"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN
Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
WORLD WAR I
World War I: https://youtu.be/UHY1F3JszLQ, Courtesy of Michael Spautz
Check out his virtual cemetery of World War I soldiers at: https://www.findagrave.com/virtual-cemetery/1253411
WORLD WAR I. Also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the "War to End All Wars," World War I was a global conflict which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. More than 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918.
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 war was fought between two major alliances. The Triple Entente Powers consisted of France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and their associated empires and dependencies. Other states joined these allies including Japan in August 1914, Italy in April 1915, and the United States in April 1917. The Central Powers, named because of their central location on the European continent, consisted of Germany and Austria-Hungary and their associated empires. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in October 1914, followed a year later by Bulgaria. By the conclusion of the war, only The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, the Scandinavian nations, and Monaco remained officially neutral among the European countries.
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.
Officials at LORAS COLLEGE apparently anticipated the United States entering the war. Military drills were introduced in the fall of 1916. It was not, however, until Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in January 1917, that an R. O. T. C. detachment was officially organized--the first such unit in the United States. During the 1918-1919 academic year eight military courses were added to the curriculum. The R. O. T. C. unit was maintained beyond the armistice. (1)
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. (2) There were three registrations for the draft. At each of the three registrations, a different form was used, with a slight variation of questions. (3)
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. (4) 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. (5)
In July, 1918 the "District of Dubuque" was formed of Dubuque, Clayton, Delaware, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. The purpose of the Dubuque District recruiting committee was to secure men for overseas work with the 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." (6)
Professionals in daily life transferred their skills to the military: (7)
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 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. (8) 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. (9)
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. (10) 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. (11)
Paper work on the second Liberty Bond sale caused problems for 23,000 soldiers. These soldiers were unable to get their bonds because they were transferred from one unit to another. The zone finance officer in Dubuque needed a record of where each man was each month while the deductions were being made from his pay and the name of the unit with which the man was serving at the time. To assist the officer in getting this information, the Telegraph Herald printed a form which could be filled out and returned to the paper. After being checked over, the form was sent to the zone finance officer and then to the official service section for processing. (12)
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. (13)
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. (14)
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. (15)
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%. (16) Due to concerns the American public would reject a product with a German name, American sauerkraut makers relabeled their product as "Liberty Cabbage" for the duration of the war.
"Minute speaker" volunteers spoke briefly to theater audiences to remind them of upcoming fund drives. (17) 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. (18)
The war was ended by several treaties, most notably the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, though the Allied powers had an armistice with Germany in place since November 11, 1918.
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. (19)
War War I resulted in the United States losing 116,516 soldiers. There were 204,002 wounded and 4,500 prisoners and missing. (20)
These were the local casualties: (21)
FREDERICK 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. (22) 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. (23)
After the war, the League of Nations was created as an international organization designed to avoid future wars by giving nations a means of solving their differences diplomatically. World War I ended the world order which had existed since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, but was an important factor in the outbreak of 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. (24) 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 should 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 made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label were genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals. The minimal cost of Buddy Poppies to VFW units provided compensation to the veterans who assembled the poppies, provided financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supported the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. (25)
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. (26)
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. (27) From the five mothers eligible from Dubuque, three chose to make the journey. (28)
Many veterans of the war were given the opportunity to participate in HONOR FLIGHT DUBUQUE.
"The War to End All Wars" was celebrated with Armistice Day. On Armistice Day in 1929, the American Legion Band drum and bugle corps, members of the Dubuque Legion post and the public faced east while a firing squad fired three volleys in tribute to the soldiers and sailors who died in World War I. Following the salute, a bugler sounded taps and the echo was sounded by a second bugler stationed on the roof of the twelve-story Federal Bank and Trust Trust Company building a block away. (29)
One of the surprising legacies of the First World War was its effect on our language. Newly named weapons, equipment, and military tactics, the mixture of soldiers’ dialects, accents, nationalities, languages, and even social backgrounds produced an rich glossary of military slang.
While it is generally used in a fairly lighthearted way to describing someone who constantly makes stupid mistakes, or who crumbles under pressure, the original basket case is an unexpectedly gruesome reminder of just how bloody war became. In its original context, a basket case was a soldier who had been so badly injured that he had to be carried from the battlefield in a barrow or basket, usually with the implication that he had lost all four of his limbs.
The term had been in use since the mid-19th century to refer to a fairly harmless prank or practical joke. It was taken up by troops during World War I to describe an explosive device disguised as a harmless object. The English journalist Sir Philip Gibbs (1877-1962) ominously wrote in his day-by-day war memoir From Bapaume to Passchendaele (1918) that “the enemy left … slow-working fuses and ‘booby-traps’ to blow a man to bits or blind him for life if he touched a harmless looking stick or opened the lid of a box, or stumbled over an old boot.”
As a nickname for body lice or head lice, cooties first appeared in 'trench slang' in 1915. The term is thought to have been derived from the coot, a species of waterfowl supposedly known for being infested with lice and other parasites.
Before the War, a daisy-cutter had been a cricket ball or baseball pitched low so that it practically skimmed along the surface of the ground. The name was eventually used by troops to describe an artillery shell fitted with an impact fuse that it exploded on impact with the ground rather than in the air thereby causing the greatest amount of damage.
In the 19th century, dingbat was used as a general placeholder for something or someone whose real name you could not recall. It came to be used to describe a clumsy or foolish person before being taken up by Australian and New Zealand troops in the phrase "to have the dingbats" or "to be dingbats," which meant shell-shocked, nervous, or mad.
"To be in a flap," meaning "to be worried," dates from 1916 when it was a naval expression derived from the restless flapping of birds. It quickly spread into everyday English during World War I. The adjective unflappable, meaning unflustered or imperturbable, appeared in the 1950s.
The adjective shell-shocked has been traced back as far as 1898 when it was used slightly differently to mean “subjected to heavy fire." The first true cases of shell-shock emerged during World War I. The Oxford English Dictionary has since traced the earliest record back to an article in The British Medical Journal dated January 30, 1915: “Only one case of shell shock has come under my observation. A Belgian officer was the victim. A shell burst near him without inflicting any physical injury. He presented practically complete loss of sensation in the lower extremities and much loss of sensation.”
One of the German propagandists’ most famous World War I slogans was "Gott Strafe England!" or “God punish England." It was printed everywhere in Germany from newspaper advertisements to postage stamps. Allied troops quickly adopted the word "strafe" into the English language after the outbreak of the war, and variously used it to refer to a heavy bombardment or attack, machine gun fire, or a severe reprimand.
Zigzag was used in English since the 18th century to describe an angular, meandering line or course. During World War I to came to be used as a euphemism for drunkenness, presumably referring to the zigzagging walk of a soldier who had had one too many. (30)
1. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. Seed/Harvest: A History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Dubuque: Archdiocese of Dubuque Press, 1987, p. 76
2. Horton, Loren. "World War I--Support and Opposition." Iowa Pathways. Online: http://www.iptv.org/iowapathways/mypath.cfm?ounid=ob_000332
3. "World War I Draft Registration," IAGenWeb. Online: http://web-iowa.com/WW1DraftReg/
4. "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
6. "Seek Men for Overseas Work," Telegraph Herald, July 19, 1918, p. 3
7. "Iowa Medical Profession in the Great War," Dubuque IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/IMP_GW.htm
8. Yoder, Anne M. "World War I Conscientious Objection. Online: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/conscientiousobjection/WWI.COs.coverpage.htm
10. "Dubuque County Courthouse." Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/703/Dubuque-County-Courthouse
11. "Iowa's Part in the World War," The Des Moines Register, Jan. 28, 1932
12. ""Liberty Bonds For Soldiers; Fill in Blank," Telegraph Herald, September 14, 1919, p. 1
13. Horton, Loren.
16. "Rationing" Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationing
17. $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
18. "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
19. "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
20. "World War I Casualty and Death Tables," Online: http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html
21. WarMemorial.US. Online: http://warmemorial.us/mediawiki3/index.php?title=WWI_%28Dubuque,_Iowa%29
22. "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
24. 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
25. "Buddy Poppy," http://www.vfw.org/Community/Buddy-Poppy/
26. "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
27. "World War I Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimages," Dubuque County IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/GSMP_1930.htm
28. "Gold Star Mothers From Dubuque County," IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/GoldStar.htm
29. "Impressive Armistice Day Ceremony," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, November 12, 1929, p. 25
30. Jones, Paul Anthony, "Slang Terms From World War I," Mental Floss, Online: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/20-slang-terms-from-world-war-i?utm_source=pocket-newtab