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1954 Centennial Book

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Page 2

FOSTORIA'S VETERAN ORGANIZATIONS
AND THEIR AUXILIARIES

PIX#1 Civil War Memorial, Fountain Cemetery

Of all the many clubs and organizations in Fostoria, which over the years have been dedicated to the service of the community and its problems, none have been held in higher esteem by the public than the various Veterans' Organizations and their Auxiliaries.

NORRIS POST, NO. 27, G.A.R.

The town of Fostoria was only seven years old when Abraham Lincoln called for thousands of volunteers to rally to the Colors to preserve the Union against those who would destroy it and the principle of freedom. From 1861 to 1865, many hundreds of boys from Fostoria and the vicinity (and they literally were boys) answered the call. Of them, twenty-four made the supreme sacrifice Fostoria's Gold Star honor Roll bore these names:

Thomas Norris James Norris George McEwen
Silas Simon John Yates Joseph Urie
Jacob Blosser Merriweather Burns William Bender
William Conley Hiram Chance John Drake
Henry Ebersole John Leonard Conrad Leslie
Milton Ebersole Elisha Miller Thaddeus Fletcher
Arthur Hayes John Kieffer David Longley
Jacob Miller Moses Parkhurst Alexander Smith

Although the National Grand Army of the Republic had been organized as early as 1866, it was not until 1880 that the Norris Post, No. 27, was organized in Fostoria with 33 charter members. It was named in honor of John Norris and his wife, Rebecca Cuthbertson Norris who had given three sons to the cause. Two gave their lives in the struggle, and the third, after spending 13 months in a Southern prison camp, manage to escape and finally to rejoin his Regiment.

Until Norris Post was disbanded a few years ago by the hand of the Grim Reaper, it had at one time or another, nearly 400 different members. The last member to pass away was "Uncle Johnny" Portz, who as a boy of only 13, had run away from home to join the army. He served nearly three years. He answered "Last Call" in Dec. 1934, being more than 82 years of age.

An interesting sidelight on the fervor and spirit of these Boys of >61, is preserved in the Great Record Book of the Norris Post, No. 27, now in the McClean Library. Rev. William A. Turner was minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Fostoria in 1861. He also conducted a "select" high school for boys. He enlisted in September, 1861, and sixty-five of the sixty-seven boys in his school followed him into the service.

PIX#2 U.S.W.V. Marker, U.S. Route 23

THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

In 1898 the call went out again. "The Maine had been blown up in Havana Harbor, the downtrodden Cubans had to be liberated, and nobody was going to push US around anymore.."

As usual Fostoria had her National Guard outfit, ready and "raring" to go. This was the roster of Co. "D", 6th Ohio Regiment of Infantry

Captain Franklin P. Culp
1st Sgt J.R.McMeen
1st Lt. Howard F. Noble
Q.M.Sgt. R.L.Smith
2nd Lt. A.I. Robinson
Sgts. F.A. Vosburg C. Hollopeter R.O. Nichols & L.A. Briner
Corporals: Opha Bacher
V.W. Stewart
W.C. Ball
T.W. Lea
C.A. Wolf
J.Gleason
Charles W. Both
J.A. Bowe
C.W. Ransbottom
Musicians: W.H. Ransbottom
W. Yochum
H.T. Blosser
Artificer
A.W. Tallman
Wagoner
Privates: G.E. Adams
L.G. Bly
J.A. Burkel
L.J. Class
F.P. Campbell
F. Dutcher
Alex & Ducatt
A.J. Fletcher
F.N. Fullerton
R.D. Heacox
A.G. Hooper
J.A. Huth
J. Kissling
J. McCormick
J.T. Norton
R.S. Pool
Aaron Smith
G.Steingraber
E. Stamm
L.I. Short
O. Wickerd
O.C. Wilson
L.T. Yates
L.J. Alley
W.J. Bair
Curtis Coral
T.A. Cupps
J.F. Connelly
C.G. Doe
R.C. Ernest
C.W. Foster
J.K. Gollmer
N.E. Hazen
C.H. Hagemeyer
Thos. Jones
Charles Lorah
R.G. Miller
O.L. Overmeyer
L.W. Riedel
Carl Smith
W.H. Sinclair
J.W. Shaffer
D.B. Schlatter
W.V. Williams
R.C. Wymer
D.R. Yates
J.L. Alley
Otho Boyd
W.E. Cook
J.C. Crall
T.W. Davis
T.E. Duffy
E.E. Engstrom
A. Fraver
E.R. Grubb
E.D. Haughey
O.F. Hammond
Louis Jones
A.C. McClead
C.N. Newcombs
J. Poorman
E.L. Riedel
R.W. Smith
C.C. Shoemaker
B. Singer
H. Waggoner
L.A. Williams
O.R. Weber
F. Zuern & E.M. Alley

Other Fostoria members of the 6th Ohio were:

Lt.Col. W.O. Bulger Major-Surgeon P.L. Myers 1st Lt. G.W. Cunningham

Hospital Stewards: D.A. Lynch and E. Speice

Honorably Discharged:

E.E. Garner
R.M. Lance
W.C. Krouse
W.D.Andes
J.F. Culbertson
L.A. Dubell
F.J. Troutman
T.L. Dodge
F.E. Green
A.M. Culp
W.M.Lee
M.Singer & L. Woolf

Hospital Corps: A. Holmes and E. Bricker

There were only three names on the Gold Star Honor Roster:

W.W. Dale R.J. Kistner Armitage Green

The Company returned from its Cuban campaign on May 26, 1899 and was given a royal welcome, parade, speeches, and everything. Someone expressed what everyone felt in a poem which we reprint from the Fostoria Times of that date:

A cheer for the men of Company D,
A cheer for their sweethearts and wives; ,
The long year is past,
And they're home at last---,
Praise God for sparing their lives. ,
Fostoria greets her Company D,
With cannon, with flags, and with band, ,
We are making Rome howl, ,
And old Risdon to yowl, ,
While the boys we give the glad hand. ,
We are proud of our Company D,
Of their services beyond the blue sea; ,
But there's no place like home, ,
And now that they're come; ,
"Bien venido, senors, acquire.",

* * * * * * * * * * *

UNITED SPANISH WAR VETERANS

Soon after their return from Cuba and the Philippines in 1898 and 1899, the veterans organized the United Spanish War Veterans. Their program was to advance their interests and to see that proper care was provided by the Nation for the widows, orphans, and their disabled comrades. In 1900 General Poland Camp No. 40 was organized in Fostoria with a charter membership of 25. The Camp has always taken an active part in all patriotic affairs, and done much to uphold the tradition of patriotic service begun by the G.A.R. Joe Shaffer is the present Commander, and at last report, there were thirty-three members still active in the Camp. U.S. Rt. 23 was designated as The United Spanish War Veterans Memorial Highway several years ago, and a photo of one of its markers appeared at the head of this section.

THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

The Veterans of Foreign WarsC VFWC was organized fifty years ago to include in its membership all men who had served in the armed forces of the United States outside the continental limits of this country. Its early membership included veterans who had served in Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, China, or anywhere else outside the U.S., including naval service. It did not grow rapidly until after W.W.I, when the members of the A.E.F. became eligible to membership. No Post was established in Fostoria until Col. W.O.Bulger Post No. 421 was instituted Feb. 25, 1934 with ten members. It reached its highest membership in 1945 when 1,284 members paid dues. It has occupied quarters in the Old Foster Block since 1934. It has among its other responsibilities taken over the care of the colors of the now disbanded Norris Post No. 27, G.A.R., and also those of the Gen. Poland Post No. 40, U.S.W.V. whose members are no longer physically able to bear them in parades. They are always carried by members of the VFW. During the past eight years the Post has become nationally known as the sponsor of the National Champion VFW Band. (By the time you are reading this, it will probably be the ninth year.) Director Dick Downs and his band have been seen and heard from Miami to Detroit, from Los Angeles to New York. They have brought honors not only to themselves and their sponsor, but upon the entire community and to all neighboring communities which have contributed talent to the personnel of the band.

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming