Obit: Witte, Frederick J. (1891 - 1918)

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----Source: COLBY PHONOGRAPH (Colby, Wis.) 01/17/1918

Witte, Frederick J. (31 JAN 1891 - 2 JAN 1918)

The tragedy of war was brought home to us when the news came that one of our soldier boys was dead. In the time of war it is something that we must expect. There is never a great achievement without some great sacrifice. To those who offer themselves all honor and credit is due. Whether they return a conquering hero or lose their life in conflict, it matters not, for both alike have enlisted in the cause of righteousness and have endeared themselves to the hearts of a thankful nation. It was the task of this liberty loving country to still further purify the world and make it a better abiding place; and to do this strong hearts and willing hands were needed. Fred Witte was one of the many who had the honor of being called to help in the struggle. He responded to the call of his country and died for it. The coming of his lifeless form was a message that he had done his part and bore the admonition that we at home should do ours.

Frederick J. Witte, son of Frederick and Augusta Witte, was born in the town of Hull, Marathon Co., Jan. 31, 1891. His whole life, until he entered the army, was spent on the farm, he having full charge as soon as he was old enough to take the responsibilities. His father died Dec. 28, 1900. On Oct. 2, 1917, he entered the military service of the United Sates and was a member of Co. H., 341st Infantry. On Nov. 14 of the same year he was transferred to Co. I, 345th Infantry, located at Camp Pike, near Little Rock, Ark. While at the latter place he contracted pneumonia. The family was notified and his brothers, Willie, Otto, Paul and John, started immediately for Camp Pike, they arriving there a short time after his death. They arrived home with his body… The funeral was held from St. John's Evangelical Church on Monday, Jan. 7, which was carried out with military honors so far as possible. Marching to the strains of martial music, a company of about 150 citizens of the towns of Hull and Colby, under the command of Frank A. Jackson, and a squad of soldiers in uniform under the command of Corp. Miller of Marshfield, met the cortege at the city limits and escorted the procession to the church, where the services were to be held. Rev. Peper conducted the services in German and was followed with an address by Judge E. A. Pors of Marshfield. There were a large number of beautiful floral offerings. The procession formed again and marched to the Colby Cemetery. At the grave a prayer was read by Rev. Peper and three volleys were fired over the grave by the soldiers; then the trumpet sounded taps.

Fred was a boy who was well liked in the community. He was honest and industrious and was a great help to his mother. He leaves to mourn his loss his mother, Mrs. Augusta Witte, five brothers, Willie, Frank, Otto, Paul and John, four sisters, Mrs. Wm. Zarnke, Mrs. Robert Schorer, Mrs. George Miller and Miss Meta, all of the town of Hull.



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