“With the Colors” is a digitized documentary collection of newspapers clippings originally clipped and pasted into seven scrapbooks during the World War II era. The collection, derived largely from The Newton Press-Mentor, documents the remarkable wartime experiences of men from one small county in mid-central Illinois. Some 13,437 people resided in Jasper County in 1940 (roughly 2,350 lived in Newton, the county seat and largest town), the vast majority working in the agricultural sector. The county’s population fell to 10,878 three years later, as residents joined the military or relocated in an economy rapidly transformed by the war. Hundreds of Jasper County men served in all branches overseas during World War II—both in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. They saw some of the most brutal fighting and conditions the war offered. Several ended up in prison camps, scores suffered serious injury, and 42 gave their lives.
The clipping collection later became part of the Newton, Illinois Public Library’s permanent collection. In 2014, the Library Board launched a project through Eastern Illinois University to digitize the clipping collection, with the aim of preserving and making it available to a wider audience. EIU History graduate student Tyler Custer undertook the painstaking job of scanning hundreds of delicate newspaper clippings. The scans then were collated into text searchable format and uploaded onto an EIU server—and are now available to researchers both in Jasper County and around the world.
Our thanks to Tyler Custer, Lori Henderson, Alex Stromberg, and the Newton Library Board for making this project possible.
Researchers may search the database by date, name, or key words. Results appear in the form of pdf copies of the original clippings.