Arnold Family [RG2159.AM]


RG2159.AM: Arnold Family

Papers: 1916-1985, n.d.
Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb. and Davis, Calif.: Physician and Surgeon; Mathematician
Size: 3.0 cu.ft.


Charles H. Arnold, son of Henry and Ann Elizabeth (Gifford) Arnold, was born near Dorchester, Nebraska, on October 18,1888. After attending Cotner University in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Valparaiso University in Indiana, he received his medical degree from the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery in 1913. Dr. Arnold returned to Lincoln to begin his medical career as chief surgeon and lecturer on surgery at the Dr. Benjamin F. Bailey Sanatorium. His medical career spanned fifty-three years and included appointments as attending surgical staff member and lecturer on surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital; surgical staff member at Bryan Memorial Hospital; surgeon for Traveler’s Insurance Company; special lecturer in the surgical department at Creighton University School of Medicine; and surgical consultant and honorary professor of surgery at West China Union University at Chengtu, China, and at the Chinese Army Medical Center at Shanghai.

During World War I, Arnold enlisted as a lieutenant with the British Expeditionary Forces, serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps on the front lines in France and Belgium. After being promoted to captain, he was wounded while attending a wounded officer when a German sniper’s bullet struck his helmet, an incident that was described in The Lost Legion by Dr. W.A.R. Chapin (Series 7, Vol. 1). He was released to the American Expeditionary Force in January 1919 and was discharged the following month with the rank of major in the Medical Corps Reserve.

After his military service, Dr. Arnold returned to his Lincoln practice, where he continued to gain honors and prominence. He continued his studies at the University of Vienna in 1930 and 1933.

When World War II began, Dr. Arnold was fifty-three years old. He returned to active duty and was sent to England, where he served as consulting surgeon to more than fifty military hospitals in Europe. Upon his release from the service with the rank of lieutenant colonel, Dr. Arnold was invited to China as a medical missionary, where he served in Chengtu for two years. In 1949 he was appointed by the U.S. Surgeon General to inspect and lecture in army hospitals in China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

Upon his return from eastern Asia, Arnold resumed his Lincoln practice. Among the honors in his lengthy career were appointments as fellow and founder of the International Board of Surgery; member of the advisory board of the Nebraska State Labor Commission; American Medical Association delegate to the International Goiter Conference at Berne, Switzerland, 1933; member of the council, vice-president, and trustee of the International College of Surgeons; fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London; and member and officer of a score of other local, state, national, and international organizations and societies. Locally he was active in promoting construction of a new civic auditorium in Lincoln (Pershing Auditorium) and was a trustee of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Dr. Arnold’s first wife was Irma Sears. The Arnolds had two children, Hubert Andrew, born November 15, 1912, and Faith Elizabeth, born on September 4, 1915. Irma died on March 19, 1926. In 1928 Dr. Arnold married Winifred Owen McCoy, believed to be the first registered nurse in Nebraska. A widow, she and her husband had been friends with the Arnolds before Irma’s death.

Dr. Arnold’s distinguished career ended with his death on October 31, 1966. Winifred Arnold died on March 6, 1980.

Hubert Andrew Arnold, the son of Charles and Irma (Sears) Arnold, was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 15, 1912. After Dr. Arnold received his medical degree, the family returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Hubert (Hu) grew up. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1933, Hubert attended the Sorbonne to study mathematics. He received his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and then served as a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia. During World War II, as a naval lieutenant commander, Arnold was in charge of IBM’s Mark I calculator at Harvard.

After the war, pursuing his lifelong interest in dance, Hubert joined the Martha Graham Dance Company as an understudy. A year later he accepted a math professorship in the University of California system. He taught at the University of California, Davis, until his retirement. He also continued his dance career, dancing with the Sacramento ballet into the 1960s. A renowned collector of ceramics, Arnold’s collection was exhibited in California in 1989. Hubert Arnold died in Davis, California on October 20, 1994.

Other Arnold family members noted in this collection are: Faith Elizabeth Arnold Davies (1915-1984), daughter of Charles and Irma (Sears) Arnold: Thomas Mockett Davies (1915- ), Faith’s husband; and their children, Thomas (Tommy) Mockett, Jr. (1940- ), Joan (Joanie) Davies Killinger (1941- ), and Charles (Charlie) Arnold Davies (1948- ).


This collection consists of approximately three cubic feet of manuscript material arranged in seven series: 1) Correspondence, 1916-1985 and undated; 2) Diaries, 1917-1948; 3) Scrapbooks, 1917-1952; 4) Manuscripts/Publications, 1932-1940 and undated; 5) Lectures/Addresses; 6) Hubert A. Arnold Papers; and 7) Miscellany. The bulk of this collection relates to the medical career of Dr. Charles H. Arnold and to the family life, travels, academic careers, and experiences of Dr. Arnold, his wife, Winn, and their children, Hubert and Faith. After Faith’s marriage to Thomas M. Davies, the collection reflects their experiences and the upbringing of their children, Tom, Joan, and Charlie.

The Correspondence, 1916-1985 and undated, of Series 1, documents the medical career and family life of Dr. Charles H. Arnold. Early letters of thanks from the friends of a patient in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1916 and from a German prisoner of war in 1918 show appreciation for Arnold’s dedication. Letters between the wars, while sketchy, follow Dr. Arnold’s medical career in Lincoln, Nebraska. Letters between Dr. Arnold and his family during World War II (some of which are photostatic copies of V-Mail) are extensive and document his hospital work in England and France. Letters from Dr. Arnold and Winn from China, 1946-1948, describe their experiences while he served as teacher in clinical surgery at West China Union University in Chengtu and she taught conversational English. Letters in the 1950s and 1960s relate to the Arnolds’ sponsorship of numerous foreign students at the University of Nebraska. Family letters document the academic activities of Hubert Arnold and the family life of Faith (Arnold) Davies, the legal career of Thomas Davies, and the education of their children Tom, Joanie, and Charlie.

The Diaries of Series 2 document Dr. Arnold’s military career in both World War I and World War II. His diary entries, 1917-1919 and 1942-1945, cover his training, the ocean crossing, operations and procedures performed, casualty numbers, assignments and duties, and descriptions of attacks and counterattacks. Two diaries kept by Winn Arnold during the Arnolds’ trips to Europe in 1930 and 1933, when Dr. Arnold was taking classes at the University of Vienna, recount visits to historic sites and museums. A 1946-1947 diary, with notations by Winn, records observations about lifestyle, culture, health conditions, social events, and the people she met in China during the Arnolds’ two years there.

The Scrapbooks of Series 3 include photographs, newspaper clippings, souvenirs, programs, artwork, correspondence, and other material documenting the family life, military careers, travels, and academic interests of the Arnold and Davies families. Topics highlighted include World War I, Hubert’s academic honors, World War II, Faith’s editorship of the Cornhusker at the University of Nebraska, the International College of Surgeons, World War II, China, and Japan.

The Manuscripts/Publications of Series 4 include several of Dr. Charles H. Arnold’s medical publications, 1932-1940, as well as an undated reminiscence that Dr. Arnold wrote about a covered-wagon trip to Colorado with his family in 1899. The medical papers are reprinted from several professional journals. Also included is a list of Dr. Arnold’s publications, 1917-1945.

The Lectures/Addresses of Series 5 include a volume of lecture outlines used by Dr. Arnold at West China Union University, 1946-1948; an undated lecture on anesthesia at Creighton University School of Medicine; and an address given by Dr. Arnold at the laying of the cornerstone of Pershing Memorial Auditorium, 1956.

Series 6 consists of the Hubert A. Arnold Papers. All of Hubert’s correspondence with family members is contained in Series 1. This series includes two mathematical articles published by Hubert, as well as material relating to his dance career, his art collection, academic honors and awards, and other personal effects.

The Miscellany of Series 7 includes biographical material about Charles H. Arnold, medical books, estate papers, membership/organizational materials, personal effects, collected papers, and genealogical notes. Of particular interest is an autographed copy of Dr. W.A.R. Chapin’s The Lost Legion, which tells the story of the 1500 American doctors who served with the British Expeditionary Forces during World War I. The entry on Dr. Charles H. Arnold (pages 262-264) describes the episode where he is shot in the head by a German sniper while treating a wounded soldier. The helmet with the bullet hole is in the Museum of Nebraska History collections. Also included in this series is a certificate licensing Winifred Owen as a nurse, 1911, the first such license issued in Nebraska. Poetry anthologies collected by Maybell Sears Hartley (known to the Davies children as “Aunt Maybell” are also present; one of the notebooks is inscribed to Wynn–Winifred Arnold. Finally, the miscellany contains a volume that was begun by Lizzie Gifford, who used it to copy poetry and words to folksongs. This volume also contains a few recipes and account pages, but these cannot be definitively assigned to a particular family member.

Note: See RG2159.PH for photographs and RG2159.MI for medical films and home movies of the Arnold Family. See the Nebraska History Blog for more information about Charles Arnold and items contained in the Nebraska History Museum collections.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1916-1985, n.d.

Box 1

  1. 1916-1918; 1926
  2. 1933-1939
  3. 1940, 1942-1943
  4. 1944
  5. 1945-1946
  6. 1947-1955
  7. 1956
  8. 1957-1959
  9. 1960
  10. 1961, Jan.-Mar.
  11. 1961, Apr.-Aug.
  12. 1961, Sept.-Dec.
  13. 1962, Jan.-May
  14. 1962, June-Aug.

Box 2

  1. 1962, Sept.-Dec.
  2. 1963, Jan.-Mar.
  3. 1963, Apr.
  4. 1963, May 1-15
  5. 1963, May 16-31
  6. 1963, June
  7. 1963, July-Dec.
  8. 1964, Jan.-Aug.
  9. 1964, Sept.-Dec.
  10. 1965, Jan.-Apr.
  11. 1965, May-Aug.
  12. 1965, Sept.-Dec.
  13. 1966, Jan.-Apr.
  14. 1966, May-Sept.

Box 3

  1. 1966, Oct.-Dec.
  2. 1967
  3. 1968-1985, n.d.

Series 2 – Diaries, 1917-1948

Box 3

  1. Diary of Dr. Charles H. Arnold, 1917, July – 1919, January
    Diary of Dr. Charles H. Arnold, October, 1942-1945, Oct.
  2. Diaries of Winn Arnold, 1930 and 1933
  3. Diary of Winn Arnold, 1946, Nov. – 1947
  4. Diaries of Winn Arnold, 1948, May and Aug. 5-18; and 1948, June-Aug. 3

Series 3 – Scrapbooks, 1917-1952 (Oversize)


  1. 1917-1934: World War I, family, Hubert’s academic honors, Faith’s editorship of the Cornhusker
  2. 1939-1941: Lincoln municipal auditorium, family, Hawaii, Mexico, caricatures
  3. 1941-1946: International College of Surgeons
  4. 1941-1949: World War II, family and military photographs,
  5. 1946-1948: China
  6. 1949: Japan and the Far East
  7. 1950-1952: Friends and family

Series 4 – Manuscripts/Publications, 1932-1940, n.d.

Box 3

  1. “Covered-Wagon Trip In Colorado, 1899,” and “Supplement” by Charles H. Arnold
  2. “Spinal Anestesia” by Charles H. Arnold (reprinted from the Nebraska State Medical Journal, Vol. 17, #5, May,1932 and Vol. 17, #6, June, 1932)
    “A Method of Handling Ruptured Appendices” by Charles H. Arnold and L.V. Gibson (reprinted from the Nebraska State Medical Journal, Vol. 20, #6, June, 1935,)
    “Choice of Anesthesia” by Charles H. Arnold and L.V. Gibson (reprinted from Voice, June, 1935)
    “The Control of Hypoparathyroidism” by Charles H. Arnold and Henry Blum (reprinted from the Western Journal of Surgery, Obstetrics, and Gynecology, September, 1936)
    “Diseases of the Thyroid Gland” by Charles H. Arnold and L.V. Gibson (reprinted from the Nebraska Medical Society Journal, Vol. 22, #5, May, 1937)
    “Treatment of Nephrotosis” by Charles H. Arnold and L.V. Gibson (reprinted from Southwestern Medicine, February, 1939)
    “Modification of the Smith-Petersen Pin” by L.V. Gibson and Charles H. Arnold (reprinted from the Journal of the International College of Surgeons, March-April 1942)
    “Prupura Hemorrhagica” by Charles H. Arnold and L.V. Gibson (reprinted from The Medical World, 1942)
    List of Dr. Charles H. Arnold’s publications, 1917-1945

Series 5 – Lectures/Addresses, 1946-1948, 1956, n.d.

Box 4

  1. West China Union University lectures outlines, 1946-1948 (volume)
  2. Lectures on anesthesia, Creighton University School of Medicine, undated
  3. Address by Dr. Charles H. Arnold at the laying of the cornerstone of the Pershing Memorial Auditorium, April 23, 1956

Series 6 – Hubert A. Arnold papers

Box 4

  1. “A cubic Equation and the Mannheim Slide Rule” by H.A. Arnold (reprinted from American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 63, #9, pt. 1, November, 1956)
    “The Crossed Ladders” by H.A. Arnold (reprinted from Mathematics Monthly, undated)
  2. Modern dance class notes, 1948 (taught by Martha Graham) Lessons on body mechanics with Dr. Lulu Sweigard
  3. Hubert Arnold ceramics collection
  4. Academic honors and awards
  5. Newspaper clippings, passports, personal effects
  6. Les Grands Mathematiciens by E.T. Bell (one of Hubert Arnold’s most valued possessions; inscribed by Bell)

Series 7 – Miscellany

Box 4

  1. Charles H. Arnold biographical material
  2. Medical books belonging to Charles H. Arnold

Box 5

  1. The Lost Legion by Dr. W.A.R. Chapin, 1926 (volume)
  2. Charles H. Arnold estate
  3. Winfred Arnold estate
  4. Address books
  5. Passports
  6. Cookbook of Ann Elizabeth Gifford Arnold (volume)

Box 6

  1. Pages from notebook of Dr. Charles H. Arnold used in France
  2. Charles H. Arnold’s composition notebook
  3. West China University
  4. Lincoln City Auditorium (Pershing Auditorium)
  5. Address by Josephus Daniels at the unveiling of the Bryan statue in Washington, D.C., May 3, 1934 (inscribed to Dr. Charles H. Arnold from Daniels)
  6. Lincoln organizations: YMCA Camp Branch, 1966; Fifty Years of the Polemic Club; Masons; Knights of Pythias
  7. Medical organization memberships
  8. Medical papers collected by Dr. Charles H. Arnold
  9. First Auxiliary Surgical Group, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, directory, 1942
  10. Newspaper clippings; article by Faith Arnold Davies titled “Homebound;” certificates; souvenirs, biographical sketch of Winifred Arnold; genealogical charts
  11. Maybell Sears Hartley, poetry collections
  12. Volume: poetry and folk song lyrics collected by Lizzie Gifford; also recipes, unknown compiler
  13. Materials relating to Tom Davies, Sr. and Jack Gavin, including a manuscript about a hitch hiking trip they took to California in 1936

Richard Sears family tree; certificates, including certificate licensing Winifred Owen as a nurse, 1911 (see OB004)


Subject headings:

Chinese students — United States
Korean students — United States
Lincoln (Neb.) — History
Mathematicians — California
Mathematicians — Nebraska
Medical education
Medicine, Military
Missionaries, Medical — China
Physicians — Nebraska
Students, Foreign
World War, 1914-1918 — Hospitals
World War, 1914-1918 — Medical care
World War, 1939-1945 — Hospitals
World War, 1939-1945 — Medical care


07-28-2007 Revised TMM/tmm

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