Skip to main content

Stokes Family papers

 Collection — Container: 17.0023 - Box 1
Identifier: 17.0023

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily relates to Lieutenant Colonel Walter R. Stokes who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in a weapons training section at Camp Luna, NM. The collection also relates to the uncle of Walter R. Stokes,  Harry Keeler Stokes, who served as the bank manager of Citizens' Bank of Clermont, FL. The collection consists of letters and envelopes written from soldiers serving in World War II to a bank president in Clermont, Florida. The collection also contains World War II period empty envelopes and letters from the stamp collection of Walter R. Stokes.


  • Created: 1919-1952
  • Other: Date acquired: 2017-10-12


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Harry Keeler Stokes was born on March 31, 1883, in Lee Center, NY.  Well respected by the local community, Harry Keeler Stokes as bank manager of Citizens' Bank of Clermont (FL), and uncle of Lieutenant Colonel Walter R. Stokes, wrote and received numerous letters from local men and women who were serving in the armed forces during World War II.  The letters to Harry Keeler Stokes were of a personal, and business, nature.  Many of the servicemen and women sent money orders for deposit by Harry Keeler Stokes. He passed away in Lake County, FL on September 15, 1956.

Walter R. Stokes was born on May 23, 1898, in Mohawk, FL. Walter R. Stokes’ father was Charles Stokes who came to Florida in 1888 and established the Jolly Palms Hunting Lodge in Mohawk, Florida. He also established a post office in his home. Harry K. Stokes, came to work for Charles in 1898, as a guide for the hunting lodge. Charles had three children, Ralph, Helen, and Walter. They learned to hunt and fish here at Mohawk. It was said that Walter could stand in a rocking boat on Lake Apopka and shoot birds. Charles, Walter’s father, was also a photographer back in the days of glass negatives. When it came time to educate Charles’ three children, there were no good schools in the area. So he took them back up to New York for their education. Grandfather of Rebecca Mendoza, Harry (who was much younger than Charles), stayed and had 3 children, John, Charles (Andy), and Richard (Dick), Rebecca’s father. There were better schools by the time they were old enough to attend. Harry K. Stokes served as the president of the local bank (as the letters are addressed) and unopposed Lake County Commissioner for 5 terms until he died in 1959. Stokes spent his early childhood in central Florida, where his parents operated a hunting and fishing resort. Walter R. Stokes served in both WWI and II. Mendoza’s father served in WWII. He graduated from Clermont High School in 1943 and had his father go with him to sign up as he was only 17 at the time and needed parental approval. He served in the U.S. Navy, in the Pacific theater. Dr. Charles (Andy) Stokes lost his eye in a childhood hunting accident and could not serve in WWII but he was a chemical engineer and made important contributions through his work. Walter R. Stokes graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1918 and then went on to earn both an LL.B. and an M.D. degree, one of only two American Olympians to do so. Stokes was part of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic rifle team in 1924. Along with the team success, Stokes also earned individual bronze. As a competitor himself, Stokes was on the rifle, swimming and wrestling teams at Annapolis. He competed internationally for the U.S. as a rifle shooter from 1919 until 1923, at which time he entered medical school. At the 1921 World Championships in Lyon, France he was a member of the free rifle team which won four titles prone, kneeling, standing, and 3-position. Both professional degrees came from George Washington University and, while he was in school, Stokes coached the school’s rifle team to intercollegiate championships in 1924, 1927, and 1928. Walter passed away on June 9, 1996, in Stuart, FL.

One noteworthy letter contained in this collection, dated July 7, 1944, was written to Mrs. John Stokes in Minneola, FL by U.S. Navy Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Frank K. Chambers, who served as the ship's Captain of LCI(L)-20, provides details of the sinking by German aircraft of his ship, LCI(L)-20,  during the Anzio, Italy landings on January 22, 1944. Sources: Rebecca Mendoza, e-mail message to author, February 10, 2018. "Hall of Fame-Walter Stokes." USA Shooting. Accessed February 12, 2018.

Note written by Michael Kasper


.5 Linear Feet (1 half box)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Related Materials Link to Find A Grave record for Harry Keeler Stokes:  [url=][/url] Link to information on fate of landing craft LCI(L)-20: Link to additional information on landing craft LCI(L)-20:

Stokes Family papers
Jenna Pope and Michael Kasper
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US