Purple Hearts

Do you ever take a ‘detour’ with research? A brief mention on the radio this morning caused me to put aside my genealogy research to do some county history research today. The radio mentioned that August 7th is Purple Hearts day.

As a volunteer at the local historical society, I was curious about whether there was a list of recipients for Nemaha County. Much to my surprise there is NOT a master list of Purple Hearts recipients let alone one for Nemaha County. (FAQ – National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

Thus, I started searching the Seneca newspapers for ‘purple heart’. The first article I found was in the 6 June 1932 issue of the Courier Tribune which discussed the revival of the Purple Heart award.

Courier Tribune
June 6, 1932

Men Wounded in Battle to Receive a Decoration

A number of Seneca ex-service men are eligible to a new military decoration, or, rather an old decoration that is being revived. It is known as the Order of the Purple Heart and is awarded by the war department to men who were wounded in action. The Purple Heart medal has a bronze edge with raised, purple background. The head is of bronze while the shield is composed of red bars and stars. The reverse side is all bronze carrying the engraved name of the recipient. An oak leaf cluster is attached to the medal for each wound received. During the revolutionary war George Washington designed and issued the Purple Heart as his tribute to gallantry. Records show but three received the honor during the Revolution. Then the decoration was forgotten and not revived until President Hoover recommended its use in honor of the two-hundredth anniversary of Washington’s birth. The War Department is distributing the medals but so far as known none has been received in this community. Charles R. Clinkenbeard, Lincoln, formerly of Wetmore received the award with three clusters. He was gassed and twice wounded.

Further searching in the Seneca newspapers thru 1946 identified the following people as recipients:

Clyde Aeschliman, Don Andrick, Ira Austin, Ira Austin, Bernard Becker, Lawrence Bergman, Norbert Bergman, Norbert Bergman, Scot Berridge, Vernon Boltz, Ira Bonjour, Oliver Bowland, Don Bowlby, Dale Brooks, Celestine Broxterman, Donald Butz, Joe Christman, Eugene Clowe, Floyd Clowe, Orville Clowe, Orville G Clowe, Daniel Cordill, Donale Craig, Harry Dandliker, Clarence Dulake, Charles D Eckert, D. L. Evans, Roy Fund, Roy Fund, Avis Gakle, Paul Gillenwalter, Jim Gillespie, Jom Gillispie, Byron Gilmore, Albert Gregg, Vaughn Grimm, William Guiulford, Arthur Hanni, Lawrence Hartman, Lawrence Hartman, Lawrence Hartman, Virgil Haug, Virgil Haug, Reo Hiskey, Jean Holmberg, Lawrence Honeyman, Leonard Huerter, Vernon Keegan, Dale Kelly, Donald Knauer, Cyril Koch, Cyril Koch, Daniel Kohake, Donald Krotzinger, Jacob Jr Krotzinger, Orville (Bud) Largent, Creston Lippincott, Creston Lippincott, Allen Luginibill, Francis McGreevy, Moore, Ralph Moyer, Gorman Neel, Kenneth Nicholson, Bryan Nightingale, Byron Nightingale, Theodore Rhodes, Charles D Roberts, Albert Rogers, Raymond B. Rokey, Forest Ruse, Raymond B. Ruse, C. W. Ryan, Frank Schafer, Gerald Scheier, Gerald Scheier, Benedict Schmidt, Bob Schoff, Dale Shepherd, John Slocum, John Slocum, Wilfred Smith, Elmer Stalcup, Elgin Strahm, Moses Tate, Moses Tate, Robert F Ulrich, Vincent Vondemkampe, Lawrence Wessel, Lawrence Wessel, Hiram William, Edwin Winkler, Roy Winterscheidt, H. A. Wiseman, Charles Woltkamp, Raymond B. Woltkamp, Tony Woltkamp,

The Facebook community was also asked and several additional names were found:

FACEBOOK Comments adding the following: James Edward Stallbaumer, Lawrence M. Eisenbarth, Roger Kramer, James J. Huerter, Carl Swart, Joe Enneking, Rettle, Charles Krogman

I also learned that Google can be used to search Find A Grave. Unfortunately, I think the number of results are limited. But it is another source. (Note: Nemaha County, Nebraska graves also come up in this search.)

site:findagrave.com purple nemaha kansas

My neighbor had also told us of a recipient. His Fold3 memorial indicates Bernard Schultejans received a Purple Heart.

More digging is required to update this list. This will require researching the Seneca papers from 1947 to present and the Sabetha newspapers from 1930 to present.