Local News

July 24, 2011

World War I buckle reunited with family

After four-month search, item returned to owner’s 80-year-old niece.

WALTON — After hanging on a nail in a shed for more than 20 years, a brass buckle with references to a World War I battle took a journey from the outskirts of Logansport to the home of a woman in Walton.

Eighty-year-old Phyllis Malott received a phone call this month from Cass County Genealogical Society member Deb Rush, who had a strange request. Rush wanted to meet with her about her late uncle, Harry D. Wilson.

“She probably thought I was crazy,” Rush said.

“I thought really it was just a joke,” Malott said.

Rush’s research had led to a new resting place for the buckle with the name “HD Wilson” inscribed on it.

The story

Don Henry lives on South River Road three miles outside of Logansport. On the property sits an old shed. This spring, Henry began remodeling the structure. He knew the buckle had hung on the nail inside the shed the entire 22 years he had owned the property.

“I just didn’t have any reason to take it off the nail and throw it away,” he said.

Henry hadn’t given the buckle much thought until he removed it and the nail so he could insulate the walls. Out of curiosity, he began cleaning the object that he thought was maybe a piece from an old dog collar. His impression changed when the year 1918 appeared.

“You start rubbing more corners, you come up with more information, then it got more interesting,” Henry said.

“We were pretty excited,” said his wife, Barb.

Hidden under years of grime were the words, “HD Wilson, St. Mihiel, Supply Co. 135FA AEF, 1918.”

Don and Barb researched “St. Mihiel” and discovered that it referred to an important battle in France during World War I.

According to the, Gen. John Pershing caught the Germans out of position and took more than 13,000 prisoners and captured 466 guns while winning the town. The battle lasted 36 hours. An estimated 12,000 soldiers died, including 5,000 Germans and 7,000 Americans.

The couple had Wilsons as neighbors so they approached them to find out if they knew an “HD Wilson.”

“I’ve got all kinds of neighbors up and down the road with the last name of Wilson, but their family tree just didn’t come up with anybody,” Don said.

“Every Wilson we ran into,” said Barb.

Don hangs out at Bullshippers Cafe. He showed the guys there the buckle and expressed his frustration about not being able to identify its owner. They suggested he contact Elizabeth McQuinn, an advocate for local veterans known for her efforts to return nameplates from the World War II Roll of Honor.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results