"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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WORLD WAR I
The event considered to have triggered the war was the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary. The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against the Kingdom of Serbia activated alliances that set off a series of war declarations. Within a month, much of Europe was in a state of open warfare.
The causes of the war date back to the unification of Germany and the changing balances of power among the European Great Powers in the early 20th century. These causes included French resentment over the loss of territory to Germany in the 19th century, the economic and military competition between Britain and Germany, and the German desire for equality with the other countries of Europe.
The fighting of the war mostly took place on the European continent. The Western Front was marked by a system of trenches, breastworks, and fortifications separated by an area known as "no man's land." These fortifications stretched 475 miles and led to a style of fighting known as "trench warfare." On the Eastern Front, the vastness of the eastern plains and the limited railroad network prevented the stalemate of the Western Front, although the scale of the conflict was just as large. There was heavy fighting on the Balkan Front, the Middle Eastern Front and the Italian Front; and hostilities at sea and in the air.
By law registration was required of all men between the ages of 21 and 30 whose birthdays fell before June 5, 1917. A total of 216,299 Iowa men were subject to conscription. Of these, 1,822 were German-born, and as "alien enemies," they could not be inducted into the army. (1) There were three registrations for the draft. At each of the three registrations, a different form was used, with a slight variation of questions. (2)
1 - The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. 2 - The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918 for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918. This was included in the second registration.)
3 - The third registration was held on September 12, 1918 for men aged 18 through 45.
Various churches, patriotic organizations and service clubs held farewell dinner parties for all those entering the service with treats and presents given each of the soldiers. (3) One the grandest parties held occurred on July 20, 1918 when 260 draftees made ready to leave Dubuque for their induction center in Camp Gordon, Georgia. (4)YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (Y.M.C.A.). The local men in charge of the work included J. H. Spencer, chairman; F. W. Mahlke, secretary; and Frederick E. BISSELL, A. C. Buettrell, Rev. J. F. Clokey and Dr. Henry Glover LANGWORTHY. Applicants had to be above draft age, but not, as a rule over 50. "A winning personality ... as well as rugged health and physical strength" also played a role in who would be chosen for the duty of "doing for the men of the army what their fathers or mothers would do if they could." (5)
Professionals in daily life transferred their skills to the military: (6)
Iowa Medical Profession in the Great War
List of Iowa Physicians who have been Recommended by the Surgeon General for Commissions in the Medical Officers Reserve Corps and Assigned to Duty.
Name Rank Residence
Blocklinger, Albert Herman Capt. Dubuque
Brownson, Orestes Augustine 1st Lieut. Dubuque
Cantonwine, Emtellis Augustus Capt. Dubuque
Fritz, Lafayette Helmuth 1st Lieut. Dubuque
Gratiot, Harvey B. Capt. Dubuque
Harris, Ray Rhinalds 1st Lieut Dubuque
Kearney, Charles Atwell Capt. Dubuque
Keogh, John Victor Capt. Dubuque
Lewis, Eugene R. Lieut-Col Dubuque
Linehan, Lewis Joseph 1st Lieut Dubuque
Loes, Anthony Michael 1st Lieut Dubuque
McGuire, Clarence Ambrose 1st Lieut. Dubuque
Moes, Matthias Joseph Capt. Dubuque
Parker, H. C. Major Dubuque
Pond, Alanson Madison Capt Dubuque
Schrup, Joseph Henry Capt. Dubuque
Walker, John Milton Capt. Dubuque
White, Edward Harvey 1st Lieut. Dubuque
Dubuque produced many heroic soldiers during the conflict. Gaining special attention were Gustav BILLIS, Gottfried BLOCKLINGER, Charles W. CHAPMAN, Jr., Carl C. KRAKOW, Matthew SPAUTZ and the GOVERNOR'S GREYS.
Conscientious objectors during World War I were sent to Camp Dodge, Des Moines. The absolutist C.O.s who refused to drill or do any noncombatant service were court-martialed and sentenced to many years in federal prison at Alcatraz Island or Ft. Leavenworth U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. (7) One unofficial source stated that 3,989 men declared themselves to be conscientious objectors when they had reached the camps: of these, 1,300 chose noncombatant service; 1,200 were given farm furloughs; 99 went to Europe to do reconstruction work for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); 450 faced court-martial and were sent to prison; and 940 remained in camps until the Armistice was discharged. (8)
At home, civilians were asked to help support the war effort. On the DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE stood a 190 foot high central tower capped with a fourteen-foot-tall bronze statue of Lady Justice. Several other statues were taken down during World War I and melted to provide material for the war effort. (9) In the first Liberty Loan, over 65,000 Iowans bought $30,740,000 worth of bonds. A second Liberty Loan saw 288,000 Iowans buy $83,047,400 worth of bonds. The largest campaign was the Third Liberty Loan when 687,000 Iowa residents bought $119,0221,200 worth of bonds. (10)
Some laws passed during the war became unpopular in Iowa. The federal government passed the Espionage Act in 1917 making it illegal to do anything that caused insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by a member of the armed forces, and to do anything that willfully obstructed recruitment or enlistment service. The Sedition Act passed in 1918 forbade Americans to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, flag, or armed forces during war time. (12)
In 1916 the federal government established the Council of National Defense. In Iowa the State Council of National Defense was created by Governor Harding. Councils of National Defense were created at the county levels too. While organized to encourage citizens to perform patriotic duties, they were often used to target German-Americans. Misuse of power by county Councils of Defense led to persecution of innocent people. People who spoke Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Czech were hurt as well as those who spoke German. Elderly women in Scott County were jailed for speaking German over the telephone. A Lutheran pastor was jailed for preaching part of a funeral service for a soldier killed in the war in Swedish because the young man's grandparents did not speak English. (13)
One of the most effective tools of the pro-war population was the American Protective League organized in 1918 to root out German spies and sympathizers. Iowa's American Protective League was headquartered in Davenport, but branches were organized in every county. They worked with the county Councils of National Defense and used intimidation, coercion, entrapment, informants and even assessed fines. (14)
Unlike WORLD WAR II there was no food rationing. Through slogans such as "Food Will Win the War", "Meatless Mondays", and "Wheatless Wednesdays", the United States Food Administration under Herbert Hoover reduced national consumption by 15%. (15) "Minute speaker" volunteers spoke briefly to theater audiences to remind them of upcoming fund drives. (16) Many invested in war savings certificates. Business responded quickly to the war. The DUBUQUE BOAT AND BOILER WORKS manufactured a variety of ships. The production of sub-chasers, in addition to other work orders, caused the company to advertise its immediate need for more workers. It was rumored that those involved with the construction of ships would not be drafted. (17)
At 1:46 a.m. news reached in the offices of the Telegraph Herald from the Associated Press. "Within two minutes" the first Telegraph Herald 'extra' with the headlines "WAR ENDS" and only the briefest remarks was on the streets. News traveled quickly and crowds gathered on Main Street. People beat tin pans, rang bells and waved flags. (18)
War War I resulted in the United States losing 116,516 soldiers. There were 204,002 wounded and 4,500 prisoners and missing. (19)
These were the local casualties: (20)
FREDEICK LOUIS BERG - IA (Dubuque) WWI BERBERY WILLIAM BLICKMANN - IA (Dubuque) WWI FRANK BLOCKLINGER - IA (Dubuque) WWI HAROLD H. BLUECHER - IA (Dubuque) WWI CARL J. BONZ - IA (Dubuque) WWI VINCENT B. BURKE - IA (Dubuque) WWI HARRY C. CLEMENS - IA (Dubuque) WWI ARTHUR G. CORNWELL - IA (Dubuque) WWI ANTON A. FINCEL - IA (Dubuque) WWI CARL S. GILMORE - IA (Dubuque) WWI CHARLES C. GRUBE - IA (Dubuque) WWI LOUIS HEACOCK - IA (Dubuque) WWI CARL B. HELLER - IA (Dubuque) WWI RALPH E. HOLCOMB - IA (Dubuque) WWI JAMES J. JOCHUM - IA (Dubuque) WWI JOHN KAPPAROS - IA (Dubuque) WWI JAMES L. KENNEDY - IA (Dubuque) WWI GEORGE C. KUNZ - IA (Dubuque) WWI LOUIS J. MACKIN - IA (Dubuque) WWI JOHN M. MCCARTHY - IA (Dubuque) WWI CLARENCE T. MILLS - IA (Dubuque) WWI LEO P. NAUMAN - IA (Dubuque) WWI JAMES THOMAS NEVLNS - IA (Dubuque) WWI CLEMENT J. OROURKE - IA (Dubuque) WWI FRANK V. OTOOLE - IA (Dubuque) WWI LOUIS RADLOF - IA (Dubuque) WWI CLARENCE M. REMY - IA (Dubuque) WWI THEODORE H. RHOMBERG - IA (Dubuque) WWI JAMES L. ROONEY - IA (Dubuque) WWI RAYMOND SCHMIDT - IA (Dubuque) WWI HERBERT SCHROEDER - IA (Dubuque) WWI JOSEPH V. SCHULER - IA (Dubuque) WWI LEO A. SCHWIND - IA (Dubuque) WWI ALOYSIUS F. SKAHILL - IA (Dubuque) WWI RAYMOND SMITH - IA (Dubuque) WWI MATHEW SPAUTZ - IA (Dubuque) WWI HOWARD S. THOMAS - IA (Dubuque) WWI LOUIS B. THOR - IA (Dubuque) WWI CLARENCE ELLIS TWAITES - IA (Dubuque) WWI CLARENCE V. VOLTZ - IA (Dubuque) WWI HARRY D. WELSH - IA (Dubuque) WWI JOHN I. WOOLWINE - IA (Dubuque) WWI FRED WURST - IA (Dubuque) WWI
Troops returning from war have always worried about getting jobs. When the American Legion complained that many were not able to get their old jobs back in Dubuque, the Telegraph Herald offered to print in a box on the first page the names of companies that had rehired soldiers. (21) The DUBUQUE FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY quickly reported that it had rehired fifteen of the sixteen men who served. The Telegraph Herald had rehired every person who applied and was ready to rehire those still in the service. Special arrangements had been made with the Typographical Union that people hired to fill positions during the war would be required to give up those jobs to returning soldiers. METZ MANUFACTURING COMPANY announced that it had rehired five and was holding jobs for two others. (22)WORLD WAR II.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, the American Legion was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I. In 2014 it had nearly 3 million members and was instrumental in the creation of the U.S. Veterans' Bureau, now known as the Department of Veterans Affairs. (23) Commanders of the Dubuque American Legion have included Edward C. FRUDDEN.
The sale of paper poppies annually in Dubuque and across the United States began as a result of the war. The Veterans of Foreign Wars conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with some form of financial assistance. The plan was formally adopted. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh began assembling VFW Buddy Poppies and the designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time.
In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.
The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. (24)
On November 11, 1938 hundreds of Dubuque residents joined with members of the American Legion at 8th and Main to observe the recently declared national holiday, Armistice Day. At 11:00 a.m. people paused briefly, turned to the east, and joined thousands nationwide in commemorating the dead of the First World War. (25)
In 1929 Congress passed legislation authorizing the secretary of war to arrange for pilgrimages to the European cemeteries "by mothers and widows of members of military and naval forces of the United Sates who died in the service at any time between April 5, 1917, and July 1, 1921, and whose remains are now interred in such cemeteries." Congress later extended eligibility for pilgrimages to mothers and widows of men who died and were buried at sea or who died at sea or overseas and whose places of burial were unknown. The Office of the Quartermaster General determined that 17,389 women were eligible. By October 31, 1933, when the project ended, 6,693 women had made the pilgrimage. (26) From the five mothers eligible from Dubuque, three chose to make the journey. (27)
Many veterans of the war were given the opportunity to participate in HONOR FLIGHT DUBUQUE.
1. Horton, Loren. "World War I--Support and Opposition." Iowa Pathways. Online: http://www.iptv.org/iowapathways/mypath.cfm?ounid=ob_000332
2. "World War I Draft Registration," IAGenWeb. Online: http://web-iowa.com/WW1DraftReg/
3. "First Party for Selectees Big Success," Telegraph Herald, July 14, 1942, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=mz9FAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kbsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5212,1195993&dq=dubuque+during+world+war+i&hl=en
5. "Seek Men for Overseas Work," Telegraph Herald, July 19, 1918, p. 3
6. "Iowa Medical Profession in the Great War," Dubuque IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/IMP_GW.htm
7. Yoder, Anne M. "World War I Conscientious Objection. Online: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/conscientiousobjection/WWI.COs.coverpage.htm
9. "Dubuque County Courthouse." Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/703/Dubuque-County-Courthouse
10. "Iowa's Part in the World War," The Des Moines Register, Jan. 28, 1932
11. ""Liberty Bonds For Soldiers; Fill in Blank," Telegraph Herald, September 14, 1919, p. 1
12. Horton, Loren.
15. "Rationing" Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationing
16. $20,000 Red Cross Fund Drive Tuesday," Telegraph Herald, Jan. 18, 1942, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zDpFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lLsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4309,1906790&dq=minute+speakers+dubuque&hl=en
17. "Work Started on Two 'Sub Chasers," Telegraph Herald, May 10, 1917, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=AQleAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6V8NAAAAIBAJ&pg=6710,1896930&dq=dubuque+boat+and+boiler+works&hl=en
18. "City Wild as News War's End Comes," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 11, 1921, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=L5ZSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vdAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3647,4588010&dq=armistice+day+dubuque&hl=en
19. "World War I Casualty and Death Tables," Online: http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html
20. WarMemorial.US. Online: http://warmemorial.us/mediawiki3/index.php?title=WWI_%28Dubuque,_Iowa%29
21. "These Dubuque Firms Have Employed Returned Soldiers," Telegraph Herald, June 5, 1919, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=J19BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=I6kMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3685,8581&dq=dubuque+in+world+war+i&hl=en
23. Reber, Craig D. "Legion Commander in Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, July 8, 2008, p. 3. Online: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DQ&p_theme=dq&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=121D0A1C9E914588&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM
24. "Buddy Poppy," http://www.vfw.org/Community/Buddy-Poppy/
25. "War Dead Are Honored Here," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 11, 1938, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6ddBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8akMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5557,2650496&dq=dubuque+during+world+war+i&hl=en
26. "World War I Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimages," Dubuque County IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/GSMP_1930.htm
27. "Gold Star Mothers From Dubuque County," IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/GoldStar.htm