Skip to main content

August Kirk Brown World War II Papers

Identifier: MSS-1069-SC

Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Center for Southwest Research by Irene E. Brown and her niece, Katherine E. McCully, both from Albuquerque. The items were found in an old suitcase full of birthday and Christmas cards belonging to August (Gussie) Kirk Brown. The collection consists of five World War II United States Selective Service Notices of Classification, dating from 1941-1945. They are known commonly as draft cards or conscription notices from a local board. These five are for August Kirk Brown, with his place of registration given as Estancia or sometimes Mountainair, New Mexico, in Torrance County.

The cards are dated and give his changing classifications over the years: October 16, 1941 Class 1H; January 15, 1942 Class 1A; October 5 1942, Class 1A; June 3, 1944 Class 2CF; and October 6, 194, Class 4A. From October 1940 until March 1947 over 10,000,000 men were inducted for war service for the United States.

Also included is one War Ration Book Four, U.S. Office of Price Administration, for August K. Brown, Mountainair, New Mexico. Food and supplies were reserved for the war effort, resulting in shortages and the need for rationing for the citizens. Every American was issued a series of ration books during the war. They contained removable stamps good for certain rationed items, like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. A person could not buy a rationed item without also giving the grocer the right ration stamp. Once your ration stamps were used up for a month, you could not buy any more of that type of food. This required careful planning.

Book Four, like that held by Mr. Brown, was issued in late 1943. The book had 8 pages of 384 stamps in blue, red, green and black. The stamps were also lettered (A-Z). Green stamps were used along with blue stamps for foods such as juice, baby food, and bottled fruit. Red stamps were used for meats and the black stamps were used as “spares” in the event that adjustments were made in the food program. Each item in a store would have a price and a corresponding coupon value. You had to pay for the rationed food and turn in the coupon points. More than 8,000 ration boards across the country administered the program. These items help recall what life was like at home in New Mexico during the war years.


  • 1941-1945

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publications or distribution.

Biographical Information

August (Gussie) Kirk Brown was born March 25, 1908 and died October 13, 1973. He lived most of his life in Estancia or Mountainair, New Mexico. He was hearing and speech impaired, only speaking words the way he heard them. He attended school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the school for deaf children. Gussie was well-known in Mountainair. Many people trusted him to watch their children. He also cared for their property and animals when they were away from their homes. Gussie was related to the well-known Kayser family of Mountainair. His mother being Ida May Kayser Brown, who homesteaded in the area in the early 1900s.

Source: Irene E. Brown, March 2, 2020.


1 folder (6 items)


The collection consists of five World War II army draft cards and one ration stamp book belonging to August Kirk Brown, who lived at Estancia and Mountainair, New Mexico.
Finding Aid of the August Kirk Brown World War II Papers, 1941-1945
© 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131