Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

World War I and Our Pierce Cousin

Vern Joslin, Private WWI

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Veteran's Day was November 11. It was once called Armistice Day, a commemoration of the day World War I ended with Germany's surrender. I was very please to receive the following email and pictures telling the story of a Pierce cousin that fought in The Great War. This information comes from Richard Carlton.

Thank you Richard.

Let's begin with a Relationship Chart so you can see how we are related to this Pierce "Dough Boy". As a side note, you'll read that he was in the Balloon Corps. During WWI the army would put people up in balloons to see where the enemy troops were located. He may have spent his time in the war dangling from a balloon making observations or he could have worked the winches that raised and lowered the balloons (the winch operaters made good yatchman because of their speed with the winches).

You see then that Vern Joslin was the son of our Great Great Great Aunt Jennie Pierce Joslin.

And Now Richard's Email:

Because he died so young, Vern is almost unknown.

Vern was taken ill with pleurisy in Jan 1916 and missed so much school that he could not graduate with his class that year. He graduated in May 1917 from Cassville (MO) high school (per Jenny Joslin's Journal and an article in Cassville Republican newspaper).

According to Jenny's Journal - in Oct. 1917 he went to Joplin, MO and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. His Soldier's Record says that he was actually inducted, subsequently, at the Jefferson Barracks Army Training Camp, near St. Louis, MO. He served in France as a private in Company A of the 3rd Balloon Squadron. It was organized on 11-04-1917 at Fort Omaha, NE. They were shipped overseas about the end of Jan 1918, first to England, and then to France in mid-Feb, and were renamed the 5th Balloon Company. Verne was still in France in April 1919, and according to an article in the "Cassville Republican" newspaper, he arrived back home on May 16, 1919. His Soldier's Record indicates he served from 1-31-1918 to 5-03-1919 and was honorably discharged.

After the war, Vern entered the University of Cincinnati in Sept, 1919 (according to the Cassville Republican) to study Mechanical Engineering. The family album has a several photos taken at UC, including one of a fire at UC Baldwin Hall that occurred in Jan 1920.

In Aug. 1920 Vern came home (to Rolla) from Cincinnati, and in Sept. entered the Missouri School of Mines at Rolla to continue his education in Mechanical Engineering. He finished in May, 1922, but was graduated with the Class of 1923.

Family lore was that the family moved to Rolla after the creamery burned down in Cassville. But I have found no reference in the Barry County GenWeb site of such an event, nor is it mentioned in Jenny Joslin's Journal. What I've found instead, is that George sold the business to a Mr. VanHorn, and according the the Cassville Republican (Nov 1919) the new proprietor reported that business was good. It also related that George was removing to Rolla, with DeVere to soon follow. In 1920 they established a creamery and ice plant business in Rolla.

Vern was taken seriously ill with back pain and fever on July 19, 1925 and died on July 31, 1925, just one week after Bobette was born.

Mother always said that he had bad kidneys, he also had contracted typhoid as a young teen, and that may have weakened them. The back pain he had the week before dying might have been symptomatic of kidney failure.

Richard Carlton

DeVere & Verne (Teens) c 1905 - 1910

Vern on Motorcycle. WWI

DeVere & Vern (Teen Photographer)

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