Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Glimpse into 1918: Armistice Day

1918 Revisited


November 8, 2018

Despite a large portion of northeastern Minnesota having been destroyed by a devastating forest fire on Oct. 12, people still rejoiced when the Armistice ending the Great War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, November, 1918 was announced.

The Star-Gazette office in Moose Lake was one of the many businesses that had burned in the big fire, as it was later referred to. The Star-Gazette was not published again until December that year. News was published about the local service people throughout 1919.

It was reported in the March 13, 1919 edition of the Star-Gazette in the Sturgeon Lake News that “Iver Fjosne had received the ‘Kaiser’s helmet’ by mail from his son, Louie, who is still in France. Mr. Fjosne has three sons in France but Louie is the first to send home a memento of the battlefield.

“A card was received from Gust Nyberg of Windemere, stating that he was well and still in France.”

In the May 1, 1919 edition of the Star-Gazette, a letter from Jack Pusel to his mother was published. He wrote: “We have moved back to Siershahan again. A month ago we were at Maxsien.

“We had an entertainment at the YMCA given in honor of the men and women who had 18 months of service in France. There are about 150 men that wear three service stripes in the Second Battalion. We sure had a good time. We had two captains and Col. Hunt commanding the 18th Infantry. We had a fine supper while the band played.”

Also in the May 1 edition was a letter from Mary Olson, daughter of Ed Olson of Sturgeon Lake. Mary was a nurse at the Evacuation Hospital No. 16 at Coblenz, Germany.

“Germany sure is beautiful now,” she wrote. “The hills and the scenery can’t be beat. The Rhine River is beautiful. Last week three other nurses and some officers went through the old Kaiser’s palace on the Rhine and it had some beautiful things in it. We get passes to visit every city in Germany, such as Cologne, Weisbaden and Carlsbad, and we hope to get to see Berlin some day.

“The officers and enlisted men left here yesterday for Brest, and we all went to the depot to see them off on the first lap of their journey to God’s country. Ten of our nurses leave tomorrow morning. I guess that they are entitled to go as they have been here for 18 months.

“Before I go home, I will try to get a pass to visit England, Sweden and Norway. The first two weeks of May four of us are going to Italy on leave.”

The Star-Gazette announced the return of local soldiers throughout 1919. Most served in France during the Great War. Walter Cunningham, Harold Olson, Joe King, Floyd Fetters, Lawrence Odebraska and Leo Wisniski (both from Camp Lewis) returned in January; Fred Bergquist, Privates Kolodge and Jarvis of Kettle River, Leo Adamczak, Eddie Mygren (had been wounded), Ed Losensky (had been with the Aero Squadron in France and was promoted to sergeant) returned in February; and Harry Eckman and Lew Street (of Windemere) returned in May. Joe Nystrom’s father wrote in June that Joe had been severely wounded in France but recovered and took a course as a machinist at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis. Joe King and Emma Ulvick united in marriage on June 3 in Carlton. Word was received that George Hart had arrived in Newport News, Virginia, from France in June. Edward MaCabe of Palo Alto, California, a one-time Moose Lake resident, had returned home from overseas, where he served in the air services, but then he died in an automobile accident in July. George Dahl, Alvin Anderson, Russel Penrose, Victor King, Adolph Barquist, Eddie Nemetz (returned home to Lankin, North Dakota) and Neilla Sanders returned home in July. Herman B. Petry of Finlayson, who had been reported as missing in action, has returned to duty, it was reported in July. Gilbert Booher returned home in August. Henry Petry and his son, Herman, 29, a returned soldier, were driving to their home at Finlayson when their car met with an accident which cost Herman his life in November.


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