Kansas History and Heritage Project-Harvey County Military

Harvey County Military
Gold Star Boys--Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Note: This article appeared in the Evening Kansan-Republican in August of 1922.

For most of us, the war is over. It is a memory now-a memory laid away in the lavender and rose-leaves of time, growing more fragrant each passing day, and that memory includes those who gave their all that a free people might remain free. Twenty-five Harvey county boys made the supreme sacrifice in order that democracy might not perish from the face of the earth.

John Edward Hall

One of the first general engagements in with the United States participated, cost the life of one of our boys. Private John Edwin Hall, son of J. E. Hall, then of Newton, gave his life as the result of wounds received at Chatteau-Thierry. that memorable battle which first turned the Hun hordes back from their head-long rush toward Paris. Private Hall died on July 25, 1918, as the result of wounds received in that action.

Wayne G. Austin

Belleau Wood, following shortly after, cost the life of Private Wayne G. Austin, son of Mrs. Mary Austin of Burrton. He was killed in action while fighting with his company, Co. L, 5th Marines, on June 6, 1918.

Carl D. Johnson

Sergeant Carl D. Johnson, son of Mrs. Mary Johnson, of Newton, gave his life while grimly holding on in the face of an attacking enemy in the front line trenches near Lovline, France, on June 29, 1918.

Lauren J. Finnell

The Meuse-Argonne claimed three Harvey county boys as its share. Privates Lauren J. Finnell, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Finnell of Newton, and Arthur Paul Whitesell, son of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Whitesell of Newton, were killed together by a high explosive shell on the second day of this famous battle on Sept. 27, 1918.

Arthur Paul Whitesell

Private William Loren Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Noah T. Rogers of Newton, was wounded on the fourth day of the battle and died in a field hospital on September 30, 1918. They were all members of Co. K, 139th Infantry, Newton’s own company.

William Loren Rogers

Not all soldiers or sailors met the grim reaper in the glory of battle. Many just as brave, just as eager and just as willing if need be to make the supreme sacrifice to repel the Hun invaders, were fated never to smell the smoke of battle nor hear the cannon's roar. Sickness and accidents of training camps and ship claimed the lives of nineteen Harvey county boys.

The first soldier to die from the county was Private MacArthur B. Brush, 354th Infantry, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Brush of Newton, who died of pneumonia at the base hospital, Fort Riley, March 15, 1918.

Cerebro-spinal meningitis, contracted while taking recruit finger prints at Camp Funston, was the cause of the death of Private Irvin Haury, son of Professor and Mrs. G. A. Haury, of Bethel college, on Sept. 28, 1918.

Private Herman Heinrich Christian Green, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Green of Newton, contracted pneumonia at Camp Meade, Maryland, and died on Oct. 5, 1918.

Private Rudolph A. C. Steffen, Co. C, 313th Engineers, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Steffen of Newton, died of pneumonia, following influenza in France on Sept. 30, 1918.

Private James Edward Taylor, Co. D, 351st Infantry, son of Zachary Taylor of Newton, died of pneumonia in France on Oct. 10, 1918.

Private Emmett H. Neuway, son of Mrs. Lusetta Neuway of Burrton, died at Camp Dix, New Jersey, on Aug. 30, 1918, of pneumonia.

Private James Shea, Co. K, 139th Infantry, while the company was in training at Doniphan became ill and despondent and died by his own hand.

Private Roy L. Pittman, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Pittman, of Halstead, died at the Base hospital at Fort Bliss, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1918, from pneumonia.

Private Elmer McConnel died at Sac betha, Kans., and was buried there, where his mother and several other relatives reside. His death occurred while on furlough.

Private Joseph P. Trego, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Trego of Halstead, died of illness contracted on shipboard enroute to England. He landed June 16, 1918, and died the next day in the American section of a British hospital.

Sergeant Cleo Walter Milne, son of James W. Milne, of Newton, Co. B, 79th Infantry, died at Port Douglas, Utah, Dec. 3, 1918.

But one home in Harvey county lost two sons in the service. Mrs. M. S. Savage gave her sons Private Melvin and Seaman William Savage but fifteen days elapsing between the deaths. William Savage, Seaman U. S. S. Clio, was drowned off Newport News, Dec. 2, 1918, and the body has never been recovered. Private Melvin Savage, 681st Aerial Squadron, while on furlough to be with his mother contracted pneumonia and died in Newton, Dec. 17, 1918.

Seaman Max Reynolds, U. S. S. Minnesota, son of J. W. Reynolds of Newton, died, May 26, 1917, at U. S. Naval hospital, Norfolk, Va., of cerebro-spinal meningitis.

Seaman Leo Elmer Shepherd, son of Mr. and Mrs. Claiborne Shepherd of Richland township, died at Great Lakes hospital, Feb. 4, 1918, of pneumonia.

Private Earl F. A. Hood, 69th F. A., son of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Hood of Newton, died of pneumonia at Camp Knox, Kentucky, March 9, 1919.

Private John G. Schaplowsky, son of Fritz Schaplowsky, of Halstead, private Co. G, 35oth Infantry, died in France of influenza, Oct. 18, 1918.

Private Burton Elmer Cochran, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Cochran of Pleasant township, died at Pittsburg, Penn., of pneumonia on Oct. 14, 1918.

Private William E. Dreier, 337th F. A., son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dreier of Hesston, died in France of pneumonia on Oct. 21, 1918.

“Speech cannot utter the substance of what was done by these brave boys. It remains for us to take increased devotion from that for which they died. It remains for us to weave the countless souls of the coming generation into the valiant deeds of the honored dead so that there may be guaranteed forever that lasting tenet of freedom's faith, the fullest good for each in the betterment of all.

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This website created Dec. 21, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
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