Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some Gave All . . .

As I hope you know, Veterans Day is commemorated on November 11 in recognition of the armistice that ended World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Millions of lives were lost in that war, including more than 125,000 American soldiers. Sandusky and Erie County suffered its share of losses, with around 40 men dying in service. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center holds material relating to the lives and deaths of two men of Erie County who gave their lives in the First World War.

John A. Michel was born in Cleveland on November 24, 1892, the son of William and Caroline Michel. He lived with his parents in the family home on Huntington Avenue in Sandusky, and worked for the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company before entering the war. Drafted into the Army, he was inducted on May 26, 1918 and sent to the European battlefield for the final offensive at Meuse-Argonne. Private Michel was killed in battle on November 8, 1918 -- three days before the end of the war; one of the last Sandusky men to die in the war.

The first man from Sandusky to die in the First World War, was Corporal Elmer A. Reese of the U.S. Marine Corps. Born in Niles, Ohio on August 12, 1896, he volunteered for service on May 19, 1917, and was sent to Quantico for training on August 1, 1917. While in Quantico, he wrote a letter to the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, offering thanks for the gifts they sent and describing life at camp. (This letter is part of the archival collections at the Sandusky Library; you can read it online here.) He was shipped to France on February 12, 1918 with the American Expeditionary Forces. On June 18, 1918, Corporal Reese was killed in the battle of Belleau Wood. His body was returned to Sandusky in 1921, and he was buried in Oakland Cemetery.

To see a photo of Elmer Reese and most other men and women from Erie County who served in World War I, see the book, Honor Roll of Ohio, 1917-1918, Erie County Edition, which is available in the genealogy department of the Sandusky Library. (I had intended to post Corporal Reese's picture in this entry, but . . . let's not talk about Blogger again.)

1 comment:

Jackie said...

John Michel is my Great Uncle. I was very pleased to have come across this artical. His Mother Caroline stayed stead fast proud of her country to the very end of her life. Even after losing her beautiful son.