A Guide to the Peterson-Townsend Family Papers, 1915-1992 (bulk 1938-1944)
Born in Hinsdale, Montana, and raised in Alexandria, Minnesota, Everett Vinson Peterson (1915-1944) graduated from high school in 1933 and joined the Minnesota National Guard. He attended the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1939 with a degree in Business Administration. In 1940, Peterson volunteered for active duty and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Two years later he married Austin native Frances "Bunnie" Rice (1922-1946) who had lived in Dallas for most of her life before attending college at the Texas School of Mines in El Paso and the University of Texas at Austin. In January 1944, Peterson was sent overseas with the Battery B 197th Antiaircraft Battalion and died on D-Day, June 6, 1944, on Omaha Beach. His body was repatriated from St. Laurent, France, in Sept. 1947 and buried at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
The year of her father's death, Carolyn Clifton Peterson (b. 1944) was born in Austin. After her mother died in 1946, she lived with her aunt, Mrs. Charles Braselton Jr., in Fort Worth. Carolyn attended the University of Texas, graduating in 1966 as a Phi Beta Pi sister, and married Peyton Lambeth Townsend, Jr. of Dallas in 1969.
Consisting of correspondence, certificates, financial documents, printed materials, photographic materials, diaries, and scrapbooks, the Peterson-Townsend Family Papers, 1915-1992 (bulk 1938-1944), concern the lives of Everett Vinson Peterson, particularly his military career during World War II; his wife Frances "Bunnie" Rice Peterson; and their daughter Carolyn Clifton Peterson Braselton Townsend. Correspondence, certificates, printed material, a college expense book, photographs, and scrapbooks illuminate Everett's experience at the University of Minnesota, military service in Europe from 1941 to 1944, and death at Omaha Beach. Frances' papers, dating primarily from 1938-1946 and chronicling her college years and married life, consist of correspondence, diaries, printed material, scrapbooks, photographs, and other documents. Letters, diaries, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and other papers concern Carolyn's college years at the University of Texas and her personal life before marriage. The collection also includes material relating to Everett’s parents, his siblings, and Peterson family friends.
Use of photographic negatives by appointment only; please contact photo archivist for more information.
Peterson-Townsend Family Papers, 1915-1992 (bulk 1938-1944), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers