Publications

Friday, April 6, 1917, the United States Declares War on Germany

To commemorate this Centennial of our active involvement in World War I, we are offering a projected 12 new books relating the impact the war had on Portage County and its servicemen. The books will be available at all of our WWI activities plus the Synagogue will be open to sell all of our books on December 3rd and 10th from 10:00AM - 2:00PM. These WWI books are priced at $10.00 each except the "Recipe Book" which is $5.00.

As a special project John Hartman applied his Light Painting technique to achieve a special picture for inclusion in the new WWI book "A Salute to the Boys of Old Troop I". This unit is now known as the Wisconsin National Guard Unit 120th Field Artillery Attached to the 32nd Brigade.

Book Description Book Description

This book of recipes was compiled for the Patriotic Food Show of the State Council of Defense, which took place at the Coliseum, Chicago, January 5-13, 1918. All recipes it contains were demonstrated at the Show; all have the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food Administration.

The Recipe Book is offered to the women of the United States as a definite guide to food conservation. It is not a mere preachment upon the necessity for saving; it tells in detail how essential saving may be achieved.

This book is a compilation of articles from mostly local newspapers about the formation of Wisconsin National Guard Troop I Cavalry Unit, an all-volunteer group of Portage County men formed prior to the United States' official entrance into the Great War. These articles follow these men through the recruiting process, their first training camp in Stevens Point, on to Camp Douglas near Tomah, Wisconsin and then to Camp McArthur in Waco, Texas, their deployment to France in Autumn of 1917 and their return Home to Portage County in May, 1919.

The letters appeared at various times in the Gazette and the Journal and were submitted by the people who received them. We have also included some newspaper articles that are relevant to the soldier's letters. We were fortunate to discover two letter collections in the archives of UWSP, which were not published in the newspapers, one from Pat Peterson of Nelsonville and one from Dr. Halbert Lewis. Bill Jenkins also graciously shared letters written by his grandfather, Lyel Jenkins, to his sister.

This volume contains letters of brothers Selden and Charles McCreedy. Both men enlisted in the army. Shelden enlisted in the Highway Construction Corps of the army building roads, bridges and maintaining a wide variety of both military and civilian items in France. Charles enlisted in the United States National Army in the Ambulance Service and would spend his months in the war transporting the wounded from the front lines at Verdun and other active battle fronts to various hospitals.

Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink's life had the before-and-after quality of a fairy story. Born in poverty, she became rich. Considered plain and plump in appearance, on stage she was regal and impressive. When she began singing in public, at age 15, no one thought she would become a professional singer. When she moved to San Diego, at age 48, music critics in Europe and the United States hailed her as "the world's outstanding contralto." She also had one son in the German Army and one son in the U.S. Army during WWI.

Paul F. Collins was born on April 22, 1891 in Wooster, Ohio. He graduated from the State Normal School, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, on June 11, 1912 and from University of Illinois Aviation Ground School in 1917. During the academic year, 1910-1911. he was the principal of the school in Junction City, Wisconsin.

Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps, at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas, he was an instructor of acrobatics there until July of 1918. He saw service as an instructor overseas in 1918-1919.

"Rejoining, as I did, my old regiment after several years in the theatrical profession, and coming, as it were, straight from the artificial to the real, enabled me to realise more fully than ever the wonderful pluck, endurance, and unfailing cheerfulness of our men. In the lines entitled "The Song of the Trench" I have tried to describe some of the discomforts and hardships suffered by the troops in the winter 1914-15, and which were borne by them without murmur or complaint".

Captain C. W. Blackall
1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers
 

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