Company F – Poignant Wartime Encounters

A scrapbook of newspaper articles concerning the soldiers of Company F during World War II contains many heartbreaking articles of young men injured, taken prisoner or fatally wounded. There are also some joyous accounts of chance meetings and unexpected encounters. The following are just a few:

MEDINA BOYS MEET IN THE PHILIPPINES, 28 Feb 1945

Pvt. Karl E. Posson was walking down the air strip in Leyte when he met Pfc. Eugene P. Anderson, Jr.

MEETING MEDINA MEN IN NEW GUINEA WAS A WONDERFUL THRILL, 6 Mar 1945

Cpl. Francis Kelly who had been overseas since Nov. 13, 1943 met Cpl. Leo Ranallo who had recently been home to Medina and had visited the Kelly family. Cpl. Ranallo had even seen Cpl. Kelly’s 13-month old baby, Francis Michael Jr. who was born shortly after his departure “No one can ever know how I felt to talk with someone who has seen my baby, it is something I shall never forget” said Cpl. Kelly.

BETTER THAN BETTY SAYS MEDINA SOLDIER IN ITALY MEETING, 4 Apr 1945

“It was a bigger thrill meeting someone from our hometown than seeing Betty Grable” agreed two Medinians who met in Italy. Staff Sgt. William A. Koneski met Pfc. Charles J. Stillwell at a rest area for Fifth Army troops in Monticatina, Italy.

MEDINA BROTHERS MEET IN WAR ZONE, 19 Apr 1945

Merchant Marine Ben Starr on leave in France from his base in Germany hailed a ride with an American jeep. Upon hearing that he was from Medina, the driver told him that there was a Don Starr in his unit. Ben could not locate Don at first, but when Don went to his bunk later, there was his brother Ben sleeping in his bed!

MORIARTY BROTHERS MEET IN PACIFIC AFTER MANY MONTHS

Cpl. James Moriarty met his only brother Lieut. Francis Moriarty in Guam. The brothers had not met for “thirty and one half months”.

CONTINUED SEARCH BY MEDINA BOYS ENDS IN HAPPY REUNION, 1944

After trying to meet for months while in North Africa, Pfc. Richard Dujenski of 100 Laurel St. finally met Tech. Sgt. Walter F. Skomski of 101 Laurel St. while in Italy.

MEDINA BROTHERS MEET BY CHANCE IN HOME OF AUNT, 1944

The first meeting in three years of two brothers took place at the home of their aunt in London. Pfc. Gerald Wheatley had scarcely arrived at his aunt’s when in walked his brother David. Neither knew that the other had been granted furlough.

MEDINA MEN MEET AT CHURCH SERVICES IN EAST INDIES, 17 Jan 1945

Waiting in line to go to confession at a little Chapel in the Netherland East Indies, on the day before Christmas, Tech. Sgt. David V. Wasnock met Sgt. Herbert Whitmore. The two had been school-day friends.

Perhaps this is the most amazing story:

MEDINA MAN FINDS SHELTER IN HOME OF HIS ITALIAN KIN, 12 Feb 1945

“Forced to stop in a small Italian town overnight because the mobile equipment in which he was traveling broke down and finding that the home in which he sought shelter was that of his aunt and uncle, was the experience of Cpl. Andy Coppa of Medina” Needless to say, there was great excitement!

Oral History Interviews

“One progress to another”

The Orleans County Historical Association’s local history interviews are such a wonderful treasure trove for anyone interested in local history or daily life in the not so distant past. The Library Director plans to read all of the interviews this winter; they are housed at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and are available for check out.

The first interview Catherine read was conducted in 1979 with the then ninety year old Mrs. Minnie Allis. She described daily life on a farm, when straw was placed under the rugs for insulation, and how her mother made mincemeat for her father’s favorite pie by grinding up the heart, tongue and other scraps of meat leftover from butchering.

She married Ray Allis, son of Jay Allis “the Peach King”, they lived on the Allis homestead on Bates Road. She helped her husband on the farm. One year they decided to use the cabbage planter to plant tomatoes. Nobody thought it would work, but it did and soon all of the farmers were planting their tomatoes similarly. As she observed, that has been how times have changed “one progress to another.” A lively lady, Mrs. Allis was also an artist who made cards, dolls, stenciled furniture and loved to paint, especially renditions of their barn.

It was a pleasure to get to know her through the interview. Make sure to stop by and read some of the other interviews today.

1891 Medina

Did you know that Bent’s Opera House held a standing room only Prohibition Meeting? The Prohibition candidate for Governor, Hon. J.W. Bruce, came to Medina to gain support for his party and for himself. As the Prohibition candidate he expounded on the negative consequences of alcohol consumption.

Also giving a speech that evening was the Rev. O.H. Mead, a Baptist pastor. The reverend gave his full support for the gubernatorial candidate and the Prohibition party. The reporter at the event stated “Mr. Mead made an earnest appeal for the Prohibition cause, and his speech will long be remembered by all who heard it.”

To find this article and more, visit the Medina Historic Newspapers website, hosted by NYS Historic Newspapers. Each scanned page is available as computer transcribed text, a text searchable pdf, or a png image.

The article referenced above ran in the Medina Register on October 22nd, 1891.

Medina Newspapers Online

Did you know that we have digitized the earliest newspapers in our collection? That’s right, the library is always open online! We have the Medina Tribune (1861-1945), the Medina Register (1882-1911), the Medina Daily Journal (1903-1932), and the Medina Daily Journal and Register (1932-1933) available online. The Medina Daily Journal and Register (1940-1974) and the Medina Journal Register (1974-2014) are available on microfilm only. Village minutes are also available on microfilm.

Each page has been scanned with OCR to make the pages text searchable. However, because a machine converted the images to text it isn’t always 100% correct. You can view the converted text by clicking on the text link at the top of the image or click on the pdf link and use the find tool (press ctrl and F on your keyboard) to have the computer search the text on the image. Once you find your information you can print or save the image as a jpg or pdf.

To see what is available right now click here or on the image above.

1915 Murder in Shelby

Slaughter on a Snowy Morn by Colin Evans tells the true story of  the 1915 murder of a wealthy landowner and his housekeeper on Salt Works Road in Medina, NY. Charles Stielow, a German immigrant, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to the electric chair. He was convicted based on prejudice, false evidence, and lies. He was a victim of circumstance; he was German in a time of large scale anti-German sentiment, he had a low IQ and he could not read or write.

This is the story of Charles Stielow as much as it is a story about humanity, politics, and the revolution of forensic science.

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