"Company K"
LeMars Sentinel News Articles, beginning year 1918
Contributed by Linda Ziemann

LeMars Sentinel, Sept. 3, 1918

Basil Swisher, Succumbs to Blood Poisoning

E. M. Swisher, of Merrill, received a telegram from the United States war
department yesterday stating that his son, Basil Swisher, had died July 20,
of blood poisoning, the result of a wound received in battle in France.
Basil was a trifle over twenty-one years of age and enlisted with a South
Dakota company at Pierre at the beginning of the hostilities and like the
Merrill boys has been in the thickest of the fight.

LeMars Sentinel
September 10, 1918

Plymouth County Soldiers Tell of Life At Front     
See Many German Prisoners

One Tells of Being Billeted in a Historic and Picturesque Old French
Building---Boys Are Boosters For the Y. M. C. A. Workers

First Lieut. A.M. Mauer , who is in Camp Hospital 26, St. Aignon, France,
with the American Expeditionary Forces has written letters to his
parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Mauer, recently from which we make the
following extracts.

St. Aignon, France, July 25th.
Dear Folks,
Well, I am permanently billeted now in an historic and picturesque old
French dwelling and am sleeping on a genuine old feather mattress with
plenty of covers over me.  I room with another Lieutenant from North
Dakota, so we feel we know each other well.  In another room close by is
another Lieutenant, a Dr. Fleishman from Des Moines, who is quite jolly.
He knows Dr. Fetes well.

I saw young Bernhard at Boils while I was there and he seemed very glad
to see me and I sure was glad to shake him by the hand.

We have a great deal of work over here and have to work very hard as the
dentists are not very plentiful.  I am going to take some pictures of
myself and my dwelling just to show you how we live.

I can assure you all that we are sacrificing a whole lot for you people
and I know you appreciate it. So don't let anyone "kid" you into
anything different, just put their name and address down and save it
until I come home and I'll rap them a couple on the nose.

I am getting very "hard boiled" since I came over here and will probably
be hard to get along with when I get back, but I guess it will not be so

The boys are doing a few things at the front these days and betting is 2
to 1 that the war will be over in 1919.  Gen'l Pershing, however, says
"Hell, Heaven or Hoboken, by Xmas this year," so you use your own

Have met a few boys from Iowa but none from home but when they are from
Iowa, it is just as good as home so I feel the same toward them as if
they were from home.

Did I tell you I saw Dr. Wright at Blois?  He isn't as fat as he was but
still very healthy.  He went to Paris and I do not know where he goes
from there.  I am assigned here and don't think I will be moved for some
time to come.  Mighty nice bunch of people here, too.

In an Aug. 4th letter Lieut. Mauer writes:
I am working like the "deuce" every day and we have no set hours so we
work until we re through or until we are all in and then take a little

Just at present we are all in mourning as the old lady's cow died last
night here at our billet and she feels so bad we have to show our
sympathy.  Really if you could see the way they do things here you would
laugh.  Their bread is made like a doughnut about 2 feet through, hard
as a rock.  You should see the way they wash.  They take a flat board
like an ironing board and wet the cloth, lay it on the board and scrub
it with a scrub brush and they pat it once in awhile with a big paddle.
But I think they have you beat when it comes to gardens.  This old lady
had a "peach" of a garden and a great big grape vine over a hundred
years old all over the whole house.  The horse, cow, goat, chickens, dog
and cat all live in the same house we do and sometimes at night the odor
is terrific, but of course that is part of the game over here.

Address 1st Lieut. A.M. Mauer, American P. O. 727, Camp Hospital 26,
A.E. F.

Elmer J. Featherston , who is now a sergeant first class in the surgeon's
office of the 32d Engineers in France, writes his parents a letter under
date of August 6th, in which he says,

“Everything is going fine over here and the reports from the Front
certainly make us feel good.  I can imagine how anxious you are to get
the morning paper.  You, no doubt, get the news just as quick as we do
here.  We get an American paper printed in Paris.  There are French
papers published in Bordeaux which we can get about ten hours earlier,
but the next thing is to read them.  I am getting so I can understand a
little of it, but to watch Americans and French try to talk to each
other you would think there were both deaf and dumb.

Bordeaux is a large place but I don't think much of the town.  The
largest stores look like an American Jew junk shop. We had a large
shipment of drugs sent in from Paris and when we got notice they had
arrived got a truck and went down for them.  You should see the way they
handle freight over here.  We had to go to about fifteen places before
we could get any dope on it.

They have a lot of German prisoners working around here at different
jobs and our men will have a big bunch to work before long.  They are of
all ages and sizes.

We have been in this camp for a month and expect to stay a few more as
our men have lots of work to do building barracks, railroad docks and a
little of most everything."


A member of Battery F, First Regiment, F.A.R.D., Camp Jackson, S. C.,
sent the Sentinel the following story concerning a Merrill boy :

"This is a plain tale and soon told, as old Kipling used to delight in
saying before the war changed his style and methods of administering his

Came out of Merrill, Iowa, one morning early in April, a youngster
stocky of build, cheerful of disposition and smiling countenance.  He
and many other Iowans were volunteering for the service.  They were to
go to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wis., for special training
in a government course.

The boy was Ernest W. Hauswald.  He didn't know a machine gun from a
custard pie or a six inch howitzer from a mothball in winter time.  But
he kept his mouth shut and his chin and chest out and rapidly they
turned him into a soldier.

Two months after he'd entered the army he was sent across country
diagonally to this South Carolina camp.  Two weeks after he had bee
assigned to a battery of heavy field artillery he had been promoted from
private to mess sergeant, one of the highest non-commissioned officers
in the army.

His business is to see that 300 husky artillerymen are kept satisfied
three times a day and are kept husky day in and day out.  He orders the
food for this crowd, superintends it's cooking and serving, buys when
the market is right, saves money for the battery fund by his
administrative ability.  In fact, his position calls for the genius and
ability of a manager of a good sized metropolitan hotel. 

And everyone from the battery commander to the lowest private in the
rear rank swears to the fact that Mess Sergt. Hanswald has that ability.

Which all goes to prove that in the army of democracy these days it's
worth that brings reward and mighty rapidly, too."

LeMars Sentinel
Friday, September 13, 1918
Front page:


All Men Between 18 and 46 Registering

Yesterday was registration day when men between the ages of 18 and 46 were
ordered to register. In LeMars flags were flying to mark the day and in the
afternoon a number of offices and stores were closed. About half past four
the LeMars band turned out and began playing patriotic airs.

It is anticipated that the registration in the county will be heavier than
was first expected as demands for registration cards were in from several
precincts. It is expected over 500 within the prescribed ages will register
in LeMars.

At five o'clock 171 had registered in the First ward, 107 in the Second ward
and 168 in the Third ward.


Albert Ewin succumbs to attack of pneumonia.

He and his brother were members of Old Co. K and were known and liked by
everyone in the community.

Another Plymouth County boy has given his life for his country in France.
Relatives in this community received a letter from Charles Ewin, of the
headquarters company of the 168th Infantry, Monday stating that his brother
Albert of the same company was taken ill July 16th with pneumonia and died
in the hospital on July 22nd. For some reason no information relative to
his death reached the relatives here through government channels. The first
word of his death came through this letter from his brother which was
delayed a week or ten days in transit.

Corporal Albert V. Ewin was born at Seney, April 9, 1896, lived there all of
his life with the exception of three years in Rutland, Ill, one year at
Corsica, S. Dakota and the time he spent in the service. He was with Co. K
on the border and until their return home. When the company was called into
the service last summer he responded and was one of the seventy from Co. K
who went to Des Moines and joined the 168th Infantry which sailed for France
in November and has since made a name for itself as a fighting regiment.
Corporal Ewin seemed to have had poor health much of the time he was abroad
as he wrote several times about being in the hospital but gave no
particulars as to the nature of the trouble which kept him in the hospital.
He is survived by his father, M. Ewin, of Corsica, S. Dakota, three
brothers, Will of LeMars, Arthur of Sioux Falls, and Charles in France and
three sisters, Mrs. August Witt and Mrs. Ralph Obermier of LeMars, and Mrs.
Iona M. Clark of Corsica, South Dakota.

Many people here will remember the Ewin boys in Old Co. K. They were fine
young men every inch the soldier and had the respect of all who met them as
well as their comrades. The entire community regrets to hear of the death
of this young man who so willingly volunteered to face the dangers of camp
and battle to protect the honor of his country and the cause of liberty.

Two Former LeMars Men Relate Experiences in Training

Frank Deuel, who was a registered pharmacist in the Sartori Drug store
before reporting for military service writes from Camp Gordon, where he has
been stationed, an interesting letter from which we make a few extracts:

"I am out of luck, am in the Depot brigade and the company I was with is on
its way to France. An order came last Monday for all druggists and railroad
men to be held back and there is talk we may go East for six week training
of some kind.

I am working in what they call the personnel office finding out what men can
do as they come into camp. They sure are sending the boys out mighty fast.
20,000 have gone in the past week and they are coming in at about the same

One thing here the nights are cool and you sure can sleep. Don't think much
of Atlanta, although they do have some good drug stores. The best thing you
can say for the state is most all the roads are paved and they sure do make
good use of them.

About all the Iowa boys have left here but I suppose there are 200 here now.
There is not a thing doing in the office today but we will no doubt get it
right the end of the week as there are 6,000 men coming in from New York."

Reed Walker, also a former clerk at Sartori's, writes he is now chauffeur
for the major and the hardest work he does is driving 30 or more miles a
day. He says, "Saw the Tenth division from Fansten pass in review Saturday,
thirty thousand men, and they looked like a bunch of ants in the hills."

LeMars Sentinel, September 27, 1918

John Whetstone Fell Fighting Gallantly in France

Friends in Union township have received word of the death of John
Whetstone, well known in that vicinity and in LeMars, who fell in battle
while fighting for his country in France August 16.

The news of his death was conveyed in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. James
Goudie, by a brother of John Whetstone, who lives in Pattonsburg, Mo.

John Whetstone worked for James Goudie during the past four years and
was well known as a most exemplary young man, and as his employer puts
it was one of the best boys that ever put foot in shoe leather.

Whetstone, who registered in Plymouth county, entered service last
February and was at Camp Dodge two months and then went to Long Island
and was quickly transferred overseas. He was member of the 305th Field
Artillery, 77th Division.

The Goudies received a letter from him dated August 4, in which he
said he had been on the fighting line for two months.  He said he was
feeling fine and fit and never felt better in his life.

John Whetstone was twenty-seven years of age.  His father is dead and
his only relative known of here is his brother at Pattonsburg, Mo.
While a resident of Union township he made many friends and was active
in the church and social circles of that community.

LeMars Sentinel
LeMars, Plymouth County
October 22, 1918


Lawrence Casper, son of John Casper, of Lincoln Township, Dies at Training
School, at Ames (disparity noted in father's name in headline and in
Lawrence Casper is another Plymouth county youth who has laid down his
life while in the service of his country. He fell a victim of influenza
while in training camp at Ames, dying on Sunday. His father, Peter Casper,
of Hinton, and his brothers and sisters were notified of his sickness and
went to Ames and were with him during his last illness.
Lawrence Casper was inducted into service for special training on July
14, and went to enter a training camp at Ames.
He was born on his father's farm in Lincoln township and attended school
there and worked on the farm. He is mourned by his father and two sisters
who are Mrs Ella Blankenberg, Mrs Carl Muecke, and two brothers, George and
Lawrence Casper was a popular young man in the community where he was
reared and lived. He was twenty-one years of age.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock from the
house in Lincoln township and the interment made in the Lincoln township
Lutheran cemetery.

Word has been received in LeMars of the death of Lester Burrill , who
died at South Bend, Ind., on Friday of pneumonia.  Lester was in
training camp at Notre Dame university.  He was nineteen years of age
and was a son of Robert Burrill, a member of a well known Liberty
township family, who resides in Sioux City.  Lester was born on a farm
in Johnson township.  He later attended the Akron high school and
assisted his uncle, W.W. Burrill in a clothing store.  He attended
Trinity College, Leeds, and was graduated from that institution last
year.  He was a member of the Student Army training corps at Notre Dame
university.  While attending school young Burrill was one of the most
popular boys among his associates and took a prominent part in school

He is survived by his father, Robert Burrill, of Sioux City, two
brothers and two sisters, who are Clarence, of Omaha, Neb.; Percy of
Massilion, Ohio; Stella, living in LeMars and Rosalie, who lives in
Merrill.  His mother died thirteen years ago.

The body will be shipped here for burial.  Funeral arrangements have not
yet been completed as relatives have not been notified as to when the
remains will arrive.

Company K Men In Thick of Battle

The following from Saturday's Des Moines Register will interest Plymouth
County people because about 75 of the old Co. K boys went to France, with
the 168th Infantry and are about equally divided between Headquarters
company and K company of the organization. A number of men of the 168th
have been returning to the general hospital at Des Moines and this story is
typical of what they all tell:
"Two One Hundred Sixty-eighth men in a contingent of seventy-one men,
arrived at the general hospital at Fort Des Moines for treatment yesterday.
Private John Penton, company K, Corning, Ia, hobbling on crutches and
carrying his arm in a sling was the first overseas man to walk into the
receiving office.
Penton has ten shrapnel wounds and a shrapnel torn arm and leg, but he
says that is nothing so long as one is in the home state. Company K
suffered the most casualties at Chateau Thierry.
"We were advancing in an open field in the face of a withering artillery
barrage from the Germans", said the wounded lad. "We had been ordered to
take the place of the First battalion of which Company B is a part. It was
the first day of the drive and I hadn't been in the battle but a short time
until I was struck by shrapnel. It seemed to me that I was hit by shells in
every part of my body. It knocked me out, but old Company K got there just
the same."
"The last boys I saw at the front were Robert McKee and Roflie Ellis of
Corning. The boys are litter bearers and they certainly know what shrapnel
is. When we were back on the Champagne front, McKee won the admiration from
the company for his daring and bravery. There was not a barrage too thick
that would stop McKee. He carried those boys in when it didn't seem as if he
had one chance for his life.
Lieut. James Cotter of Corning was wounded the third day of the drive and
is still in the hospital in France. Sergt. Charles H. Allen and Corp.
Roscoe Shively are also wounded and in hospitals.
Rennie Moore, who suffered a thumb wound, has been discharged from a
hospital in Vichy, France, and has rejoined his company. Corp. Frank Norris,
of Gravily, Ia. had been returned to the United States for treatment. Ben
Cherry, a Washington, Ia., boy who was shot through the knee in the Chateau
Thierry drive, is in a hospital over there and is expected to go back to
Company K soon.
Penton says the boys of Company K idolize Major Guy Brewer. "Whenever
you see the major," remarked Penton, "he is always at the head of his men.
I saw him the first day of the drive at Chateau Thierry and believe me, that
man ought to be decorated for every battle in which the One Hundred and
Sixty-eighth has been in. He is not afraid of anything."
Frank Jones, or "Kokomo", as the boys have affectionately dubbed him, is
still cooking for the boys from Corning. Jones became popular with the boys
a year ago, when the K Company orgainized at Corning. Jones refused to stay
behind when his son, bugler Phillip Jones, enlisted and when the boys left
for France, the old man was right along, too. Phillip was gassed on the
Lorraine front and is still in a hospital, but the father when last seen at
Chateau Thierry was still handing out "chow" to the boys.
Dwight Long, of Washington, Ia., was in the same hospital ward as Penton.
He was wounded in the shoulder and leg, but was able "to walk around" when
Penton left.
Corp. C.J. Melvin, Company L, a Sioux City boy, says, there is not much
left of his company. Melvin received a gunshot wound in his foot at Chateau
Thierry and says, "He is lucky at that".
Chaplain Robb, according to this Sioux City boy, is the hero of the day
among the Iowans over there.
"I saw Robb go out and bring four dead boys in and bury them under the
heaviest shell fire that we had to endure," said Melvin. "He is a stretcher
bearer, a chaplain and anything that the time requires when we are in a
battle. We were all glad when he received a distinguished service cross".
Lieutenant Colonel Tingley, of Council Bluffs, comes in for his share of
praise from the boys also. The boys say he stays continually under shell
fire, scorning dugouts and other places of safety and they predict that he
will be cited again as he was on the Lorraine front, if he is lucky and
stays in the game.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
Friday, October 25, 1918

Has Been a Good Omen on Several Occasions for Gallant Fighters Going Into
Action—Tell of Land of Flowers.

France, Sept. 29th, 1918.
A letter from “Red” Strouse to a friend says:
Today being Sunday and raining thought I would spend a part of it with you.
It has been some time since I have written to any one but the situation has
been so that even if one did write the question would be, whether or not the
said letter would be mailed or not. So to be on the safe side I have waited
a little longer but feel certain that you will receive the letters written.

I have received a very nice promotion since I last wrote you. I have been
detached from Headquarters Company and am now Battalion Sergeant Major of
the 3rd Battalion, same infantry of course. It is one of the highest in the
regiment so naturally I feel quite puffed up, naturally, ahem? It also
brings considerable more money and that means another trip to Strassburg.
And from the price of clothes at home, I had better lay a little aside or
they might have to start growing fig trees for my especial benefit.

We are a little back of the lines, waiting to go back at a moment’s notice.
Our camp is a bivouac camp in the woods and when it rains it makes it very
disagreeable. But everyone seems satisfied because they are getting a crack
at the Hun, and what’s more, cracking him at every time. I am sleeping with
the Major and Adjutant in a wagon which we have out Battalion Headquarters.
Not so bad for a Third Warder, eh?

In our last engagement I had the satisfaction of doing something I had
always wanted to, and that was, to go over the top with the first wave. I
had had all the other experiences. We arrived at our position for attack
the night previous. Raining and cold and muddy it was enough to make any
one want to fight. At the appointed hour, the bombardment commenced. No
chance for any sleep. In the morning when the rooster are going their best,
we started over. Right here I want to mention a funny coincidence. On every
occasion before this, a rainbow has appeared on the horizon sometime during
the battle, but on this never to be forgotten morning our emblem of victory
flashed across the sky just as we left our trenches. It sure was a good
omen. Immediately the Boches opened up on us with every weapon of defense
he had. Machine gun bullets whistled all around us. Their big guns
thundered and roared. Thousands of shells of all descriptions fell amongst
us throwing tons of earth and stones in every direction. Men were falling
out here and there, some killed and some wounded, but still we advanced. We
reached their barb wire entanglements. Some pathways had been cut, others
had to be. Machine gun fire was fierce. The Major had been wounded and
forced to retire. Finally we got through their wire and rushed their
trenches. Machine gun after machine gun was captured. Here is where I
captured my first Boche prisoner. You should have heard me order him around
in German, it was a scream. From here on they almost Kamerad’ed us to death.
The famous 3rd Battalion had broken their first line of resistance and the
battle was won. The Germans were now in full retreat and in disorder. The
Boche have found out that the American so-called bluff army was playing a
pat hand all the time and believe me, they will be mighty careful how they
call, from now on.

I have not received any mail for some time but presume it is being held up,
as usual. Have you ever received that request I sent you? If you have not,
I will send you another one at once.

Regards to my many old friends in dear old LeMars. You can tell the world
that the Plymouth County boys are holding their own and then some. Tell Jim
Kelly, our doughty postmaster, to look after the bloody third ward in my
absence. Expect that old boss, Snakes Trafford, has everything his own way,

Clarence Schmidt, one of the LeMars boys who went to France with the 168th
Infantry, has written A. C. Cooper the following letter under date of
September which says the report circulated here that he was wounded is

Got your letter of July 25th, this morning, and I was sure glad to hear from
you. Say, don’t it beat all how reports get around. Some one sure made a
mistake by saying I went “Kaput.”

The Boches have run out of shells with my number on them and on account of
the shortage of material in Germany they won’t be able to make any with it
on. Say on the level when I saw that letter, I began to have visions of a
nifty Tuxedo and a smooth floor but after our little job is done I’ll enjoy
them to the fullest extent. But what bothers me is what I’ll do when I get
back. A man finds himself in the ditches and his view on most things take a
big change. If you could only see how the boys fight, and how they fail,
you’d realize that war has made men and damn good men of them all. In a
certain regiment in this division there was a kid about fifteen or so and
believe me set a great example. He watched a path with a Shoo-Shoo and
killed about a score of Boches and then he died, with his eyes fixed toward
the front.

Well, you people heard about me being wounded at about the time I was at
Chateau Thierry. You should have seen that scrap. I sure am glad I got
there, I’d hate to miss anything. Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t know
very much about the war, kind of hard to get the papers but I know the whole
line is going forward and I feel that it won’t last much longer. I am
sending a request to the folks for some things I want, am sorry I cannot buy
any more from you at this time as Uncle Sam has my order for a fall suit.
Well, I’ll write again and perhaps by that time I will have good news.
Write often and be sure and say hello to all the boys for me.—Clarence A.
Schmidt, Hdqts Co., 168th Inf., A.E.F. via New York.

Fred Weber, of Sioux township, who is over in France, writes to a friend
that he is enjoying life at his billet in France. Although he thinks
America is the best spot under the blue sky and particularly old Plymouth
County, he says in part:

The people here are awfully good to the United States soldiers. I am
billeted in a house occupied by a French family and the good lady washes our
clothes, darns our socks, etc., of course we pay them but the prices are
satisfactory to everybody. The think I like the best about France is the
puddle jumping language they have and we are not any to well supplied with
hands to take up their gait.

There are lots of real old buildings here and every one lives in a little
town and goes out in the morning to their small patches of land. I wonder
what they would say if some one with a real farming outfit would start
operations along side their old fashioned methods? We have not had frost
and everything is so nice and green and even the flowers are blooming and
they have the most beautiful flowers I ever seen.

I do not see many Plymouth County men where I am. A man, Atkinson, from
Kingsley is in the same company with me. I read a copy of the Sentinel
dated August 13 and it was most certainly welcomed by me. I hope I will get
some more issues soon. This is a great country for statues and monuments
some of which are very old. Another thing that you see a great deal of here
is bicycles. Everyone rides a bicycle here instead of driving a Ford, as in
the states.

Each Commissioner Will Remain on Grounds Until the Ballots Are Cast and
Counted. Will Return Them to Secretary of State.

W. S. Freeman, of LeMars, and R. E. Hess, of Kingsley, were appointed
commissioners to go to the training camps to supervise the voting by Iowa
soldiers and went to Des Moines last evening to report for service. Mr.
Freeman goes to Camp Funston and Ft. Riley and Mr. Hess to Ft. Benjamin
Harrison, near Indianapolis, Ind.

A press dispatch announcing the appointments says:

Gov. W. L. Harding has announced the list of election commissioners who will
visit the military camps where Iowa soldiers are stationed and perfect the
arrangements for the holding of elections Tuesday, November 5, so that the
Iowa men in training will not lose their ballot on election day.

Practically as many democrats as republicans have been named on the
commissions. Commissioners going to camps some distance away will be
compelled to leave the last of this week or the first of next in order to
complete all arrangements before election day. The commissioners will take
with them ballots, poll books and cards of instructions. The soldiers
themselves will be the judges and clerks of the election, but each
commissioner will remain on the grounds until the ballots are all cast and
officially counted and will return them to the Secretary of State.

Tribute Paid Co. K Man By His Commanding Officer.

Among the men who enlisted in Co. K soon after the war was declared and
later went with the contingent detached for service with the 168th Infantry
in France was Edward W. Fulghum, better known as Dutch, both in the company
and in his home at Clear Lake. “Dutch” was one of the boys who fought
bravely on the Marne and paid the supreme price. Lieut. J. H. Tabor, of
Fulghum’s company, writes the latter’s sister, Mrs. L. S. Pearson, of
Renwick, Iowa, the following letter:

Your letter of August 2, which has just reached me, gives me news for the
first time of Dutch’s death. There has been rumors, unconfirmed of course,
and the last I heard was he was doing well. I have been trying to locate
what hospital he was in so I could write to him and forward his mail. But
the records are so jumbled up just now, due to the late fighting, that it is
often a long time before we receive notification as to the disposition of
our wounded men. And even yet we have none from “Dutch.”

I am terribly sorry to hear of his death. He was far above the average
intellectually, and I enjoyed talking to him. Besides, being one of my own
men, I had become genuinely attached to him. He was wounded near Suippes,
along with three others (one of whom was killed) who was carrying a wounded
man back to the dressing station through terrific shell fire.

He had made numerous trips, all under heavy shelling, back to the dressing
station and for the exceptional courage and bravery he displayed our captain
recommended him for a distinguished service cross.

You would have been proud if you could have seen him when we dressed him.
He was cooler and more collected than any of us, and directed the dressing

Not a single whimper, and from the way he acted, you would have thought that
it was an everyday occurrence.

The doctor, who had served two years with the British, said he had never
seen such grit. He was a gallant soldier and brave man, and his death is a
distinct loss to us all. I am very sorry I can’t give you the details of
such an hour, place of death and interment, for he was taken straight to the

You will be furnished with a map giving the exact location of his grave by
an organization that is especially appointed for that work. It may not
reach you for some time, but will eventually get to you.

You may have read that our division was in one offensive north of the Marne.
We went there as soon as the German offensive was definitely broken in
Champagne, and “Dutch” was one of the many men who gave their lives there in
order that they might be checked.

We are about to go into another major engagement, and I hope that if it is
my turn, I can go out as bravely as he did.

Last Services for Two Youths Who Died in Camps

The remains of Lester Burrill, who died in training camp at Notre Dame,
Ind., arrived in LeMars on Wednesday afternoon and the funeral services
were held at St. Joseph's church cemetery.  The members of the G. A. R.
formed a military escort and the hearse and coffin were draped with the
national flag.

The funeral of Lawrence Casper was held from the home of his father,
Peter Casper, in Lincoln township on Wednesday afternoon with military
honors.  Brief services were held at the Lincoln township cemetery where
the interment was made.  Lawrence Casper died from influenza at a
training camp at Ames.

LeMars Sentinel
December 27, 1918



Went With Plymouth County Contingent to Camp Gordon and Later to Camp
Merritt and Went Overseas in September to the Front.

Mr. and Mrs. W.S. McKibben, of Emmett, Nebraska, received the sad news on
the 26th of November of the death of their son, Everett L. McKibben,
somewhere in France. The message was sent from the war office at Washington
D.C., and briefly stated that Everett L. McKibben had died on October 8th,
from broncho-pneumonia.

Everett L. McKibben left his home to go into the service last July when he
went with a large contingent of Plymouth county men to Camp Gordon. They
were later transferred to Camp Merritt, N.J., and left for overseas in

Everett L. McKibben was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. W.S. McKibben. He was
twenty-two years old, last April. He grew up in Lincoln township, Plymouth
county, helping his parents to manage and work the farm until March 1st,
1918. He went with his parents to Holt county, Nebraska, where he was
engaged in cattle ranching when he was inducted into the service.

He leaves to mourn his death his parents and younger brothers, William J.,
and sister, Gladys, who are still at home with their parents.

Everett L. McKibben was a young man of fine physique and many good
qualities, a good son and brother. His death is greatly lamented by all who
knew him, as well as his parents.

LeMars Sentinel, December 31, 1918




Levi C. Horney Writes of Fierce Engagements on Battle Fields of France and
of Numerous Narrow Escapes in Several Encounters.

Levi C. Horney, who has been in service in France with the Marines, is the
youngest son of Mrs. E. Laux and writes home folks the letter below, which
we are permitted to reprint. When first taken to the hospital Horney thought
he had seen the man in an adjoining bed before and after some questioning
discovered his neighbor was Tom Coffey. Both of the boys are now getting
along well. The letter says:

We have just been told by a member of the Red Cross that this is Dad's
letter day, and is expected to be in the states by Christmas. I wrote home
two weeks ago when I came to the hospital, but in case this letter reaches
you first, I will tell you why I am here. I left the company November 8th on
account of exhaustion and exposure, nothing serious only my stomach is a
little on the bum. I arrived here at Nantes on the 11th was in bed a week,
but am up and around now. I am still a little weak, but that is to be
expected after lying in bed. I certainly have had a good rest. When I left
the company we were up in the Argonne Meuse drive near Verdun, the final
drive of the war. We certainly did have the Germans on the run up there. I
have been in three drives. The first one was at St. Mihel, which sure was a
bloody scrap. We met the Prussian Guards, they who are supposed to be
Germany's best soldiers, but they did not last long after the Marines and
"Dough Boys" got after them. From here we went over into the Champagne front
near Somme-Py. At this time we were fighting with the French army.

The French tried to capture Mt. Blane three times but were driven back each
time, so they put the Marines into it and we were on top of the mountain in
two and one-half hours, so you see we have been right in the thick of the

I think I have had horse shoes tied on me for I certainly have had some
narrow escapes. I got a machine gun bullet through my gas mask and another
through my mess kit, but that does not amount to anything for they can be

The people here nearly went wild when the armistice was signed. All the
French were out celebrating dressed in their best clothes and carrying
flags, shouting, "Vive Francals," "Vive Americans." This lasted three days
but now whenever we meet a Frenchman he says "La guerre est finie" (the war
is over.)

I am going to Nantes tomorrow and look the town over. It is quite a city,
about 180,000 population.

There are rumors around here that the men in the hospitals are going home
soon. I would like to eat Christmas or New Year's dinner in the states, but
I think I shall be home before spring, at least I hope so. I suppose you
people back home feel as happy as we do about the war.

I have a few little souvenirs I am trying to take back with me. One is a
little silver ring that I got from my first Heinie. I also have a German
belt with "Got Mit Uns" on it, which I got from another one of the Huns.



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