To continue with my occasional theme of local Doughboys, since this year is the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I, the other day I came across another war death.

To continue with my occasional theme of local Doughboys, since this year is the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I, the other day I came across another war death.
Frank B. Jasumback, Jr. was born on August 6, 1889 in Pierce City. He was still single and was living and working on the family farm near Wentworth, in northeastern Newton County, when he was called into service in 1918, about a year into the United States' war with Germany and the Central Powers. Interestingly, his parents, Frank Jasumback Sr. and Annie (Schultz) Jasumback were both German. His father came to the United States in 1881. His mother in 1873. Now their son was to fight for their adopted land and against their native country. I don't know how they felt about that. They may have been nothing but proud, or they may have felt conflicted. Human nature being what it is, my personal guess would be the latter. If I ever permanently moved to, and became a citizen of, another country and my son later went off to fight against the United States, I probably couldn't help but experience some complex emotions. That wouldn't necessarily mean I was disloyal to my adopted country. It would just mean I was human.
Frank Jr. completed his basic training at Camp MacArthur in Waco, Texas and was initially assigned to the “Camp MacArthur Automatic September Replacement Draft, Company 20”. This was supposed to be a temporary unit designation until young Frank and his fellow replacements arrived overseas and were ultimately dispersed among permanent units to, well, “replace” men who had been killed, wounded, or captured. They filled in the gaps as American casualties mounted in that awful war.
Private Jasumback shipped out on the transport ship USS Princess Matoika, a confiscated former German liner, from Hoboken, N.J. on September 23, 1918. Sadly, he wasn't in France for very long before he died of disease on October 9, 1918. The records I can find do not give specifics about his death. He wasn't even there long enough to get a permanent unit assignment.
His gravestone says “in France”. That would normally indicate his body was interred in France in one of the several American war dead cemeteries there, and the local headstone is a cenotaph in his memory. However, if he's buried overseas, I don't find his name listed. So, his body MAY have been shipped back to Newton County and, if so, the “in France” inscription simply means he died in France.
I stumbled across his memorial stone one afternoon a couple of weeks ago while checking out the St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery west of Wentworth. The stone is a Woodsmen of the World memorial, so I presume he belonged to that fraternal organization. The cemetery is very quiet and peaceful, sitting next to St. Agnes church on the prairie. Frank's parents are buried next to his stone.
The First World War is my second favorite war to read about and study, next to the War Between the States. Young men like Frank Jasumback Jr. of Wentworth represent those who may not have died in battle, but died for their country just the same.

Wes Franklin writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.