Buch: William J. Buch Papers, 1917-1958

Call Number: MG-658

2 boxes     18 folders   1 cubic ft.

Repository: LancasterHistory (Organization); PV7

Shelving Location: Archives South, Side 13

Description: This collection contains photographs, scrapbook pages, and personal letters to and from William J. Buch, also known as Joe. Several letters and items pertain to his likeness to Franklin D. Roosevelt, including correspondence with the White House and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Other items include documents and photographs of his service in WWI, Lancaster County boxers, and his son’s WWII service.

Creator: Buch, William J., d. 1962.

Conditions for Access: No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproductions: Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language: English

Source of Acquisition: Gift from Stanley Buch, in memory of his father, William “Joe” Buch, August 2003 and March 2014.

Biographical Information: William “Joe” Buch served in WWI. He founded Buch’s Pharmacy at the corner of Charlotte and King Streets in Lancaster, Pa. and later ventured into the sporting goods business. Mr. Buch was known as a Franklin D. Roosevelt double, and wrote often to offer support to the President. Mr. Buch was very active in the local and state Democratic Party. He posed as Roosevelt’s twin at many political events. More information is available in Folder 17.

Administrative History: Processed and finding aid prepared by KB, July 2014.


Box 1

Folder 1

Insert 1 Two photographs from WWI, 1918 and 1919. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.

Letter from Bibb Graves the Governor of Alabama with envelope. 1937.

A thank you note.

Insert 2 Correspondence from the White House

Letters from 1936 and envelopes.

Envelopes from 1934 and 1935.

Letters are thank you notes for photographs and letters that Mr. Buch sent to the White House.

Insert 3 Correspondence from the White House and Library

Letters from 1937, 1938, 1940 and 1941 with envelopes.

Plus a letter from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library thanking Mr. Buch for the letters that he sent to the library. 1956.


Folder 2 Loose scrapbook pages

An article that Mr. Buch sent to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”. Photographs from WWI. Registration Certificate for the war. U.S.S. Leviathan, Mr. Buch’s transportation to Europe. Multiple correspondents from Democratic State Committee thanking Mr. Buch for his support and hard work for their cause. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.

 Folder 3 Loose scrapbook pages

A few of the pages have newspaper articles on boxing in Lancaster. One is a letter to Mr. Buch with a reproduced poster from boxing’s early days in Lancaster from Johnny Hauck. Two photographs of Mr. Buch from WWI. Photographs of Mr. Buch. Newspaper articles about Mr. Buch running for Mayor of Lancaster. Christmas card from the American Legion. Two pieces that must be from Mr. Buch’s days in Germany. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.

 Folder 4 Loose scrapbook pages

Multiple thank you notes from FDR’s secretary. Thank you letter from the Wrightsville Democratic Club. Photographs of Mr. Buch in WWI. A Christmas Card from the Federation of Democratic Clubs with Mr. Buch’s face imposed on it. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.

 Folder 5 Loose scrapbook pages

Multiple newspaper clippings on FDR, and a final tally of Mr. Buch’s run for mayor. A thank you letter from Eddie Cantor of RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. of California. Photographs of Mr. Buch in WWI. A photograph of businessmen from Lancaster, with many of the men named. Thank you letter from Coatesville American Legion for Mr. Buch’s participation in their parade. Drug Topics National Newspaper requesting a photograph of Mr. Buch, because of his likeness to President Roosevelt. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.

Folder 6 Military information sheet 1917. Christmas card 1918. Two newspaper articles on old boxers of Lancaster (photocopies).


The following folders are of items that were loose in the scrapbook that is part of this collection.

Folder 7 Photographs of old boxers from Lancaster, two newspaper articles on boxers, and a program from a dinner and reunion of boxers of Lancaster, 1957. 


Folder 8 Mr. Buch’s photographs from WWI and some he took of a airplane that was shot down.

Newspaper article from Mr. Buch’s battalion meeting and photograph. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.


Folder 9 Two letters and envelopes of thanks from a fallen comrade’s mother, 1918, 1919.

Military form for Mr. Buch to get a 7-day leave while in France. 1918.

Two pages of Mr. Buch’s honorable discharge paperwork, 1919.


Folder 10 Infantry Journal, Taking of Montfaucon. 16 page booklet. 1941.

Program with menu of the 304th Field Signal Battalion annual Reunion, this contains a roster of all who serviced in this battalion. 1959.

Letter from the Selective Service System acknowledging Mr. Buch’s resignation. 1960.


Folder 11 Event program for Mr. Smythe Jr., a FDR look like, and booklet from the The New Yorker about Smythe and his ability to come up with a slogan for the Republican candidates. 1936.

Two letters to Mr. Buch for Andrew R. Brodbeck thanking him for Mr. Buch’s support of the Democratic Party. First is one page dated 9 December 1936. Second one, 4 pages, dated 16 December 1936.


Folder 12

Insert 1 Obituary of Mrs. Buch.

Three newspaper articles: one announcement of Buch’s Drug Store 20th anniversary; one on the Plough Tavern that use to be located at Charlotte and King Streets; one on Mr. and Mrs. Lester Bowman’s antiques Collection in their House Lafayette. (photocopies)

Insert 2 Magazinearticle talking about how Mr. Buch was getting into the sporting goods business in addition to the drug store. 1940. Newspaper ad telling about Buch’s Drug Store’s grand opening, the 20th anniversary, and photocopy. 1946.

Insert 3 Four letters from Robert P. Wise of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma sending money to buy wooley salve, which is talked about in the letter as a cure-all for any ailment. 1954-1957.

One letter from Stanley J. Buch to Dr. Peter Gott talking about wooley salve.

Insert 4 Two photographs: one inside Buch’s Drug Store, Eastertime; one inside the Moose Ballroom. No dates. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.


Folder 13 Advertisement from American Druggist picturing Mr. Buch. Sertoma Lancaster Directory 1957-58. Childs drawings of the outside of Buch’s Drug Store.


Folder 14

Insert 1 Stanley J. Buch’s call to service from Armed Forces Induction Center, Harrisburg Pa. 1943.

One page from a medical magazine from WWII. 1943.

Christmas Card from Stanley to his parents. 1943.

Sandwich price list.

Insert 2 Note from Stan Buch stating that his grandfather was Jacob Getz of Ephrata.

A booklet from Stan’s uncle, “History of the 311th Field Artillery.”

Newspaper photograph of Washington Ave. School, Ephrata, 1908. Stan’s mother is in it. (photocopy)

Insert 3 Photographs: Mr. Buch working in shop at Brunswick Hotel, Maine. Buch in WWI, Buch Drug Store front 1940s, two of Stan’s grandfather. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.


Folder 15 Military honor paper for Mr. Buch for serving in WWI dated 1919 as well as serving on the draft board. 1948.

Photograph of Carl Nutt who served with W. J. Buch in WWI. 1918.

Photograph in the Brunswick Hotel. Possibly a March of Dimes banquet. Photographs transferred to the Photograph Collection, 6 October 2017.


Box 2

Folder 16 Scrapbook with photographs from WWI and multiple thank you letters for Mr. Buch’s support of the local Democratic Party.

Folder 17 “The Scribbler” column, Lancaster New Era, by Jack Brubaker regarding William “Joe” Buch and his likeness to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 11 January 2000.

Framed letter and photographs  Letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Mr. Buch and two photographs.