Obit: Hommel, John W. (1852 - 1927)

Contact: Stan

Surnames: HOMMEL

----Source: NEILLSVILLE PRESS (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 02/03/1927

Hommel, John W. (30 Dec 1852 - 31 JAN 1927)

Monday morning, Jan. 31m 1927, J. W. Hommel died suddenly at his home on Grand Avenue (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.). Although he had been in poor health for some time, his death came as a shock to the people of this city. Just a year ago he underwent a severe operation at the hospital, but regained considerable strength and was active in his duties as Street Commissioner up to Saturday night.

Mr. Hommel was born on Long Island, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1852, and came with his parents when a small boy to La Crosse Co. When he was about 17 years of age he came to Clark County and worked as a blacksmith at Staffordville for some time. Later he worked at this trade in lumber camps, and established a shop in Neillsville. He was an expert at his trade and was quite a mechanical genius, picking up a good working knowledge of plumbing and various other trades. Soon after the city was incorporated he was appointed City Marshal and for many years held that office, later receiving the title of Chief of Police. He was also Street Commissioner, performing for some time the duties of the two offices. In many ways, besides this he was active in looking after the city's interest, in later years taking particular interest in Schuster Park, for which he constructed a large amount of play apparatus for the children and other valuable conveniences for the public. He early took an interest in military matters and joined the local militia company in the service of the state, March 22, 1882, On May 16, 1887, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant; on Nov. 14, 1887, a First Lieutenant, and received his commission as Captain on May 22, 1891. He kept up the efficiency of the organization and went out as Captain of Co. A. at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War and served throughout the war. During his Puerto Rican service in this war he was appointed Commissioner for the U. S. to take over for our government the barracks, hospitals, and other Spanish property, which was done formally at Cayey Sept. 25, 1898. Capt. Hommel received special recognition while in Puerto Rico, being presented with a sword by the mayor of Cayey, this sword being one that had been used in an ancient war between Spain and England. He was also appointed Commissioner of Highways and supervision of police powers. On his return to Neillsville after the war, he reorganized Co. A., after it was mustered out of the U. S. Service. On June 12, 1899 he was commissioned Major; on Oct. 1, 1913 he was made Lieutenant Colonel. When the Mexican trouble arose in the fall of 1916, he went to the border with the Third Regiment, Wis. Infantry. On March 24, 1917, he received his commission of Colonel, a rank he retained to the end. …..(the rest of my copy was cut off)



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