Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amos Ephriam Walker (1895-1918)

Son of John and Sarah Walker (deceased); born February 2, 1895, Douglas County, Mo. Moved to Whitley County, Ind. in 1902. Laborer. Entered service September 19, 1917, Columbia City, Ind. Sent to Camp Taylor, Ky.; assigned to Company D, 152nd Infantry. Sent to Camp Shelby, Miss. Overseas in May, 1918; assigned to Company B, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division. Killed in action July 22, 1918, Argonne Forest. (Burial place unknown).
Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in The Service of the United States and The Allied Nations in The World War 1914-1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921) Page 720. Contributed by Meredith Thompson.
Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, August 3, 1918
First Columbia City Soldier Falls on Battlefield. Amos E. Walker, son of John Walker, of Brownwood, this city, is the first Columbia City man to give his life for his country while serving at the front. Word was received in this city late Wednesday night by the young man’s father to this effect, coming in the form of a telegram which stated that Amos E. Walker died of wounds on July 22, somewhere in France. The message was sent direct from Adjutant General McCain of the war department at Washington and was as follows:
Washington, D. C.
July 31, 1918
Mr. John Walker
Columbia City, Indiana.
Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Private Amos E. Walker, Infantry, died July 22, of wound received in action.
McLAIN, Adj. Gen.
The message came to the tower and was telephoned to Mr. Walker and was naturally a terrible shock to him, as such messages must necessarily be to all parents who have sons actively engaged on the battlefield; but at the same time parents are prepared for such news and will be so long as the war lasts. Deaths are inevitable, and at the present time no locality in the entire United States is without its representatives on the fighting lines. No one knows the next home that will be saddened by a telegram from the war department, but wherever the blow may fall, the sympathy of the public in the fullest measure will go to the parents and brothers and sisters of the stricken soldier, just as it is now extended to John Walker and family in the loss of his brave son.
Amos Walker enrolled under the selective conscription law at this city June 5th, 1917, and on September 22nd was sent to Camp Zachary Taylor, near Louisville, Ky., where he received his first military training. He was at that place but a short time and was transferred with a bunch of other Whitley county men to Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, Miss. At this place he was placed in Co. D, 152nd Infantry along with many other young men from Northern Indiana. He received intensive training there during the winter and early spring months and was in fine condition for overseas duty.
During the month of March a call came for eight men from this company to do overseas duties and Amos was one of the very first men to volunteer. He was the only Whitley county man that was chosen with this contingent, but he wished to go in the hope that he would be able to meet his brother, Roy, who was over there and is serving with the Rainbow division.
After arriving overseas he was placed in a different company but he still held his old address of Company D, 152nd Infantry, A. E. F. via New York, and his parents received several letters from him after he arrived over there. He had never stated in his letters that he was in active service, and it may be that his company was only recently sent to the firing line. It is customary for the captain of a company in which a man is killed to write to the unfortunate young man’s parents and give the details and Mr. Walker may receive a letter in the near future that will explain how the son received the wounds that terminated in death. It is not known when he was wounded but, owing to that fact that no word had been received that he had been wounded, it is the supposition that he died soon afterwards.
He has a brother Roy, who left Fort Wayne with Battery D last fall, and the members of the battery sailed for France and constituted a part of the famous 42nd, commonly known as the Rainbow division, which is now doing service on the battle lines in Flanders. There is also a half-brother, Verlin Rodgers, who is in the navy and is in active service in foreign waters. Amos is also survived by his father and step-mother and three sisters, namely, Vina Winebrenner, of Churubusco, Frances J. and Martha, at home.
The dead soldier was born in this county, February 2, 1896, and was 22 years, 5 months and 20 days of age at the time of his death. He received a grade school education in this city and then took employment in the onion fields in the county, later working at the Peabody Lumber company. He was particularly brave and loyal and was very anxious to do his bit for his country and has done the utmost that any man can do by giving his life. He was a member of the Odd Fellow lodge of this city and was also affiliated with the United Brethren church and his star on the Service Flag there will be turned to gold. He was an honest, big hearted young man, willing to do anything that was asked of him, and it was this trait of character that made him a friend of all who knew him.
The young man was very well provided with insurance, having a $1,000 policy in the Modern Woodman lodge that is payable to his sisters, and two small policies in the Prudential that will total about $300. He also took out the $10,000 policy provided for by the government and this is payable to his father and will be paid in monthly payments.
There will be four gold stars on the Whitley County Service Flag, representing Charles Warnick, who died at Columbus barracks; Marshall Kerns, at Ft. Douglas; Scott Baker, at San Francisco, and now Amos Walker, who gave up his life in France.
Note: His half-brother, Verlin Rogers, died of influenza on board a ship in Cuban waters in January 1919.

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