Highland News Leader

Remembering local veterans on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918. Yes, 100 years ago.

Now it is renamed, Veteran’s Day. To honor this day, I chose to have a day as close to the 1918 date, as I could, for the dedication of our “War Veterans Cabinet” of the Highland Home Museum, which will be dedicated this Saturday, November 10, 2018, at 1 p.m.

The dedication will be under the new portical of the home at 1600 Walnut Street, Highland. (If it is raining, the dedication will be inside.) The dedication also will have the Highland Honor Guard and Firing Squad for a salute. The War Veterans Cabinet will be returned to the south room of the museum. Then the museum will be open from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Don’t forget your lawn chairs and please mark the date and time on your calendar.

Leroy “Lee” Iten, was the only World War I soldier of Highland who was killed in World War I. American Legion Post 439, is named in Lee (Leroy) Iten’s honor.

Iten’s grandmother and grandfather both died of cholera in 1854. Their two sons, Clement Iten born in 1850 and Franz (Frank) Iten born in 1852, were taken and raised by the Gallus Rutz, Sr. Family. Three sons of the Gallus Rutz, Sr. family, later served in the Civil War: Dr. Gallus Rutz, Jr., Abraham Rutz and Henry Rutz.

The second Iten son, Franz (Frank) Iten, stayed in the Highland area his entire life and was married three times. It was Frank’s third marriage, Frank and Amelia Weidner Fricker Iten, had a son, Lee Iten, on November 30, 1893.

Lee served in World War I, a member of the 147th Infantry, 37th Buckeye Division, of the American Expeditionary Forces, in France. Lee was killed in action, in the Benny Woods, France, on October 8, 1918, just over a month before the Armistis was signed. His remains were originally buried at St. Mihiel Cemetery in France, then his remains were returned and reinterred in Highland City Cemetery on June 26, 1921.

Pvt. Walter W. Maden Jr. son of Walter and Mathilda Wiegand Maden, Sr. of Troy and husband of Margaret Ratchford Maden of Highland and one daughter, Beverly Maden. Walter had three sisters and two brothers, with his brother, Willard Madden, lived in Highland. Walter “Bud” Madden was killed in action in France, on July 28, 1944 and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Walter was awarded the Purple Heart.

Pvt. William F. Metzger Jr. the son of William & Josephine Vaupel Metzger, Sr. William was trained in the U.S. Army Tank Corps. before being sent to Africa, in Sept. 1942. William was killed in action on February 2, 1943, in Tunisia, North Africa. He was originally buried where he was killed, but his units service members, were reburied at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, on March 3, 1950.

PFC William Anthony Neudecker Jr. nickname ‘Pete’, the son of William and Anna Scheyer Neudecker, Sr. William, Jr. ‘Pete’ married Coletta Ukena Neudecker. Pete was in the U. .S. Army and survived the D-Day Normandy Invasion and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, then the Silver Star for “conspiciuous gallantry in action,” as Pete was killed by a sniper bullet while riding in a jeep as the main gunner. Pete is buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, in Liege, Belgium.

Seaman Neal Hilton Rood, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Hilton Rood of St. Jacob and his grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. John Hebrank of Highland and Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Rood of Troy. Neal was well remembered by Highland people, having attended school here at one time. Neal was in the U.S. Navy, assigned to the cruiser, U.S.S. Helena. His cruiser, Helena. was in the battle of Kula Gulf and his cruiser was sunk, on July 6, 1943.

PFC. Delmar M. Schauster the son of Michael and Effie Landolt Schauster. He attended St. Paul High School and was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 26, 1943. He was first reported as missing in action on December 17, 1944, near the Siegfried Line, Mehlem, Germany. Later it was determined he was killed on that date. He was first buried where he died, but his remains were returned and reburied in the Highland City Cemetery, on Oct. 31, 1948.

PFC. Eugene F. Siefried (also, Seyfried) the son of William T. and Rosa K. Seyfried of 1220 South Walnut, Highland. Eugene was quiet, reserved young man and previous to his induction was employed at the Shoe Factory, in Highland. He was inducted January 8, 1943 and served in the U.S. Army, 23rd Infantry Division, most of his training was in the Unied States, then sent to France.

He was missing in action on August 27, 1944, telegram from the Adjutant General’s Office and declared dead in a message they received later. Kenneth Bruckner, formerly of Highland, where he worked previously at Tibbetts & Co. in 1948 Kenneth Bruckner writes: “I assisted on the reburial by Tibbetts & Co. of Eugene Seifried… and it did leave me with a lasting impression, on what the family had to go through.”

Lt. (J.G.) William Warren Stecker lived in Highland with his family for several years, graduating with the H.H.S. Class of 1939. He was the son of Andrew B. and Hazel Stecker, who lived in Decatur, Ill. at the time of their sons death. Bill enlisted in the Naval Air Corps on Dec. 21, 1940. He graduated in Naval Aviation at Corpus Christi, Texas in December 1942 and was killed in an accidental plane crash in California, on June 30, 1944. (This is the last group of men who were honored at the Dedication of Veterans Honor Parkway, on May 25, 2015.)

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