When the Spanish American war became inevitable, in 1898, and the Iowa National Guard was mustered into the United States service, a number of young men from Rock Rapids enlisted and served during the war, most of them in the Fifty-second Iowa Infantry Volunteers.  This regiment was mustered out of the United States service October 30, 1898.  In 1899 it was reorganized as the Fifty-sixth Regiment, Iowa National Guard.  Rock Rapids applied for the honor of furnishing a company in the regiment, but preference was given to those towns at which companies had formerly been stationed.  When Company D, of Hampton, was mustered out Rock Rapids again offered to form a company, and Company D was assigned to this city.

The new Company D was mustered in on June 2, 1904, by General Melvin H. Byers, adjutant-general of the state, assisted by Major D.M. Odle, senior major of the regiment.  The following company officers were elected:  J.J. Malone, captain; Grant Vickers, first lieutenant; Jesse Kellihan, second lieutenant.  Much enthusiasm was manifested by the members and almost daily drills were held in preparation for the annual encampment of the regiment.  The regiment, Colonel W.B. Humphrey, of Sioux City, commanding, went into camp at Fort Des Moines, July 14-21.  So well had Company D been drilled that they compared well with the older companies, and earned many expressions of commendation from regimental and state officers.

The roster of Company D is as follows:  Captain, J.J. Malone; First Lieutenant, Grant Vickers; Second Lieutenant, Jesse Kellihan; First Sergeant, Clarence J. Miller; Quarter Master Sergeant, Bert W. Penman; Sergeants, Clinton Gardner, W.H. Mason, P.J. Miller, B.S. Patton; Corporals, J.A. Roth, D.G. Gardner, A.G. Miller, W.B. Rogers, M.G. Albright, H.A. Olson; Cooks, G.F. Boyles, D.H. Follett; Musicians, W.H. Olson, N.C. Rogers; Privates, J.H. Anderson, A.B. Apple, G.A. Boone, B.B. Barber, J.J. Corcoran, V.C. Feay, W. Hendricks, B.F. Keith, J.M. Kelso, W.E. Kerns, H.L. Lewis, E.W. Merrill, B.F. Mills, J.W. Montgomery, C.H. Olson, I.S. Patton, C.A. Reynolds, W.A. Reed, D.E. Ryan, D.K. Sheneberger, H.A. Smith, H.W. Stecker, G.H. Wilson, R.A. Parsons, R.K. Penman, H.H. Burch, C. Steinmetz.

Captain E.S. Johnson, chaplain of the regiment since April, 1898, including the time of its service in the Spanish-American war, resides in Rock Rapids.


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