Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend. Although we live in a very challenging world, we still have much to be thankful for.

Here are a few turkey's at the Idaho pen, circa Thanksgiving 1924. I keep looking but haven't yet spotted Harry Orchard among this flock. He is one turkey that I thought should have been fried.

Click on the pic for a clearer view.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 is now Fold3

Some of you may have been familiar with the website, as I have posted various items and links from it on this blog before. Recently Footnote was acquired by and significant changes to the website occurred about the time my subscription was due for renewal. It gave me pause as Footnote became known as Fold3.

Footnote had been directed more generally at all types of historical records where Fold3 will focus on military records only. Certainly I do a lot of military research, but I liked the broader and wide open nature of Footnote and all the historical newspaper content. Hopefully none of the existing non-military content will be removed but neither will it be expanded.

The acquisition of Footnote/Fold3 by has no doubt been the driving force behind these changes. It stirred up quite a hornets nest among subscribers. You would think maybe could now offer access to both sites at one discounted price to appease the populace—but no such luck. There seems to be a move to segregate military records to Fold3 and non-military records to Hence, the consumer has to pay for two separate subscriptions if you want both. For I can at least go down to our local library and get free access if so desired. I am assured that Fold3 will not remove any of the content I have added to the site over the past couple of years—much of it non-military in nature.

So this development is a bit disconcerting, but I am holding further judgement for the moment and biting the Fold3 bullet. I decided to renew my subscription and will give the "new" website a good test drive over the next year—and then decide if it is worth continuing.

See my Fold3 Spotlights.

I haven't added much recently as my access was limited after I let the subscription expire. I will resume my searches and items of interest will occasionally show up on this blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Draft Registration-Julian P. Steunenberg

My grandfather Julian Steunenberg's selective service registration card. He was 55 years old so this would have been circa 1941. He was probably never in any serious danger of being drafted at that age.
I was watching Vietnam In HD this week and they showed the first draft lottery taking place in 1969 (for 1970 inductees). My turn for the lottery would come the following year in 1970. I didn't know what a lottery was until that moment and guess I was a winner when 3-2-6 was drawn. Some of my friends were not so lucky. My memory is not very good, and I often forget numbers, but that one is etched in the brain forever. I was against the Vietnam war at that point but never understood the lack of appreciation afforded returning vets. After all, a lot of them ended up going there literally by the luck of the draw...and others of us not going because of the same. I still see the price of that war, and perhaps of the lack of support upon their return, when a graying vet walks though by office door. No matter what ones feelings might be about a particular war or military action, let's not make the same mistake ever again when our vets come home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

At the risk of being repetitive, some things become a tradition and I guess this has become one for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. This picture of my Uncle Cal somewhere in the Pacific during WWII is a classic and you have seen it before on this blog. And so too is his poem honoring The Marines. It is a far more fitting tribute to all our soldiers serving throughout the world on this Veteran's Day 2011 then anything I could write. Later today or this weekend I may add a few more related items.

Uncle Cal served in the California 40th Division, 185th Regiment. He was in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The 40th trained at Camp San Luis Obispo, just a few miles from where I live. Click on images to enlarge for viewing.


"In September 1942 the division arrived in Hawaii and moved to defensive positions in the outer islands. In July 1943, the division moved to positions on Oahu. In October, with the threat of a Japanese invasion passing, the 40th took up jungle and amphibious training in preparation of offensive operations.

During December, the division moved to Guadalcanal for further training and limited combat patrolling. While on the "canal", the division didn't battle the Japanese. They instead fought the island's muddy conditions, its swamps, and mosquito-borne malaria (hmm...and take another look at Uncle Cal's pic. jr). The division, now part of the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps, then moved to Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island and relieved the 1st Marine Division on 23 April 1944. The 40th conducted combat operations until 27 November 1944, when it was relieved by the 5th Australian Division. The 40th then assembled at Borgen Bay the next day and departed New Britain on 9 December 1944 for the their next objective, The Philippines.

After brief stopovers on New Guinea and Manus Island, the 40th Infantry Division landed in the Lingayen area of Luzon at 09:36 hours on 9 January 1945. It was followed up with another landing at Bamban. While opposition during the first landing was light, Bamban was a different story. The division battled the main Japanese force in the Bamban Hills, Fort Stotsenburg and Clark Field, The Zambales Mountains, Snake Hill, Storm King Mountain, The Seven Hills, and the mountain known as the Top of the World. In the final phase the battles moved to Scobia Ridge, Hill 1700, and Williams Ridge. On 2 March, the division was relieved by the 43d Infantry Division.

The division left Luzon on 15 March 1945 and conducted unopposed landings on Paney Islands on the 18th. They conducted combat operations in those islands until the division next moved to Los Negros Island where it conducted multiple landings with little or no opposition. The division regrouped on 8 April for an attack on the Japanese forces in the Negritos-Patog area. Prior to that attack, the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment was assigned to the division, replacing the 108th Infantry Regiment. The division attacked with all three regiments (The 160th and 185th Infantry, and the 503d) on 9 April and immediately ran into stiff resistance and counterattacks. To make matters worse, the weather turned bad. Torrential rainstorms made air support impossible. Hill 3155 switched hands between the 160th Infantry Regiment and the Japanese Army several times between 18 and 23 May. Organized resistance ceased on 31 May and the 40th moved to the Otag-Santa Barbara-Taguan area for rehabilitation and training. The division was in this area when the war ended."

Related blog posts/Websites:

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day 2010 - Thank You for Your Service & Sacrifice

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Veteran's Day & Update on my Mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards

Monday, November 10, 2008
Veteran's Day November 11, 2008 - Staff Sargent Jule Steunenberg

Getting the Message Through

BTW, I am looking for a decent EE-8A Army Field Phone (leather case) and an M1 Carbine, both pieces of equipment Uncle Cal had probably used.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flashback - The Gate on 16th Avenue

You have seen this photo before in publications and on this blog. It is the home of Ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg and his family. Pictured is the side gate shortly after the explosion that killed Frank. I always like this version with the description in the lower right hand corner. Others have it on the back of the card or no description at all. Click on the image to enlarge for viewing.

You can also view this photo on the City of Caldwell website historical tour page. On the drop down menu you will see "Steunenberg." A few years ago the city had only the description. I sent this image for them to post to go along with those of the other homes in the historical district. Take the tour while you are there.

I have quite a few of these 100+ year old postcards and recently purchased this one off of eBay. Sorry if you were another bidder. You don't see these very often anymore and, like a lot of things, they can be had at bargain prices during these tough economic times. This is the first one I have seen in a couple of years or so.

I just can't seem to resist getting another photograph of the old place when I have the chance and the price is right. Maybe it's because the house burned down in 1913 and I never had the opportunity to stand at that gate (but I have been to the location), sit by the warm hearth or on that big porch. These old period photographs, with their early postmarks and often mailed from Caldwell, provide a link to that lost past. This image is one of only two or three different photographs showing the house. None exist of the interior that I am aware of.

This particular card has an interesting message on the back. It is postmarked Caldwell, ID, August 27, 1909, almost four years after Frank's murder. It is addressed to a Mr. J. Willett (I believe) in W. Seattle, Wash. "Dear. Mr. J. = This is a card which will no doubt be of more than passing interest."

Why would it "be of more than passing interest"? Who is J. Willett? Maybe a mine owner, labor leader, politician or miner? Who or what is Willett's Idaho connection? Always fun to speculate and I have launched a search for "J. Willett." If you have any leads please let me know.

Related Blog Posts

Friday, January 30, 2009
"The Gate on 16th Avenue" - A Century Ago and Today

Saturday, June 7, 2008
The Bomb at the Governor's Gate by Bryce W. Anderson

Saturday, November 20, 2010
Baker Co. Sheriff Harvey K. Brown (1871- 1907): Small-Town Oregon Sheriff’s Role in Solving Murder of Former Gov. of Idaho May Have Cost Him His Life