Time Machine: Cedar Rapids Guard section served on border, in World War I

November 12, 2017 - Picnic Time

Six veterans from Iowa’s Company D, 1st Iowa Infantry, were still alive and means to attend a 50th anniversary of a Iowa National Guard section on Mar 28, 1964.

The association was shaped in 1914 as Company H of a 53rd National Guard Iowa Infantry Regiment. It became Company D when a Iowa National Guard reorganized a year later.

Judge C.B. Robbins of Cedar Rapids was captain of a 65-member association of immature men, mostly from a Cedar Rapids area. Some of them were students during Coe College; many were 17 or 18 years old.

The 1st Regiment’s Iowa National Guardsmen encamped during Manville Heights on a west bank of a Iowa River, nearby City Park and a University of Iowa in Iowa City, in Aug 1915.

Company D, underneath a authority of Robbins, 1st Lt. Walter A. Meyer and 2nd Lt. Fred Donovan, was assimilated by Company C, also of Cedar Rapids, and a 1st Regiment Band done adult of Cedar Rapids musicians underneath a instruction of Jacob Schmidt.

When they weren’t attending troops lectures or drilling on a field, a khaki-clad soldiers were doing calisthenics or training how to hoop rifles and representation tents.

The section came underneath sovereign office in Jun 1916 when Mexico announced fight on a United States after a U.S. retaliated for a raid on Columbus, N.M., by Mexican mutinous Pancho Villa.

In sequence to strech a military-strength requirement of 150 soldiers per unit, Robbins began an heated recruitment bid during a Cedar Rapids armory. When Companies C and D boarded trains for Camp Dodge in Des Moines on Jun 24, 1916, Company C had 18 new recruits and Company D had 11. In addition, any association had acquired a dog as a mascot.

Their subsequent stop was on a Mexican limit nearby Brownsville, Texas.

During their six-month debate of duty, a association endured pleasant storms and some of a group became ill, though a soldiers saw no combat.

Robbins was promoted to brigadier aide with a arrange of major. He changed to a domicile of Brig. Gen. H.A. Allen during Brownsville. Meyer was promoted to captain of Company D.

The association was sent home on Jan. 15, 1917.


In Mar 1917, usually before a United States entered World War I, a soldiers were called to active duty. The group of Company D were reserved to ensure a 1906 overpass over a Mississippi River during Sabula, a categorical channel for a Milwaukee Railroad.

The tents during Camp Robbins, named after a unit’s initial leader, any had a stove with spark furnished by a tyrannise and were orderly orderly along a sand highway built by a soldiers.

The people of Sabula treated a soldiers as guests, mostly providing them with treats for dinner. In turn, a soldiers were partial of area nationalistic celebrations.

On Sunday, May 20, The Gazette’s editor, Verne Marshall, delivered an residence attended by Sabula residents and a soldiers.

Three months later, all of Sabula incited out to contend farewell when Company D was systematic to Camp Dodge in Des Moines. There, about half a group were reserved to a 3rd Regiment, partial of a famed Rainbow Division. They underwent complete training until they boarded trains for Long Island, N.Y., to be shipped overseas.

The rest of a soldiers were reserved to Camp Cody, a training stay in Deming, N.M., where they were comparison for a deputy breeze and deployed for avocation overseas, mostly to France.

More than 500 group served with Company D by 1918.

World War we finished on a eleventh hour of a 11th day of a 11th month — Nov. 11, 1918, a day we now applaud as Veterans Day, a day to respect all troops veterans.


Robbins, who assisted in removing Cedar Rapids’ Hanford Post of a American Legion started, is also credited with starting Company D’s Last Man’s Club after a war. When he died on Jul 5, 1943, a members collected a subsequent day during a Veterans Club, 709 Second Ave. SE, to devise their appearance in his memorial.

Of a club’s dual annual meetings, one was customarily a summer picnic.

In Mar 1953, a bar members celebrated a 36th anniversary of their call to sovereign use during Sabula with a assembly during a Sixteenth Avenue Commercial Club, 62½ 16th Ave. SW.

Ed Kalous’ plantation nearby Solon was a site of a cruise in Jul 1961.

last man’s club

Only 11 of a strange 65 members of a association were famous to still be alive in 1964, a 50th anniversary of a unit’s founding. Six of them attended a anniversary cooking during a Sokol clubrooms along with veterans who had assimilated a section after a use on a Mexican border.

At a core of a list was a bottle of wine, meant to be common by a final dual survivors of a Last Man’s Club of Company D. A label, taped to a bottle, said, “Vaya criminal dios (go with God).”

By 1984, usually 4 veterans of a association remained: Fred Anthony, Royal Tuttle, John Zalesky Jr. and Wesley Ward.

The final male station would be of Wesley Ward. A colorful character, Ward told The Gazette he was orphaned during age 11 and became a squatter on May’s Island, vital initial in a lean-to done from scavenged boards, afterwards in a tent purchased with income he done from offered fish he held in a Cedar River. He afterwards became a bootlegger. After his Army service, he worked during a Douglas Starch Works, during a carnival, during Cedar Rapids Block Co. and during Barnard Leas Manufacturing. He late from Allis-Chalmers.

Ward died in 1993 during age 96 — 79 years after Company D’s founding.

source ⦿ http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/archive/time-machine/time-machine-cedar-rapids-guard-unit-served-on-border-in-world-war-i-20171111

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