News & Events
May 14, 2013 -
March 01, 2013 - Gary Lewis has on display in the collection room some examples of stretch glass.
Men and women of western Page and eastern Fremont counties have participated in all branches of the military and in every major U.S. conflict since the Civil War. A few received medals, some became prisoners of war, and all too many gave their lives in defense of their country. Several area towns have commemorated these sacrifices with plaques, parks and schools.
During the Civil War, several men joined local units that formed the Southern Border Brigade along the Iowa-Missouri border to fight against the “bushwhacker” raids of Confederate sympathizers. A few, such as George H. Thayer of Fremont County’s Locust Grove Township, enlisted in the Union Army and participated in battles at Nashville and elsewhere. Following the Civil War, many veterans from other states settled in our area.
Many who served in the military did so as members of Company E, which formed in Shenandoah as part of the Iowa State Militia in May 1878. It became Company E traveled to the Philippines as part of the 51st Infantry during the Spanish-American War, and it saw action after the war fighting Filipino nationalists. The company joined troops under General “Black Jack” Pershing along the Mexican border in 1916. A year later Company E headed to Europe as part of the 42nd “Rainbow Division”, and it’s men were among the first Americans to see action during World War I. During World War II, they battled across North Africa and into Europe. In 1985 Company E became Detachment B of the 169th Infantry. Most recently, Detachment B left for Iraq in February 2004.
During the twentieth century, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps have taken some of our communities’ finest to battlefields all around the world. Their contributions have been many and varied. Horace Warren, from Blanchard, worked as an army engineer from the First World War into the 1930s. Dr. E.J. Gottsch of Shenandoah served in France during World War I, and Farragut’s Dale Burdick and Shenandoah’s Kenneth Gee were Army doctors in World War II.
Despite our distance from the oceans, this small section of Iowa has quite a record in the U.S. Navy. Since before World War I, our young men and women have held positions ranging from regular sailor to barber to naval aviator to commanding officer of an aircraft carrier. Donald Vance Cox of Farragut and Kenneth Carlsen of Shenandoah both enjoyed careers that took them from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis to the rank of rear admiral.
Southwest Iowans also can claim a proud history of service in the U.S. Air Force, established in 1947, and it’s predecessor, the U.S. Army Air Corps. For over 60 years, our young men and women have served as pilots and flight instructors, as well as on flight and ground crews. Among them, Duane “Lief” Erickson, a graduate of Farragut High School and of West Point, reached the rank of brigadier general before he retired in 1984.
Several of southwest Iowa’s daughters served honorably in the various women’s branches of the armed forces during World War II. As WACs, WAVEs, and Women Marines, they worked in offices or hospitals around the globe. Mamie Anderzohn, a geography professor who left Farragut in 1929, served in the Japanese section of the U.S. Army map research unit.