The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Registrar for Daniel McMillan Chapter, N.S.D.A.R.1918
Stronghurst Graphic, Oct.31, 2006
WAR EXPERIENCES: LIEUT. C. A. CLARK: Through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Robt. N. Clarke of Media Township about 100 of their neighbors and friends learned first hand something of the real nature of warfare being waged on the battlefields of Europe. The reception honored Mr. Clarke's brother, Lieutenant C.A.Clarke, who arrived home from France two weeks ago. Lt. Clarke is suffering from wounds from a close up fight with German machine gunner and is an invalid who expect to go to a hospital at Cape May, N.J. soon for an operation which it is hoped will completely restore him to his ususal health and vigor.
The Lieutenant on his voyage to Europe was on a ship which was torpedoed and sunk in the center of the channel between Ireland and Scotland. He told of the rescue of the greater portion of the men by destroyers; few of the lifeboats were lowered after the explosion. The destroyers were hampered by the submarine which continued discharging its torpedoes at them. The survivors of the Tuscania were landed on the Irish coast and from there sent to London; here Lt. Clarke observed two air raids.
He was sent across the channel into France to the division to which he had been assigned which had already trained so directed to the Toul sector at the front. Of the 340 men composing the unit only 60 effective soldiers were left after the second battle of the Marne. Previously, they had been through some hard fighting in Picardy and had taken part in the important engagement in the vicinity of Montdidler. Lt. Clarke was wounded in the advance on Soissons. After six days of intense fighting facing the Kaiser's crack Prussian regiments, Lt. Clarke's company was ordered to advance in open country under machine gun fire to the main road between Soissons and Chateau-Thierry.
After advancing to the cover of weeds, the company remained there until nightfall when they moved forward to the road. The men were proceeding in file along the road when they came upon six men standing by the roadside. Clarke spoke to them to determine their nationality and learned they were German. Their officer commanded them to open fire with a machine gun. Lieut. Clarke immediately drew his automatic pistol and shot the foremost man down. About the same time, the other men opened fire with their machine gun and Clarke was hit with five bullets through his knees. He was only a few yards from the gun and after dropping to the ground found himself below the range of the stream of bullets pouring from the muzzle of the weapon. The German were unable to adjust their gun to pick him off so Lieut. Clark picked off each of the five remaining gunners with his pistol. Having accomplished this, Lieut. Clarke and his men made their way back to the American lines with him crawling most of the distance of three fourths of a mile.
He was quickly placed in an ambulance and taken to the rear where he was treated. He was then transferred from one hospital to another (nine altogether), until arriving at the American Base Hospital at St. Naxaire where he remained until returning to the USA.
Lieut. Clarke represented the best of young army officers who have led the victorious American troops on French battle grounds and his modesty makes it necessary for the listener to make pointed inquiries in order to learn the facts regarding the part he played. He has been wounded on two separate occasions and wears upon his left sleeve two gold chevrons. On his uniform is the blue and red cord bestowed by the French signifying distinguished service. His home is in Indiana and he is a former Purdue man and football star.
Following Lieut. Clark's story and questions and answers, Mrs. Clarke with the help of a number of young ladies served ice cream, biscuits and coffee.
DIED IN FRANCE: Mayor and Mrs. Wm. H. Hartzell of Carthage received a message that their son Philip had died in France on Sept.16 from wounds received in action. The news came as a crushing blow to parents as their son was only 20 years old and had been in France only a little over two weeks.
ONE BIG POTATO: For several days in the First National Bank of the village a monster specimen of the potato family labeled "Raised by J.E.Amerman of Sheridan, Wyo" has been displayed. The tuber is wonderfully smooth and perfect in shape and weighed 2 1Ú2 lbs. Jim's Stronghurst friends are confident of his ability to raise a vegetable and the potato is an unanswerable argument as to the fertility of soil in which it was grown.
***OBITUARY***MRS. WARREN JOHNSON: Bessie Evans, the daughter of Commodore and Lavina Evans, was born in Gladstone, Ill. March 27, 1887 and passed away at her home in Olena on Oct. 25, 1918, aged 31 years, 6 months and 28 days. She was united in marriage in 1907 to Warren Johnson and to this union two children were born: Lavina, aged 10 and Jerry, aged 7.
Those with her husband, her father and mother, 7 sisters and 2 brothers and numerous other relatives and friends are left to mourn her untimely taking away. Her sister Grace had passed away.
UP IN FLAMES: The Charles Lind home, 3 1/2 miles southeast of Stronghurst was destroyed by fire at an early hour Thursday morning. Mr. Lind was awakened at about 2 a.m. by the roaring of flames which had made such rapid progress as to make it impossible for the family after being aroused, to save any of the contents of the house except a piano. Mr. Lind is unable to account for the origin of the fire but thinks it started from the outside and possibly in a summer kitchen adjoining the house. He carried some insurance but whether sufficient to cover his loss is not known.
SHE DIED IN TOWN: Mrs. Eugnes Medina, wife of one of the Mexicans who has been working on the Santa Fe section here, died Wednesday morning from pneumonia following an attack of influenza. The remains were interred in the local cemetery Wednesday afternoon. The family, the parents and several children, were making preparations to return to Mexico for the winter when the woman took ill. Two of the children are also ill with influenza.
1893 GRAPHIC: Mrs. A. J. Gibson passed away at her home in Olena on Oct. 28, 57 years. Miss Maude Allison suffered a dislocated elbow and sustained other injuries of a painful nature in a runaway accident which occurred while she and her father. H. M. Allison were on their way to Walnut Grove Church. Steve Davis had his hand crushed in a corn husking machine at the Edgar Rankin farm; the amputation of three fingers at the knuckle joints and the thumb and little finger at the second joint was found necessary. Miss Jennie Stewart, who had gone from Biggsville to teach in a freedmen' mission school at Lexington, Ky., died from typhoid fever on Oct. 28th. J.J. Mathers was advertising a closing out sale of his stock of general merchandise at Decorra.
DIXSONS' DUROC SALE: Del and Joseph Dixson held their annual sale of pure bred Duroc-Jersey swine in a circular tent erected on the Del Dixson place at the outskirts of the village. Arrangements were such as to permit the offering of 39 head of choice boars and gilts. Somewhat unfavorable weather, the condition of the roads and the influenza epidemic made a combination of circumstances which cut down the attendance below what it would have been. There were but few buyers present from a distance and almost the entire offering was bought by local farmers and stockmen at comparatively moderate prices (List of buyers and prices paid are in this article).
LOCAL AND AREA HAPPENINGS: Carl Swanson is training at Camp Grant. James Marshall and James Bradford came down from the Great Lakes training camp to visit home folks. E.L.Werts was in town looking after his political fences and duties as chairman of the Henderson County Exemption Board. Although a few cases of influenza remain in the community, it is decided to open the churches for services. Whether the school opens depends upon the action of the State Board of Health. Mrs. Bert Putney received notice of the safe arrival in France of her son, Alvah. Ed Shinn of Dallas City was drowned in the Mississippi River about a mile and a half above that city last Sunday afternoon. The boat in which he and Will Smith were making a trip to a hunter's camp capsized. Smith managed to swim to shore, but Shinn sank to his death.
Lieutenant Ney M. Salter writing from Camp Fremont, California: "Been very busy. Had over 3,000 cases of influenza with over 400 cases of pneumonia. I have had charge of 100 cases and work most of the time alone on the ward. Very short of help. Most of our division of 30,600 men have been moved East so look for orders to move soon, yet may not as I have been placed on the base hospital staff here."
MEDIA MEANDERINGS: The members of the newly elected high school board met and organized. A high school will be run in conjunction with the Academy in the near future. Members of the board are Messrs. E. G. Lewis, C. G. Richey, A. L. Beall, Guy Garret and Clifford Thompson. Wm. Terry of LaJunta, Colo. Is visiting his father W.P.Terry. Lance Steele has gone back to Laura, Ill. where he is agent at the station there. Work has been commenced on the building which will be used as a garage by the Media Motor Company. This place was formerly known as Sam Leinbach livery barn. Mr. and Mrs. Winifred Keith are rejoicing over the arrival of a little son. Mrs. Homer Palmer is the possessor of a fine new piano which she received from the Guest Piano Co. of Burlington. George Jamison of Biggsville was delivering clover seed in town. Nearly all the sick in town are reported recovering and it is thought that the public school will be opened; the Academy opened this week. Some one broken into W. C. Winders' meat market and stole all of his meat. Mr. Winders sleeps in part of the building and was awakened in time to see two men run out. Mr. Winders gun had been borrowed and not returned or he would have been able to make things lively for them. Mrs. Fred Palmer has been spending several weeks with her sister, Mrs. Charles Rankin, helping care for a new boy that arrived there recently.
LETTER FROM WILL MARSHALL: "Received quite a few letters during the last week; some as old as the middle of May and others only about a month old...The last few weeks have been very strenuous, hardly had time to wash my face and hands and grab sleep whenever and wherever we could. Am up every other night feeding the "German joy killers" (fighting the Germans) and I must confess it is not much fun for us, especially when they come instead of go, but that's what puts the thrill into it. Something like making corners at thirty par on two wheels.
I'm number one on my section. Don't worry, I will pull through all right. I feel fine, that is I am in the best of health and feel like I could pull out 100 bu. of corn a day if I had the chance. Hope next year to have the chance.. It is quite cold here at night, cold enough to freeze and it has been the coolest summer that I ever put in. They have very few fences around farms in France, nearly all fences are stone walls, but I think I have seen enough barbed wire to fence the world (in the trenches).
I suppose you have threshed by now; hope the grain turned out good...I miss my oatmeal and pancakes. We get rice, bacon, beans, corned beef, beef, potatoes, canned tomatoes and such stuff, also plenty of bread pudding or that is what they call it..I got to go back about 30 miles a week ago for a two days rest, but I did not rest much. I was paid about two weeks ago for only four months, have two coming yet. The allotment runs out the first of July so I told them to drop it as it was so little...No need me telling you anything about how the war is going as you can read it in the papers. Uncle Sam will soon have the Kaiser by the throat and it cannot happen too soon to suit me..." Pvt. Will E. Marshall, Am Expeditionary Force, France