Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Austin F. Reedy

LEVIATHAN SHIP - 1919.jpg

Private Austin Ferdinand Reedy was killed in action in France.  A ship’s manifest shows that he sailed for the European theater as part of Company H, 163rd Infantry Regiment on the U.S.S. Leviathan (pictured above), on December 15, 1917 from Hoboken, New Jersey.  According to the “Find A Grave” search service (here), PVT Reedy is buried at the Libby Cemetery in Libby, Montana.  This online record indicates that he was born in May of 1896 and was killed on July 21st, 1918, age 22.  His remains may have been buried initially in France and then transported to Libby, for reburial on July 17, 1922.  A newspaper report in the Great Falls Daily Tribune [Montana], dated June 19th, 1919, conveys that the newly organized Libby chapter of the United War Veterans organization named itself in honor of Austin Reedy on account of Reedy being “…Libby’s first soldier to fall on the European battlefields.”  According to Wikipedia, the 163rd Infantry Regiment was a unit of the Montana National Guard.  It became part of the 41st Infantry Division of the regular U.S. Army in World War I.

REEDY-GRAVESTONE.jpgThere is a mystery surrounding PVT Austin F. Reedy’s appearance on the War Mothers Plaque in Wallace.  Although it does not of course diminish his service and sacrifice one iota, PVT Reedy’s connection to Shoshone County, Idaho is, at this moment, unclear to us.  U.S. Census tabulations in 1900 and 1910 show him living with his family of origin in Libby.  His listing as “Killed in Action” in Soldiers of the Great War (by W.M. Haulsee et al., 1920, vol. 2) shows him on that source’s pages devoted to Montana’s casualties.  Reedy may have had some association with our county’s economic enterprises — perhaps mining or timber — but such an association does not appear in the documentation we’ve examined.  He was not listed as one of the Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining Company’s fallen warriors as that list appeared in The Wallace Miner of  August 28, 1919.  No draft registration card for Austin F. Reedy has been found, and so we do not possess whatever information about occupation that source may have provided.  His burial in Libby and the honorific naming of Libby chapter of the United War Veterans on his behalf of course bespeak a strong connection to that Montana city.  Whatever the reason for his inclusion, the presence of his name in the plaque’s list suggests that the War Mothers group sought to honor Austin F. Reedy along with the fallen heroes of Shoshone County.

Francie Lane sheds new light on Austin Reedy’s possible link to Shoshone County in an email* received September 9th, 2018:

I’ll hazard a guess re Austin Reedy’s connection to Shoshone Co.

Austin was the younger brother of John Patrick Reedy, Jr., b. 1891, who married Pansy Auberton in Spokane, WA.  Pansy was a Spokane girl and John was a resident of Libby, MT, on their wedding Day, March 25, 1909.  In 1910 US Census, John & Pansy were living in Kellogg.  John’s WW I Draft card showed him to be employed as a Teamster for the Libby Lumber Co. in 1917…divorced with two young children…then residing in Libby, MT.  By 1930, John & Pansy’s two daughters were being raised by their re-married mother.  In 1920, however, the daughters were included in the census as residing with their grandparents, Louis & Emma Cossette, who lived in Wardner.  It could be that John’s younger, single brother, Austin, was working as a Teamster between Libby & Kellogg or might have lived with John & Pansy in Kellogg before their divorce; Austin may also have worked in the mines before being called up for the draft & reporting back to Libby.  Austin was undoubtedly recognized as a Libby hometown boy and they wanted to claim him for honors.  Yet, his name might have been submitted to the Shoshone War Mothers by his sister-in-law or her family at Kellogg/Wardner.  (This is the closest connection I could find – so merely a guess.)

* I have very gently edited her email’s text, above.

Readers with more information on Shoshone County’s fallen heroes in World War I may contact me at ronroizen@frontier.com.  I’ll be revising each of the cameos as new information comes in.

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Henry Carruthers

Meuse-Argonne Offensive MAP.jpg

CARRUTHERS-CROSS.jpgPrivate Henry Carruthers was killed in action in France on September 30th, 1918.  He was serving with the 363rd Infantry Regiment of the 91st Division.  Commencing in late September of 1918, this unit was engaged in Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which, according to Wikipedia, was “…was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers.”  The battle line stretched across the entire Western Front and fighting continued for the 47 days from September 26 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.  (A detailed, day-by-day description of this unit’s participation in this great battle, from September 26th to October 4th — that is, over the period during which PVT Carruthers gave his life — is available in “CHAPTER III” at this online source.)

Carruthers is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery (Plot H, Row 29, Grave 26) at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.

91st Division Patch

91st Div. patch

News of his death did not reach his mother, Margaret Carruthers, in Wallace until November 6, 1918.  A brief item in The Wallace Miner, published on the following day, described Henry “Happy” Carruthers as a “well known and popular young man.”  He was a Wallace native, the article noted as well, age 25, and employed by the Otterson company.  Carruthers was survived by his mother and a brother, William Carruthers.  Henry Carruthers, the item ruefully relayed, was “the first one from this city to fall fighting for his country in France.”

Carruthers described himself in his draft registration card as single, tall, slender, with gray eyes and black hair.  Although he listed his home address as “Wallace, Idaho,” Carruthers indicated that he was employed as a farmer by one “J.W. Gates” at the Gates Ranch in Vacaville, California.  The card recorded his birthdate as September 18, 1894, implying that he was killed 12 days after his 24th birthday.

A 1910 Wallace city directory shows him living at 802 Residence St. and a student.

CARRUTHERS-ARTICLE

The Wallace Miner, November 7, 1918

 

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Arthur G. Leeson

Wallace Miner - 082819 - LEESON.jpg

Arthur G. Leeson posed special difficulties for this project.  All the usual sources — draft card registration records, Army transport records, WWI military death lists, and the like — turned up nothing.  I did find the draft card for an Arthur J. Leeson, but he lived in Illinois at the time of his registration.  The only item I found relating to Arthur G. Leeson’s military service and sacrifice turned up in a brief article in The Wallace Miner of August 28, 1919 (shown left).  It announced the publication of a memorial edition of the Bunker Bullion, an inhouse publication at the Bunker Hill & Sullivan Mining Co., listing the names of company employees who had lost their lives during the recently concluded war.  (It’s notable, incidentally, that of the 17 names the article listed only one, a C.B. Bussell, did not also appear on the War Mothers Plaque in Wallace.)  With only this source in hand, I emailed Francie Lane, who lives in Northern California but grew up in Wallace, for help.  Francie soon responded with a much more informative account of Arthur Gerald Leeson, including why my searches had come up with so little — he served in Canada’s, not America’s, WWI expeditionary forces.  The following summarizes what she kindly sent.  (Once again, many thanks, Francie!)

Arthur Gerald Leeson very likely immigrated from England; lived in Alaska for a short time; and had a wife and children in Danville, Contra Costa County, California.   His Canadian military papers indicated his occupation as a mining assayer.

Leeson was born at Blackheath, near London, England, on August 24, 1870.  He emigrated to USA from White Horse, Yukon Territory, Canada on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad.  On August 17, 1908, he filed “Declaration of Intention” for U.S. Citizenship, stating he was 37 years old (although on that date he would have been a week away from his 39th birthday); his occupation, “Miner & Millman.”  He described himself as having a ruddy complexion, six feet tall, 170 pounds, dark brown hair, and gray eyes.  He was currently residing in Treadwell, Alaska, having arrived at Skagway in the District of Alaska on July 15, 1907.

102_Bn_CEF (1)

102nd Infantry Battalion’s patch, C.E.F.

The U.S. Census of 1910 shows Arthur Leeson residing in Seattle, age 39, with a wife, Adelaide, age 34, and a son Meldon, age 13 months.  The Harvard University alumni records for 1918 show an Adelaide (Marquand) wed Arthur Gerald Leeson on January 1, 1908.  This source lists Adelaide and Arthur with two children:  [Meldon] Gerald Leeson, born January 3, 1909; and Catherine Constance Leeson, born February 29, 1912.

On February 24, 1916, Arthur Gerald Leeson filed an Attestation Paper (#704076) — that is, a document similar to our draft registration cards in the U.S. — for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force.  He would have been 46-years-old on the date he filled out this document.  His application stated his current address was Rossland, British Columbia.  His next of kin was wife Adelaide Leeson of Danville.  His birth year, 1870, his “trade or calling,” “Assayer & Miner,” comport with records already mentioned.  He stated he had previously served in the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, five years as a constable and three years as a corporal.  He agreed to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force and to serve in any of its arms.  His term of service would be for one year or longer if the war lasted longer; he also agreed to serve for six months after the war’s termination or until “His Majesty should no longer require his services.”  Leeson swore an oath of allegiance to His Majesty King George the Fifth, etc., etc. and completed his enlistment at Rossland, BC.   He was assigned to the 102nd Battalion, C.E.F.

The Canada War Graves Registers, 1914-1948, lists Corporal Arthur Gerald Leeson of the 102nd Battalion as having been killed in action on October 21, 1916 in an attack north of Courcelette in northern France.  He was listed as a member of the Church of Christian Science.  The United Kingdom’s UK DeRuvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, provides the following tribute:

LEESON, ARTHUR GERALD, Corpl., 102nd Infantry Battn. Canadian Expeditionary Force, only son of the late Arthur Edmund Leeson, M. A., M. D. by his wife, Alice, dau. of James Fraser; b. Blackheath, London, S.E.; 24 Aug. 1870; educ. Merchant Taylors’ School; went to Canada in 1895 where for eight years he was in the North West Mounted Police; subsequently became a Mining Engineer and went to U.S.A.; enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in March, 1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was killed in action on the Somme, 21 Oct., 1916, during the attack on Regina Trench.  Buried where he fell.  His Captain wrote:  “I have lost a most efficient non-commissioned officer”.

Francie noted in closing that Adelaide Leeson was listed in the 1925 City Directory of Oakland, California; she was described as an “Artist,” living at 1525 Walnut (which I note is actually a street address in a residential part of Berkeley’s Northside).

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Jakob Nybak

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In the right column of names near the top on the War Mothers Plaque at the Wallace Carnegie Library is inscribed the name “Jacob Nybeck.”  Contemporary documents however show this young man’s name to be “Jakob Nybak.”  Private Jakob A. Nybak died on October 8, 1918 and is buried with so very many other fellow American soldiers at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France.  Soldiers of the Great War (by W.M. Haulsee et al., 1920, see vol. 2, page 227) tells that Private Nybak, of Kellogg, Idaho, was “Killed in Action.”  Private Nybak served with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.  A history of this unit’s combat record in WWI is available online, at archive.org, here.   The following summary of the 110th Infantry Regiment’s experience and accomplishments in late September and early October of 1918 — that is, possibly around the time of Nybak’s death — appears on pages 103-104 of this source.

“During the advance along the Aire river from September 26th to October 9th, 1918, NYBAK-CROSS.jpginclusive, this Regiment captured the objectives of (Grande Boureuilles, Petite Boureuilles, Varennes, Montblainville, Apremont, Pleinchamp Farm, La Forge, and assisted in the capture of Chatel Chehery and Hills 223 and 244, captured about ten heavy and fifty light machine guns, seven pieces of artillery, two minniewerfers [German trench mortars], five anti-tank guns, three gasoline narrow gauge locomotives and a large number of railroad cars, fifteen German wagons, one thousand German rifles, two hundred German pistols, great quanties of artillery ammunition, rifle and machine gun ammunition, hand grenades, pyrotechnics, clothing, food and forage, wiring and engineering material. In addition to the arms and materials reported above there were undoubtedly many guns of various kinds captured by the Regiment in this fight which have not been reported.  The advance through Boureuilles, Varennes, Montblainville and Apremont was so rapid and the fighting so sharp that there was no opportunity for checking up captures. A great many enemy prisoners were taken but an estimate of the number cannot be fairly made.  The casualties of the regiment were exceedingly heavy, only two company officers going safely through the whole fight without injury or sickness.  Lieutentant Colonel Edward Martin commanded the Regiment throughout this period. During the first few days of the fight the roads in the rear were impassable but those north of Varennes were in fair condition. The conditions in the rear were rapidly corrected. The weather was cool and there was considerable rain throughout the campaign. Water was abundant but not good.”

Jakob Nybak’s draft registration card, completed on June 5th, 1917, tells us he was 21-years-old at the time and that he was born in Lufek, Norway, on July 30th, 1896.  He lived in Kellogg and worked at the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine as a “Miner 5.”  He was single and he provided, according to this document, for his mother’s sole support.  His description of his appearance was as follows:  medium height, slender, light brown eyes, and brown hair.  He declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen.

A 1915 census record in South Dakota — which is available at Ancestry.com, here — shows an 18-year-old Jakob Nybak residing in that state and that he arrived from Norway in 1914, the previous year.  Sadly, he did not get much time living in the United States before he was transported back to Europe and to his final destination on the battlefields of France in WWI.

Readers with more information on Shoshone County’s fallen heroes in World War I may contact me at ronroizen@frontier.com.  I’ll be revising each of the cameos as new information comes in.

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Hugh Harwood

Meusse-Argonne Memorial Cemetery

HARWOOD-GRAVEMARKER.jpgPrivate Hugh Henry Harwood’s young life ended on October 12th, 1918.  Soldiers of the Great War (by W.M. Haulsee et al., 1920, see vol. 2, page 227) lists a Private Harwood in the column headed “Died of Disease.”  He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial (also known as the Argonne American Cemetery) in France (pictured above).  As noted in my post about PVT Thomas Strick, Jr., Harwood, Strick, and Charles Raymond Hall, all three from Shoshone County, sailed for the European theater on the U.S.S. Siboney on June 30th, 1918, from Hoboken, New Jersey.  All three served in the 27th Engineers.  Harwood listed as his emergency contact on the ship’s manifest one Agnes Wheatley, described as a “friend.”

According to Harwood’s draft registration card, completed on June 5, 1917, he was single, tall, and slender, with blue eyes, and brown hair.  He was born in Eight Mile, Montana on November 12th, 1891.  He resided in Mullan where he also worked as a “Millman 2” at the Federal Mining and Smelting Company.  The 1910 U.S. Census shows Hugh Harwood, then 18, living with his father, William Harwood, and four brothers — Thomas, age 24; Arthur, 21; Chester, 16; and Franklin, 4.  Harwood’s father, then 52, was listed as a “Millman” working at the “concentrator.”

HARWOOD-DRAFT-CARD.jpg

Readers with more information on Shoshone County’s fallen heroes in World War I may contact me at ronroizen@frontier.com.  I’ll be revising each of the cameos as new information comes in.

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Thomas Strick, Jr.

USS Siboney_in_New_York_Harbor-1918-1919

Thomas Strick, Jr.

STRICK-PORTRAITPVT Thomas Strick, Jr. died on October 5th, 1918.  He is buried at the Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane.  An Army roster indicates he served in Company C, 27th Engineers.  Soldiers of the Great War (by W.M. Haulsee et al., 1920, see vol. 2, page 227) lists a Private Strick in the column headed “Died of Disease.”  An Army passenger list shows he sailed for the European theater on the U.S.S. Siboney (pictured above), on June 30th, 1918, from Hoboken, New Jersey.  It is notable that the manifest page upon which Strick’s name appeared indicates that he sailed with fellow soldiers Hugh H. Harwood* and Charles Raymond Hall, both from Mullan and both also in the 27th Engineers.

Thomas Strick, Jr.’s draft registration card listed his home address as Burke, Idaho.  He worked as a “Miner 5” at the Hecla Mining Company in Burke.  His self-description responses indicated he was 24-years-old, of medium height, slender build, blue eyes, and brown hair.  He was born in Norway, Michigan on March 24th, 1893.  The 1910 U.S. Census, when he was 17, lists Thomas as residing in Mace, the oldest son in a large family.  His father, Thomas Strick, Sr. and mother Emily had five additional children:  Clyde, age 14; Lester, age 12; Lois L., age 9; Ruth E., age 6; and Herbert H., age 2.  In the census’s occupation column, Thomas Sr. is listed as a “Shift Boss” at the Quartz Mine and Thomas Jr. is listed as a “Grizleyman” (a worker who screens ore in a “grizzly,” according to Mirriam-Webster), also at the Quartz Mine.


*Hugh H. Harwood would also give his life and is also one of the 44 fallen warriors listed on the War Mothers Plaque outside the Wallace Carnegie Library.

Readers with more information on Shoshone County’s fallen heroes in World War I may contact me at ronroizen@frontier.com.  I’ll be revising each of the cameos as new information comes in.

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Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Gus Zoellner

ZOELLNER-GRAVEMARKER-OREGON

Gus Zoellner

Gus Zoellner, is buried at the Fox Valley Cemetery in Lyons, Linn County, Oregon.  The following report appeared in the Wallace Press-Times on October 22nd, 1918 (note:  I have corrected misspellings in this article):

ZOELLNER-IN-UNIFORMCorporal Gus Zoellner of Kellogg died September 17 from wounds received in action in France August 21, this news having been received yesterday from the war department by his sister, Mrs. Walker Johnson of Wardner.

Ten days ago Mrs Johnson heard of the injuries to her brother while in the service of his country, and the many friends of Corporal Zoellner hoped that the injuries would not prove serious.

Corporal Zoellner left Kellogg with the first draft October 6, 1917, entraining [i.e., boarding a train] for Camp Lewis.  Two weeks after his arrival at Camp Lewis volunteers were called to fill a unit in the artillery for overseas duty.  Zoellner responding to the call and he was on the ocean within a month after his departure from Kellogg.

Zoellner was a resident of Kellogg for 12 years and during that time was employed in the mines.  He was affiliated with the Galena lodge, No. 12, K of P. and also Wardner No. 34, A.F. and A.M. and had a wide circle of friends who will mourn his loss.

While his name appears today in the casualty list as among those wounded, the official news to Mrs. Johnson brings to Kellogg the first loss of one of its best soldiers who has died in France for the cause of humanity.

He was 32 years of age and besides his sister, Mrs. Johnson, is survived by his parents who reside in Mehama, Ore., and another sister, Miss Vailerine Zoellner, who lives in Kellogg.

Readers with more information on Shoshone County’s fallen heroes in World War I may contact me at ronroizen@frontier.com.  I’ll be revising each of the cameos as new information comes in.

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