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Emil Herman, Renville Star Farmer, 12-19-1918

Gives His Life For His Country: Private Emil Herman of Crooks Succumbs to Pneumonia in France – Left Here in July Call

Ferdinand Herman on Friday received the following message from the adjutant general’s office Washington that explains itself:
Washington, D. C., 9-:36 P.M. 11-13-1918
Ferdinand Herman R. F. D. Renville, Minn.
Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Private Emil Herman infantry died of pneumonia and grippe September 27th.

Harris the Adjutant General.”

Private Emil Herman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gustave Herman was born in the township of Crooks Nov. 9, 1891. He was raised there and attended school in District 75. On July 25th he went to Olivia to join his comrades in the selective draft and left with them for Camp Wadsworth, S. C. Sometime about August he went overseas, and the above message was the first that was heard from since. It is sad but the war brings many such messages to homes at this time and we can only hope that such a peace will come of the war that will put an end to war. In that case the sacrifices will not have been in vain. Besides his parents the deceased leaves five brothers and four sisters, Ferinand, Paul, Otto, William of Crooks, Gustav of Rogers, Minn. Mrs. Gersdorf of Crookston, Minn., Mrs. Wm. H. Bell, St. Paul, Mrs. C. J. Lissock, Flora, Mrs. Ferdinand Heineman, Winfield.

Letter from Ted Berning, Renville Star Farmer, 12-19-1918

Theodore Berning
August 31, 1897 – February 15, 1952

Somewhere in France, November 20, 1918
Dear Mr. Reid:
It has been a long time since I wrote you any news. I am going to write but a few lines today. It will probably not be the kind of news you used to receive from me but will be a few words of thanks and remembrance.
I received several papers since I came across and they certainly are good to read.
How is everything at good old Renville. I am certain of one thing and that is, the “pep” is still there. I suppose you receive many letters from the A.E.F. boys. Well, Mr. Reid, here’s hoping we can soon shake hand with you and tell you of some of our experiences. Each one of course will be somewhat different. The weather over here has been fairly good, a little snow and cold, but the sun still shines, and as the old saying is, where there is life there is hope. I’m in good health and I am very glad of course that the worst is over, although we still have a rough sea to face. I was about to join he educational field over here but have changed my mind. The word home means so much when it comes to the matter of taking a chance of going with the company or staying over here an indefinite length of time. Although I am glad this opportunity has come up as it has brought to light things I never considered so much before.
The people of France have been celebrating the victory for some time and are all very thankful to American U.S.A. boys.
I had a splendid view of part of France a few days ago while on mounted pass. Saw a hunt for rabbits and quail, which of course attracted my attention.
We are now given many privileges we were not having before the armistice was signed and certainly do enjoy them and are thankful for them. It certainly seems good to go to bed and not have to think of an enemy aeroplane going to bomb you or a stray shell maim you.
As yet I have met only one of the home boys, Clarence Carlson, and I met him when I first landed in France. I have been to Paris and many places where Renville boys were, but not seen any of them. I have been watching and waiting to hear from some of the boys, but I guess the don’t know where I am than I do where they are.
I must close for this time.
With kind regards I remain, Very truly yours, Corp. Theodore Berning, Vet. Hospital, A.E.F.

Letter from Winston “Scout” George, Renville Star Farmer, 12-19-1918

George “Scout” Winston
March 9, 1892 – November 23, 1966

Somewhere in France, Nov. 18th, 1918

Dear Mother:
Well Ma I’m still living and thank the good Lord the war is over.
I was over the top six times in this last big drive which ended the war, and talk about close calls, I guess it wasn’t my time to die. I was completely covered up twice with dirt thrown by high power shell. Got my back wrenched and can’t hear out of my right ear.
I was taken out of battle of the veteran front, two days before the lost shot was fired.
Billie Ashley’s outfit was fighting just on the right of us and was pretty well wiped out so I’m afraid Billie was killed but don’t know yet.
My outfit started fighting July 4th and have been at it ever since with little rest. If you could have seen me when I came off the firing line this last time I’m afraid you wouldn’t have known your son, my clothes all torn and full of “cooties,” whiskers an inch long and clay and mud from top to bottom and my helmet full of bullet holes.
I ought to be home soon.
Your son, Winnie

Rev W L Hart Cited for Bravery, Franklin Tribune, 12-19-1918

Father W.L. Hart
1863 – 1953

The people of this community will be proud to learn that Father W. L. Hart, who was pastor of Franklin, Birch Cooley and Morton parishes for seven years prior to his enlistment in service as an army chaplain, has been cited for bravery in service. We knew very well that Father Hart would not be found shirking his part and we are glad of his recognition for valiant service. The following is taken from the Minneapolis Tribune of Saturday last week:

“Father William L. Hart, for 10 years pastor of St. Marks Catholic church in St. Paul, now a chaplain with the American army in France has been cited for bravery, according to word received in St. Paul yesterday. Father Hart was attached to the 140th infantry and he was cited for bravery by command of Major General Traub and the citation was made by Col. H. S. Hawkings. The citation says that Father Hart in battle on September 26 to October 1, 1918, not only rendered spiritual aid to the wounded but gathered stragglers together and by word and example, without regard to his personal safety, encouraged them to action.” St. Paul Dispatch.

Letter from Ed Foss, Franklin Tribune, 12-19-1918

Ed Foss Writes of Life in France to Thomas Grimes
Stenay, France, Nov. 17, 1918
Dear friend Tom,
It seems a long time now since I last saw you but, Tom, take it for granted it won’t be long now before we can be together again. Have been intending to write you for a long time. In fact, I did start to write you a letter but I did not have time to finish it at the time. When I came back to finish it a few days later I thought the letter was not worth sending so I simply tore it up and I thought I would write you when I was in better humor. Now that time has come as we all feel happy now being that war is over and Peace has taken its place. Now we can look forward to good times. I sure will be a happy boy forever hereafter as this war has given me much experience. Have gone through a lot of hardships but I have forgotten all about that now and it seems to be ancient history to me. I pulled through this war just as healthy as when I entered the arm. In our company we have had several killed and wounded. Our company has been right at the “Front” all the time with the division and we have some of the best officers that any ambulance company could have. Germany did not have any explosives that could scare them. That of course put a lot of pep in us. Our captain was continually at the Front but I don’t believe he ever slept in a dug out. We also have a jolly set of boys and not a yellow streak in any of them. Am proud of being with such a company.

Have seen much of France and its pretty sceneries. But after all they cannot surpass those we have in the states. Have seen parts of England also. These countries over here, as it appears to me, still live in the stone age as we read about in history and you can judge from what this country looks like. The soil that I have examined from time to time in the different parts we have gone through in much inferior to any I have seen in the states that I know anything about and that probably is the reason why they do not advance as we do in our country.

You can’t make a progressive agricultural country or anything else from hills, rocks gumbo and “yellow clay”. Have yet to see a field with black loam with clay subsoil. Now, you know I was brought up on the farm so I ought to know something about soil. Here in this country you won’t find any farm houses or homes. They all live in villages and work their farms by driving out to their land in the morning. Then they would try and work a few hours with farm tools and machinery so out of date that we in the states would be ashamed to sell to a black whiskered Jew. When the hour for dinner came they would drive back to the village. I also noticed that these foreign people sure take their time about everything and haven’t the push and speed that the American farmer has. I could write you about many things but my letter is getting rather long so I will stop here for this time and will write in the near future if time permits. Have tried to give you an idea of the people I have seen but whether this applies to all of France I could not say. When I get home again I will have a talk with you and I can give you more of an idea of what this country is. etc. etc. Am sending (you) greetings to you all.

Yours respectfully, Pvt. Edward S. Foss.

315 Sanitary Trains, 357 Ambulance Co., A.E.F., A. P. O. 770

Editor’s Note: We do not have a photograph of Edward S. Foss.