Skip to main content

Camp, Walter Mason, 1867-1925



  • Existence: 1867 - 1925

Biographical History

Walter Mason Camp (1867-1925) was a railroad engineer and writer, in the midwestern United States. Camp also performed research on the history of the Indian Wars of the Plains, in particular the Battle of the Little Big Horn of 1876.

Walter Camp was born on April 21, 1867 to Treat Bosworth Camp and Hannah A. Brown in Camptown, Pennsylvania. In 1883, he began his railroad service on the Lehigh Valley Railroad as a trackman, which would lead to his forty-two year railroad career. He entered Pennsylvania State College in the fall of 1887, and graduated as a civil engineer in 1891. In 1895 Camp resumed post graduate studies in electrical and steam engineering at the University of Wisconsin. In 1898 Walter married Emeline L. F. Sayles in Blue Island, Illinois. Walter Camp became the engineering editor of the "Railway and Engineering Review" in 1897 and served faithful and well as a railway editor for the following twenty-eight years.

Walter Camp's interest in documenting the Indian Wars began in 1903, after which his vacations for the following twenty summers were spent in research among the Indians and in talking with people who had survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn and other battles. He personally visited over forty battlefields and interviewed almost 200 survivors of western battles. Walter Camp died in 1925 in Kankakee, Illinois having published very little of his Indian wars research, but having collected an amount of original source material during his lifetime.

Railway Review, Aug. 8, 1925: p. 197-198 (Walter Mason Camp; Walter M. Camp; b. 1867 Camptown, Pennsylvania; d. 1925 Kankakee, Illinois; parents: Treat Bosworth Camp and Hannah A. Brown; worked Lehi Valley railroad; student Penn State College; graduate University of Wisconsin; married Emeline L. F. Sayles, Railway and Engineering Review editor; research on Indians of the Plains during summers, Battle of the Little Big Horn)

Custer in '76, Kenneth Hammer, 1976 (Camp, Walter M.)

Manuscripts, Hammer, Kenneth and Dennis Rowley, 1975 (Custer's Man Camp--Oral Historian Without Peer)

Found in 96 Collections and/or Records:

L. A. Huffman photographs of Godfrey, Walter Mason Camp, and Bird Grinnel, 1916

 Item — Box 1: [Barcode: 31197233280335], Folder: 15
Identifier: MSS P 16 Item 204

Russell Gordon Carter letter to Robert Bruce

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230233220]
Identifier: MSS SC 62
Scope and Contents

ALS (plus 1 p. typescript) in which Carter comments that the printing of articles critical of George A. Custer is inappropriate since Mrs. Custer is still living. Carter expresses the belief that the true story of the Custer tragedy will not be told until the notes of Walter Mason Camp are available.

Dates: approximately 1930

Walter Mason Camp biographical information, 1925 August 8

Identifier: MSS 57 Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains biographical sketch of Camp written in Railway Review railroad journal.

Dates: 1925 August 8

Walter Mason Camp : born April 21, 1867--died August 3, 1925, 1925 August 8

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S1_F1_B1_F1
Dates: 1925 August 8

Walter Mason Camp correspondence

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S2_F18_B1a_F19
Dates: 1911 July-October

Walter Mason Camp correspondence

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S2_F19_B1a_F20
Dates: 1911 November

Walter Mason Camp correspondence

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S2_F20_B1a_F21
Dates: 1911-1912

Walter Mason Camp correspondence

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S2_F21_B1a_F22
Dates: 1911-1913

Walter Mason Camp correspondence

 Digital Record
Identifier: MSS57_S2_F22_B1a_F23
Dates: 1913 May-December

Additional filters:

Digital Record 76
Archival Object 13
Collection 7
Indians of North America -- Wars -- 1866-1895 85
Interviews 42
Letters 41
Military 7
Politics, Government, and Law 7