Elaine Scheifele Collection
Scope and Contents
Prior to her wedding during World War II, Elaine was given the duties of Kalamazoo City Civilian Defense Air Raid Warden for Zone 5, Sector 529. In the course of the execution of her duties she compiled this book. The book details the structures on Bryant Street and Lane Blvd, as well as the occupants of those structures. The two streets are approximately one block apart.
Biographical / Historical
Elaine V. Scheifele was born in 1924 in Detroit, MI. She spent the first years of her life in Blissfield, Lenawee, MI. According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, following her graduation from Blissfield High School, she attended the Fort Wayne Bible Institute for one year before coming to Kalamazoo. As of 1942, according to city directories from that year, Elaine was living at 1317 Lane Blvd. in Kalamazoo. Her father was the pastor at the neighboring Lane Blvd. Evangelical Church. In 1943, according to the city directory and the Kalamazoo Gazette article announcing her wedding, Elaine was employed as an office worker. By 1945 the city directory listed her as a clerk at City Light and Water.
On January 7, 1946, Elaine was married to Robert E. Ludwig. According to his obituary in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Robert had served in the US Army during World War II, mostly in the Aleutian Islands. He was an alum of North Central College in Naperville, IL.
Robert and Elaine Ludwig had four daughters. Robert was employed in the paper industry at Birmingham and Prosser, which would go on to become the Mead Company. They were active members of Calvary Bible Church.
Attempts to ascertain whether Elaine is still alive were inconclusive.
Language of Materials
The collection is composed of one notebook consisting of a cardboard cover and thirty pages. It lists addresses, the people living at those addresses, the ages of those people, potential places of refuge within the structures, the occupation and/or training of the occupants, potential hazards, and equipment that could be used to mitigate the damage sustained in an enemy attack. Also, on the back of several pages, there is a rudimentary, hand-drawn sketch of the layout of the house. The notebook is in mostly good condition, but the pages are yellowing and there is a crease in the cover. Most of what is written is legible. The writing is in cursive, and is made in both pen and pencil. The writing is considerably faded. The notebook measures 8” x 5”. The date on the notebook is August 4, 1942. The notebook is a product of Ihling Brothers Everard Company, made in Kalamazoo.
The size of the notebook is .05 cubic feet. It is made of cardboard and paper and is held together by metal fasteners that are in good condition.
The addresses covered in the book are in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood. On Bryant Street they range from 1211 to 1313, and on Lane Boulevard they range from 1204 to 1224.
This item is a single notebook compiled by the Kalamazoo City Civilian Defense Commission in 1942. It was principally written by Elaine Scheifele. It is an attempt to register the citizens and property for which Elaine was responsible as Air Raid Warden.
This booklet was most likely a young Elaine’s contribution to the war effort. It was purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment.
- Elaine Scheifele Collection Finding Aid
- Matt Decker
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US