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John Joseph Baughman photograph, essay and news article

 Collection — Folder: Baughman, John Joseph, DePauw Alumni Vertical File
Identifier: MSD-1948-025

Collection Statement

Photograph, essay and a news article.


  • 1984 - 2008


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection are held by DePauw University.

Biographical Note

John was born May 31, 1925, to Blanche (Coker) Baughman and Cavins Baughman, in Evansville, Indiana. He was raised in Detroit, Michigan.

John enrolled at DePauw University, in Greencastle, Indiana in 1942. A member of those referred to as "the Greatest Generation", he served in the United States Army as a member of the 44th Infantry Division from 1943-1945. He received the Order of Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. While he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Paris in 1951, John revisited the Alsace battlefield where he had fought. In the early months of 2020, John responded to France's request that he qualify to receive its highest honor, the French Legion of Honor. This award is anticipated to be imminently received. Being proud of his military service John attended many reunions of the 44th and was a charter member and supporter of the National World War II Museum. In October 2016 he was awarded a flight to Washington D.C. by the Honor Flight program. This two-day trip included special recognition for wartime service at an evening banquet, and visits to many sites including the WWII Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

John graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1948 with a B.A. in History. He studied French History at Harvard, where he received his M.A. Degree. He received his Ph. D. in European History from the University of Michigan in 1953.

John returned to Greencastle in 1953 and taught European History at DePauw for 37 years, retiring in 1990. During his tenure, he Chaired the History Department, was appointed University Historian, awarded the John Clark Ridpath Professorship, served as University Marshall, and was Visiting Professor for two years with College Year in Athens, Greece. After his retirement and virtually until his death, many of his former students were frequent visitors in person, by phone, and through correspondence.

John was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at DePauw and was recently honored and featured in his fraternity's National Publication, "The Palm".

John was an active and contributing member of our local community. He was a Boy Scout volunteer serving as Troop 90 Committee Chair, Putnam County District Chair and Wabash Valley Executive Committee member. He received the District Award of Merit and attended many Camporees, Summer Camps, and troop activities. He was a member of the Greencastle Kiwanis club, having served on its Board of Directors. He supported the Putnam County Museum and served on many committees and executive boards including President of the Historic Preservation Society of Putnam County, Indiana from 1977-78 and President of the Indiana United Methodist Historical Society from 2005-2008. John stayed politically informed regarding local, State and National issues. He served for decades in various capacities as an Election Poll worker, during Greencastle City and Putnam County elections.

He was a genealogist, having completed a detailed account of the Baughman family tree. He was an avid reader with an extensive library. He is the author of many publications, including: "Our Past, Their Present: Historical Essays On Putnam County, Indiana", "The French Banquet Campaign of 1847 - 1848", "My Sixty Eight Days in Combat Against the Armies of the Third German Reich", and "DePauw University: A Pictorial History".

John married Elizabeth "Betty" Bowden in 1961 and they shared 45 years of marriage, before she preceded him in death, in 2006. Their only child, John Cavins Baughman, passed from this life, in 2008. John Joseph Baughman was without siblings. He is survived by several distant cousins, whom he adored, together with numerous friends.

Since 2015, John lived in a spacious apartment on the third floor of Asbury Towers Health Care Center, in Greencastle. During his stay, he received professional assistance and care from well-trained staff members who became vital and important to him, both as care givers and friends.

John passed away at age 95 on June 26, 2020.


0.02 Cubic Feet (1 file folder)

Language of Materials


John Joseph Baughman photograph, essay and news article
John Riggs
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States