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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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1918 Peace Edition History Column Dave Petersen As I mentioned last week one of my junk day finds was a copy of the November 27th 1918 peace edition of the Ludington Daily News and is the subject of today's column. November 11th 1918 was Armistice Day, the signing of the cease-fire that heralded the end of hostilities with Germany. We declared war on Germany April 6th 1917, at the time the Germans did not think that our nation of 100,000,000 people could muster an army, train and transport it in time to make a difference, after all we only had 300,000 or so troops in our armed forces. The draft was swift, close to 4 million men were conscripted, trained and in short order 10,000 men a day were arriving in France to fight the war of wars. An internet search this week indicated that there were 4 known surviving veterans of WWI. The chapter is quickly closing on those able to give first hand accounts of the war to end all wars and it brings to our attention the need to chronicle and record the experiences and memories of our loved ones in our personal genealogies and our local history lest we and future generations forget. Mason County contributed its share of men to the fight, and according to the Roll of Honor published in the Peace Edition 27 men gave their lives. I am going to list each of those here and also ask that if anyone has further information or photographs of any WWI Veteran to consider allowing me to share that information with our readers in future columns. Private John B Adams of Fountain, son of James Adams, KIA August 30th 1918 in France Private John Anderson of Victory Township November 24th 1918 at age 22. Private Frank Allen of Victory Township KIA October 12th 1918 Private Chris Bertelson of Freesoil August 3rd 1918 Private John F Borski "made the supreme sacrifice in action between September 26th and September 30th in France". Private Eric Carlson (nephew of John Magnusson Druggist) October 20th 1918 Private Gordon Chadwick of Custer October 17th 1918. Gordon was recently married and had owned the grocery store in Fern, south of Custer and had disposed of it prior to enlisting. Private Dezerie Duplessis of Ludington died October 15th 1918 from wounds received in battle in France. Private Alvia Richard Drabenstott of Eden Township KIA August 1st 1918 Corporal Edwin H Ewing of Ludington enlisted and was wounded in action on August 4th 1918 and passed away August 5th in France. " Defying death while carrying messages from an advanced position and maintaining connections with his Colonel during the eight day battle on the Vesie River." Private Anthon Jack Frye of Pere Marquette Township October 27th 1918 in France Private C. Jos Hall of Custer October 9th 1918 at Camp Custer Michigan Private R.D. Keith of Victory township died at Camp Custer October 10th 1918 Private Cosmer Leveaux of Pere Marquette Township "enlisted May 17th 1917 and sailed for overseas in February 1918 to avenge the death of his brother Emery, murdered by a German submarine." KIA August 10th 1918. Cosmer was the youngest graduate in the LHS class of 1913. Private Emery Leveaux of Pere Marquette Township killed March 17th 1917 (about 3 weeks before we declared was on Germany) when his ship (an oil tanker) was torpedoed without warning by a German Submarine. Private Carl Walter Loxen of Amber Township died in France August 28th 1918 from wounds received in action. Private Frank Lukaszewicz of Freesoil died October 12th 1918. Private Isadore Meyette of Custer died October 18th 1918 at Camp Custer Michigan. Private Marian Michael of Eden Township died October 14th 1918 at Camp Custer Michigan. Private Joe Maklzski of Grant Township was killed in action in France. Private Hans C. Petersen of Pere Marquette Township died October 10th 1918 at Camp Custer Michigan. Corporal Albert Sheppard of Ludington was the first local man to give his life, he was a member of Co. K of the 29th Infantry. Private Wilbur N. Sims of Logan Township died October 5th 1918 from wounds received on the battlefield. Private William F Vogel of Victory Township served in the machine gun corps and was killed in action October 25th 1918. Private Lester Vorac served with the 85th division in France since July of 1918, he died in France October 5th 1918. Private Charles Winner of Freesoil was the first inducted serviceman from the county killed in action. Charles was in France from February 1918 until his death while on patrol duty in July of 1918. Private Joseph Zopel was inducted into military service at Ludington July 23rd 1918 and died at Camp Custer Michigan in October 1918. If you have any stories or photographs you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at davep@blackcreekpress.com or 757-3240. Mail should be sent c/o PO Box 340 Ludington Daily News Ludington Mi 49431.

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