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Celebrating History: First Hill County war death reported

 


Emily Mayer

As with any war, death is inevitable and as stated before in this column’s series, Hill County would not come out unscathed. The May 18, 1918, edition of The Havre Plaindealer carried the sad news everyone was dreading, complete with misspelling.

CHESTER BOY BURIED WITH MILITARY HONORS

Young Man Was a Member of the U. S. Navy

Commander J. D. Gallup, Senior Vice Commander Royal Horton, and Chaplain W. H. Watson of Assinniboine camp No. 21 United Spanish War Veterans, journeyed to Chester Wednesday to assist at the funeral services held over the body of Edward Nodstrom, late of the U. S. navy and the first Hill county boy to give his life for his country in the present war, to be buried in the county.

The services were held at the Methodist church, Rev. Hollis preaching the sermon assisted by Bishop Faber and Rev. L. J. Christler. The business of Chester was suspended during the afternoon, all business houses being closed, and the entire population of the town as well as the people for miles around attended en masse. It was estimated that more than 700 were present at the church and 500 at the grave. The funeral procession was three quarters of a mile in length and there were 70 autos in line. The services at the grave were in charge of the Spanish War Veterans and consisted of the ritualistic service music by the band and choir, the regulation volleys by the firing squad, and taps.

In commenting on the services Captain Gallup remarked that while he had taken part in many occasions of this kind, yet he had never in all his experience seen such an outpouring of patriotic citizens as he witnessed in Chester.

“Eddie” as he was known to residents of Chester and vicinity, had grown to young manhood on his father’s farm a mile north of that city, and was very popular in the community. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel L. Nordstrom, who settled in the vicinity of Chester in 1909. He enlisted in the navy some six or eight months ago. He was 22 years old at the time of his death.

In the Hill County Democrat’s edition of the same week, it was announced that Eddie Nordstrom had died of pneumonia at a naval base in California. Chester and what is now Liberty County were still part of Hill County in 1918. Liberty County was carved out of Hill County in 1920.

Montana’s newspapers were well aware of their role in fighting The Great War. This announcement also ran in the Plaindealer, complete with misspellings:

MONTANA PRINTERS FORM STATE CONFERENCE

Meeting Held in Great Falls on Sunday May 12

Pursuant to a call issued by the Great Falls Typographical Union, representatives of several th the typographical unions of the state convened in that city on Sunday, My 12, and perfected the organization of a state conference of the printing crafts.

The following report of the convention appeared in the Tribune on Monday morning:

Realizing that the man power of the country, in the constantly increasing demands that must be made upon it to answer the call of President Wiison in the fight of this nation for liberty ad democracy, is fast becoming depleted, and that the ranks of the Typographical union have contributed over 3,000 patriots to the cause of Uncle Sam, the printers realized that it was up to them to aid in every way, believing the conservation of highly-trained mechanics was a most important item in the effort of the United States for the compilation and dissemination of all data necessary for the successful presecution of the selling of thrift stamps and liberty bonds. Acting upon this assumption, and with a desire to cooperate with the employing interests in an earnest effort to avoid industrial strife during the war, and do their part toward making marimum efficiency possible in their calling, they formed the Montana Typographical conference.

The objects of the society, as stated in the constitution, are “to more fully co-operate with Typographical unions of the state, to create and maintain a wholesome regard on the part of the employer for the worker, and to effect a more thorough organization.

Billings, Havre, Lewiston, Helena, Butte and Anaconda sent delegates upon the request of the Great Falls union.

Havre had three newspapers in 1918; two were weekly and one was daily. One of the weekly newspapers, the Hill County Democrat, was also going to daily publication in the not too distant future. It is very interesting to read the different newspapers, for each had its own writing style. For this column, I mostly get copies of the Plaindealer, because to print copies of all three newspapers is cost prohibitive at this time.

Those copies come in very handy and are invaluable, because oftentimes I refer back to them as part of my research. Thank you newspapers!

Here are a couple of entries from the Society column:

Saturday Wedding.

A wedding of interest to the many Havre friends of the young couple occurred last Saturday evening at the farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Lucas, five miles south of Havre, when their daughter, Miss Lydia Izadora, became the bride of Mr. H. L. Rudd. The ceremony was performed by Rev. P. H. Case of this city, and the young couple were attended by Miss Elizabeth Tautges and Mr. Edwin Bradshaw. Following the ceremony an elaborate wedding dinner was enjoyed by the assembled guests.

Mr. Rudd is one of the valued attaches of the Great Northern relay office in Havre, and has a host of friends who extend good wishes. Mr. and Mrs. Rudd will make their home in Havre.

Mrs. Carleton Hostess.

A party of ten ladies were entertained Tuesday afternoon by Mrs. Frank Carleton, the affair being in honor of Mrs. S. H. McIntyre of Helena, mother of Mrs. Carleton, who is visiting in the city. Bridge whist was played during the afternoon, at the close of which the hostess served dainty refreshments.

The Society column also had a section of Personal Mention which consisted of short paragraphs of society news. Here are two that are war related:

An evening class in the surgical dressing department of the Red Cross was started Wednesday evening, with Mrs. C. P. Black as instructor.

Mrs. Wm. Kending was at Laredo Tuesday, conducting a class in surgical dressing for the Red Cross chapter.

In the Of Local Interest social pages, we find the following war-related entries, complete with misspellings:

Rulyard recently held a street carnival which was well attenled and enjoyed by all, and in which War Savings and Thrift Stamps formed a very prominent part. Every one went to see the fat woman and animals and other attractions, all local productions, had their pictures taken and their fortunes told. The speaking contest revealed much local talent and was greatly enjoyed by the audience. Prizes were awarded by the school clerk. The first prize was 8 Thrift Stamps. Bertha Galles won first prize and Fern Sigenthaler won second.

Alex Skinner, who has been enjoying a furlough with Havre relatives and friends for the past week, returned Monday to Camp Lewis.

Private advices received in Havre yesterday announce the safe arrival in England of Leo Kroppe, a former attache of the Daily Promoter who enlistel in the aero squadron last fall.

Word has been received by Havre friends of O. B. Crane, formerly local representative of the Continental Oil company, that he is in the 3rd engineers training camp at Camp Humphrey, Va., Ollie states that he expects to be “over there” very soon.

Geo. Janzen, one of the Hill county boys who is in the national army, arrived this week from Camp Lewis on furlough. Mr. Janzen has a laluable ranch north of Havre and is now superintending seeding operations thereon.

D. P. Van Horn formerly owner and editor of the Chester Democrat, went to Chester Wednesday to attend the funeral of Edward Nodstrom and incidentallp to chaperon the delegation of Spanish American War Veterans, who also attended the funeral.

 

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