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Artifact Friday: Military Footlocker

Happy Friday y'all!

Today we are going down a research trail. Why? Because we learned a neat backstory regarding one of our military footlockers!

The military has used different ways to transport personal items overseas including duffle bags, backpacks, and also footlockers.

Footlockers are so named because they come with a lock and would stored at the foot of one’s bed. Hence foot-locker.

Early footlockers or travel trunks were handmade out of wood. They could hold everything-uniforms, toiletries, books, letters, blankets, and etc.

They would also have owner’s names as well as home and deployment addresses written on the tops/and or sides of the trunks.

Our featured trunk is from the Spanish American War and World War One. It has traveled from Texas, to Alabama, to New York, to England, and to France, and then to Northwest Arkansas.

It belonged to Major R.M. Angus.


Major Angus was born in Ohio and joined the Army in his early twenties. Based on his military records, Major Angus served in Texas either during or shortly after the Spanish American War. He continued to serve there until the beginning of World War One when he was sent to Camp McClellan in Alabama for deployment preparations.

From there, he traveled to New York where he set sail for England on the SS Aurania. From England, he traveled to France.

He remained in Europe for the duration of the war and came home around 1919. Major Angus then moved his family to Fayetteville, remaining here until his death in 1950.

Major Angus is buried at the Fayetteville National Cemetery.

Next time you are visiting the museum, you can see both of these unique military footlockers on display!



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