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Olivia Boy Dies For His Country, Olivia Times, 10-10-1918

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William Erickson Killed in Battle While Fighting in Defense of Old Glory: Remain Buried in France; Left Olivia Last April and a Few Months Later Was Sent to France

Somewhere beneath the blue skies of France in a newly made grave repost the remains of one of Olivia’s soldier boys. No more will the bugle call summon him to duty, not the mighty roar of battle excite his patriotic soul. He died heroically on the field of battle, giving all for his country and for the flag he loved. His grave will be decked with the choicest flowers of France, and his memory will be cherished at home by every liberty loving man and woman here.

William Erickson was born in Lake Lillian Township, Kandiyohi County, June 26, 1889. When a small boy the family moved to Olivia and here he grew to early manhood, attending the public school and employing himself with work in town and on the farm. On April 26th last he was inducted into the army leaving here in company with Frank Patzwald, Otto C. Jensen, Henry Kubesh and Geo. Bublitz, all from Olivia, and with several from other parts of the county. He was stationed for a time at Camp Dodge and a few months ago was sent oversea. On Sept 16 he was killed in action and the news of his death was received by his relatives here Saturday.

Will Erickson was a quiet, unassuming young man of good habits and character, and was held in high esteem by all his associates and friends. He is the first young man from Olivia to give his life for his country and his friends, and the first to fill a patriot’s grave in France. He leaves to mourn for him his sorrowing mother, five brothers and two sisters, viz: Albert and Ted Erickson, soldiers in France, Ed., Matt and Victor of Olivia, Mrs. Chas. Johnson, and Mrs. John D. Johnson, who reside north of town. The sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of the community in their loss.