Gilded Age Collections

Collection ID: GA-69
Location: GA-69

(Description ID: 595684)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

William C. Flocken


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

William C. Flocken served with this U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. He documented his travels to the Philippines and some of his experiences. The collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1986.

Biographical Sketch
William C. Flocken was born in Terre Haute, Indiana on April 13, 1878 to Henry and Alice Hamilton Flocken. He enlisted in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 23, 1898 with Company H of the 13th U.S. Infantry. During his time with the army, he likely served in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and later in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. . He re-enlisted twice and rose to the rank of quartermaster sergeant by the time he was discharged at Fort Thomas, Kentucky on October 3, 1905. After retiring from the army he married Edna Pearl Hamilton (1885-1960) on October 8, 1908. By 1929 he and his wife relocated to Fremont, Ohio where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of two daughters. William and Edna Flocken are buried in Fremont’s Oakwood Cemetery.

Scope and Content
The collection primarily concerns Flocken’s experiences on the island of Luzon, Philippines during the Philippine-American War. Of the greatest interest is his 70-page memoir that documents in text and images of his travels from the United States to Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines. Flocken also documented his early experiences in the Philippines, including tours of Manila and combat experiences with Philippine rebels. The last portion of the memoir is devoted to the hunt for an insurgent known as “San Salvador” and the trial and execution of his followers. The memoir is handwritten and contains approximately 118 photographs, presumably unique.  The memoir was assembled with assistance from Sgt. Seabert of Company M, 13th U.S. Infantry and musician Krueger from the 2nd U.S. Infantry Band.

An additional 41 photographic images, most of which relate to the Philippine Islands, and an unidentified family photograph album along with 32 postcard views from Hawaii, Kobe (Japan) and the Philippines compose the remainder of the collection. There is a hand drawn map of Jolo, Philippines and a printed map of Luzon Island. Also included are four hard cased images of unidentified American Civil War soldiers and one carte de visite family album of the American Civil War era. 

Ac. 4889
1/3 linear ft.

Box 1

Folder 1:
Memoir of Travels from the U.S. to the Philippines, c. 1904-1905

Folder 2:
41 Photographs (loose)

Folder 3:

Folder 4:

Folder 5:

1 Family Photograph Album

Cased Photographs of 4 unidentified American Civil War soldiers

Transferred to the Museum (see “Flocken” in Online HPC Objects Catalog):

  • Spear
  • Bayonet
  • Bayonet sheath
  • Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Leather Case
  • Serpentine Kris