Bio: Haugen, Otto (Died in France – 1918)

Contact: Ann Stevens

Surnames: Haugen, Root, Landgraf, Rude, Howard, Martin, Morgan

----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 9/12/1918

Haugen, Otto (Died in France – 1 AUG 1918)

According to letters received last week from France, the identity of the Neillsville boy who was recently found dead in a trench with seven German soldiers has been definitely settled as that of Otto Haugen. According to a letter received by H.M. Root from Art Haugen, it was he who found his brother dead in the trench and a letter from Leroy Langraf to his mother verifies the statement. It will be remembered that some weeks ago news dispatches from France mentioned the heroism of a Neillsville boy who was found in a trench by his brother, but as no names were mentioned, the identity of the two boys remained unknown until the letters were received last week.

Otto Haugen was one of the six Haugen boys who enlisted in Co. A, closed up their home here and went to war. Otto was a fine young man, conscientious and studious and being of a quiet disposition, was not well enough known to be appreciated. He worked for George Rude for several months and those of his intimate friends speak of him in the very highest terms of praise. He is now the third Neillsville boy to have given his life for his country.

Somewhere in France, Aug. 17, ’18, Mr. H.M. Root,
Dear Sir:
A few days ago I received another one of your long, interesting letters. I know it is impossible for me to write you anywhere near a letter like that, but I can, at least, acknowledge receipt of same. The weather still continues fine over here, and things are going gloriously for the allies. We are certainly living in high hopes just now. I wish I could tell you where we are now, and where we have been—it would be interesting for you to follow our trail on the map. You have no doubt read about the American exploits here in France. Well, you can count us in on some of that glory. That is all I’m allowed to say. No doubt you will know before you get this letter that my brother, Otto, was killed in action. We found him on the field and were present at his burial. We were fortunate in that our regional chaplain was also there and officiated. All sacred rituals possible were administered. All the glory due any American soldier is his. We do not show our grief now—we must—and we will, carry on until this great scourge to civilization—Kaiserism==is wiped from the earth. All officers and men have shown us the greatest consideration since that time.

The country here is also beautiful, and outside of that there is no news. I must thank you for writing to me, as your letters are very much appreciated. Hoping this will find you in the best of health and spirits, I beg to remain as ever,
1st Sgt. Arthur Haugen

Somewhere in France, Aug. 15,’18
Dear Mother and Babe:
Will write you a few lines to let you know that I am in good health. There is not much news just now. Otto Haugen was killed the night of the first of August and Glen Howard was killed with him. They tell me that Art Haugen found Otto himself. I camp near where they are buried. I saw Mr. Martin the other day and I hardly knew him. Yes, we were on the Alsace range for about 50 days. There was not much doing up there, but there is something doing where we are now. I would like to see a rest camp, just to see what one looks like. I think there is no rest about it at all. The only rest we get is when we move from one place to another. Well, I see that they don’t keep the drafted men in the states as long as they did. Yes, I got that picture of Brook’s boy. That is a fine picture, all right. I received a letter from Grandmother Morgan the other day, but I haven’t had time to answer it. I got the package you sent me and you can send me another just like it. I made out a new allotment the other day. If you see Wilding, tell him hello for me.

We are all anxious for this war to end and we think it won’t last over winter. But if it does, it will be over by spring alright.

With love to all, Leroy Landgraf   



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