The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Hour . . .

Veterans’ Day – originally called Armistice Day to mark the end of hostilities during World War I. Today is the one-hundredth anniversary of that day, so full of joy – for the Allies – but only the beginning of a twenty year interlude before the final settling of scores in the Second World War. 

Today, I remember an ancestor of mine who served in both conflicts – my great uncle Bill Wickham. In World War I, he served in France with the Engineer Corps. In the second, he stayed stateside and perhaps stayed on after the war. He died at Fort Lewis, Washington in 1947. [1]

 

William Wickham - WWI

William Wickham was brother to my grandmother, from whom I received the photo shown above. [2] In her diaries, Grandma mentions “Billy” often – during their school days in Norwalk, Ohio, and later when they both homesteaded clams in Wyoming during the 1920s. He died long before her, in 1947, and she was executor of his estate. In her papers I found her correspondence relating to that sad event – papers I will soon send off to his grandson. Although Grandma often told me stories of her long life, she never mentioned her brother to me. I wish she had.

So here is to you, Uncle Bill. Thank you for your service. I am sorry I never got to know you.  

 

Footnotes:

[1] “Hold Services for Maj Wickham,” Sandusky Register Star News, Sandusky, Ohio, 20 Feb 1947.

[2[ Papers Harriott Wickham Barton, in possession of the author.

 

#

Thanks for visiting! Share and like this post below, and on Facebook. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Advertisements

Oratorical Contest for a Future U.S. Senator

Many Go to Bowling Green

At three p.m. on Friday, May 10, 1907, 110 years ago today, a crowd of fifteen Norwalk High School students clamored aboard a special rail car bound for an oratorical contest at Bowling Green, Ohio. Among them was one of their own, Stephen Young, Junior, Norwalk High School Class of 1907, who would compete against fourteen students from other Ohio High Schools.

stephen-young-commencement-photo-1907

Stephen Young, Jr.

Stephen was scheduled last in the program. His subject was “The Darker Side.” He came in fourth, missing out on the princely  sum of ten dollars for first prize (and eight and seven dollars for second and third place). According to an article in the Norwalk Evening Herald the following day, “those from [Norwalk] who heard the orations speak of his efforts in high terms.”

The students arrived back in Norwalk in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Were they really impressed with their classmates performance? Was Stephen upset that he did not win the contest? Did it drive him to improve, and compete again?

Stephen Young, Junior, Norwalk High School Class of 1907, in his career, would not succeed in all his endeavors. In fact, in politics, he failed more often than he succeeded. But he did rise to heights not achieved by his classmates. As a soldier, he would serve his country against Pancho Villa in Mexico and in two world wars. As a statesman, he would be elected to the Ohio Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. We’ll learn more about his career in future posts.

 

Sources:

“Oratorical Contest,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, March 10, 1907, page 1, column 2.

“Many Go to Bowling Green,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, May 10, 1907, page 4, column 3.

“Contest Goes to Hicksville,” The Norwalk Evening Herald, May 11, 1907, page 1, column 4.

“Oratorical Contest,” The Norwalk Daily Reflector, March 11, 1907, page 3, column 6.

Stephen Young person page in the WeRelate Wiki.

Stephen M. Young article in Wikipedia.

 

Thanks for visiting! Share and like this post below, and on Facebook. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: