Guide to the Henry Mylin Kieffer Scrapbook, 1907-1911
A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029
Prepared by: David D'Onofrio
(Original Guide by Mary R. Catalfamo)
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
Henry Mylin Kieffer was born April 21, 1890 in Easton, Pennsylvania, the son of the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Kieffer. Appointed to the United States Naval Academy from New Jersey, Kieffer graduated with the Class of 1912. While at the Academy, Kieffer participated in football and track, and was captain of the undefeated gymnastic team. He also served as art editor and cartoonist for the Lucky Bag Yearbook, and was a member of the Class Crest Committee.
Kieffer’s post-Academy naval career spanned from 1912 through 1933, with various shipboard and shore assignments. He took part in the seizure and occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico. He also commanded the Lower Yangtze Patrol and negotiated a truce between warring Chinese factions. His temporary rank of Lieutenant Commander (1918) was made permanent in 1921. Kieffer retired from the United States Navy in 1933.
During World War II, Kieffer served as routing officer (Merchant Ship Control) for Delaware Bay and River shipping, before retiring again in 1945. Henry Mylin Kieffer died March 23, 1984 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and was buried in Washington Memorial Chapel Churchyard in Valley Forge.
Scope and Content Note
The Henry Mylin Kieffer Scrapbook spans from 1907 until 1911. The scrapbook focuses primarily on Kieffer's athletic, social, and religious activities while a midshipman at the Naval Academy.
The scrapbook is composed of photographs, press clippings, correspondence, event programs, visiting cards, invitations, original artwork, and diary entries.
The bulk of the scrapbook consists of photographs and ephemera pertaining to various social and athletic events from Kieffer's time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. Events covered within the scrapbook include football, track, and gymnasium (gymnastics) events; Masqueraders performances; local theater productions; midshipman dances; Bible studies; and the activities of the Naval Academy Practice Squadron. Located throughout the scrapbook are several original drawings by Kieffer, as well as photographs featuring Kieffer.
Located in the midst of the scrapbook's ephemera, beginning on page 75 and lasting for twenty-eight pages, is a diary kept by Kieffer spanning from August 8, 1908 until September 30, 1908. The diary, started during Kieffer's Plebe Summer, includes descriptions of drills, inspections, rifle practice, fencing lessons, seamanship instruction, French recitations, intra-battalion athletic competitions (such as track meets and regattas), and recreational activities. Also described in the diary is a confrontation between the member's of Kieffer's class and two candidates for admission to the United State Military Academy, one of whom was the son of the Mayor of Annapolis (September 21- 24).