The Spencer News-Herald




Glen Pedersen, nineteen years of age,
first in county to Volunteer, also First
to Make the Supreme Sacrifice


Message Reached Spencer Saturday Night and Two Memorial Services were planned Sunday; Andrew Pedersen, the Blacksmith, is Father of the Lad and Has Two Other Sons in Service

The first grim message of war has reached Spencer
Private Glen Pedersen, nineteen years of age and the son of Andrew Pedersen, Spencer's pioneer blacksmith, was killed in action "somewhere in France" on March 5, according to a telegram received by Mr Pedersen, in Spencer last Saturday night. The text of the message, which was forwarded from Sioux City by phone on account of the telegraph wire being broken by the storm, was delivered to J.O. Levea, the phone company's local manager, and by him communicated to Mr Pedersen. It Read as follows:

Mr. A. Pedersen, Spencer, Iowa.
Deeply regret to inform you that private Glen E. Pedersen Inf. is officially reported as killed in action March 5, 1918. Signed:
McCain, Adj. Gen.
Washington, D.C., March 9, 1918

At the same time Mr. Pedersen met his death twenty other Iowa boys were killed, according to the dispatches.

First in County to Volunteer

Private Pedersen was a member the junior class in the Spencer high school when war was declared last April. He was one of the first to volunteer as the word reached Spencer, and on the Monday following the announcement that a state of war existed, Mr. Pedersen, in company with several other boys, went over to Sheldon and joined company E of the Second Iowa Infantry. In two days the enllistments from Clay County (illegible fold of newspaper) among them were Glen Pedersen, Lester Ewing, Clarence Meyerdirk, Julius A. Rohlf, John P. Miner, Paul C. Fingerson, Englehardt Pinne, Robert E. Burgitt, George W. Clapper, Charles Merchant, Leo Kritz, Fred Lundt, Vivian C. Metz, Homer L. Runge, Peter Wadsager, B.D. Jones, C.W. Huntsley, Lawrence Wright, Harold Chamberlain, Glen Gallagher, Junior Engle, Michael J. O'Regan and Delos Marble.

Some of the boys failed to pass their physical examination and some of them were under age, but the rest were so fine and manly looking that Lieut. Edw. C. Starrett of the Sheldon company wrote to Mayor E.E. Bender expressing his appreciation.

Lester Ewing, age 19, and Clarence Meyerdirk, age 22, were the first to volunteer, and Mr. Ewing was the first of these two. They went up to Mayor Bender's office, Saturday, April 7, 1917, and signed the necessary papers.

Pedersen Enlisted April 9

Lieut. Starrett, who came over from Sheldon Saturday, left enlistment blanks at the mayor's office, and Monday, just two days later, fifteen of the boys signed up and among them was Pedersen. The boys were accompanied to Sheldon by Mayor Bender, Councilmen J.L. Frank, Rev. O.M. Bond, E. Joy Roberts and Frank Knight. From Sheldon a part of the company was tranferred to Des Moines, and was merged into the 168th Infantry and Glen was put in headquarters company; this was during the state fair in August, and Glen went with them. In September the boys were sent to Long Island to make up the Rainbow division, and Glen was taken. He left New York on the "President Grant" which later returned, but the final trip was made in November.

Letters written home told of the voyage and the safe arrival of the troops, and the first one being written in December. Nothing was said as to where the troops were quartered, but it is presumed that Glen was with the division north of Toul when he met the bullet that had been made for him.

Details of the engagement or the manner of his death are lacking, but there is a belief that he was doing courier duty at or just before a German raid, in which he met his death. He had been drilled in bomb throwing during the summer, and was subsequently made a courier.

The body will be buried in France as has been the custom with the American dead.

Memorial Services at High School

In his letters home, Glen frequntly mentioned George Clapper and John Miner and the former was billeted next to him during the past winter. He did not mention the other boys but it is presumed that he saw some of them occasionally.

Tuesday afternoon a memorial program, arranged by Supt. E.W. Goetch and the ministers in the city, was held at the high school, and a large body of students and friends attended. Judge James DeLand, holding court in Spencer at the time, took a recess while the services were being held from two to four. Souvenir programs, printed in red, white,
(illegible fold in newspaper)were used. The program was as follows:

In Memory of
Glen Pedersen
Member of present Senior Class,
who was killed in France March 5,
1918, while in service for his coun-
try and for humanity.

Song "America" Audience
Prayer Rev. William Baier
"As a Student-Friend" Supt. Goetch"
"A Gold Star in Honor of Brother Glen" Donald Pedersen
(Music accompanied by High School orchestra)
Song "Nearer My God to Thee" Audience
"As an Upright and Righteous Young Man" Rev J.C. Williams
"As a Boy Among Boys" Howard Allen
"As a Citizen" Rev. J.D. Thrush
Music, "Lead Kindly Light" High School Quartet
"If You Have Lost" Mrs. C.C. Collester
"What Does His Death Mean to this Community" Rev. F.C. Taylor
Song, "The Star Spangled Banner" Audience

Another service of a larger nature at which Judge James DeLand of Storm Lake will be the principle speaker, will also be held at the opera house Friday evening at 7:30 o'clock , and all persons are urged to be present.

Among the many out of town visitors who attended the memorial services at the high school Tuesday were: Mrs. A.L. VanTrump of Des Moines (sister of Glen) and Joseph Evans of near Linn Grove (an uncle of Mrs. Pedersen's). Mr. Evans has a son, Roger, who is in the service and is believed to be on his way to France now.


The Program for Friday

A patriotic rally, commerorating
the death of Private Glen Pedersen,
will be held at the opera house in
Spencer Friday evening, March 15,
and every loyal citizen, man or wo-
man, is urged to be present. The
house should be filled, for by that
token, the enemies of America may
know that Clay County is loyal to
her sons at the front.


Presiding Officer O.A. Bjornstad
Song America
Invocation Rev. J.C. Williams
Song "Onward Christian Soldiers"
Address A.H. Avery
Address Rev. H.A. Huntsley
Patriotic Music Chorus
Address Judge DeLand
Address Rev. F.C. Taylor
Song "Star Spangled Banner"
Benediction Rev. J.O. Thrush


He didn't Wait to be Drafted

Glen Pedersen was born in Spencer, Iowa. August 18, the son of Andrew Pedersen, a native 0f Denmark, and one of the pioneer blacksmiths. His mother, who came from Norway, died July ......

He was one of a family of eight children, six boys and two girls, and he has two brothers also in Uncle Sam's service. They are private Elmer Pedersen, who enlisted as a blacksmith and is now stationed at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and Sergeant Iven Pedersen, who enlisted as a baker in the commissary department and is now at Camp Meredith, New Jersey. The other children are: Amamnda (Mrs. Alvin VanTrump of Des Moines), Mabel (Mrs. Conrad Kail of Spencer), Roy, Floyd, and Daniel also of Spencer. Charles Roberts is an adopted son of the present Mrs. Pedersen, whose marriage to Mr. Pderesen took place two years ago last fall.

Glen attended the public schools in Spencer and helped his father at odd time in his backsmith shop on South Main Street.

He was a junior in high school when war was declared, a leader in athletics and a mighty popular boy. He united with the Baptist church here sixteen years ago.

His military career, brief as it was is poignant with much meaning.

It may be summarized as follows:
War declared April 6, 1917.
Glen enlisted April 9, 1917.
Joined company E of the Second Iowa Infantry at Sheldon April 9, 1917.
Transferred to Des Moines August 24, 1917.
Transferred to headquarters company, 168th Infantry, August 26, 1917.
Transferred to Long Island September 10, 1917.
Started for France with Rainbow division on President Grant Oct. 18, 1917,
Made second attempt, which was successful, November 14, 1917.
Killed in action "somewhere in France" March 5, 1918.
Memorial services at Spencer high school 2 p.m. March 12, 1918.
Patriotic Rally at Spencer opera house 7:30 p.m. March 15, 1918.



A commitee or [sic] ladies consisting of Mesdames Earl Bronson, E.G. Morgan, C.P.Buckey, H.E. Pitcher, LeRoy Nefzgar, Archie Carpenter, E.M. Orth,and Dr. Porter-Wertz met with a commercial club committee Monday evening to make arrangements for the raising of a memorial fund to avenge the death of Glen Pedersen. The ladies worked Monday afternoon and Tuesday and a sum of 2390.54 was raised which was invested in War Savings Stamps. The campaign was only among the business men and shows what might have been done had the whole town been canvassed.