John W. Wasmer 1899-1918

~Photo source: The Price of our Heritage, Published 1919, page 33

John W. Wasmer Obituary Link

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, January 25, 1918

Many Interesting Letters Were Exchanged.

Since the Plymouth County boys went to camp at Des Moines to join the 168th
Infantry early in the war and later accompanied that regiment to France, Mr.
and Mrs. B. C. Woolley have taken a special interest in keeping track of
three of them who chummed together—Warren Lodge, John Wasmer, and Chas. N.
Wood. While the boys were at Camp Mills they sent them many letters and
numerous little contributions to their material comfort and the boys have
shown their appreciation back in letters they sent back. The day after
Christmas, John Wasmer, the first LeMars boy to give his life for his
country in France, wrote a letter which was received the same day that the
cablegram reached LeMars announcing Wasmer’s death from pneumonia. That
Wasmer was, when her wrote, in the best of health and spirits, is evidenced
by the letter to Mrs. Woolley, under date of December 26th, from which we
make the following extracts:

Somewhere in France, Dec. 26, ’17.
Dear Friend: Received your welcome letter and sure was glad to hear from you
and that you are all well. This finds me the same. I should have written
before but we are kept pretty busy during the day and pretty tired at night.
We drill eight hours a day, four in the morning and four in the afternoon,
so you see my time is pretty well taken up.

We sure are having some time over here now. We are living in barns and hay
mows until we get to our permanent camp. There are nine of us where I stay.
We lived up over some old people. They are sure good to us. They gave us a
stove and let us come down in the house and get warm and write letters. In
return we do odd jobs for them. Most of the people around here are poor
people as most of the men have gone to the Front. So the villages around
here are pretty well run down. We cleaned the town up when we first came.

As to the sweaters we are all supplied except me and I have lost the
wristlets to my set and they would come in pretty handy now.

Sgt. Lodge has been on the sick list for about a week but is better now.
“Red” Strouse was made our mess sergeant today.

By the time you get this letter that tobacco you gave me before we left will
be gone, so maybe you had better send those smokes. As to magazines the
Y.M.C.A. has some but not many as they just moved here. As to other needs I
don’t know of any right now except all of us like sweets pretty well.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
May 24, 1918

Comrade Writes of Illness and Death of John Wasmer In France

Mrs. L. R. Wasmer is in receipt of the following letter from Chas. N. Wood,
of Headquarters Company, 168th Infantry, in France, dated April 29th,
relative to the death of her son, John Wasmer, while in foreign service.

Dear Mother Wasmer: Your letter of March 24th just received. With reference
to John will say that he was taken sick January 15th with pneumonia, was
taken to the hospital the 16th and died the 20th. Everything possible was
done to save him, but his vitality was low and he was unable to stand it.
His death was a great blow to the boys of our company, more especially Lodge
and myself, as we were great friends and very intimate. But these are
trying times and some must be called and unfortunately John was first. But
rest assured, dear Mrs. Wasmer, John was the ideal soldier, who commanded
not only the respect of his fellow soldiers but of his officers as well, and
he left us with a clean record, and you and your family have just cause to
feel proud of him.

Sergeant Lodge is up for commission and is attending officer’s training
school and the fact that you have not heard from him can be credited to some
delay or the mail was lost in transit.

John received a decent burial and should I be fortunate enough to return
will inform you good people as to where he is buried. Give my best regards
to Mr. and Mrs. Woolley. Will be pleased to hear from you at any time.



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