Adrian O. Echelberger
"Ade" Echelberger named Vern after his 1st cousin, Vernon who drown in
the Des Moines River on July 16, 1921. He was the son of Edwin "Link"
Echelberger. He was a WWI vet who served in France. As fate would have it
Ade's son Vern served with the Marines in the South Pacific during WWII.
Fort Dodge Messenger Dec. 27,1982
Adrian O. Echelberger, 85, Dows,Iowa
Funeral services for Adrian O. Echelberger, 85, of Dows,(IA), were held
from the Presbyterian Church in Dows on Monday, Dec. 27, at 1:30 p.m. with
Rev. David Saunders officiating. Burial was in Dows Fairview Cemetery.
The Willim Funeral Home in Dows was in charge of arrangements. Adrian
died Thursday, December 23, at Mercy Hospital, Mason City.
He was born January 27,1897 in Lehigh,Iowa and was the son of George and
Minnie Widick Echelberger. His early education was in Alexander and later in
In 1921 he was married to Fern Kughn and during their marriage he
engaged in construction. In 1945 his wife died and in 1946 he formed the
Dows Construction Company.
On December 11, 1949 he married Edna Wedekin at the "Little Brown
Church" in Nashua. He continued in the construction business until selling
and retiring in 1965.
They moved to Belmond in 1975 and on April 26 of this year, Edna died.
Adrian moved back to Dows in October of this year, and was a member of Dows
He is survived by on son, Vern of Green, and one daughter Avonelle (Mrs
Thomas Jetmund) of Ogden,IA.; one stepdaughter, Mary L.Dorr of Belmond; 12
grand children; 12 great grand children; one sister Mrs. Faye King of Dows.
Besides his wives, Fern and Edna, he was preceded in death by his parents
three brothers, two sisters, and one grandson.
When Ben was about 1 his dad took the family and moved by covered wagon
to a Neb. homestead. They drove a team of "cows" oxen?, it took one month.
They lasted 2 years, losing both crops (wheat?) to grasshoppers.
Jacob D., George's dad sent them money to come back to the Lehigh area. Aunt
Alice (Van Valkenburg) was born (1872) while in Nebraska.
Ben, told stories that his father told him of the trip to Neb. His dad
walked the whole way driving the team with a long pole with a whip on the
end. The whip he would swing around and around them crack it over the oxen's
head. He told of trading with the Indians and of seeing large herds of
Buffalo on the prairie, which they had to kill one to eat once in a while.
Later he found out it was some of the same tribe as Chief Sitting Bull's
Sioux. They lived in a Sod House while there. Often trading what ever they
had with the Indians who came to the door.
Ben Echelberger 74, Dies Suddenly At Lehigh home
Special to the Messenger:
LEHIGH, FEB. 2,1945----Ben Echelberger, 74, died suddenly of a heart
attack at his home here at 9:45 this morning. He is survived by his
wife and three children, Mrs. Aleak Kostoff of Lehigh, Ralph of
Dayton, and Melvin Echelberger at home.
Funeral arrangements in charge of the Foster funeral home are
incomplete pending word from out-of-town relatives.
Ben Echelberger Rites at Lehigh Sunday at 2:30
Special to the Messenger:
LEHIGH, FEB. 3,1945----Funeral services for Ben Echelberger, 74, of
Lehigh, who died Friday morning at 9:45 at his home here, will be
held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the Lehigh United Brethern church.
The services at the church will be preceded by a brief service in the
Echelberger home. The Rev. Lester Heck will officiate.
Burial will be in West Lawn cemetery Lehigh.
Survivors include Mr. Echelberger's wife Bessie, and the following
children: Ralph Echelberger of Dayton, Mrs. Ermal Kostoff of Lehigh,
and Melvin Benny Echelberger at home. Three grand children, two
great grand children, three brothers, George of Dows, Andy of Fergus
Falls, Minn., and Harley of Fertile Sackatchewan, Canada, and two
sisters, Alice Van Valkenburg of Minneapolis, Minn. and Jennie
Crowser of Dowling, South Dakota also survive.
Fort Dodge Messenger Obituary:
Rites Sunday at U. B. Church for Ben Echelberger, 74, of Lehigh
after a short illness.
Benjamin Stephen Echelberger son of George and Julia
Echelberger, was born May 2, 1870 on a farm (original Echelberger
Iowa Homestead, on Brushy Creek) in Webster county three miles south of
Homer, and died at the age of 74, 9 months.
He received his education in the rural schools.
In the fall of 1895 he was united in marriage to Miss Rose Ann
Widick. They made their home in Lehigh where he was employed at the
Clay Products Company (Campbell) and later with the Sewer Pipe and
Tile company (he helped build this plant with horse and wagon)
Mrs. Echelberger passed away July 18,1923. On July 17, 1930 he
was united in marriage to Bessie Fields in Fairmont, Minn. Mr.
Echelberger had to retire from work about three years ago on account
of failing health.
He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Mrs Ermal Kostoff,
and two sons, Melvin Benny of Lehigh, and Ralph of Dayton. Three
grand children, Mrs. John (Vivian) Stamschor of Dayton, Mrs. Lavern
(Bernice) Fairchild of San Diego, Calif. and Marie Echelberger of
Dayton, and two great grand children, Rita Marie Stamschor and
Charles Ralf Fairchild. He also leaves three brothers and two
sisters, George of Dows, Andy of Fergus Falls, Minn. Harley of
Fertile Sackatchewan, Canada, Jennie Crowser of Dowling, South Dakota
and Alice Van Valkenburg of Minneapolis, Minn
Mr. Echelberger was baptized in the United Brethern Church as a
young man and was a member of the church in Lehigh. He was always
kind and cheerful and made many friends. He will be greatly missed by
his neighbors and in the family circle in which he played a large
The funeral was held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 from the U. B.
Church with Rev. Lester Heck in charge. Burial was in West Lawn
cemetery. There were many beautiful flowers.
Pallbearers were Dee Bryant, Russel Whipple, Charles Archabald,
Wilbur Dale, Clarence Spintig, and John O'Hearn.
Charles H. Swalla
Dayton Iowa May 3rd 1971
Services held for Charles H. Swalla Monday May 3:
Funeral services for Charles Henry Swalla, 63, Lehigh
were held Monday, May 3 at the Lehigh United Methodist
Church, Rev Roy Beisemeyer, pastor of the church, conducted
the 2:00 pm service. Interment was held in the West Lawn
Cemetery at Lehigh with arrangements by Bruces Funeral Home,
Mr Swalla was pronounced dead at Bethesda General
Hospital Friday, April 30. He had become seriously ill at the
Lehigh Lumber Company and was rushed to the hospital.
During the funeral service special organ music was
presented by Tami Scott. Caring for the flowers were Mrs
Frank Valashek, Mrs Vera Winders, and Mrs Vickie Ruthart.
Bearers were Frank Valashek, Robert Morandi, Theodore
Demitroff, Fred Vandi, Herman Larson and Kenneth Gerard.
Charles H. Swalla was born at Enterprise, Iowa and was
raised and educated in the Madrid School system graduating
with the class of 1928. In 1934 he married Winona Williams at
Fort Dodge and the couple lived in Lehigh since that time. He
had been employed at the Lehigh Lumber Company for more than
He was a member of the Webster County Conservation
Board, the Fort Dodge Elks Club, Fort Dodge Izaak Walton
League, past board member of the Iowa State Association of
County Conservation Boards, served on the Lehigh School Board
for 18 years and was a past president of the group. He had
also served four terms on the Webster County Extension
Survivors include the widow Winona; two daughters, Mrs
Daryl Derrig of Duncombe and Mrs Edwin Crouse of Lehigh; one
son, Charles, of Albert Lea, Minn.; seven grandchildren; his
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Swalla of Lehigh; two sisters,
Mrs IIo Dugger of Osage, Minn. and Mrs Lyle Fander of Des
Monies; and one brother, Robert of Osage,Minn.
Miss Cecil Doll Echelberger
The Lehigh Valley Argus newspaper obituary May 1,1908
Miss Cecil Doll Echelberger, seven year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs
George Echelberger Jr. (Geo. D.) passed away at the home of her parents in
this place Wednesday morning, death being due to consumption. The child was
sick with pneumonia last fall and since that time has gradually grew worse
until death came to relieve her suffering. The deceased was born Dec. 27th,
1900 and lived to be 7years 4mos, and 2 days old. The child possessed a sweet
disposition and her untimely death will be mourned by her large circle of
young friends. The Rev Nissen conducted the services, and the remains were
laid to rest in the cemetery at Homer. The heart felt sympathy of the
community is extended the bereaved relatives.
Ellege Weldon Echelberger
E. W. Echelberger Dies Following A Brief Illness
Fort Dodge Messenger 1943
Ellege Weldon Echelberger 1339 South Twenty-sixth Street, a
resident of Webster County all his life, died at Mercy Hospital
Sunday morning following a brief illness. He was 57 Years old.
Born in Lehigh, Dec 15, 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss
Minnie Hamilton June 4, 1910. For a number of years he was employed
at the Plant of the Lehigh Sewer Pipe and Tile Company, coming to
this city 23 years ago where he was employed at the Plaster Board
Plant until ill health compelled him to retire. For the past several
months he had been with the Liberty Cab Company. He was a member of
the Methodist church and the Modern Woodmen.
Mr. Echelberger is survived by his wife, four daughters, Mrs.
Marjorie Wood, Mrs. Irene Donahoe, Mrs. Harold Brown and Miss Gloria
Jeane Echelberger; a son, Francis V. Echelberger, all of this city;
three sisters, Mrs. John Taylor of Redding,Calif.; Mrs.Roscoe Newkirk
of Otho, and Mrs.William Taylor of this city; three brothers, Floyd
and Walter of Fort Dodge and Lyle of Otho, and 13 grand children, two
of whom are in the armed forces, PFC Dale Wood, North Africa, and
Corporal Robert B. Wood, Santa Maria, Calif.
Funeral services will be held at the Marshall Young funeral home
at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. The Rev. Arthur Peterson of Rockwell
City, former pastor of the Epworth Methodist church will officiate,
with burial on the family lot in West Lawn cemetery Lehigh.
LAST RITES FOR E. W. ECHELBERGER
Funeral services for E. WE. Echelberger 1339 South Twenty-sixth
Street, 57 years of age and a life-long resident of Webster County
who died at Mercy Hospital Sunday morning following a brief illness,
were held at the G. Marshall Young funeral home at 4 o'clock Tuesday
afternoon. The Rev. Arthur Peterson of Rockwell City, former pastor
of the Epworth Methodist church, officiated.
Many members of the Rebekah Lodge attended the services in a
group. The many floral expressions which banked the service room were
arranged by Mrs. LeRoy Zimmerman,. Mrs. Marie Erickson, Mrs. Paul
Hair, and Mrs. L. B. McNutt.
Pallbearers were Robert Taylor, Marvin Echelberger, Ray Hilton,
Don Bell, William Robbins, and Weldon Echelberger. Burial was made on
the family lot in West Lawn cemetery Lehigh.
Lehigh Valley "Argus" Nov. 9,1949
LEHIGH, Nov. 9 Relatives here have received word of the sudden
death of George Echelberger, 75 of Dows,(Ia.) who died at his home
following a heart attack.
Mr. Echelberger was the son of the late George Echelberger Sr.,
and Mrs. Julia (Ross)Echelberger, having been born on a farm east of
Lehigh where he grew up and married Miss Minnie Widick, also of this
They were the parents of several children and were former
residents having left Lehigh 26 years ago to make their home in Dows
where Mr. Echelberger followed the carpenter trade. (same as his Dad)
He was well know around Lehigh and the surrounding area where he
owned and raised mules and horses, (showing them) during summers at
fairs and celebrations.
He was preceded in death by a daughter Cecile, age 7 years and
his wife Minnie, who died about 7 years ago.
Funeral services will be held in Dows Thursday, a number of
relatives from here plan to attend. Mr Echelberger is and uncle of
Ermal Kostoff, and Ina Williams is his aunt.
He is also survived by a number of grand children and two great
Hughey P. Kilgore
Hughey Kilgore, 68, Retired Truck Driver
Obituary Printed in Sandusky Paper
Sandusky----Hughey P. Kilgore, 68, of Sandusky, died Sunday,
April 10, 1994, at Providence Hospital, Sandusky, following a
He was born Feb. 7, 1926, in Wise County, Virginia.
Kilgore retired in 1983 after 30 years as a truck driver for New
Departure-Hyatt Division of General Motors.
He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving on the
U.S.S. Finnegan in the South Pacific.
Kilgore was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars;
and a member of the United Auto Workers Local 913 Retirees.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Agnes; daughters Mrs.
Thomas (Joanne) Gerold of Castalia and Mrs. Keith (Debra Sue)
McKillips of Sandusky; four grandchildren; mother Alta Buchanan,
of Silver Springs, MD.; sisters Alva Joy LaConte of Glen dale,
Ariz., and Virgie Gaye Moon of Phoenix; half sister Minda Atha of
Wheaton, MD., Maxine Marshall of Sandusky, Tina Graves and Brenda
Weissend, both of Silver Springs; and half brothers Floyd
Buchanan of Vacaville, CA. and Lenzy Buchanan of Flori da. He was
preceded in death by his son, Eddie Lee in 1986; parents, George
P. and Julie P. (nee Wright); and sisters Linda Susulski in 1981
and arbvara Ann Borchardt in 1972.
Friends may call Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., at the Groff
Funeral Home, 1607. E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky, where the V.F.W.
will conduct services at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be
Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Funeral Home, the Rev. Robert Proy o f
the People's Church will officiate. Burial will be in Restlawn
Memorial Park, Huron.
Contributions may be made to the donor's favorite charity.
Francis Isabel Widick
An Obituary for Rose's (Echelberger) half-sister appeared in the
Lehigh Valley Argus Dec 11, 1897.
Francis Isabel Widick
"Died at her home in Homer,Ia on Tuesday morning, Dec 7, 1897. Francis
Isabel Widick. She was born near Sagauche, Colorado, Aug 4, 1887. And was
therefore in her tenth year. Francis was a kind, loving little girl who loved
and respected by all who k new her. Her sickness, which was of three weeks'
duration was borne with great patience, never a murmur of complaint was
heard. She was converted and joined the M. E. Church at the age of nine
years, and has been a faithful and willing worker ever since. A short time
before she died she called the family her bedside and told them she was going
to die, and kissing them and saying good-bye she quietly passed to the better
world. Six of her school mates acted as pall-bearers. The funeral was held at
the Methodist church Thursday at 10 o'clock a.m. conducted by the Revs J. L.
Sudduth and S. S. Eslick. The remains were laid to rest in the Homer
cemetery besides here mother."
Mrs Jean Echelberger
Mrs. Echelberger of Lehigh is Dead
Special to the Messenger
LEHIGH, Feb 28,----Mrs Jean Echelberger, 70, of Lehigh died today
at 7:00 a.m. in Fort Dodge Lutheran Hospital..
Funeral arrangements in charge of the Swanson Funeral home,
Dayton, will be announced later.
Fort Dodge Messenger March 6, 1942
LAST RITES FOR MRS. ECHELBERGER HELD AT LEHIGH
LEHIGH, MAR 6------ Funeral services for Mrs Jean Echelberger, 72
who died at Lutheran Hospital, For Dodge, were held at the home in
Lehigh, March 2 at 2:30 p.m. with the Rev. W. H. Knotts of the Lehigh
Church of Christ in charge. Interment was in West Lawn cemetery with
Swansons of Dayton in charge.
Pallbearers were Edgar Johnson, Robert Johnson, Cass Humphrey,
Walter Geist, Lawrence Schmehr and William Taylor.
During the services, Mrs. Edgar Johnson and Mrs. Albert Johnson
sang, "Rock Of Ages" and "In The Garden."
Jean Barrowman was born April 9, 1869, at Bedlington England. She
came to America in the spring of 1870 from Shetleson, Glasgow,
Scotland, settling in Illinois until 1879 when her parents came to
Lehigh were she grew to womanhood.
She (Jean Barrowman) was married to Curtis Alonzo Grimes in 1886
and to this union three sons and a daughter were born. The daughter
died when she was 4 yrs old.
When the boys were small the couple left Lehigh for Montana,**
traveling in a covered wagon. She could relate many interesting
experiences of her trip through the Black Hills to Montana.
She lived in Montana until 1917 when with her oldest son she
returned to Lehigh. The two younger sons lived in Virginia where they
were engaged in mining.
In 1920 she married Edwin L. Echelberger who preceded her in death
Survivors are three sons B. A. Grimes of Lehigh, William C. Grimes
of Berwind, West Virginia; Robert D. Grimes of Banner, Virginia; and
two sisters, Mrs. Christina Fleming of Norton,Virginia, and Mrs
Margaret Woodle of Fayette; three brothers, William Barrowman of Pilot
Mound, David Barrowman of Praise, KY; thirteen grand children and two
great grand children.
She was baptized in the Lehigh Christian Church in 1892. She
enjoyed attending church services and was a faithful member and
regular attendant as long as her health permitted.
** On the Lehigh to Montana trip Curtis disappeared in Indian
Country. No record of his fate.
PFC John William Linn
Report to the Fort Dodge Messenger
Lehigh, March 17, (1945) First reported missing in France since Feb 16,
PFC John William Linn was killed in action on that date, his parents, Mr and
Mrs (Lottie Echelberger) John Linn of Lehigh were notified by a war dept
The 19-year-old soldier was serving with the infantry and had been
overseas only three months.
Besides his parents, he is survived by five sisters, Mrs Eva Shafer, Mrs
Ethel O'Hearn and Mrs Marian Swanson, all of Lehigh, Mrs Clair Doyle of
Thompson and Mrs Susan Engelbritsen of Rockton, Ill.
A graduate of Stratford High School with the class of 1943, young Linn
was employed by the Nissen Packing plant in Webster City before entering the
armed forces in February, 1944,
He received training at Camp Fannin, Tex. and Camp Van Dorn, Miss. before
going overseas in December.
Johnny Bill is buried in a Military Cemetary in France, his folks put up
a marker for him on their lot in the McQuire Bend Cemetary,Lehigh,Iowa.
JOHNNY BILL WAS KILLED DURING "THE BATTLE OF THE BULDGE"
Mrs John E. Taylor (Maude Echelberger)
Fort Dodge Messenger 1945
Mrs J. E. Taylor, 63 dies after brief illness
Mrs John E. Taylor (Maude Echelberger), 63, a resident of Fort
Dodge and Webster county more than 60 years, died Saturday morning at
Mercy Hospital after a brief illness.
Mrs. Taylor was taken ill with a heart attack Friday evening at
10 o'clock at her home, 124 North Tenth Street. She was rushed to
Mercy hospital for treatment but failed to rally.
Mrs. Taylor's many friends,who heard the news with shock and
deep regret, feel that her death may have been hastened by the
anxiety and sorrow which war brought her and her family.
Only a few months ago, the Taylors learned that the elder of
their two sons, Dean, was killed in action after nearly three years
of Japanese imprisonment.
The 26-year-old soldier, a Staff Sergeant in the army air forces
lost his life when the freighter on which he was being moved from a
prison camp on Mindanao was torpedoed and sunk by an American
submarine Sept 7, 1944.
Throughout his imprisonment, his family received only four
messages from him, all of them from postcards. The earliest did not
reach them until December, 1943, 19 long months after the fall of
Corregidor and 15 months after the Taylors had been notified from the
war department their son was missing.
To their worry over Dean was added concern over their other son,
Virgil who took part in some of the bitterest fighting in the
Virgil, a corporal in the Third Marine Division, recently
returned to the United States from Iwo Jima.
His arrival in Fort Dodge occasioned thew reunion of a
particularly close-knit and affectionate family, now plunged into
sadness by their mother's sudden death.
Besides her two sons, Mrs. Taylor is survived by six daughters,
Mrs. Gernie Marley, Mrs. Raymond Hilton, both of Fort Dodge; Mrs.
Charles B. Wheat of Storm Lake; Mrs Kathryn Ferguson, Mrs. Edward
Porter Jr., and Mrs. H. W. Gardzelewski, all of Los Angles.
One daughter, Mrs Grace Heesch, her parents, three brothers and
one sister preceded her in death.
Fifteen grand children survive as do three brothers, Floyd,
Walter, and Lyle Echelberger, all of Fort Dodge, and two sisters,
Mrs. William Taylor of Fort Dodge and Mrs. Roscoe Newkirk of Otho.
Her parents the late Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Echelberger, well know
residents of Lehigh, came to Webster county 61 years ago from Homer,
where Mrs. Taylor was born.
On Mat 4, 1910, her marriage to Mr. Taylor took place at Lehigh
and the family lived there until 1920 when they moved to Fort Dodge.
Mrs. Taylor will be remembered as a pleasant, kindly woman.
Rearing her large family endowed her with a sweet motherliness which
was felt by her friends as much as by her devoted children.
Especially was a favorite of young people.
She was a member of the Epworth Methodist church and of the
Ladies' Aid Society of that church.
The body is at Laufersweiler funeral home. Funeral services will
be announced later upon word from the three daughters living in Los
Funeral Services for Mrs Taylor Tuesday Afternoon
Funeral services for Mrs. J. E. Taylor who died Saturday morning
at Mercy Hospital, will be held Tuesday at 2:10 o'clock at the
Laufersweiler funeral home and at 2:30 at the Epworth Methodist
church. The Rev. B. M. Watson will officiate and burial will be in
Memorial Park Cemetery.
Minnie Maybel Widick
Minnie's Obituary Fort Dodge Messenger Dec 11, 1942
Minnie Maybel Widick daughter of J. J. and Josephine Widick was born
in Homer,Ia. Hamilton county Jan 24, 1874. She grew to womanhood and at
the age of 19 was married to George D. Echelberger on June 3, 1893, at
Homer,Ia. From there they moved to Webster Co. where they lived until
1909. They then moved to Wright Co. where they farmed until 1924. They
then moved to Dows. They lived there until the time of her death. To
this union seven children. One daughter (Cecile) preceded her in death.
Those left to mourn her loss are her husband George, 2 daughters, Mrs
Mark (Faye) King of Dows, Mrs Charles (Leola) Lampson of Pomona, Ca. and
4 sons, Rasseyen "Ross" of Clear Lake, Ia., Adrian and Joe of Dows,
Merle "Bud" Echelberger in the Navy at Farragut, Id.; also 11 grand
children two of whom are serving our country overseas. She leaves many
other relatives and a host of friends. Funeral services were held at the
Presbyterian church at 2 pm Saturday Dec 9.; interment at Fairview
Those attending services from out of town were; Mr & Mrs Ross
Echelberger and Delores of Clear Lake, Merle Echelberger F 2c, stationed
at Farragut,Id. and family from Webster City.; Mrs Ina Williams, Mr &
Mrs Ben Echelberger and Melvin, and Mrs Aleak(Ermal)Koskoff, Ralph
Echelberger all of Lehigh; Mrs Thomas(Avonelle)Jetmund of Gary,Ind.; Mr
& Mrs Al Thurmand of Williams; Mrs Fred Cessford and Mrs John Pietrie of
Article in Dayton Review Feb.10,1993
Paul Trueblood 78
Funeral service for Paul Trueblood,78, Lehigh,were held Tuesday, Feb
9,1993 at Harcourt Covenant Church, Harcourt. Rev Craig Vote conducted the
2:00 pm service. Interment was in West Lawn Cemetery, Lehigh. Arrangements
were completed by Carson Funeral Home, Dayton.
Mr Trueblood passed away Saturday, Feb.6,1993 at Stewart Memorial
Hospital, Lake City.
During the service vocalist Richard Will sang "The Old Rugged Cross"
and "In The Garden" accompanied by Kim Rieken. Bearers were Kevin
Sandstrom, Wade Seiser, Jeff Widen, Michael DeVan, Brian Sandstrom, and
Paul E Trueblood was born on Thursday Jan. 21,1915 in Webster
City,Iowa. He was the son of Addison and Sarah (Shauver) Trueblood. He
attended Burnside Schools.
On Thursday, May 9, 1940 Paul married Clara Lang at McQuire Bend
United Brethren Church in rural Dayton. He worked for the National Gypsum
Company, Fort Dodge, retiring in 1978.
Paul was a member of Local 66 of the AFL-CIO and member of
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.
Survivors include his wife, Clara; daughters Patricia Seiser,
Stratford; Twila Widen, Harcourt, and Sheryl Sandstrom, Fort Dodge;
son Gary Trueblood, Lehigh; nine grandchildren; four great-grandchildren;
sister Myrtle Hammitt, Webster City; brothers Ralph Trueblood, and Sam
Trueblood, both of Fort Dodge.
Sgt Dean E. Taylor
Two Articles appeared in the Fort Dodge,Ia Messenger
(both about March 1945)
1st Prisoner of Japanese since the fall of the Philippines, Sgt Dean E.
Taylor, 26-year-old son of Mr And Mrs (Maude Echelberger) John E.
Taylor, is one of "large number who did not survive or who or who were
recaptured by the Japanese" in the destruction at sea of a Japanese
freighter that was transporting American prisoners of war from the
Philippines, his parents have been advised by the war department. Since
"no positive information is available" about the present status of these
men, "no change in his prisoner of war classification is being made at
this time." the war department letter continued.
The Letter in full follows:
"The war department was recently notified of the destruction at sea of a
Japanese freighter that was transporting American prisoners of war from
the Philippines Islands. " A number of survivors were later returned to
the military control of our forces . There were also a large number who
were recaptured by the Japanese and whose present status no positive
information is available. It is with deep regret that I must inform you
that your son Sgt. Dean E. Taylor, was in this later group. Because of t
he war departments lack of definite information concerning Sgt. Taylor,
no change in his prisoner of war classification is being made at this
time. Please be assured that as soon as additional information becomes
available, you will be immediately notified."
Sgt Taylor's younger brother Corporal Virgil O. (Bob) Taylor is
serving with the marines on Guam. Although only 19 he is a veteran of
many major engagements in the southwest Pacific.
Sgt Taylor is believed to have been held by the Japanese on
Mindanao, southern island in the Philippines. In Honolulu Nov 11,1941,
enroute to the islands with an army air forces unit, he sent a Christmas
cable to his parents that year from Cagayan, Mindanao.
Card in March:
The most recent word which Mr and Mrs Taylor have had from Dean was
an undated card which they received March 22. ?(1942)
Mr and Mrs Taylor have been living in Redding,Ca the pass few years but
recently returned to Fort Dodge, and are making there home at 1424 North
After almost three years of Japanese, 26-year-old son of Mr And Mrs
J. E. Taylor of Fort Dodge, lost his life when the when the freighter
on which he was being moved from a prison camp on Mindanao was torpedoed
and sunk by an American submarine Sept 7, 1944.
Official notification that he had died in action on that date
reached his parent from the war department today.
The message crushed the Taylors' hope, strengthened by the
liberation of American prisoners following recent successes in the
Philippines that their son might survive the rigors of prison camp
existence since the fall of the islands in the spring of 1942.
With the military intelligence section of section of the army air
forces, Sgt Taylor left for overseas Oct 11, 1941. Between the time of
his arrival in the Philippines and the battles which led finally to his
capture there was time for only two messages. The first, a cable
Christmas greeting in 1941, came, from Cagayan, Mindanao. In a letter
written Jan 2, he wrote that he was in action and that "if we don't get
help, we may be in a bad way. Bur we are tougher than they are."
According to the war department message received today, Sgt Taylor was
one of the 750 prisoners who left Davao, Mindanao, Aug 20, 1944.
When the freighter was sunk Sept 7, off the western shores of the
island, few of the prisoners were able to leave the ship and of those
who did, many were killed by enemy fire, the war department stated. A
few survivors managed to reach shore the report continued. Subsequent
information, based on the Japanese government's list of prisoners or
war, indicate that the young Fort Dodger did not survive and must now be
considered to have died in action.
From the War Dept:
The complete message from the war department follows:
"The war department has now received the official list of prisoners
of war aboard the Japanese freighter which you were previously informed
was sunk Sept 7, 1944. "Its with deep regret that the war department
must report your son is among those list ed as lost when the ship was
sunk. " The war department regrets its inability to entertain the
probability of his survival and must now consider him to have died in
action Sept. 7,1944. The Date of Receipt of the final report was Feb.
14, 1945. "Information available to the war department is that the
vessel sailed from Davao, Mindanao, Aug. 20, 1944, with 750 prisoners of
war aboard. "The vessel was sunk by torpedoes Sept. 7, off th e western
shores of Mindanao. Relatively few had an opportunity to leave the ship
and of those who did, many were killed by enemy fire. "A small number
managed to reach shore and a close watch was kept for others for several
days. "The Japanese government's list of all of the prisoners of war
indicates that no survivors are in the hands of that government. No
information as to what happened to the individuals has been received but
known circumstances lead to the regrettable conclusion that all of those
unaccounted for lost their lives at the time of the sinking.
The war department expressed its regret at the "unhappy culmination"
of Mr and Mrs Taylor's long period of "anxiety and suffering."
In addition to the official message Mr and Mrs Taylor received a card of
sympathy from Gen. George C. Marshall chief of staff of the United
States Army as follows:
"Gen Marshall extends his deep sympathy in your bereavement. Your son
fought valiantly in the supreme hour of his country's need. His memory
will live in the grateful hearts of our nation."
Sgt Taylor was a student at Fort Dodge high school where he was a
member of the high school band, when he enlisted in the army in 1937.
After two years with the cavalry, he transferred to the army air forces
and was on duty at Hamilton Field,(Ca) until the next year when he was
assigned to Military Intelligence
Robert "Tubby" Johnson
Robert Johnson, 78
Funeral services for Robert "Tubby" Johnson, 78 Lehigh, were held
Saturday, Oct 10, 1992 at the Christian Church,Lehigh. Rev. Lynn Newbraugh,
and Rev. Dale Kelley conducted the 2:30 pm service. Graveside services were
by the Lehigh VFW. Arrangements were completed by Carson Funeral Home,
Mr Johnson passed away Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Springfield,MO.
During the service special organ music was by Larry Larson. Caring for
flowers were Genevieve Dosland and Magadaline Lumsden. Bearers were Marion
Dosland, Joe Kisch, Jack Estlund, Duane Hoskins, Marvin Lundgren, and
Robert Johnson was born on Tuesday, March 28,1914 in Humboldt,Ia. He
was the son of Edgar and Olive (Echelberger) Johnson. He graduated from
On Friday, Aug. 3, 1962 Robert married Gladys Fritts in Fort Dodge.
He worked as a rural mail carrier for 30 years before retiring in 1977. He
was a veteran of WWII.
Robert was a member of Lehigh Veterans of Foreign Wars, American
Legion, and Lehigh Golden Memories, and a charter member of Lehigh Lions
Survivors include his wife Gladys, Lehigh; sons Terry Johnson,Cedar
Rapids; Don Fritts,Spiro,OK, and Dale Fritts, Lehigh; daughters Karen
Johnson Kennedy,Fort Dodge; Jo Fritts Schrieber,Lake Mills and Kaye Fritts
Cooper, San Jose,Ca; 18 grand children; seven great-grand children;
brothers, Raymond and Donald Johnson both of Lehigh.
Article appeared in the Fort Dodge Messenger
"Another of Webster county's casualties in Germany is PFC
Weldon Echelberger 33, of Fort Dodge, who was wounded in
action Dec 6 (1944). As previously reported to the Messenger,
the soldier was with an infantry unit of the American 1st
Army. PFC Echelberger was a mechanic with the Pfaff Baking
Co. in civilian life. His wife and two children live
at 529 Third Ave North. He entered the service in March of
this year, received his basic training at Camp Blanding,Fl.
and went over seas in July. He is the farther of two children
Jimmie 4 yrs old and a infant daug born Nov 30, (1944).
A brother Don is serving as a navy diver and welder somewhere
in the south Pacific aboard an Aircraft Carrier.
Dayton Iowa Review Oct.28,1992
Funeral service for Weldon Echelberger, 81, Fort
Dodge,Iowa. were held Thursday, Oct.22,1992 at Bruce's
Funeral Home, Fort Dodge. Bishop Terry W. Dillon, Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Fort Dodge, conducted the
1:30 pm service. Interment was in Memorial Park Cemetery,
Mr Echelberger passed away Monday, Oct.19,1992 at Marion
Home, Fort Dodge.
During the service organist was Sherrie Dillon. Bearers
were James Echelberger, Joe Echelberger, Jay Echelberger,
Donnie Schmidt, Roger Schmelzer, and Gary Williams.
Weldon Echelberger was born on Saturday May 13,1911 in
Lehigh. He was the son of Floyd and Eugena (Culver
Echelberger. He attended Lehigh schools.
In 1938 Weldon married Clara Cook in Humboldt. He served
in World War II in the European theater of operations from
1943-1945 in the Army. Weldon was awarded a Purple Heart. He
drove a city bus for a number for a number of years until he
retired in 1973.
Weldon was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post
1856, Fort Dodge. He resided in Fort Dodge most of his life.
Survivors include his wife Clara, Fort Dodge; son James
Echelberger,Fort Dodge; daughters, Charlotte Schmelzer, West
Union,Ia.; and Edna Echelberger, Fort Dodge; seven
grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brother Robert
Echelberger, Fort Dodge.