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Size: 33 linear feet, including memorabilia and papers; and 6 framed items

Span Dates: circa 1779-1996

Accession Number(s):

Donor: Warren J. and Genevieve Hancock Shonert in honor and memory of Warren Jeffrey Shonert, Sr. and Grace Ridgeway Shonert.

Creator: Shonert, Warren J., 1922-2002.

Custodial History: Collection donated in several accruals: 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1996.

Summary: The collection documents American military, presidential, and political history through ledgers, printed materials, photographs, memorabilia, artifacts, and artwork. It has a special focus on the Civil War and also contains an extensive autograph collection of presidential and historic individuals’ signatures and portraits. The collection also includes early records from the municipal government and private groups of Falmouth, Kentucky as well as a run of the Falmouth Outlook from 1907-1985.



Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research access. For fragile items and select materials, researchers will be asked to view copies of originals. Department personnel will authorize use of originals on a case by case basis.

See staff for access to index of names in medical examination book, Box 4.

Use Restrictions: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the reproduction of copyrighted material. The User assumes full responsibility and any attendant liability for the fair use of materials requested in total compliance with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) that may arise through the use of any requested materials.

The Falmouth Outlook may not be used for commercial publication.

Preferred Citation: [Box #, Folder#], MS-18 Warren J. Shonert Americana Collection, Eva G. Farris Special Collections, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University.

Separated Materials: Shonert also donated a significant book collection focusing on Civil War and Kentucky history topics. Some books are located in Special Collections Book Collection and others are located in the Steely Library Circulating collection.  

Related Materials: A collection dedication plaque is located in RG_Steely Library-Archives, Schlachter University Archives, Northern Kentucky University.

Special Collections collects presidential signatures following the pattern begun in this collection. An autograph from George W. Bush is located in Small Acquisitions, Eva G. Farris Special Collections, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University.

Steely Library collected issues of the Falmouth Outlook newspaper for years subsequent to Shonert’s donation; Microfilm copies from 1986-2009 are located in the Special Collections. Special Collections also has microfilm copies of the Falmouth Independent, a separate newspaper, for the period January 1877- July 1879.

Existence and Location of Copies: Digital reproductions of Civil War scrapbook and memorabilia are available electronically. See archives staff for assistance.

Microfilm is available of the Falmouth, Kentucky Board of Trustees minutes, 1879-1883 at the Special Collections, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506.

Processing Information: processed by Anne Ryckbost, Spring 2013.

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Confederate States of America. Army.
Confederate States of America. Army--Military life.
Democratic Party (U.S.).
Elections--United States.
Falmouth (Ky.). Board of Trustees.
Falmouth (Ky.)--History.
Falmouth (Ky.)--Politics and government.
Fire departments--Kentucky--Falmouth--History.
Kentucky--History--19th century.
Kentucky--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Kentucky--Politics and government.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Family.
Medical examinations.
Military pensions--United States--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Municipal government--Kentucky--Falmouth--Records and correspondence.
Political campaigns.
Political parades & rallies--United States--1890-1900.
Presidential elections--United States--1860-1912.
Presidents--United States.
Presidents--United States--Election.
Public records--Kentucky--Falmouth.
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Kentucky.
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Ohio.
Republican Party (U.S.).
United States. Army of the Ohio.
United States. Army--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
United States. Colored Troops.
United States. Congress. Senate--Elections.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States. Pension Bureau.
Veterans--United States--Societies, etc.

Allen, James Lane, 1849-1925.
Altgeld, John Peter, 1847-1902.
Barbour, J.H. (James Hervey).  
Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956.
Boone, Daniel, 1734-1820.
Boyd, Samuel.
Bruce, Alexander.
Buckner, Simon Bolivar, 1823-1914.
Calhoun, John C. (John Caldwell), 1782-1850.
Clay, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903.
Cleveland, Grover, 1837-1908.
Cowan, John.
Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876.
Davies, James.
Davies, Joseph.
Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889.
Duke, Basil Wilson, 1838-1916.
Frazier, Emery L., 1896-1973.
Grant, John.
Harrod, James, 1742-1793
Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863.
Kenton, Simon, 1755-1836.
Klir, Joseph.
Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870.
Lelen, Father Joseph.
Logan, Benjamin, 1743-1802.
MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949.
Mountjoy, Alvin
Newland, Jacob.
Shonert, Warren J., 1922-2002.
Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869.
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing),1835-1914.
Waller, John, 1758-1823.

Organization(s)/Corporate Body(ies):
United States. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Pensions.

Geographic Location(s):
Falmouth (Ky.)
Pendleton County (Ky.)
Perryville (Ky.)
Camp Dennison (Cincinnati, Oh.)

Account books.
Buttons (fasteners).
Political posters.

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The Shonert Americana collection, compiled over a forty-year span, reflects Shonert’s personal interest in specific historical subjects. These topics are represented in the arrangement of the collection by seven distinct series, beginning at the national level and progressing to the local (northern Kentucky).

The collection contains many unique 3-D objects, oversize prints, and artwork. These items, despite their different physical formats, are described in the finding aid where they belong intellectually. For example, a color lithograph of President Theodore Roosevelt and his family is described in Series II, US History-Autograph Collection, because it relates to the content of that series but it is housed separately due to its physical nature.

Series I, U.S. Military History, is arranged by format (scrapbook etc.) and then chronologically. It contains a variety of Union Civil War imprints, including published circulars, orders, speeches, manuals, procedures, and battle reports all of which had been housed in a scrapbook. The majority of the imprints are from the offices of the quartermaster general and the adjutant general of the Army of the Ohio out of Columbus or Camp Dennison (Cincinnati, Ohio) from 1861 to 1864 and record pardons, promotions, and troop supplies. Not all newspaper clippings are dated or identified. Other items in the scrapbook pertain to volunteers, recruitment, and enlistment. There is no personal correspondence.

The series also contains the Speech of Major-General John A. Logan on return to Illinois after capture of Vicksburg published by the National Union Association of Ohio in Cincinnati, August 1863. There is one ten dollar bank note from the Commercial Bank of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee that may have been issued during the Civil War. There are also five small prints cut from publications like Harper’s Weekly depicting Civil War scenes such as troop movement on the Ohio River. Most of these prints were published in 1861 and 1862 when Cincinnati was an important geographic location for organizing and moving troops. The series includes an 1898 photograph of a Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) veteran’s reunion encampment in Cincinnati. There is also one Civil War subject file of published items Shonert gathered during his own research.

The series includes a medical examination record book with entries documenting and certifying exams conducted for pension claims made by Civil War veterans and a few Spanish American War veterans between 1897 and 1902. The Pension Bureau, which was a part of the Department of Interior at that time and which is now in Veterans Affairs, required specific documentation for pension claims and a certified medical examination was ordered in some cases. Most of the veterans in the record book were from Falmouth or other Pendleton County, Ky. towns.  Dr. J. H. Barbour, a local physician, was president of the local exam board. Barbour graduated from Ohio Medical College in 1852 and lived in Falmouth, Ky. until at least 1902.[1] The entries provide detailed information on veterans who applied for pension benefits over thirty years after the Civil War. They describe afflictions brought on by war wounds as well as advanced age and list ranks, companies, units and ages of veterans. The book has been indexed by veteran’s name, company, and age.

There is also an oversize color lithograph certificate, published as a stock “pictorial war record” by J.M. Vickroy from Terre Haute, Indiana in 1888 which features the G.A.R and war record for Samuel Boyd. The record is surrounded by scenes illustrating famous Civil War battles and U.S. presidents. The record notes that Boyd enlisted in Falmouth and mustered in as private, Co. B, 117th regiment, USC [United States Colored] Infantry at Covington in July 25, 1864. It also lists the engagements he fought in and his other duties. He was discharged in 1867. The lithograph is inscribed “presented to daughter Amy by her father Samuel Boyd, Aug. 1 [18]99.”

The series contains Civil War artifacts such as ammunition (bullets, shells, and pounder shots), bullet molds, firearms, a canteen, and flasks. It also has belt buckles, buttons, badges, and a fatigue cap. The artifacts have chiefly been attributed to the Battle of Perryville, October 8, 1862 in Perryville, Kentucky although many of the ribbons and buttons commemorate confederate and union troop reunions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are also badges and ribbons remembering John Hunt Morgan and his followers. Items are listed individually in the container list with the exception of ammunition, buttons, and badges. Two of the items are mounted displays that contain several individual artifacts (e.g. a bayonet, hat, and bullets mounted on a board). The wooden canteen is inscribed “Buckner COB [M?]IP 2.”

Lastly, the series includes fifteen copies of US Army photographs of General Douglas MacArthur leaving Japan in April 1951 after the US occupation of the country following World War II. All photographs are attributed to a specific photographer with a description of its subject on the back.

[1] Miami Student 23 (October 1903): 43.

Series II, U.S. History - Autograph Collection, contains a series of presidential signatures and portraits as well as a group of historic individuals’ signatures. The presidential items are arranged chronologically by term served, beginning with George Washington and going through Ronald Reagan. Shonert later added a signed photograph of Bill Clinton to the collection. Each presidential file includes at least one image of the respective president and one item with his signature. Some signatures are found on correspondence and official orders while others are only on small pieces of papers or white house cards. Thomas Jefferson’s signature, for example, is found on a May 1807 customs declaration printed in English and Dutch and James Monroe’s is found on a land grant issued to John Brown dated November 13, 1817. The majority of the images found in the profiles are printed reproductions of portraits although there are photographs of some 20th century presidents. For example, the Jimmy Carter file includes photographs of his visit to Bardstown, Kentucky in 1979.

The George Washington presidential file includes a white tablecloth (42” x 23 ½”), possibly linen, embroidered “The Independence of the United States of America, Declared July 4th 1776, Washington Elected President of the Federal Union, March, 1789, E Pluribus Unum.” The date of creation is unknown.

The Abraham Lincoln presidential file includes an oversize photograph and a photograph collage of the Abraham Lincoln statue created by George Grey Barnard and erected in Lytle Park in Cincinnati in 1917, a pass issued to the Illinois state house reportedly for Lincoln’s funeral, and a mourning ribbon after his assassination. There is also correspondence signed by Lincoln regarding an estate (September 24, 1850) and a note dated September 16, 1861 that reads “Respectfully submitted to the War Department asking for a fair consideration of the case” signed “A. Lincoln.” In addition, there are two color lithographs: one of Lincoln seated and a large print published by Kelly & Sons of “Abraham Lincoln and his family” showing President Lincoln reading to his family and an unidentified child in the White House with a view of the capital building dome through a window. This is a composite lithograph based on photographs of family members, including an 1864 Matthew Brady photograph of Lincoln with son Tad, and artistic rendering. Researchers should also note the presence of several Lincoln items in Series III, Political History.

President Theodore Roosevelt’s file includes a color lithograph of Roosevelt and his family printed by Pach Brothers, 1903, American Lithographic Company, New York as well as a large print head and shoulders portrait of Warren G. Harding.

The historic individuals’ signatures and portraits are arranged alphabetically. All individuals in this group are listed under “Persons” in the access points of this finding aid. Researchers may be particularly interested in the Civil War notables including Simon Bolivar Buckner and Robert E. Lee. Other notable individuals represented in this group include early settlers of Kentucky and politicians such as Simon Kenton, John C. Calhoun, and Alben Barkley. Some signatures are found on correspondence, such as Cassius M. Clay’s and Margaret Mitchell’s, while others are found on court records (e.g. Daniel Boone and Benjamin Logan). Margaret Mitchell’s correspondence is addressed to “Father Lelen” [Father J.M. Lelen] who lived in Falmouth, Kentucky and occasionally contributed to the Falmouth Outlook. A portrait is not included with every historic individual’s signature and not every portrait is signed. The document signed by Daniel Boone is accompanied by a reproduction print portrait and a set of commemorative Boone bicentennial coins.

Series III, Political History, contains ballots, printed materials, and memorabilia from various national, state, and local political campaigns and events. It includes ballots from Ohio elections and an1860 news clipping listing the presidential ballot from the Sidney Journal, a republican paper in Sidney, Ohio. Of particular interest is an 1864 Ohio Union presidential ticket listing Abraham Lincoln for president and Andrew Johnson for vice-president. Other presidential ballots include ones for Ulysses S. Grant and James A. Garfield. There are two campaign posters (Woodrow Wilson, circa 1912 and John F. Kennedy, circa 1960) in the series and a large chromolithograph depicting a parade with a banner showing portraits of Grover Cleveland, Adlai E. Stevenson, and Governor John Peter Altgeld (Illinois) by Jos. [Joseph] Klir, Paris dated 1893.

The series includes two collages created using printed materials, ephemera, and memorabilia from the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. It appears that the items belonged to Emery L. Frazier, chief clerk of the convention. The materials are fastened onto two large ballot sheets used during the convention to tally votes for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The ballot sheets have handwritten tally marks.

The series contains two textiles: a flag supporting Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen for the 1844 presidential election with a printed portrait of Clay in the upper left-hand corner and a handkerchief supporting Theodore Roosevelt for his 1912 presidential campaign with the printed phrase “Progressive Roosevelt 1912 Battle Flag” and a head portrait of Roosevelt in the center.

The series includes a large group of political campaign buttons, badges, pins,
and ribbons from the late 19th century through the late 20th century. Multiple political parties, including the republican and democratic parties, are represented.

Series IV, Kentucky History, includes two early maps of Kentucky, one by Filson (1793) and one published by J. Carez (1825), as well as one folder of postcards and invitations from the Daughters of the American Revolution of Kentucky that were addressed to Genevieve Shonert. The series also has a seal bearing the phrase “Old State Road/ Turnpike Co./ C.C. KY. 1882.”     

Series V, Falmouth, Ky. History, contains ledgers of meeting minutes, and financial and legal records from the Falmouth Board of Trustees, which oversaw the town’s governance prior to the establishment of the city council, from April 12, 1794-1837 and January 14, 1879- October 20, 1883. The ledgers include information on property (lots), taxes, ordinances, and the extension or improvement of streets, buildings, and other town services. Some meeting minutes note the appointment of specific individuals to municipal positions. One notable entry is a resolution after the assassination of President Garfield in July 1881 ordering residents to drape their homes in black and close businesses on the day of his funeral.

The series contains Falmouth Board of Education ledgers (1930-1968) with financial records, board membership information, and meeting minutes recording decisions on curriculum, hiring, disciplinary issues, and building concerns. A petition to the Board of Education calling for a special public meeting to discuss curriculum with the label “Exhibit A” was found among the 1963-1968 meeting minutes.

The series contains records from the Falmouth Volunteer Fire Department (1881-1891). A list of department members notes the years and positions of their service and has an unpublished department history. One item from the Pendleton County, Kentucky Civil Defense organization lists the mission of the organization and duties of various municipal and county officials in the case of emergency.

In addition to public municipal records, the series includes material from private organizations in Falmouth. Records of the Pendleton Academy, also known as the Pendleton Seminary, document private education in northern Kentucky prior to the establishment of public schools. The Pendleton Academy Trustee records include meeting minutes and financial records from the founding of the school circa 1813-1814 through 1921. The records contain information on school buildings construction, supply purchases, curriculum decisions, and hiring teachers. Other entries document the establishment and enforcement of school rules. Financial records document salaries, land purchases, construction materials, and tuition. There is one cyanotype of the Pendleton Academy, which no longer stands, that shows the academy building and a group of five individuals, at least four of whom are women. The photo also shows a corner of a Falmouth Baptist church on its left side.

Researchers may recognize common names among the various records. Dr. Barbour, for example, served on the board of the Pendleton Academy in addition his duties with the Pension Bureau.

Series VI, Falmouth Outlook, contains published newspapers from 1907-1985. The Falmouth Outlook reported mainly on Falmouth and Pendleton County, Kentucky news and events.   

Series VII, Other Artifacts and Artwork, includes handcuffs attributed to the 19th century and a painting of Colonel James Smith that had previously been erroneously attributed to the artist Chester Harding. The artist and creation date are unknown. It also includes a large framed photograph of the US Capital that appears to have been owned by Brent Spence while he served as US Congressman from the 6th district of Kentucky (1930-1963).

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Warren J. Shonert (1922-2002) was owner, publisher, and editor of the Falmouth Outlook, a newspaper in Falmouth, Kentucky from 1941 to 1985, when he sold the paper to Delphos Herald Inc. His father started the weekly paper in 1907. Shonert was also a director and employee of First National Bank of Falmouth and Butler. He served as a regent on Northern Kentucky University’s Board of Regents from 1972 to 1976 and was an active member of many Falmouth, Pendleton County, and northern Kentucky community organizations such as the Falmouth Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Shonert and his wife Genevieve were also involved in regional history and preservation organizations including the Cincinnati Civil War Roundtable, the Confederate Veterans Camp No. 1342, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. He was the grandson of a Union army veteran, the nephew of a confederate army officer, and the distant relative of early Falmouth settlers including Capt. John Waller. Shonert actively collected materials pertaining to American military, political, and local history, donating his collection to Northern Kentucky University in 1985. Shonert passed away in 2002 at the age of 79.







Series I:  U.S. Military History




Subseries 1: Civil War materials




Scrapbook of Civil War materials  

1861-1865, 186?

See staff


Printed speech, Major-General John A. Logan on return
  to Illinois after Capture of Vicksburg        




Ten dollar note, Commercial Bank of Tennessee

circa 1860s



Prints of Civil War scenes:
   Passage down the Ohio; Camp Dennison; Confederate
  raid into Kentucky; From Donelson to Vicksburg,  
  September 1862
; Ohio cavalry regiment leaving
  Cincinnati to join Buell’s army in Kentucky


O/S Box 4


Photograph of Grand Army of the Republic encampment,
  Cincinnati, Ohio


O/S Box 4


Medical examination record book for Civil War veterans,
  Bureau of Pensions, Department of the Interior and


O/S Box 5


Samuel Boyd G.A.R and war record lithograph


Art rack location 8


Civil War subject file

1972-1978, undated



Civil War artifacts




  bullets, shells, and musket balls   


O/S Box 6-7


  bullet molds (3)       


O/S Box 8


  cannonballs (pounder shots and shells)


O/S Box 9-10


  ammunition display mounts


O/S Box 11


  Colt M1860, .44 caliber army revolver     


O/S Box 12


  musket, .58 caliber


Row 101/102


  belt buckle (US)


O/S Box 13


  buttons, ribbons, badges


O/S Box 14


  mounted display of belt buckle (SNY), fatigue cap, 
   bayonet,  photograph, bullets


O/S Box 15


Mounted display of belt buckle (CSA), bullet, bayonet, 
  and four metal pieces from weapons. Labeled
  “Coosawhatie, S.C., December 6-9, 1864

December 6-9, 1864

Row 102


  wooden canteen

before 1865

Row 103, O/S Box 16


  metal flask

before 1865

Row 103, O/S Box 17


  leather flask

before 1865

Row 103, O/S Box 18


  powder horn

before 1865

Row 103, O/S Box 18


 Subseries 2: World War II




15 U.S. Army photographs, departure of General
  MacArthur after the U.S. occupation of Japan

April 1951







Series II: U.S. History - Autograph Collection  




Presidential signatures and portraits and envelopes
  George Washington-Ronald Reagan; Bill Clinton

1779-1995, undated

1, See also map drawer 6, O/S Box 4, and Row 102, Boxes 19-22


Tablecloth commemorating George Washington’s

circa 1789

Row 103


Color lithograph of Abraham Lincoln and his family

circa 1864-1875

Art rack location 2


Color lithograph of Theodore Roosevelt and family            

circa 1903

Row 103, O/S Box 21


Engraved portrait of Warren G. Harding

circa 1920s

Art rack location 5


Historic individuals, signatures and portraits



See also O/S Box 5 and Row 103


Certificates of authenticity of signatures








Series III: Political History           








Lincoln presidential campaign article, Sidney Journal

July 20, 1860

Map drawer 6


Chromolithograph of parade with banner showing
  portraits of Grover Cleveland, Adlai E. Stevenson, and
  Gov. John Peter Altgeld (Illinois) by Jos. [Jospe]) Klir,


See also Row 103, Box 23


Poster for Woodrow Wilson political campaign

circa 1912



Poster for John F. Kennedy political campaign

circa 1960



1956 Democratic National Convention collages (2) of 
  items from Emery T. Frazier on ballot tally sheets and
  news clipping




Flag, Clay and Frelinghuysen campaign

circa 1844

Art rack location 8


Handkerchief, 1912 Roosevelt battle flag


Art rack location 8


Political buttons, badges, and ribbons


Row 103, O/S Boxes 24-25






Series IV: Kentucky History




A Map of Kentucky drawn from actual observation by John Filson


Row 103, O/S Box 26


Map of Kentuckee published by J. Carez, “ Carte
  geographique-statique et historique du ky”


2Row 103, O/S Box 26


Postcards and invitations, Daughters of the American
  Revolution of Kentucky

1940-1941, undated



Old State Road seal


O/S Box 27






Series V: Falmouth, Ky. History




Board of Trustees meeting minutes


2, See also O/S Box 28


Board of Education




 - meeting minutes


2, See also O/S Box 29


 - Petition  and  Exhibit A




Volunteer Fire Department




 - meeting minutes




 - unpublished history and list of fire chiefs

circa 1959



Civil Defense Organization, Pendleton County (Ky.)
  mission and role outlines

circa 1960s



Pendleton Academy Board of Trustees




 - meeting minutes




 - meeting minutes and orders




 - treasurer reports and finances




 - cyanotype (photograph)

circa 1900



Photographs and essays on histories of Falmouth and
  Pendleton County

after 1950



WKRC (Cincinnati, Ohio) radio pamphlet




Other printed material:




 - one page biography of John Brown Lindsey, first mayor of Newport




 - print (clipping) View on the Licking




 - reproduction of stock certificate for the Covington and Cincinnati 
   Bridge Co. made out to George W. Ball

April 17, 1860



Correspondence to Warren J. Shonert about donation of
  collection and Falmouth history




Series VI: Falmouth Outlook




Falmouth Outlook newspaper       


Microfilm cabinet 65






Series VII: Other artifacts and artwork





circa 1800s



Portrait (oil) of Colonel James Smith         


Art rack location 1


Photograph of The Capital, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Ohio

circa early 1900s

Art storage aisle