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One hundred years ago Thursday, the World War One Allies fighting against Germany signed an armistice at Compiegne, France ending the hostilities between the two powers.
This was the end of the war that was billed as the “War to end all Wars.” The agreement took effect on 11 o’clock in the morning of November 11— the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month—and later was declared Veterans Day to honor American Veterans, living and dead.
The total number of military and civilian deaths in World War One were about 40 million. Estimates range from 15 to 19 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel. As for the United States about 4 million soldiers were mobilized and 116,708 military personnel died during the war from all causes (influenza, combat and wounded) another 204,000 were wounded and 751 civilians died due to military action.
In remembrance of World War One The Tribune Press Reporter is reprinting several articles that were published during the war. The first that we would like to publish appeared in the September 20th, 1917 issue of the Glenwood City Tribune:
Under the heading, “Two Rousing Receptions Tendered Departing Soldiers Tuesday Evening.” Glenwood City honored itself by doing honor to its boys in the national army just prior to the departure of eight of them for Camp Grant Tuesday evening.
The tokens of honor were in the form of two rousing receptions, the one held at the opera house under the auspices of the Advancement Association, and the other at the Swedish Congregational church.
The reception at the opera house was arranged on such short notice that it suffered a serious lack of publicity, but notwithstanding this handicap, more than 200 of our people turned out, and had it been generally announced, the hall too small to hold the crowd.
The exercise of the evening were in charge of Chairman Wm Evans, of the local council of defense, and consisted of three stirring patriotic addresses by Attorney H. H. Dean, Prof. G. E. Denman and Rev. A. F. Daschler and two rousing songs, America and The Star-Spangled Banner, by the audience.
After this, delicious ice cream and cake in bountiful quantities were served by the ladies, the national army boys, their parents and other members of their families and the speakers of the evening being seated at long tables in the center of the hall.
At the Swedish Congregational Church in the neighborhood of one hundred members gathered and did honor to the two boys of the congregation (Art Anderson and Walter Johnson) who had been called to the colors. Patriotic addresses were made by the pastor, Rev. Anton Jostling, and several members of the congregation, and songs were sung. After which refreshments were served. Each of the boys was presented with a valuable ring as a token of the love of those they leave behind.
Bright and early Wednesday morning eight of our home boys left for Hudson to join sixty or more from St. Croix County who left for Camp Grant, near Rockford, Ill., last evening. They were:
Art Anderson, Howard Augustin, John Boyle, Steve Curry, Water Johnson, Henry Jacobson, Henry Knops, Henry Nordell, and Julius Sorenson.
They go with a world of love from the community in which most of them were born and reared. It is worthy of note that three of them were members of the same class in Glenwood City High, 1911—John Boyle, Walter Johnson and Howard Augustin. They are all good, clean, manly boys and we know that they will bear themselves with credit and honor to themselves and their country. God grant that they may all return to us in due season, the same stalwart, manly, clean-lived boys they were when they left us.
(Editor’s Note — One of the eight listed above, Steve Curry, was killed in action and the local Legion bears his name.)
Word was received from Hudson is to the effect that the St. Croix County boys got off nicely on the special for Rockford at 6:30 last evening. The draft board chose Clifford Covell of Hudson, first officer, and Howard Augustin of Glenwood City, second officer of the St. Croix County squad.
Covell was born in Glenwood City, being the son of Wm. Covell. A pioneer settler, so the squad went to Rockford in command of two Glenwood-born boys.
October 4, 1917 issue:
Six more Home Boys go.
The third contingent of St. Croix County boys to be called to Camp Grant, left Hudson yesterday. The call was for 20 percent of the total draft of the county, making 65 percent, or about 100 men who have gone from the county thus far.
The boys from the vicinity of Glenwood City who have left yesterday were: Joseph W. Von Rueden, Julius F. Aebly, Ralph E. Teed, Charlie E. Monson, Albert Busch and Arthur Zacharias.
Robert Schreiner, Jr. of this City was called as an alternate and reported for duty yesterday, but he was not needed to fill the quota and has returned to await the next call.
In the November 15. 1917 issue it is reported that Julius Logghe is with the American expeditionary forces in France in the Marine Corps. He writes his father, Camiel Logghe, of the Town of Glenwood: Am enjoying myself and having a great time, so war cannot be entirely what Sherman called it.
In the December 6, 1917 issue it is reported that John Lee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lee, who has been fighting in the trenches in Belgium, has been reported wounded by the Canadian war department. It was also reported that thirty-five Glenwood Boys are serving.
A couple of letters from service men were printed in the March 14, 1918 issue of the Tribune. The first was written on February 7, 1918.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I am writing you. Just received The Glenwood City Tribune and it seemed like being back at Glenwood again. It was given to me in “chow” line and as I opened it a lad next to me asked if I were from Wisconsin. I told him I was and he asked me to lend him the paper when I was through with it. The next day four others asked me for the paper. They are Pvt. Thorp of the University of Wisconsin; Corp. Bredeson of Manitowoc; Serg. Loyed, of Eau Claire and Pvt. Swenson, also of Eau Claire.
We sure had a long talk of activities in the old state. This is Serg. Loyed’s second term in the Marine Corps and he has not been back home for nearly eight years, and so was glad to hear from home again.
I guess we are having better weather over here than in Glenwood. Every bit of grass is green and it is nice and warm. Cannot tell you anything about what we are doing here. I met John Lee over here in the hospital. He is getting better when I saw him.
20th Co., 3d Batt., 5th reg.,
U. S. M. C.
A.E.F. In France, Via N.Y.
FOUR MEN ENLIST AS MECHANICS
Also from March 14, 1918 states that Ole B. Jorgenson, Lyle Walton and Jim Jensen left Friday for Hudson enroute to San Antonio, Texas, having enlisted as mechanics in the U.S. aviation service, through the local board of St. Croix County. A banquet was given in their honor at Hotel Glenwood Thursday evening, and the boys went off in good spirits determined to do their best. Frank Aebly, of Cranetown, has also been sent to San Antonio by the local board for the same service.
From the March 28, 1918 issue notes—While acting as sergeant of the guard the other day, the writer was surprised at being called by his first name by one of the privates from the Headquarters Co., who turned out to be Mike Psak of Boyceville. He and his brother John, who is a corporal, were transferred from Co. C to the Headquarters Co., and so far the boys have kept together.
Those from Glenwood that received notice to report to Camp Grant are: Clifford Moberg, A. J. Kolashinski, and John Kurchinski of Wilson.
In the issue of April 18. 1918, notes that Carver Johnston and Ray C. Hagberg went up to St. Paul last Tuesday to enlist in the Marines.
A letter from George Long states—I thought I would write now, seeing I had a little time. I supposed that you got the card I sent telling you I arrived safely in France. This is certainly a queer country. Everything is made of stone—stone houses with stone shingles and the whole country is built up around stone fences. But they certainly do raise some nice horses—great big Belgians and they drive them on those big two wheeled carts The people wear wooden shoes and the women work out in the fields, clean the barns and do other work just like a man. They have big stone buildings and in it on one end they keep the cattle and horses, in the middle is the house and on the other end is the pigpen and the chicken coop. I could have written a whole book on what I have seen since I have been here. I will have a lot to tell when I get home.
We are having some fine weather. The grass is green and the people are planting their gardens.
Say, sis, send me a box of candy, will you? It’s a great thing in this country.
How is everything around home? It will probably be quite a while before I get home again. Well, I don’t know of anything more to write, so will close. Be sure and tell Mr. Augustin where to mail my paper and you be sure and write and I will try to write a little more often.
With love to all, George
April 30, 1918—The Glenwood City services flag has been purchased and will soon be flying in the middle of Oak Street in the place usually occupied by the Capt. O. F. Brown post G.A.R. flag. Fifty-three stars, representing boys in service from Glenwood City. Two weeks later, nine more Glenwood City boys’ names were added to the list of servicemen.
On May 25, 1918 fifty-five more men from St. Croix County were set to leave for the service. Those from this area including Gustave Dahl, Hugo Krueger, Hugo H. Goetz, Arthur R. Olson, Fran Jackelen, and Adolph Malone.
It was announced that on June 5th, 1918 that all Wisconsin boys who have become 21 within the year will be ordered to register under the amended selective service law.
June 13, 1918 twenty more boys have been ordered drafted including Carl G. Carlson of Emerald; Glenn L. Walker and Truman F. Smith, both of Glenwood City and John Jacobson and Chris Swoverland, both of Hersey. July’s draft call adds six more boys from the Glenwood City area. In August another 270 boys from St. Croix County were called up. As of August first, 1918 107 boys from Glenwood City have been called up. These numbers are only those drafted plus others enlisted.
In the September 12, 1918 issue was a story that Mrs. L. R. Bune, one of our high school teachers, has received word from the war department, telling of the gallantry of her husband, Lieut. Bune. He, during the operations around Soissons from July 18 to 23, 1918, led his company on to the attack of a machine gun nest after all the officers of his company were killed, and captured the gun and crew. He was later on gassed and shell shocked, but refused to be evacuated, and stayed wit his company until it was relieved. On September 19th it was reported that the local draft board had registered 70 more boys of Glenwood City in the age range of 18 to 21 and 31 to 45.
October draft calls deferred, owing to the extensive epidemic of Spanish grip in army camps, the two draft calls for October have been deferred until the later part of the month.
A letter written by Serg. Warren S. Wheeler dated October 10, 1918. “The Germans are nearly through now and showing very little fight, Their ammunition is low and their spirits are lower. Tremendous gains are being made by the Americans with exceptionally small loss of life.
“Prisoners of war, both men and women, keep flowing in, but the pitiful sights are the refugees carrying and dragging their few little earthy positions. They will hang to a pig to the extent of endangering their own lives.
“France is not in a bad condition. The country is not torn down as the average American believes, and the American soldiers are putting many francs into their jeans over here that will serve for cider money for some time to come.”
Private Henry Berends wrote to his mother in part saying, “We have been in the trenches and came out OK.
To his mother Arthur Levi wrote on October 18, 1918, “I just received the sad news of my brother’s death yesterday. Murphy received a letter from his mother and she told him about it and he told me and this morning I got a letter from Steve telling me of it. He sure must have died shortly after taking sick, as I had a letter from him about ten days ago and he said nothing about being sick.
“ I suppose you have heard by this time of Art Anderson. He was hit with a piece of shrapnel and instantly killed. I have not seen him yet, but figured on getting there before he is buried.”
Another letter saying; “I got a little promotion the 10th of this month. I was made first class private. That gives me $3.00 more, or a total of $36.00 a month,” Elmer Gavic.
Glenwood City Wildly Rejoices Over Victorious end of War!
Glenwood City in common with all the rest of the United States was taken in by the false report of peace sent from Europe last Thursday, November 7th.
The news was telephoned here from St. Paul about 1 p.m. and soon everybody was rejoicing in the belief that the greatest and most disastrous war in human history had come to an end.
The next day it developed that the cablegram upon the strength of which all America celebrated was entirely without foundation in fact, no armistice having been signed and no cessation of hostilities having taken place.
The news of the actual signing of the armistice on Monday, November 11th came over the long distance wires from St. Paul shortly after 2 o’clock, and was received at the central office by Mrs. Carver Johnston, on night duty, and, appropriately enough, the wife of one of the boys over there.
(Editor’s Note — Mrs. Johnston was a night operator at the telephone office and apparently received the long distance call from St. Paul of the good news.)
By 7 a.m. it became generally known and then the bells began ringing and the whistles blowing. The whistles at the electric light plant and creamery did yeoman service during the next fifteen hours and contributed material to the vast volume of sound that helped to make known the joyful fact that the world war was at an end.
At noon every business house in town closed its doors, and all over the city buildings blossomed out in patriotic decorations, but it was not until evening that the big jollification took place. About 7 p.m. amid a din of every noise imaginable under the heavens, a procession of hundreds of citizens of all ages, bearing torches, flags, auto horns, cowbells and the good Lord only knows what else, and headed by such of the Glenwood City band boys as could be got together, paraded to a halt on Oak Street were rendered by the band and speeches made.
A great bonfire which lit up all the surrounding country was lighted on top of Glover’s Park, while over on the Buena Vista farm hills the word Victory blazed out in great letters of brilliant flame.
When the 9:22 limited pulled in it was greeted by 500 shouting, yelling, screeching, horn-blowing, flag waving and gun-firing citizens.
A clever effigy of Kaiser Bill, constructed by Carl Redenstorf and suspended from a wire at the White Store corner, was burned about eight o’clock.
But even with the war over there were concerns for our boys over there. Elmer Gavic penned the following letter to his sister on November 11th. “The war is all over, so you don’t have to worry about Edwin and myself any more. We will be back O.K. I was working at General Pershing’s headquarters this a.m. and at 11:05 the bells and whistles started. The French capital is sure a wild place tonight.
Art Anderson Alive
In the December 5th, 1918 issue of The Glenwood City Tribune there was this report…The community rejoices this week over the good news that Art Anderson, contrary to report, was not killed in action, but is very much alive, as is evidenced by the receipt of a letter from him by his sister, Miss Minnie Anderson, dated October 24, and written in a hospital. Art Says.
“I saw George Long about a month ago. He has a fine job, dressed up like an officer, tailor-made clothes and leather leggings. I sure was a hard-looking seed when he saw me—hadn’t washed or shaved for two months, and about a week ago had my shoes off for the first time in three months. Am in a hospital now, but feeling fine, and came here for a rest more than anything else. Think I will go back to the company in a few days. Ed Reynolds has a job behind the lines. He got a dose of gas a while ago. Could get a carload of helmets, caps, belts and guns if I wanted them. Got a belt from the body of a dead boche, but Red Levi has it now.”
The final story for Glenwood City is on Monday, October 24, 1921 and it is the return of the remains of Steve Curry.
The heading reads — “Glenwood City Bows at Bier of Hero Killed North of Verdun”
“Monday forenoon the last salute was fired and taps blown over one of Glenwood City’s hero dead—Stephen A. Curry. His body arrived in the city Saturday under U. S. escort.
The community’s respect, admiration and love for this young man was well evidenced at the final rites performed.
Stephen S. Curry Post No 168 escorted the remains from the residence of Mrs. Ellen Jaeger, mother of deceased, to St. John’s Catholic Church, where a large crowd had assembled for the services in charge of Father P. G. Rivers. The funeral procession then proceeded to Wilson cemetery, where interment was made.
Pvt. Curry was killed in action north of Verdun on October 26th, 1918. His service medal, presented to his mother, has inscribed thereon five fronts on which he had fought. He was one of the first to leave Glenwood City for training, going to Camp Grant, Ill., Sept. 19, 1917, from where he was transferred to Camp Pike, Ark. In June he left Camp Pike for overseas with replacements from the 87th division. He first landed in England. Arriving in France, he was assigned to the 26th or ‘Yankee’ division, which has a record for some time of the hardest and bloodiest fighting in the war, its men having been used as ‘shock’ troops all during October.
Surviving the departed soldier are his mother, four sisters and one brother.