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Donated World War I Era Photos & Family Histories
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Belesky, Benjamin

Bell, Bill

Benjamin Belesky, stationed in France.

Benjamin Belesky, stationed in France.

Photo provided by Danielle Engel, great-granddaughter of Benjamin Belesky.

Benjamin Belesky was born November 3, 1895. He lived in Detroit and worked at the Ford Motor Company. Benjamin Belesky served in Battery A 330th Field Artillery. He died April 16, 1964 and is buried at Holy Cross cemetery in Riverview, Michigan.

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Bill Bell, stationed in France

Bill Bell, stationed in France

Photo provided by Rob Turner, great-nephew of Bill Bell.
Bill Bell lived in Collinsville, Illinois. He enlisted in July of 1917 in Chicago and was stationed in France from 1918 to 1919. He served as a member of the 13th Engineers Regiment and engaged in battle at Verdun.

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Brock, Harry

Eisele, Julius

Photos provided by Orson Beeman III, grandson of Harry Brock.

Harry Brock was born in Arva, Canada and would eventually move to Detroit. He enlisted on September 21, 1917 and became a US citizen soon after. Harry was a Corporal and was later promoted to Sergeant on May 23, 1918 and was part of Battery C of the 330th Field Artillery. He served in England and France from July 30, 1918 to April 11, 1919. Prior to service Harry worked as a carpenter. Harry’s family, including his daughter, Mary Ann Beeman, live in Chelsea.


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Julius Eisele (front row, center), at Camp Custer with other enlisted soldiers.

Julius Eisele (front row, center), at Camp Custer with other enlisted soldiers.

Photo provided by Eldean Eisele, son of Julius Eisele.

Julius Eisele served in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in a machine gun battalion. He enlisted near Battle Creek, Michigan at Camp Custer.

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Fox, Harry Albert

Gaunt, Edwin

Harry Albert Fox

Harry Albert Fox

Photo provided by Bill Christen, grandson of Harry Albert Fox.

Harry Fox was born in 1892 and lived in Toledo, Ohio. He worked as a baker. Harry joined the US Navy in June of 1917. He served as a baker on the USS Indiana. He eventually became one of the ships’ cooks and a Chief Commissary steward. When the war ended Harry made three cruises to Europe on the cargo ship the USS General Goethals to bring troops home.

After the Great War Harry continued his service in the National Guard and the US Army from 1925-1953 and served during World War II.

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Edwin Gaunt, Dearborn, Michigan.

Edwin Gaunt, Dearborn, Michigan.

Photos provided by Dan Gaunt and Toni Keim, grandson and granddaughter-in-law of Edwin Gaunt.

Edwin Gaunt lived in Detroit and had many different occupations and passions. He was a teacher, postman, draftsman, and farmer. One of his favorite hobbies was gardening and growing flowers, which he would turn into his profession after the war.

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Haefner, George Conrad

Hellyer, Harold

George C. Haefner, WWI. Date Unknown. Location Unknown.

George C. Haefner, WWI. Date Unknown. Location Unknown.

Photo provided by Kathryn Hafner-Taylor, granddaughter of George Conrad Haefner.

George later changed the spelling of his last name to “Hafner”.

George was born in Chelsea on February 1, 1887 and died on November 17, 1983. He enlisted on April 27, 1918 and was discharged May 10, 1919.

While overseas George served as a Private in 330th Machine Gun Battalion, 85th Division, and was later transferred to Company C 150th Machine Gun Battalion, 42nd Division. He was stationed in the St. Mihiel sector in France and fought in the St. Mihiel offensive on September 12, 1918. He also served in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France from October 10 to November 11, 1918 and the Army of Occupation in Germany from December 3 to April 5, 1919.

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Harold Hellyer

Harold Hellyer

This photo was found at an antique mall in Chelsea.Harold Hellyer was the son of Howard A. Hellyer and Frances (Fannie) Olmstead. He had seven siblings: Willie, Eugene, Edwin, Howard Arthur, George, Grace, and Mabel. He was married to Caroline W. Walton.

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Howe, James Gregory

Lindauer, George Alfred

Photo and information provided by Barbara Byrne and Tom Jenkins, granddaughter and grandson-in-law of James Gregory Howe. 

James Gregory Howe was born March 12, 1896 in Chelsea, the son of Michael James Howe and Mary Ellen Wade. Prior to being called for service in the war, James served as a member of the 26th Company, 7th Battalion, 160th Depot Brigade of the Michigan National Guard. Once he joined the regular army in 1917, James entered Company B of the 125th U.S. Infantry, 32nd (“Red Arrow”) Division. 

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George Alfred Lindauer, with his two mules in Anhausen, Germany-1918.

George Alfred Lindauer, with his two mules in Anhausen, Germany-1918.

Photos provided by Jason Lindauer, grandson of George Alfred Lindauer.

George Alfred Lindauer served as a private in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) as part of the 32nd Division (The Red Arrow Division). He engaged in battle in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918. At the end of the war his division served as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany where they occupied the Coblenz Bridgehead sector of Germany.

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Myles, Decker

O’Connor, Frank

Decker Myles, Grandfather of Jim Myles, stand with rifle. Location unknown. Year unknown.

Decker Myles, Grandfather of Jim Myles, stand with rifle. Location unknown. Year unknown.

Photo provided by Jim Myles, grandson of Decker Myles.

Frank O'Connor

Frank O’Connor

Photo provided by Erma O’Connor, daughter-in-Law of Frank O’Connor.

Frank O’Connor was born in Hand Station, Wayne County and lived in Detroit, but moved to Chelsea in later years. He used to summer at North Lake.

Frank enlisted on December 4th, 1917 at the age of 28 with an occupation of Farmer. He enlisted in Plymouth, Michigan. He was discharged on April 25, 1919. Frank O’Connor was a Private 1st Class in the Battery D 328th Field Artillery. While overseas Frank served in the Toul Sector of northeastern France.

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Palmer, Algernon Arthur

Palmer, Faye

Palmer, Algernon Arthur
Information provided by Martha Moore Indyke and Donna Palmer, granddaughter and niece-in-law of Dr. Algernon Palmer. Unfortunately there are no photos of Dr. Palmer from the war that his relatives could find.

Algernon Arthur Palmer was born May 12, 1891 in Chelsea to Dr. George and Ida Collins Palmer. He graduated from Chelsea High School in 1909 and followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a medical degree. He did his undergraduate work at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan and recieved his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1917.

During World War I Dr. Palmer served as a war doctor with the rank of first lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corp. He served at various camps throughout the US, including Fort Olgethorpe, Georgia and Camp Merritt, New Jersey. His cousin, Dr. Faye Palmer, also served during World War I.

After the war ended Dr. A. A. Palmer was named the first commander of the Herbert J. McKune American Legion Post 31 on July 28, 1919.

According to his family, Dr. Palmer was very dedicated to serving in the army. He served in both World Wars and tried to enlist for the Korean War but was turned away because of his age. Dr. Palmer was also an avid historian of the American Civil War and collected many artifacts from the war. Dr. Palmer died on December 15, 1971.

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Lt. Faye Palmer (far left) with General William Haan, commander of the 32nd Division (far right).

Lt. Faye Palmer (far left) with General William Haan, commander of the 32nd Division (far right).

Photo provided by the Herbert J. McKune American Legion Post 31.

Dr. Faye Palmer was born on November 14, 1878 to James and Sarah Amanda Palmer. Prior to his service he was a dentist in Chelsea.

He joined the army as a member of the Michigan National Guard and enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company B 120th Michigan Machine Gun Battalion, 32nd Division. During the war he was captured and sent to a German prison camp, which he escaped from after a few days. He returned home from service on May 22, 1919.

After the war, Faye Palmer served as a commander of the Herbert J. McKune American Legion Post 31. He passed away on December 14, 1942.

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Peterson, Oscar

Schrader, Walter

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

Photo provided by Paul Mark, nephew of Oscar Peterson.

Oscar served as a Private in Company C 110th Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guard. He was born in Pennsylvania and enlisted in Denver, Colorado on June 30, 1917 when he was 19 years old. During his service, Oscar was wounded twice, once in the leg and once in the back. Prior to service Oscar worked as a machinist.

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Walter Schrader

Walter Schrader

Photo provided by Donald Schrader, son of Walter Schrader.

Walter Schrader was born June 10, 1895 in Dundee, Michigan. He was the son of Carl Schroeder and Friedricke Schwieger.

Walter enlisted on September 20, 1917 in Toledo, Ohio at the age of 22. He served as a medical officer at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia and was promoted to Sergeant on July 15, 1918. He was discharged on December 21, 1918.

Walter married Mary Edith Kivett on October 20, 1917 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They eventually moved to Chelsea, Michigan. Walter Schrader passed away on December 11, 1975.

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Stofflet, Ross

Taylor, James S.

Ross Stofflett

Ross Stofflett

Photo provided by Ross Stofflet III, grandson of Ross Stofflett.

Ross Stofflet enlisted on July 17, 1917 in Ann Arbor, MI when he was 19. He served as a Corporal in Company E 126th Infantry 32nd Division, and later  in Company C 228th Infantry 85th Division. He was discharged on April 11, 1919. Prior to his service, Ross Stofflet worked as a news agent in Ann Arbor.

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James S. Taylor, paternal Grandfather of Charlie Taylor, Chelsea MI.

James S. Taylor, paternal Grandfather of Charlie Taylor, Chelsea MI.

Photo provided by Charlie Taylor, grandson of James S. Taylor.

James S. Taylor was an officer in the Texas National Guard and fought in France in WWI. Before and after his service, he lived in the town of Timpson, Texas with his wife Vallie and two sons, James and Charles.

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Vaughan Family

Wagner, Julius Jay

The Vaughan family. Back row: Florence (13), Clarence (17). Front row: Dan (20), Ed (19).

The Vaughan family. Back row: Florence (13), Clarence (17). Front row: Dan (20), Ed (19).

Photo provided by Daphne Hodder, niece of Dan, Clarence, and Ed Vaughan and daughter of Florence Vaughan.

The three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Vaughan all enlisted in the US Navy in 1917. The eldest, Dan, was 20 years old. His brothers, Ed and Clarence, were 19 and 17 years old. Both Ed and Dan served in the Navy as Yeoman, performing administrative duties. Clarence enlisted as an apprentice seaman.

The Vaughan family lived in Marquette Michigan. Before their service Dan worked as a secretary at the Marquette National Bank, Ed worked as a city clerk, and Clarence was still in school.

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Photos provided by Mary and Larry Galligan, granddaughter and grandson-in-law of Julius Wagner.Julius Jay Wagner grew up on a farm in Monroe County and was drafted into the war in April of 1918. He trained at both Camp Custer near Battle Creek and Camp Humphreys near Washington D.C. before being sent to France. Julius served in the artillery and since he grew up on a farm he was given the task of handling teams of horses pulling wagons. He served in major battles at the Marbach Defensive, St. Michiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

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Chelsea Retirement Community

Photo taken in 1919, women in the photo unknown.

Photo taken in 1919, women in the photo unknown.

The photos included here are a part of the Chelsea Retirement Community’s Heritage Room, where CRC presents its history and the history of its residents. Chelsea Retirement Community was founded in 1906 and the Heritage Room includes documents and photographs of the Retirement Community from its beginning up to today. Residents have also donated pieces of their family history throughout the years.In the Library’s search for photos and documents from World War I, CRC generously opened its Heritage Room for us to explore. The pieces included here are the photos and documents that included a date confirming they are from the World War I era. Unfortunately there were many beautiful photos that we found but could not confirm their date.If you are interested in learning more about the Chelsea Retirement Community’s Heritage Room, check out CRC’s website at http://umrc.com/about/heritage-room-museum.

Of the photos below, some do not have information about the subjects in the photo. If you recognize someone or have information about these photos, contact Sarah Conrad at sconrad@chelseadistrictlibrary.org

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This Project is a Partnership with:


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Herbert J. McKune
American Legion Post 31




This project is funded in part by Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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