Contest or
Schwengel Lincoln Collection
||This collection includes artifacts obtained from a number of sources;
visitors may see such sundry items as Confederate money, Civil War papers and
records, a lead melter and bullet molds, cannonballs, swords, ammunition belts,
a bugle with attached braid, and so on. The item pictured here is a live shell
in a section of tree trunk removed from the battleground at Chicamaugua. It was
brought to the university by Samuel Pickler, a former faculty member of the
The World War I Collection
||Of all the Twentieth Century conflicts, the "Great War" was viewed with the
greatest enthusiasm. Much campus fervor was inspired by the selection of alum
General John J. Pershing to command the American Expeditionary Forces in France.
By the end of the war, fifteen faculty were away from campus engaged in war
work; 443 students and former students were in military service.
Some of our alums brought back war souvenirs that they donated to the Museum
to help educate successive generations. On display in the museum are various WWI
artifacts, such as German and American military helmets, weapons, hard tack,
magazine and bandolier, and much more.
The statue shown is of General Pershing as he came down a ship's gangplank
into France, and was made by Ella Buchanan in 1919. The artist's niece,
Thelma Campbell, donated it to the Museum in 1968. John J. Pershing was
given the rank of General of the Armies of the United States by Woodrow
Wilson in 1919, and has remained the only American to hold that title. He
was an alumnus of this institution, having graduated in 1880 with a Bachelor
of Elementary Didactics, a two-year teaching certificate degree.
The World War II Collection
||In less than a quarter of a century, the University again found itself again
involved in a World War. As during World War I, students threw themselves
wholeheartedly into the war effort; by V-J day, August 15, 1945, approximately
2,000 former students and faculty members had served in the armed forces.
The artifact shown is a propaganda leaflet entitled, "Das Neue Deutchland",
of the type often dropped over German-occupied territory during the war.
This artifact was donated to the Violette Museum by Orville Bowers in 1946.
The Knobbs Paperweight Collection
||One of the most beautiful collections given to the Violette Museum is the
glass paperweight collection of Dr. Pauline Dingle Knobbs. Dr. Knobbs was an
alumna (Normal School, class of 1924) and retired from this university as
Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences.
The paperweight shown here is genuine Venetian glass from Murano; it is in
the shape of a whale and filled with multicolored flowerettes, in the
millefiori style. Its length is 5 inches, width 2-1/2 inches, and height