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History of Belpre, Washington Co., Ohio
By C. E. Dickinson, D. D.
Formerly Pastor of Congregational Church
Author of the History of First Congregational Church
Marietta, Ohio
Published for the Author by
Globe Printing & Binding Company
Parkersburg, West Virginia


Page 210

     ON Sunday afternoon, July 12th, 1914, the writer held an open air service in Belpre at which time a description was given of  "The Christ of the Andes," a granite monument which had been erected in the mountains between the Argentine Republic and Chile, intended to be four the inhabitants of these two countries and their successors a constant pledge of peace and a promise that differences of opinion, like those which in former years had caused wars, should be settled in a Christian manner by arbitration, and on that occasion this was commended as a desirable compact to be made between nations.
     Allusions were also made to the Peace Conventions which had been held at the Hague, and the opinion was expressed that the principles of the religion of "the Prince of Peace" were so far advanced among Christian nations, that such nations were not likely to engage in wars in the future.  This sentiment was approved by the hearers and was probably at that time the opinion of the good people of our own and other countries.  It was known by those informed respecting current events that Germany had drilled and equipped its citizens to such an extent that a vast army could be mobilized and prepared for active service within a few days.  Articles had appeared in magazines describing Germany's "war machine" but it was generally supposed this was the result of perfecting their theory of Militarism rather than a preparation for immediate war.  It is probably true that the leading statesmen of Europe supposed that these preparations meant war some time in the future, but that they did not anticipate an immediate war is evident from the fact that other nations had made very little counter preparations for war.  It has been since shown that a week before that open air service a secret meeting was held in Berlin at which time Kaiser William 11 and his votaries planned a great world war and agreed upon the manner and time of its inauguration.  The plan

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as has been shown by indubitable evidence, was for Germany and her allied power, Austria, to invade Belgium and France before other nations were prepared to resist, conquer Paris and extort “four times as much indemnity” as in 1871, and then attack Russia. 
     Under the benign favors of Divine Providence these plans did not succeed in their details but a war was inaugurated, the most unnecessary, extensive, bloody and barbarous war that the world has ever seen, and involved nearly the whole civilized world.  This continued more than four years. It is estimated that 8,000,000 men have been slaughtered, equal to twice the population of Ohio, and probably three times that number partially or wholly disabled by wounds.  addition to this the expense of the war has been at least $200,000,000,000, and the national debts of the leading nations have been increased six fold, and now equal nearly one third the total value of all property in these countries at the beginning of the war.  Pictures of the barbarities practiced during these years are too terrible to be minutely described.  They include villages and cities razed to the ground  cathedrals, and other historic buildings, libraries, and museums of art ruthlessly destroyed: immense tracts of cultivated land denuded of crops, fruit and shade trees, coal mines flooded and rendered inoperative, all involving immense pecuniary losses not embraced in the expenditures given above; old men, women and children, murdered in their homes, shot down in the streets, or drowned in sunken ships; many others torn from homes and friends and taken away as slaves to foreign masters. 
     Our country remained neutral for about two and one-half years, during which time Germany continually harassed us by acts of war.  She employed spies and secret agents in our midst who destroyed our munition plants, causing a loss of many lives and millions of dollars; she placed time bombs in our ships to explode and destroy them in mid ocean; she sent agents into friendly countries to incite them to make war upon us; she sank our ships without warning, sometimes “without trace” slaughtering many innocent victims, until in April, 1917 Congress, at the call of President Wilson, declared that Germany had inaugurated war against us, and preparation was at once commenced

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for defense.  As time has advanced many pictures have been vividly brought to our minds.  In one of these we may see a widow with an only child, a son, whom she has educated by her own exertions and fitted him for business which he has already entered with promise of a successful career, and he is beginning to lighten the burdens of his mother, who anticipates that he will be her solace and support in her declining years.  The call comes for soldiers and he, prompted by patriotism, enters the service of his country and of humanity, and,—there is an unknown grave “somewhere in France” and this widow is alone in her desolate home. 
     This picture, with slight variations, describes conditions in millions of homes in the countries at war and for what? Impartial historians will write the answer.  We may now see that this war illustrates as emphatically as any epoch of history the contrast between two principles of human action.  To be served and to serve.
     A Selfish Autocrat was overmastered by an ambition to become the most served man in the world; as described by his followers he aspired to “world empire.” He so educated his subjects for a generation that they were willing to put forth herculean efforts to secure for their ruler this service.  They have accepted him as one ruling by Divine authority, they have accepted from him false statements as true, and have carried forward this war for four years.  All the Allies who are opposed to the Emperor in this wicked war are governed by the opposite principle of service.  Belgium and France have been invaded, devastated, and burglarized by their brutal neighbors.  With them this is a war of self-defense in which they are serving by contending for their countries and their homes, they are also serving mankind as well as themselves.  Other powers, Great Britain and the United States, are in the war as Allies.  These nations have announced to the enemy and to the world that they do not seek territory, nor indemnity.  They found their neighbors like the man Jesus described on the Jericho road, robbed, wounded, and “half dead,” and came to serve them in their need.  They have called into service millions of young men, the strength of the nations, and have furnished billions of dollars and the people at home have vied with the soldiers in service. They have

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poured out their money without stint in Liberty Bonds, Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., and other Christian and patriotic enterprises.  They have not only denied themselves luxuries they have also observed meatless days, and wheatless days and sugarless days, that they may more fully serve their Allies with needed food.  We do not claim to possess prophet knowledge or power, but we believe in an Almighty Ruler of the Universe, who during all the history of our world has exemplified the divinity of service by serving our race, and we could not believe that, in this twentieth Christian Century, he could allow the principle of “being served ” to finally triumph over the principle of “service”  We are taught in the Scriptures, as well as in history, that nations like disobedient children some times deserve chastisement, an inspired Prophet has written “For when thy judgments are in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” and we have confidently believed that when the nations have learned the needed lesson our Heavenly Father would give us a peace in righteousness, and not the least important lesson the people of the world will learn from this war will be the divinity of service.
     From the beginning of the war the people of Belpre shared with fellow citizens of our Republics in reading the daily papers and forming intelligent opinions respecting the principles involved in the conflict.  When war was formally recognized, April 5th, 1917, the people began to make preparation to perform their share of service.
     A County Red Cross Society was organized at Marietta in April, 1917 and a branch was formed at Belpre, June 5th with the following officers: John Dana, President, Dr. F. P. Ames, Vice-President and Mrs. F. J. Prunty, Secretary and Treasurer.  After a brief period of canvassing for memberships a work room was established and placed under the care of Mesdames, H. H. Glazier, P. H. Knee, and F. S. Gaskell.  All day meetings have been held each week at this room and these have been well attended and the day devoted to diligent work.  Similar meetings have been held in Rockland, Porterfield, and Little Hocking.  These ladies have sent to the central rooms at Marietta five hundred finished garments including pajamas and hospital shirts.  In addition to these the knitting of sweaters, socks, and wristlets has been constantly going on

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in the homes in all parts of the town.  Besides the garments sent to the Red Cross rooms many have been prepared for the boys of the community who have entered the service for civilization and liberty.  The making of trench slippers and Belgian relief garments have also engaged many including young girls.  Willing workers have been found in all departments where help has been needed and the good work continued to the end of the war.
     The present membership of the Red Cross is about six hundred and the receipts have amounted to about $1400.00.  In addition to this $1635.55 has been paid to the Society as the result of the war drive of 1918 and a generous amount has been given to the Y. M. C. A.  Other calls for Christian service have been answered by the churches and individuals and considerable contributions have been made by citizens traveling or working elsewhere.
     Generous subscriptions have been made by the people of Belpre to all the issues of Liberty Bonds.
     The united war fund in autumn of 1918 was $1672.44. 
It was the policy of the German military leaders when acting on the offensive to make long and elaborate preparations and then inaugurate an extensive drive.  This was their method as long as their superiority of numbers made it necessary for the Allies to continue on the defensive.  In the Spring of 1918 they made two such drives which were reasonably successful and caused both Great Britain and France to call upon the United States to hasten forward their soldiers.  This call was heeded and all the transports available were called into service. 
     In July the Germans prepared their armaments and selected their best divisions of “shock soldiers” to make a powerful drive which they hoped would end the war in their favor. 
     Previous to this Marshall Ferdinand Foch had been appointed to the Supreme Command of all the Allied armies. The Marshall made a careful study of the whole situation and the forces under his control.  The result was that he arranged and solidified his forces for an offensive campaign.   About a quarter of a million of American soldiers were already in France and others were arriving as rapidly as transportation could be provided. These men

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were brigaded with soldiers from other countries, or collected into American units and rendered efficient aid.  These efforts greatly increased the morale as well as the fighting force of the Allies and discouraged their enemies.  When the Germans, after large preparation, made their last offensive movement, with the intention of reaching Paris or the English Channel or both, they were met by the Allied armies at Chateau Thierry and were faced about so as to look toward Berlin instead of Paris and the American troups bore an important part in making this change of direction.
     From this time the Allied armies were constantly increased by arrivals from America and Marshall Foch's tactics changed from defensive to offensive and instead of long pauses for preparation he made his offensive movements continuous.  This was a surprise to the German leaders and one for which they were not prepared.  As a result the Allies made gains in prisoners and territory nearly every day.  This marked a turning point in the war and from that time gains were made by the Allies not only in France and Belgium but also in Italy, the Balkan States and Palestine.  The Central powers soon became so weakened that on September 30, Bulgaria was ready to make an unconditional surrender.  This was followed by a surrender by Turkey, October 31 and by Austria Hungary, November 4th.  It was evident about this time that the plans of Marshall Foch were likely to so far envelop the German army as to secure a very extensive victory.  The German leaders seem to have become aware of this which led them hastily to secure an Armistice which was signed and on November 11 the fighting ceased.  The transportation of troops had so much increased that there were in France at that time about a million and a half of men in the various branches of the United States service and two millions more were under training in cantonments in this country. Most of these men were in peaceful employments twelve months earlier and knew nothing of military tactics, but within this brief period of time had become as efficient soldiers as Germans who had received military training from childhood. This fact seems to prove, that, even if wars should continue in future years, it is not necessary

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that intelligent citizens of a Republic should receive long training in order to become good soldiers.
     A Congress is already in session which is expected to fix upon conditions of peace, and it is our sincere hope and prayer that they may in some way bring about such a league of nations as will prevent wars in the future.
     Whatever may have been the ambition of German leaders for world power, it is evident that if they had been as unprepared as other European nations this war would not have been inaugurated as it was.
     We are justified in the assertion that this war with all its terrible consequences is the direct result of German militarism.
     It seems to us that the present generation should labor to destroy militarism here, in Germany, and throughout the World.
     The final “Treaty of Peace” was signed in the famous “Galerie des Glaces” (Hall of Mirrors) in the Versailles Palace on Saturday June 28, 1919 at 3 P. M.  The scene is described in Current History Magazine for August, 1919, as follows:
     “M. Clemeceau as President of the Peace Conference opened the ceremony.  Rising he made the following brief address, amid dead silence:  'The session is open.  The Allied and associated powers on one side and the German Reich on the other side have come to an agreement on the conditions of peace.  The text has been completed, drafted, and the President of the Conference has stated in writing that the text that is about to be signed now is identical with the 200 copies that have been delivered to the German delegation.  The signatures will be given now and they amount to a solemn undertaking faithfully and loyally to execute the conditions embodied by this treaty of peace.  I now invite the delegates of the German Reich to sign the treaty.'
     “There was a tense pause for a moment.  Then in response to M. Clemenceau’s bidding the German delegates rose without a word, and, escorted by William Martin, Master of Ceremonies, moved to the signatory table where they placed upon the treaty the sign manuals which Ger-

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man Government leaders had declared over and over again with emphasis and anger would never be appended to the treaty. They also signed a protocol covering changes in the document and the Polish undertakings. All three documents were similarly signed by the allied deputies who followed.


     “When the German delegates regained their seats after signing, President Wilson immediately rose, and, followed by the other American plenipotentiaries, moved around the sides of the horse shoe to the signature tables.  It was thus President Wilson and not M. Clemenceau, who was the first of the Allied delegates to sign.  This however was purely what may be called an alphabetical honor, in accordnace with the order in which they were named in the prologue to the treaty.  Premier Lloyd George with the British delegation came next.  The British dominions followed.  M. Clemenceau with the French delegation was next to him.  Then came Baron Saionji and the other Japanese delegates, and they in turn were followed by the representatives of the smaller powers. * * *  The great war which for five long years had shaken Europe and the World was formally ended at last.   It was a war which had cost the beligerent nations $185,000,000,000; which had caused the death of 7,582,000 human beings and which had left the world a post-war burden of debt amounting to $135,000,000,000.  It was a war which had changed the whole face of Europe, which had brought many new nations into existence, which had revolutionized the organization of all national and international life.  It was a war which had brought the world the consciousness of its common obligation to unite against all war.  The booming of the great guns of Versailles seemed to proclaim a new epoch.” 
     “Simultaneously with the signing of Peace, President Wilson cabled the following address to the American people, which was given out at once in Washington by Secretary Tumulty:
     “My Fellow Countrymen, the treaty of peace has been signed.  If it is ratified and acted upon in full and sincere execution of its terms it will furnish the charter for a new order of affairs in the world.  It is a severe treaty in the

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duties and penalties it imposes upon Germany; but it is severe only because great wrongs done by Germany are to be righted and repaired; it imposes nothing that Germany can not do; and she can regain her rightful standing in the world by the prompt and honorable fulfillment of its terms.   And it is much more than a treaty of peace with Germany.  It liberates great peoples who have never before been able to find the way to liberty.   It ends, once for all, an old and intolerable order under which small groups of selfish men could use the people of small empires to serve their ambition for power and dominion.   It associates the free governments of the world in a permanent league in which they are pledged to use their united power to maintain peace by maintaining right and justice.   It makes international law a reality supported by imperative sanctions.  It does away with the right of conquest and rejects the policy of annexation, and substitutes a new order under which backward nations—populations which have not yet come to political consciousness, and people who are ready for independence but not yet quite prepared to dispense with protection and guidance—shall no more be subjected to the domination and exploitation of a stronger nation, but shall be put under the friendly direction and afforded the helpful assistance of Governments which undertake to be responsible to the opinion of mankind in the execution of their task by accepting the direction of the League of Nations. 
     It recognizes the inalienable rights of nationality, the rights of minorities and the sanction of religious belief and practice.  It lays the basis for conventions which shall free the commercial intercourse of the world from unjust and vexatious restrictions and for every sort of international co-operation that will serve to cleanse the life of the world and facilitate the common action in beneficient service of every kind.  It furnishes guarantees such as were never given or even contemplated for the fair treatment of all who labor at the daily tasks of the world.  It is for this reason that I have spoken of it as a great charter for a new order of affairs.  There is ground here for deep satisfection, universal reassurance, and confident hope.” 
     The new era here described is just commencing as these words are promulgated.  The Germans made very

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bitter complaint at what they consider the severe conditions they are compelled to sign.  It appears to the present writer that in view of the devastations wrought by the war future historians are more likely to emphasize the leniency than the severity of these conditions.


     We have found it very difficult to secure a complete list of those who have entered the United States Service.  A part of these have volunteered at different times and a part have been drafted.  There are four post offices in the township and by our method of distributing mail persons do not all receive mail from the town in which they live.  We are glad to give the Roll of Honor as complete as we have been able to make it.

Harry Abbott
Arthur Abbott
Harry Anderson
James E. Anderson
Other Anderson
William Atkinson
Brodie Baker
William Bacon
Dennis V. Bailey
Anvil Clair Bradley
George Baum
Daniel Berry
Charles Brownfield
Earnest W. Brownfield
Frank Browning
Dallas Earl Bliss
Lysle Bliss
Peter Boyd
Ivan Brick
Ralph Brackney
Donald Campbell
John Campbell
Bertran Cillis
Robert Cook
Fred Cook
Charles Costolo
George Costello
Loring E. Coe
Charles Covey
John Kenneth Christopher
LeRoy A. Criss
Loring Criss
William T. Criss
Clifford Cunninghom
Lockwood Dana
Charles R. Delo
Frederic Dressel
Harry Dressel
Dean Davis
Glen DeVol
Earl Dugan
John Coggshall Dutton
John Dexter
Howard Dugan
Putnam Druley
Roscoe Fore
Wheatley Frashure
Walt Fluhardy
Ralph Gainor
E. Creel Gainor,
Lieut. James Gandee,
Lieut. Clifford Gainor
Arthur Glazier,
Lieut. Willard Garrett

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Raymond Goodno
Owen Gray
Vernon Gray
Roy Haddox
Reed Haddox
James Houser
Raymond Hawk
George Hall
Robert Hines
Clarence Hilferding
William Hunter
Stewart Hobensack
Chester Hupp
Earnest Hupp
J. David Hupp
William Hupp
Vernon Hull
Ray Hickman
_____ Hill
Russell Jackson
George E. Jolley,
Lieut. Ogle Jober
Roy Kraft
Blair Kimes
Joseph Kirker
James Kesterson
Robert Kesterson
Otto Leach
John Leach
Emmet Leach
Ray Sinza Lee
Jrovanni A. Liberatore
George Crocket Lynn
William McDonald
Clifford Matheny
Dow Matheny
Clair Matheny
Wade Matheny
Edward D. Matheny
George Lewis Maley
Earl Clifford Mars
Benjamin F. Milton
Charles M. Mulligan
William P. Mulligan
James Nolan
Herman Nusum
Lewis M. Nicholas
Gordon Packard
Dale Packard
Harold Packard
Carl Packard
George Packett
George Pope
George Potter
Galen Virgil Phelps
Charles H. Pryor
Edward Pryor, Jr.
Rodney Pryor
Ray Pennybacker
Cecil B. Pride
Eugene Ramsey
Tennie Roberts
LeRoy Roberts
Clyde Robinson
Elmer E. Robinson
Everett Ross
Clyde Ross
Frank Riffle
Neal Riffle
Charles Scott
Robert Shaw
Calvin Squires
Ralph Stribbling
Earnest Stephens
Guy Stephens
Homer Stephens
Clifford Statts
George Bennett Stone
Harry S. Sprague
David A. Swesey
Raymond Sheppard
Lewis Tippie
David Thomas
Leslie Turner
Stone Trautman
Lester Tompkins

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Henry A. Thorn
Everett Ullom
Harry R. Van Dyke
Raymond VanMeter
Carl Valentine
Samuel Ward
John Weaver
Pearl A. Weaver
John Worcester
Raymond Wallace
George Wallace
Frank Wigner
Ray Wigner
James Webster
Robert Weight
Henry Wise

     When fighting ceased Nov. 11, 1918, as a result of the Armistice, part of these men were in France and pan were still in training cantonments in this country.
     The first man from Belpre who fell as a martyr to the cause of world freedom was John Kenneth Christopher who was killed at Chateau Thierry.  A little later Frank Browning died in hospital from Pneumonia induced by a gun shot wound.  These were our martyrs.





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