Pressel Family papers

MSS 322
2.5 linear inches

Name of Creator(s):

Pressel, Harry L.
Pressel, Ernest.
Kaminski, Jane L.


English, German


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Pressel, Ernest B., 1893-1918.
Pressel, Harry L., 1888-1970.
World War, 1914-1918.

Finding aid prepared by:

Herb Morgan, 2003. Revised by Emily Hughes Dominick, 2006. Revised by Helen Reinold, 2010.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Custodial History
Administrative History/Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Related Materials
Container List

The materials relating to Ernest Pressel were donated to Special Collections by Leonard Kaminski in August 1992.

Paul Pressel was born in Germany. He later moved to Moline, Illinois, and became a citizen of the United States in 1890. He and his wife had two sons, Harry and Ernest.

Harry Pressel was born in Moline, Illinois on March 18, 1888. As an adult, he worked at the John Deere Plow Company. He married Hannah O. Norling, and the couple had one child, Jane Louise Pressel. Harry Pressel died in Moline in October 1970 at the age of 82.

Ernest Pressel was born in Moline, Illinois in 1893. He worked as a clerk at John Deere Plow Company before entering the military. Ernest was a member of the Elks of Moline, Lodge 556. He began his military service at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa on September 19, 1917. Ernest was stationed for a brief time at Camp Pike, Little Rock, Arkansas before heading off to war. On July 4, 1918 Ernest departed Halifax, Nova Scotia for France. He served in Company D, 39th Infantry. Ernest Pressel died in France on September 26, 1918 while in battle.

Jane Louise (Pressel) Kaminski was born on August 3, 1917. As an adult, she worked as a teacher. She was married to Leonard Kaminski. Jane Kaminski died on April 25, 1990 at the age of 72.



The Pressel family papers consist of correspondence, postcards, and legal documents. It encompasses 2.5 linear inches and contains documents from 1890 to 1967. The collection consists of four series: Paul Pressel, Harry Pressel, Ernest Pressel, and Jane Kaminski.  
The Paul Pressel series (1890-1905) contains Paul Pressel’s naturalization certificate and two documents relating to the purchase of land in Moline, Illinois.
The Harry Pressel series (1917-1963) consists of one postcard from Ernest Pressel to Harry Pressel, and a series of letters between Harry Pressel and his nephew, Adolf Behnecke. The letters between Pressel and Behnecke relate to Behnecke’s application for U.S. citizenship. Though the two had a falling out when Pressel insulted Behnecke by implying that he was a Nazi. Despite this, Behnecke requested that his uncle act as his sponsor and submit an affidavit. Pressel, however, refused to sponsor him. The series also includes correspondence from the U.S. government to Harry Pressel relating to Ernest Pressel, including the notice of Ernest Pressel’s death and burial.
The Ernest Pressel series (1916-1938) consists of items that are biographical in nature, including newspaper clippings, obituaries, membership cards, and certificates. It also includes correspondence between Ernest Pressel and his mother and brother, Harry. The correspondence from mainly discusses life in the military camps.
The Jane Kaminski series (1917-1967) consists of Kaminski’s birth certificate, baptism certificate, and teaching certificate. It also includes a booklet announcing the death of James B. Kaminski, Jr.



The collection is arranged chronologically within each series with undated materials at the end of the series.


None known



Series I. Paul Pressel (1890-1905)

Naturalization Certificate, 1890

Warranty deed, 1905

Claim deed, 1905

Series II. Harry Pressel (1917-1963)

Correspondence, 1917-1963

Series III. Ernest Pressel (1916-1938)

Miscellaneous, 1916-1919 and undated

Correspondence, 1918-1938

Memorial Certificate, undated

Series IV. Jane Kaminski (1917-1967)

Birth certificate, 1917

Baptism certificate, 1927

Teaching certificate, 1940

Announcement, 1967

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