World War 1

The Great War! The war to end all wars!

Stevens Point Memorial

Unfortunately, World War I didn't prevent another catastrophic European war as diplomatic maneuverings at the close of the war and immediately following ensured that another war would follow! The United States managed to remain out of direct military involvement until April 6, 1917 when the U. S. declared war on Germany. American military forces began arriving in France on June 25, 1917 as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).

From 1914 -1918 some 4,734,991 Americans served in the Armed Forces. Frank Buckles (obit) died Feb. 27, 2011 as the last remaining U. S. World War I Veteran. (List of last surviving WWI veterans by country.)

In the Portage County Draft Registration of June 5, 1917, 2,664 men enrolled. The second Draft call came on June 5, 1918 enrolling 263 men. The supplemental draft of Aug. 24, 1918, considered to be part of the 2nd Draft, enrolled 58 men. As of May 8, 1919, 60 men were listed by the Stevens Point Journal as dying in service. This total included deaths by enemy action, illness (Spanish Flu being the primary cause) and other means. (It should be noted that this list, May 8, 1919, may not contain a complete accounting.) Gold Star Mother List. (Note: when "pneu" is listed as cause of death, it probably was the Spanish Flu.)

The History of Portage County dated 1919 has a good section on World War I. Included here are biographies of General Edward F. McGlachlin and Vice Admiral Albert W. Grant. A detailed list of casualties is also provided. (Again, this list is not complete.)

Malcolm Rosholt's "Our County Our Story" has a history of the County's involvement in World War I also.

Society Displays and Programs for WWI Centennial

The Society's Museum displays, 2017-2018, will focus on the U.S.'s involvement in World War I. As part of the displays at Heritage Park will be a replica of WWI trench. At least four buildings will have displays.

While conducting research for the displays about World War I, Haller's Army, variously known as "Haller's Blue Army" and "Haller's Polish Army", was uncovered. Stevens Point, Wisconsin became a major recruitment center for the northern part of the state for this endeavor. On October 29, 2016, Paul Valasek made a presentation at the Portage County Public Library in Main Street, Stevens Point. On Nov. 30, 2016, Dr. Leslie Midkiff DeBauche, professor emerita, UWSP Division of Communication presented "Doing Their Bit at the Movies, How Stevens Point's New Gem and Lyric Theaters Enlisted in WW1". Both of these presentations were free to the public.

The final presentation will be the Society's special Annual Meeting, April 6, 2017, to be held at the Sentry Insurance Theater. The public is welcome and entry is free.

The plaque, at right, dedicated on July 6, 1923, can be considered the best list of Portage County deaths.

Military Biographies of Portage County Veterans

Photos

Links

American

Other Nations

British Television Station, Channel 4, ran "Time Team" the most successful English Archaeology program from January 1994 thru March 2013. During its run of approximately 280 programs, 4 were about World War I. (Follow the links to view on YouTube.) The entire series of programs is available on YouTube.

More articles and/or collections will be added to this section.


     

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