Schrapnel Wound Takes Young Man – William Bruggeman Gives His Life in Devoted Service to Country
After weeks of suspense and anxiety following the report of injury to her son, William, on the battlefield in France, Mrs. Bruggeman received the sad news last Saturday that the injury had proven fatal.
The word came in a telegram from the War Department in Washington, stating that the death occurred September 16. According to this information William died from his wound the day after it was inflicted.
Mrs. Bruggeman and family have received no detailed information of the injury more than that contained in a letter written by John Merkel, who was in the same company with William, to his brother, G. F. Merkel. This message stated that William had been hit in the right breast by a schrapnel bullet.
Deceased was one of the most promising and most respected young men of Fairfax. He grew up from early childhood in this immediate community, and throughout his life had been of such an honest, straight forward, and pleasing disposition that every acquaintance became his staunch friend. He was one of the prominent members of the local Knight of Columbus.
Deceased was born in Mankato July 21, 1889. When three years of age his parents removed to this locality, locating on a farm a few miles from Fairfax.
About five years ago the Dickmeyer Implement Company needed a trustworthy young man, and William was persuaded to leave the farm and take the position offered by that Company. He remained in this position until he left as a defender of his company September 19, 1917. We Went to France finally; arriving there May 25, last.
He wrote home frequently; his letters were always cheerful, he seeming to have no fear for his own safety. In his last letter to his brother, Lawrence, he cautioned him to take good care of their mother, and that he could do the fighting for both of them.
A funeral service was held at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church Monday morning. Rev. Fr. Goergen conducted the service and paid high tribute to the noble young man, and spoke words of comfort to the mourning family.
Besides the sorrowing mother, there are four brothers and five sisters who deeply mourn the loss of one dearly loved. The sisters are Mamie, Mathilda and Edith, of Fairfax, Mrs. M. Roeser, of Cologne, Minn., and Mrs. M. J. Carney, Bird Island. The brothers are Joseph, Lawrence, Bennie and Oscar, all of Fairfax