Chautauqua Approaches To Provide Information About WWI



Sidney is one of two locations for Chautauqua celebrations this summer, celebrations that will entertain and educate with period-correct singers and actors, as well as scholars who know the material.

This year's Chautauqua will take attendees back to World War I days, providing information from a number of resources about the "War to end all wars."

Chautauqua begins Wednesday night with scholars taking part in a "Meet the Chautauquans" event.

Other events will continue through the remainder of the week and into the weekend.

Chautauqua audiences will gather each evening to enjoy entertainment and first-person portrayals of important characters during the World War I era. There are four parts to each Nebraska Chautauqua evening:

1. Entertainment by a musical or theatrical performer.

2. Presentations from two historical figures (the moderator and the evening's special guest).

3. Questions from the audience directed to the historical figures, who will answer as the figures would have responded.

4. Questions from the audience directed at the scholars, who will answer as their research suggests. They can correct self-serving answers by the historical figures or shed light on a subject the historical figure would not have known.

Some local information from WWI includes that on Sidney recruitment and area residents who served:

From the Sidney Telegraph

Friday, January 25, 1918


According to a letter received by the local recruiting station, from the Omaha headquarters, we observe Sidney is one of the 13 honor cities in Nebraska for Army enlistments and by careful scrutiny of the figures it will be not only noticed that not only is she among the thirteen highest, but she is second in percentage of enlistments according to population. But one town, Coleridge, has sent a higher percent. This make Sidney second in the state in number of enlistments according to her population. (Population of all towns are taken from the 1910 government census which of course is too low, but is fair to all towns alike).

Banner Cities in Nebraska

Pop. Enlist.

Alliance 3,105 43

Beatrice 9,987 41

Coleridge 535 39

Central City 2,428 55

Fremont 9,345 50

Grand Island 11,505 121

Hastings 10,202 96

Hartington 1,413 33

Kearney 6,262 34

Lincoln 45,643 426

Norfolk 6,025 40

Omaha 133,274 1,277

Sidney 1,185 45

In announcing deaths of men "over there," General Pershing included the name of William V. Kilgore on January 18th of Brule, Nebraska. He was among the first to enlist at Sidney and is the first reported as going from this station who has lost his life.

From the Sidney Telegraph

Friday, September 28, 1917



The last of the seventy one soldiers for this county will be entrained on October 3rd. They had all been certified previously from the District Board to the Local Board. Their names are as follows.

Jesse Cox, Dalton.

John Peetz,' Sidney.

James Collins, Dalton.

Leo A. Bartholomew, Sidney.

Pat Keenan, Dalton.

Pearl Willis, Potter.

John A, Lingwall, Sidney.

Willie Carl Fraas, Lodge Pole.

Michael Troidl, Dalton.

Louis Schumacker, Daiton.

Joe T. Kucera, Sunol .

Elmer H. Seyfang, Potter.

Sidney A. Moore, Sidney.

Harold M. Robb, Dalton.

Hughlen 0. Sauers, Sidney.

'Algol B. Erickson, Potter.

John Ernest Wilburn, Peetz.

William Gifford, Lodge Pole.

Marion Lee Daniel,- Sidney.

William A. Holm. Sidney.

William Eugene Peirce, Sidney.

John F. Harshman, Dalton.

Charles A. Lawson, Sunol.

Herman J. Kalloff, Dalton.

Albert C. Fecht, Dalton.

Jim Lazaroff. Potter.

Earl V. Deitrick, Peetz.

Anton Henzl, Jr., Lodge Pole.

Grover Hatcher,-Sidney.

All of these men will appear in Sidney by four o'clock on Wednesday. October 3rd to be checked for entrainment on No. 4. The Local Board requests us to state that the regulations are that any one failing to appear will be treated as a deserter.


The following is a collection of excerpts from journal entries by Glenn Russell Easterly. Following his service during WWI, Easterly moved to the area southwest of Sidney and began farming. The family recently received recognition for having a Century Farm (farmed more than 100 years). Easterly was a Cheyenne County Resident from 1921-1980.

WWI information as written by Glenn Easterly:

Enlisted in Iowa National Guard July 17, 1917. Shipped to Camp Dodge July 1917. Boot training at Des Moines by Guard duty at Iowa State Fair fall of 1917. Was billeted in large circus tent at Iowa State Fair grounds. No uniforms issued for two months after enlistment.

After Guard duty at State Fair, was drafted into National U.S. Army and attached to 34th Division Co. 109th Ammunitions Motor train and shipped to Deming, New Mexico (Camp Cody). Did infantry training for several months. In summer of 1918 was sent to Peoria, Illinois for specialized training on tanks and Caterpillar tractors for 30 days. Returned to Camp Cody, N.M. for Bayonette Training. In short time, rec'd orders to move to Chicago, Illinois to receive a convoy of 150 F.W.D. Artillery repair trucks. After three months of waiting and bunk fatigue, were ordered to convoy 34 F.W.D. Artillery repair trucks to Raritan Arsenal Camp, Dix, N.J.

Short time after arrival, Camp was quarantined for flu, where 1800 G.I.'s came to the end of their enlist. Quarantined for 6 weeks, which delayed our overseas departure to Oct. 17. Left Hoboken, N.J. , then seven days later landed in South Hampden, England. Finally after marching to two rest camps was loaded onto freighter for trip across the rough English Channel to Cherbourg (France), and after smaller march of 10 miles to rest camp, only to march back to Cherbourg next day for shipment (box cars held 40 men or eight horses) to Southern France to Camp De Souge. Shortly after becoming billeted, were ordered to convoy 50 Ford light trucks to Chaumont at the front and was first initiation of artillery fire. Was very fortunate, only lost one truck, and then by fire during refueling.

Returned back to Port Bordeaux for more convoy of trucks to Northern France. This continued until June of 1919. Shortly after this, the good news was rec'd to be shipped back to the Good Old U.S.A. Trip back was uneventful. Debarked at N.Y. and shipped to Ft. Dodge and Discharged June 12, 1919. In two battles, Battle of Bordeaux, and Vine Blank.


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