This won’t be much—what I have to say;
It’s an after-thought in an endless day.
Some day you’ll read this; then, dear, you’ll know
it was God’s will—so, I had to go.
No monument of any kind—
As the famed have earned, shall you ever find
Erected for us who died in a foreign land
So that liberty and freedom forever should stand.
Medals and crosses—not ours shall they be;
Ribbons and clusters we will never see:
But we gave all we had to appease war’s lust
And make Democracy the King in a world that is just.
Mother, dearest, I ask on Poppy Day
Buy one for me as if to say—
“I remember, son, you did your best
And I hope and pray that in peace you rest.”
These lines were penned by Anthony Mark, on January 1, 1945. Both Private Mark and then-2nd Lieutenant John Martin of Osborne, Kansas, served in Company B, 123rd Infantry Regiment, 33rd Division, of the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. John was a few steps behind the author when Mark was killed in battle on March 28, 1945.
It was determined that the Osborne County Veterans Memorial should be erected on the county courthouse grounds with a target date for dedication set for Veterans Day, November 11, 2000. In May the design was finalized with an estimated cost of $23,000 (later amended to $24,600), and on June 5th the Osborne County Commissioners gave permission for the monument to be placed in front of the flag pole already then in place at the north entrance to the courthouse. Fundraising was then started; by the first week of August only $8,800 had been raised, with the Osborne veterans organizations leading the way. The cutoff date of September 15th that stone for the monument could be safely ordered in time for the dedication was approaching and there was some legitimate concern that the project would be completed after all. But then money began coming in and by the middle of September well over half of the funds needed had been raised and the stone for the memorial was ordered. Special fundraisers held by various organizations added to the till and the final amount was reached in early November. Additional money was excepted and was used to pay for a permanent light for the memorial and for future upkeep.
An outdoor dedication ceremony had been planned, but rain, then sleet, and then snow forced the ceremony into the courtroom of the courthouse. On Saturday, November 11, at 11 AM—“at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day”—spectators filled the courtroom while others stood in the second-floor hallway and even down the two main staircases. The Osborne High School band occupied the west end of the hallway, and performed two marches to add an impressive element to the festivities. Bill Cady presided as Master of Ceremonies and the honor guard, flags at attention and guns at rest, sat in the jury box. Von Rothenberger introduced the four main speakers, who in turn spoke of the importance of honoring the veterans of Osborne County. They were State Representative Laura McClure of Osborne; Dean Speaks of Beloit, former District Commander of the Sons of the Union Veterans; Dr. William Delbert Paschal, Osborne County native and former World War II prisoner of war; and American Legion District Commander Dave Warnken, who dedicated the monument. The entire ceremony lasted about forty-five minutes, after which a soup and sandwich luncheon for veterans and their families was held in the Veterans Hall in downtown Osborne.
The second part of the project was the compiling of the Osborne County Military Veterans Register. The Register was envisioned as a list of those active duty military veterans who called Osborne County, Kansas, their home between the years 1866 and 2000. This means that if a veteran, at any time in their lives, lived in the county they could be included in the Register. Compiled between March and December of 2000, the list was drawn from the following sources:
County documents in the Osborne County Register of Deeds Office.
Existing county cemetery records.
Lists compiled in 1928 and 1957 by Orville Grant Guttery of county veterans buried in Osborne County.
Information taken from the Alton Pride Committee’s Veteran’s Book.
Numerous newspaper articles from papers in Alton, Downs, Osborne, Natoma, and Portis, covering the period of 1876-2000.
Information sent in by either veterans or the families and friends of veterans.
Veterans who either received dishonorable discharges or served only in National Guard or Reserve units are not eligible for inclusion in the Register, unless their Guard or Reserve unit were called at some point to active duty. Examples of this were serving in Panama or in the Persian Gulf War. Upon completion the Register is to be permanently placed in the Osborne County Clerk’s Office for public inspection. Nearly 4000 names are listed on the following pages; all known information given is correct to the best of our ability at this time. Additional information or corrections can be added provided sufficient proof is shown to the Osborne County Clerk to warrant changes, just as veterans’ names who are missing can also be added (again, with proof) to the blank pages provided at the end.
May this Register serve as a visible honor to the memory of all those who have served active duty in the armed forces. All Gave Some, Some Gave All.
March 5, 2001
List of Donors
Alphabetic Listing of Veterans