Friday, December 28, 2012

Help Needed: Looking For WW I Info on Medic John B. Plantenburg

A Story of Bent, Broken Scissors and A World War I Medic

Descendants of John B. Plantenburg have related for several years the following story. But unfortunately, no one took the time to write or record the story in a formal manner.
Here's how they tell it: : Cpl. Plantenburg was a medic with Company M, 125th Infantry Regiment during World War I. While stationed in France, the Corporal either had the scissors in his hand, or they were in a uniform pocket, when a German bullet shattered the scissors, leaving the Corporal unharmed. One version of the family story has him hit while removing bandages from a wounded soldier. 
We do not know if any of this story is true.

What we have: The scissors, his dog tags and Pay Record Book.

The following is information we have.
John B. Plantenburg was born April 25, 1892, in Scribner, Nebraska, to a family of farmers. His parents were Anna and John Plantenburg. He grew up to medium height and medium build with blue eyes and brown hair.
He completed his draft registration card on June 5, 1917, at 25 years of age.
His US Army service number was 1418871.
He was assigned to Company M, 125th Infantry and rose to the rank of Corporal.
His discharge date was May 26, 1919. His discharge document state he received “no honors, no medals.”
He married Gladys ???? and they had two daughters, Jacqueline and Marilyn. They farmed in Perry (Thurston County), Nebraska, from about 1935 to 1960.  His whereabouts from 1919 to 1935 is not known.
John B. passed from this Earth on April 4, 1960 at age 68.

His dog tags, which are partially corroded, spell his name Plantenburg (with a “u.”) The envelope for his Pay Record Book spells it with a “u.” His name on the book itself is not legible. His grave marker spells it Plantenburg.

US Army records show the 125th Infantry Regiment, which started as a National Guard unit in Michigan, reached France as a part of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division. The regiment suffered terrible losses but emerged from WWI with the reputation of being a formidable fighting force. During the War, the 125th was under fire for six months, fought on five fronts, met and vanquished several German divisions and took more than 2,000 German POWs. The regiment demobilized in 1919 at Camp Custer, Michigan.  

The scissorsis sogtagH were manufactured by the well-known cutlery maker Landers, Frary & Clark and carry the firm's Universal brand, which was used between 1865 and 1965.

I have been unable to connect with any of John Plantenburg’s descendants to confirm this story.

Can you help? 

PS: In the box with this material was an American Legion 25-year pin. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

More Autographs - These From Oregon in Late 1800s

As we are nearing the end of the year and I have not posted anything new, I reckon it's time for more autographs. This book is from Oregon City, Oregon, and belonged to Annie who got a large number of autographs in the late 1880s. There is a strong Christian theme to most of these autographs. Cursive handwriting at the time seemed to take on many new tricks, making it near impossible for me to translate. Here are the ones I can decipher.

He who gives much plenty stands,
Who withholds hath empty hands.
Mt. Pleasant Jan. 16th, 1888
N.W. Randall

To Annie
Farewell and if by distance parted
We see each other's face no more,
Ah, may we with the faithful-hearted
Meet beyond the parting shore.
 Your friend, Lucy Gill June 25, 1888

Nearer the bound of life
where we lay our burdens down,
Nearer leaving the cross
Nearer gaining the Crown.
Your friend, Sophia Bean July 5, 1888 

Dear Annie
Nearer my father's house
Where the many mansions be --
Nearer the great white throne
Nearer the crystal sea.
Your friend forever, Nellie Bean July 2, 1888

 Dear Annie
Always be true to the ties Of friendship and ???? ???? you and I.
Bird Albright

To Annie
Merry, happy, free from care
With all prospects bright and fair,
Blessing many friendship true
Such my friend I wish for you.
Lauretta Wright Oct. 7, 1888

To Annie
Roses without thorns for thee.
Your friend, W.H.G.

Dear Annie Within this book so pure and white,
Let some friends presume to write
And may each line with friendship given
Direct the reader's thoughts to heaven.
Ever your friend, Lizzie Ely July 11, 1888

Onward through life, What ever your past
Strive to keep a cheerful heart.
Your friend, L. Sykes July 16th 1889 Oregon City, Oregon

Dear Annie
What's in your mind let no one know,
Nor to your friend your secrets show.
For if your friend becomes your foe,
Then everyone of your secret's known.
Your true friend, Della Boylan, May 27, 1888

Dear Annie
When grass is green and roses red,
Remember me when I am dead.
(Name erased) Oregon City, 1889

To Annie
O ne'er may the Stars St. Peter
set on her radiant brow decay,
O Lord of Glory, crown thy spouse
on the great accounting day.
Ever your friend, M. Etty Albright, Oct. 11, 1888

Friend Annie
Passing through life's field of action
Lest we part before its end,
Take within your modest volume
this memento from a friend.
Ever your friend, Lizzie Banche June 7, 1888

Friend Annie
Think of me when you are happy
Keep for me one little spot;
In the depth of thine affection,
plant a sweet forget-me-not.
Your friend, Mollie

To Annie
When you are old and cannot see,
Put on your specks and think of me. (Unsigned)