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Burt County, NE - World War I

There were two newspapers in Tekamah at the time of WW I .... the Tekamah Journal and the Burt County Herald. Not all issues are available. Articles will be collected from both, selected for historical & genealogical content. Other Burt County newspapers will be examined as time is available.

The USA declared war against Germany 6 April 1917, so that news was old when the next issue of the Tekamah Journal was published on the 12th. Hope you will "get a feel for the times" and find names of interest to your research. - Bill W.

NOTE - Dec 1997: This collection is subject to re-organization as Bill sends the material. Currently, THIS page displays articles (or titles) in chronological order and has links to other pages to display lengthy lists, etc. Use your BACK button to return to this page. Most data currently in our hands is related to the draft and the Red Cross. There are reports of social events, some of the soldier's letters home (& an index to a collection of letters), and a few obituaries. Other material will be posted as soon as possible. Please bear with us during construction. - Ted & Carole Miller
NOTE: Jul 1998: This segment of the Burt County page is now relatively complete and with the book "VICTORY..." and NSHS veterans list, makes the best collection of material any county has for WW I. This index page continues to be chronological and provides links to other material organized by subject. Bill continues to seek additional articles, whatever he finds will be added. Hal & Theda Haswell have contributed many typed pages for this and other Burt County projects. Thank you!

Tekamah Journal
April 12, 1917


     A number of Tekamah lads have inbued (sic) with the war fever and have enlisted in the Blair company. The following fellows have joined.
     Dave Nunley, Mervin Sackett, Hugh Whitaker, Leon Wickham, Irvin Titze, Bud and Frank Ellis. The boys all say that so far they are enjoying their service which consists mostly of learning the rudiments of drill work. The company at present western railway bridge at Blair.

Tekamah Journal
April 12, 1917


     We are going to have a Patriotic meeting in Tekamah and it will be held tomorrow evening at the Shafer Theatre. The Citizens of Tekamah have felt that the have been just a little lukewarm along the lines of showing their patriotism. There have been a number of boys here who have shown their regard for Uncle Sam's need and have joined the company at Blair and to show these lads that the people of the community are back of them we are going to hold a demonstration in their honor. Citizens took hold of the matter and on Wednesday evening at the office of Anderson & McCrew there was a gathering which mapped out the plan that should be followed. The consent of Capt. O'Hanlon, of Blair was secured to permit the Tekamah young men who have joined the company to come home Friday afternoon. Capt. O'Hanlon may come with them as he had an invitation to that end. The meeting on Wednesday evening secured the Opera House and the following committees were appointed. As general committee consisting of Messrs. Anderson, Lundstrom, Rhoades, Cornish and Dr. Nesbit. A program committee consisting of E. J. Gano, Dr. Stanfield and J. W. Tamplin and a Banquet committee consisting of Messrs. Geo. McGuire, W. H. Van Cleve and Rev. MacGregor. It was decided to have a banquet at the Grand Army Hall at 6:30 to which all the soldiers should come as honored guests. Their parents have also been extended invitations as were the members of the Grand Army and Spanish American War veterans. After the banquet has been concluded the guests will repair to the Opera house where a reception and patriotic gathering will be held to show these young men, their parents and friends and the people of this community that we are alive for the old flag in this time of trouble. To this everyone is invited, all societies and every farmer and his family who chances to see this invitation. And tell your friends and see to it that you come out in the interest of local patriotism.
     The band and the High School and citizens will meet the train as it comes from Blair in the Afternoon and all places of business will be closed. There will be a general effort made to show the flag at every available place and there will be more bunting and more flags displayed than ever befroe (sic) seen in Tekamah before. The High School band is to be dismissed at three o'clock to march to the train and will have songs to sing that will inspire all who will hear. The evening's program will be varied and will not be a stiff, set affair. Judge Lee Estelle is expected to be present and give an added touch of patriotic fevor (sic) to the meeting as he can do so well. He is an old soldier and tell of the love for the flag that made him and his comrades gather to its defense.
    We feel that the people of this community will need no further urging and the Journal publisher is one who feels that after the gathering in over there will be none who can say that Tekamah lacks in enthusiam (sic).

Tekamah Journal
19 April 1917


     Tekamah was filled to overflowing with patriotism last Friday as a result of the patriotic meeting that was held in the honor of the boys who had enlisted for service in the Blair company. The committee which had charge of the arrangements certainly did their work to perfection for they had lined up to such an extent that the day was one of the most marked successes in the way of a demonstration that has been held in Tekamah.
     Instead of Judge Estelle being the speaker for the evening gathering, it was Capt. John Poucher, ex-chaplain of the fourth Regiment when it was in service on the Mexican border. The people who came through on the afternoon train witnessed one of the prettiest sights of "Old Glory" that has ever been seen in Tekamah. The parade to and from the train was just as planned. The old soldiers were taken in autos preceded by a martial band. Immediately following them was the Relief Corps, the sons of Veterans. Then came the band and following the a squad of Boy Scouts and then the schools in charge of Supt. Jacobs. Thirteenth street was one mass of flags and bunting and the street was filled with people out to witness the parade. Every individual in the parade was provided with an American flag. The school was out with every member in line except the kindergarten tots. Supt. Jacobs is not only to be congratulated but to be commended for the showing that his teachers and pupils made. People were more than ever impressed with the mighty force in the betterment of our town that lines in the lives and habits of those children. After marching to the train the procession awaited its coming and then after the soldier boys from Blair detrained they were marched to Grand Army hall being preceded by the Grand Army the Relief Corps and Sons of Veterans as an escort followed by the other organizations. At six thirty o'clock they were again assembled at Grand Army Hall where they were banqueted by the Citizens Committee, their Parents, the Grand Army and Spanish-American war veterans being there also as guests. After supper the party proceeded to the Schafer Theatre where all Tekamah had been invited and where they came filling the hall. Here flags were again in evidence the stage being backed by an immense American flag. The Grand Army, the sons of Veterans and Woman's Relief Corps occupied the stage and when the soldier boys marched in they were given a hearty welcome by all. They occupied the front of the platform. After several patriotic airs by the band and the singing of America, the Red White and Blue and the Star Spangled Banner, Mayor Wassum introduced the main speaker of the evening, Reverend Mr. Poucher. He delivered an admirable address and spared not the Kaiser in his condemnation of the tactics he had employed in order to provoke Americans into war. His address was filled with lofty American sentiment expressed in such choice language that his hearers were enthusiastic in praise of his utterances. He closed his address with an appeal for young men to enlist now if they had any intention of enlisting at all as now is the time that their services will be needed. The various members of the Tekamah contingent were introduced to the audience and each given a generous round of applause. After dismissal the boys were all given a cordial handshake by those who were interested in what they had done. The contingent was in charge of Lt. Killion until evening when Lt. O'Hanlon in charge of the Blair company arrived and the boys were then under his command. While here Lt. Killon gathered in several recruits. That evening Robt. Templeton, Jr., George Nelson, Hubert Ward and a young man by the name of McClanahan.
     Saturday Orville Ward also enlisted and this week the roll has been increased by several. The Journal publisher was highly pleased with the spirit manifested toward the flag in Tekamah. Everyone interested in his country could not fail to have received benefit from the demonstration that Tekamah had on last Friday.

Tekamah Journal
April 26, 1917


     The Journal herewith publishes a list of the names of those boys from this vicnity (sic) who have enlisted in the army service. The list is not complete for some have joined since we received the list. It shows that Tekamah will be represented when it comes to getting busy either at home or across the water.

Cook Robert

James Golway

Irvin Titze

Melvin Ellis

Charley Hislip

William Twiford

Clinton Lashmett

George Maudlin

Bud Valder

David P. Nunnally

Claude McClannahan

Vern L. R. Valder

Guy D. Davis

Harland McManigal

Hubert A Ward

Hubert W. Eckley

George Nelson

Orville D. Ward

Harry D. Ellis

William H. Rechester

Oliver D. Warner

Hildreth D. Ellis

Melvin F. Sackett

Leon D. Wickham

Charles M. Frantz

John E. Sheorin

L. Whittaker

Dale L. Gibson

Robert Templeton

Draft Board - Registration

Tekamah Journal
May 10, 1917

A CALL TO THE SERVICE OF YOUR COUNTY (seeking draft board members)

Tekamah Journal
Published May 10, 1917


April 5, 1917

Dear Father and brother:
     Have not had a letter from you for some time. Am still in bed but expect to get up in a few days. Am very glad to hear what the good old country has done in the last few days. Now is the time to show what the good old U.S.A. can do. Has taken you folks a long time to make up your mind. Now we who have been out and done our little bit won't have it all thrown in our face that you are "to proud to fight" and nothing but "dollar chasers." That is what we had to take all the way through and not say a word; you know that hurts, but no more.
     If I am able again to be of any service will try and get in the flying corps. Tell Freddie and Jerry and the rest of the young bucks to get busy and show what they are made of. You folks there have no idea what the rest of the world has been suffering from such damnable curs as the Germans are that is putting it real easy. That is straight goods from one who knows.
     If they take one of us boys prisoners that came from the states its all up with them.
     The torture they done, not even mentioning the destruction and lives ruined will go one better than that. They crucify our boys, pin them to barn doors and tree with bayonets. Who wouldn't fight a nation like that? Could tell you a lot of things that might surprise you folks that you have never had a chance of hearing. But so help me God it is true; have seen it myself. To what I have said some people would say: Oh that is a good recruiting story." But say to them "just pack their troubles in an old kit and come over and see." So darn it, jump to it and see what you folks at home can do. I should be getting a letter from you folks most any time.
     Must close for this time. From your loving son. Good luck to all.

                          R. L. Gill
49th Canadian Regt.

NOTE: R.L. Gill joined a Canadian unit & served in WW I prior to declaration of war by USA. Above letter was written while he was in hospital recovering from wound.

For other letters written home by servicemen, press here.
Some 305 letters home from Burt County servicemen have been indexed from the newspapers in the county. Copies of the articles are available. See the Letters Home Index.

Women's Relief Corps

Tekamah Journal
May 17, 1917

     The Women's Relief Corps has been a busy bunch for the past few days for they have made 38 "Soldier's Kits" which they planned to give to the enlisted boys from Tekamah who are members of the Blair Company. The Corps appointed Mrs. Geo. McGuire, Mrs. S. Valder and Mrs. Hanna a committee to take the kits down to Blair on Wednesday and present them to the fellows.

     The presentation was made immediately after the close of the speech of Chaplain John F. Poucher at Blair Saturday at the big flag raising excercise (sic) and patriotic display. The kits contained a towel, soap, toothbrush, thread, buttons, needles, pins, safety pins ect (sic). and a nice testament for each member. They were all nicely and compactly made and made a very convenient arrangement for these handy articles for the use of the soldier boy at times when the aid of a mother or sister is lacking for clothing repair. The corps are to be commended for the work they have done. But, then they are always of the get-there-kind when it comes to doing anything of character.

Status of enlistees

Tekamah Journal
May 17, 1917

     Company F has been inspected and the boys have all been examined physically. In the examination the army surgeon let out a number of the fellows. Among them are Three Tekamah boys, Harry Ellis, Leon Wickham and Clifford Eckley. We are sorry the boys were thrown out but we are glad that they were willing to enlist. It is no discredit to them that they may have been deficient in some qualities of physical makeup. We understand that defective eyesight was what threw many of the fellows to one side. It now looks as though the members of the Fourth Nebraska would be called for foreign duty among the first installment that goes across the water. There will be some mobilization first at some large central field point. Then will come the trip to tide water and the sail across the Atlantic. If the American troops get into action before fall there must be rapid work done.

Tekamah Journal
May 24, 1917

Our Military Registration Boards
Names of registrars appointed to serve in the several voting precincts of Burt county, Nebraska

Tekamah Journal
May 30, 1918


     Pursuant to orders from War Department, the Local Board is herewith furnishing the date and place of registration of those who have attained the age of 21 years since June 5, 1917, up to and including June 5th, 1918. Date of Registration: - June 5th, 1918, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Place of Registration: Office of the Local Board, Court House, Tekamah, Nebr. Information in regard to registration of those absent from their permanent residence will be furnished by the chief clerk or any member of the Local Board at any Local Board Office. Persons who must register: - All male persons, citizens of the United States, who residing in the United States, who have since the 5th day of June, 1917 and on or before June 5th. 1918, attained the age of 21 years.

     The only exceptions are person in the Military or Naval services of the United States, which includes of officer and enlisted men of the regular army, navy, marine corps and militia, while in the service of the United States, and officers in the Officers Reserve Corps while in active service. It is recommended that those at a distance come early so that registration can be completed by 9:o'clock p.m. It is the duty of every citizen to assist in the publicity of these registration regulations. - Ran Stanfield, Chairman Local Board.

Red Cross

Tekamah Journal
May 31, 1917

      Monday night a number of ladies and gentlemen went up to Craig and assisted in the formation of a branch society of the Red Cross. The following formed the Tekamah party: Mr. ad Mrs. R. J. Mitten, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Houston, Dr. A. D. Nesbit, Mrs. George McGuire, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Gano, Re (sic). and Mrs. J. R. Montey and Mrs. McDaniels. A branch of forty-five members was organized and the branch will grow larger as the organization develops. The branch at the county seat is the central organization, largely for the purpose of the saving of clerical and administrative work. The various towns in the county will have similar organizations. As soon as the organizations are completed the raising of funds will begin, largely by the solicitation of membership in the organization. This work will be in Tekamah as soon as the supply of buttons arrive.

Tekamah Journal
May 31, 1917

NOTICE OF REGISTRATION (places to register)

Tekamah Journal
May 31, 1917 

Initial Draft Registration List for Burt County published May 31, 1917.

Tekamah Journal
June 21, 1917

Red Cross Drive - special bulletin

Tekamah Journal
June 28, 1917

Red Cross Donors

Tekamah Journal
Aug 11, 1917

75 MORE MEN CALLED (second draft call for Burt County)

Tekamah Journal
August 23, 1917

(Those drafted & the exempted - lists)

Tekamah Journal
September 16, 1917

The Odd Fellows and Rebecca tendered a reception on Wednesday evening at their hall to two of the members of the lodge, Elmer and Julius LaFrenze who are in the first quota called into the service of these United States. The members were each presented a wrist watch and "comfort kits" and made to feel that their absence would be felt and that the lodge would keep a watch out for their welfare no matter where their duty to the nation might call them.

Tekamah Journal
September 16, 1917

The first five percent of the new National Army as it has been drawn from Burt county contains but four men and they left this morning for Ft. Riley where the first contingent of Nebraska troops are assembling. The four men sent out were Elmer Olinger, Arthur Parker, Elmer Jacobsen and Julius LaFrenze, all of Tekamah young men. It was requested that men who had some military training be sent in the first contingent but the lads of that bent have all gone to the front through guard service and enlistment in the regular army or navy or in the hospital department.

Note: Julius LaFRENZE was killed in action in France .........

Tekamah Journal
September 16, 1917


Well, the army service law in hastened up a marriage in Tekamah but not for the same reason that was apparent in so many marriages in the United States along in June. A. F. Parker left this morning as a member of the first contingent of Burt county's selective draft soldiers. Mr. Parker and Miss Laura Frank waited upon County Judge Ireland at his office yesterday afternoon and was there united in marriage. The event has been expected for some time and we take if for granted that the service that Mr. Parker just enters for this country's honor and welfare has merely hastened an even that was to be. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Frank and is a most estimable young woman. She has been employed in the Dunn Variety Store for several years. We have just enough faith in Mr. Parker's good fortune to think that he will return to his wife safe and sound after his period of army service is over. He will not "leave his girl behind him" but will leave a wife instead and together with many friends of these young people the Journal extends cordial congratulations and well wishes.

Oakland newpaper
Oct 26, 1917.


Tekamah Journal
Dec. 13, 1917


     Serg. (sic) Andrew Nesbit came up from Deming last week, having obtained a furlough for a few days. His parents and friends had it in their minds that Andrew came up to solely see the folks in Tekamah but Andrew evidently took a different view of the matter. He brought with him a Miss Norma Thompson for an over Sunday visit with his people. Monday the young people returned to Lincoln and before leaving they invited Mr. and Mrs. Nesbit to come to Lincoln Tuesday for on Wednesday there was to be a wedding at the home of Miss Thompson. As the two young people were to be the principals in the affair they naturally desired Mr. and Mrs. Nesbit's presence. The wedding took place Wednesday afternoon. The bride is the daughter of Ex--Attorney General W. T. Thompson one of Lincoln's able lawyers. Andrew is so well known to Tekamah people that no introduction is needed for him. The bride expects to go to Deming to be with her husband until he shall be ordered across the water when she wil (sic) return to Linocln (sic) to await the safe return of her soldier husband. The Journal with others just wishes them both all the good fortune that should be theirs. If the groom shall make as good a husband as he will make a good soldier we can well congratulate the bride on winning a soldier husband. From reports of the bride's domestic and educational accomplishments Mr. Nesbit has won a prize that he cannot fail to cherish

(same headline)

Some folks criticise (sic) some of the young women who decide to wed the young man of their choice even though he has been called to service in the army. Perhaps we look at the matter differently than others may but we think they do just the proper thing. If young people hqve (sic) gone together long enough to be well satisified (sic) that they love each other dearly and wish to be mated what is more proper than that they should take the step before the seperation (sic) that possibly may be final. Don't criticise (sic) unless you have a right to do so and few of us have that right.

Tekamah Journal
Jan 10, 1918


     Deming, N.M., Jan 3 - Burr Latta, a prominent banker of Tekamah, Neb., and son of former Congressman Latta of Nebraska, has been the guest of the officers and men from his home town, and Lieutenant F.R. and Mrs. Roost, friends of the Latta family. Lieutenant Roost is a member of the medical corps, and he and his wife were former residents of Sioux City, Iowa. Mrs. Roost is a singer of great talent, and her recitals here had been greatly enjoyed by all who have been fortunate enough to hear her.

     Mr. Latta last night entertained at dinner at the Harvey house all the enlisted men from Tekamah and Burt county, Nebraska, in which Tekamah is located. The following guests were present, greatly enjoying the dinner and expressing their appreciation of Mr. Latta's grateful act: Sergeants George D. Geib, Lyle R. Gilbert, Roscoe Conkling, Carl M. Morgan, Thomas J. Brogan; Corporals Erwin E. Caldwell, Fred D. Morley, Hubert A. Ward, Robert B. Templeton: Horseshoers George Fleege, Albert R. Ward;, Privates George Schuler, Jr., W. H. Regester, Dennis Scarlett, W. H. Jensen, George S. Maudlin, George Nelson, Byron F. Schroeder, Charles Hislip, C. B. Robinson, Henry Palmantier, Clarence A. Robinson.

     "I have met some very fine officers here during my stay," said Mr. Latta, "and I have been with them considerably during the week. It does me good, though, to be with the men from home at a dinner like this."-
San Antonio Times.

Tekamah Journal
Mar. 7, 1918

RED CROSS NOTES (women's work, hog & goose sale, list of hogcar donors)
Note from Bill Wever on 23 Nov 1997:
"One thing that upsets me to no end is an article about a Red Cross drive to sign up Women volunteers. There was a total of slightly over 250 that signed up. Neither of the Tekamah newspapers carried the names....disgusting to say the least...especially in the light of the first part of that article about women doing their part."

Tekamah Journal
Jul 11, 1918

Newly Registered Soldiers

Tekamah Journal
July 18, 1918


Note: Additional lists of Home Guards in Burt County are accessible by returning to the Burt County page and selecting "Victory ..."

Craig News October 20, 1918

LEE JOHNSON Writes from a German Prison Hospital

Biographical Information of Burt Co. Soldiers reported missing in action.

Obituaries of Burt County Servicemen copied from Burt County newspapers.

Posters from: Trenches on the Web - Mike Iavarone
 © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Bill Wever, Ted & Carole Miller for NEGenWeb