Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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Pvt. Charles E. Straker
214th Engineers Train, 89th Division
August 1, 1890 - September 24, 1918

   Charles E. Straker was reared at the home of his grandfather,
Rev. James E. Straker, who was formerly pastor of the Immanuel
Presbyterian Church of the West Side. Later in life he was not only
a faithful member of that church, but his early religious training and
devout character suggested the clergy to him as a life career.

   He was born August 1, 1890, at Marissa, Ill.  He received his
education at the Centennial School, where he went until he was
thirteen.  When he left school he obtained employment at the
Globe-Bosse-World Furniture Factory. Here he worked continuously for
nine years.  During this time he was a member of the Immanuel
Presbyterian Church and the Woodmen of the World.  In 1913 he
went to Anterio, Cal., where he worked for the Hot Point Electrical
Co. His religious nature induced him to attend a Bible institution
at Los Angeles.  It was his goal to enter the ministry.

   To help win the war he tried to enlist at San Diego, April 18, 1918;
but he was rejected because of flat feet. After his rejection he
worked for a construction company at Camp Lewis. From Camp Lewis
he went to Camp Funston in Kansas, and succeeded in entering the
service with the 314th Engineer Train, 89th Division.*  At Camp
Funston he remained but one day, and on May 26, 1918, he was sent
east to Camp Mills where he stayed for two days and left for France.

   The letters he sent home were always cheerful, and contained no
intimation of danger. However, after four months of service, Charles
E. Straker made the supreme sacrifice while on duty September 24, 1918.
While at Boulliouville, France an enemy shell struck the motor
truck he was on.  The missile killed him instantly, and caused the
death of his partner who was driving the truck. As this death was
the first that the train had suffered up to that time, his comrades paid
him a special tribute.  The St. Amiens Graves Registration Service
surveyed a plot of land before the train left.  In this cemetery his
body was laid to rest at Boulliouville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.

  *This Division was in France under Major-General Joseph T. Dickman
in command of the Third Corps.

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
October 25, 1998