A one-of-a-kind artifact was recently donated to the DeMoulin Museum in Greenville. A doll from the 1940s with a unique connection between DeMoulin Bros. and World War II is now featured at the museum. In December 2017, the museum was contacted by the heirs of Susan McCracken White, an Alabama resident, concerning a doll she owned while growing up in Greenville. The doll’s outfit was made by DeMoulin.
According to her son, David White, “My mother received this doll as a child. Its uniform was made by DeMoulin Bros. and modeled after the uniform her father was wearing during World War II. The doll has long been referred to as the ‘daddy doll’ in our family. It was her wish to see that this doll was donated to the DeMoulin Museum after her death.”
Susan’s father was William L. McCracken, a Greenville native, who ran his own dental practice in Greenville until joining the US Army Dental Corps from 1943 to 1946. Dr. McCracken was Chief of Dental Service for the 55th Field Hospital, serving with this unit at Hawaii and Okinawa.
He was discharged as a captain and later move to Alabama where he had a successful career in dentistry.
DeMoulin Museum curator John Goldsmith is thrilled to showcase the doll. Goldsmith said, “Although the company was manufacturing military uniforms for the war effort, the uniform worn by this doll is a one of a kind DeMoulin creation made specifically for Susan. We may never know which DeMoulin employees were involved in this special project, but their handiwork will be permanently displayed, thanks to Susan McCracken White.”
White passed away August 26, 2017. The “daddy doll” was shipped to the museum in February of this year. Johnson’s Signs and Designs of Greenville created a special case for the doll, which is now permanently on display at the DeMoulin Museum.
During the month of November, in conjunction with Veterans Day, the museum will spotlight military uniforms made by DeMoulin Bros.
The DeMoulin Museum, located at 205 S. Prairie Street in Greenville, is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call the museum at (618) 664-4115 or visit their website at www.demoulinmuseum.org.