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INDIANA WWI COUNTY SERVICE MEDALS


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Beast,

Well done. I'm envious. I'm still on the hunt for all the Virginia medals.

Dennis

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Beast---do you know what county the medal from German Township is from? The reason I ask is that St. Joseph County is one of many counties in Indiana that has a German Township in it. I would not think that the German Township medal you show would have come from St. Joe County since the county had issued their own. Thanks, Al.

 

 

Al, you're right, this German township is not the same as the one in St. Joe. I was interested to find that there are at least four German townships in Indiana, but this German township was located in Marshall County.

 

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Beast,

Well done. I'm envious. I'm still on the hunt for all the Virginia medals.

Dennis

 

Thanks Dennis! I was fortunate that I was recently able to add a few of the harder to find medals. That, along with the help from Fred, made the thread possible.

 

Good luck with your search!

 

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Fred Borgmann

Regarding the 1920 census numbers used by both Planck and Small in their pioneering WWI medals books. Both use the numbers to generate very crude estimates of the potential numbers of men eligible to receive these medals. Small figures that on average 4.12 % of the census figure actually served in uniform during the war. This system is far from accurate but is still better than nothing and does give us a basic rarity estimate scale. The census figure system is often misleading since many small towns considered the men from the surrounding rural areas which where well out side of their official city limits to be their boys too. For example Oconomowoc Wisconsin issued 261 medals as listed in my Wisconsin medals book but according to the census figures quoted in Small's book they should have only issued about 136 medals. If one has the time I am sure that the local county veterans services office would have the actual numbers of those who served for their respective counties. Have fun, Fred

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Fred Borgmann

 

BEAST--so, if the population was 103,304, did Planck indicate how many medals were made? Thanks again, Al.

 

Small estimates that 4,954 medals may have been issued, Planck incorrectly assumes the same number to be issued medals.

 

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Small's use of the 1920 census numbers and the 4.12% figure was troubling from the start, but it was what we had to work with. A number of us tried to nail down issue or manufacturing numbers, but it was very difficult data to find. When we did find information, it rarely matched Small's estimates, as Fred noted. So, you really have to keep in mind that Small's 4.12% figure is a very general estimate. In the states of the northest, for example, there were lots of single young men who were not working in jobs the government considered critical for the war effort, so they were draft-eligible. In the rural states, the population was lower and more men were involved in food production or other critical industries, so many were draft-exempt.

 

With the availability of draft registration numbers now, some of this could be figured out with greater precision, but you still have to know how the issuing agency determined who got the medal. I've run into a situation where a town issued a medal in late 1918, when many of the local men were still in the Army of Occupation in Germany. I was never able to pin down if the city gave them all medals later, or just those who requested them when they got home, or perhaps gave the medals to the families. When you're dealing with small populations, answers to such questions can have a substantial impact on the final issue numbers.

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Fred Borgmann

Regarding Jeff's comment I think most of the medals had to be claimed, either at local celebrations by those who could attend or individually later on. In Sauk County Wisconsin for example as of twenty years ago the county veterans office was still holding quite a few of their unclaimed medals.

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Regarding Jeff's comment I think most of the medals had to be claimed, either at local celebrations by those who could attend or individually later on. In Sauk County Wisconsin for example as of twenty years ago the county veterans office was still holding quite a few of their unclaimed medals.

 

Indicating that they had a roll to check claimants against. Or maybe, once had a roll.

 

I think Fred is probably correct about recipients having to claim their medals. Local governments are usually reluctant to spend the time, energy and resources to track down the recipients. So, they announce the availability and wait for the requests. That's apparent in the fact that West Virginia has lists of unclaimed Civil War medals on a web site.

 

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  • 6 years later...
On 7/16/2014 at 10:18 AM, BEAST said:

post-203-0-43595900-1405520313.jpg

In another thread, one of our members has posted a fantastic roll photo showing the men of South Bend, Indiana wearing their St. Joseph County service medal. This got me to wondering when the medal was issued, so I started searching the newspapers.  I found a few articles about plans to award the medal, but one other item that I found interesting is that they mention that the County Commissioners had ordered 5,000 of these medals to be issued to veterans from St. Joseph County whether they served in the U.S. military or a foreign service.  Planck's book shows the census being 103,304 for St. Joe County, so just under 5%.  The issuing of these medals was conducted by the Army and Navy Union on December 8, 1919.

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