Welcome to the memoirs of
a simple blacksmith and WWI veteran
“When I got back I reported to General Penn again. He said ‘That is better. Is it loaded?’ I said ‘Yes sir. It would do me very little good if I wasn’t, I could not throw it far.’ He asked if I could hit anything and without thinking I said “Throw up your hat.” He laughed and said ‘By God, I believe you would!'”
On Sunday, April 28th, 1917, a young 19 year old C.B. Strang, Jr. met with several other young men in Lindenwood, IL to see about entering the war via enlistment or waiting for the draft to come. On May 2nd, 1917, C.B. Strang, along with two of his friends, arrived at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
“Shoot first and ask what they want afterward.”
My name is Jeremy Benton Strang (J.B.). I am one of Charles Phillip Strang’s (C.P.) two sons. C.P. was the only son of C.B. Strang. We, along with my only son Isaac Andrew, have decided to put together a few of my grandfather’s memoirs in the hopes of sharing some authentic history of a simple man during the World War One era.
The true author is my grandfather, for he is the one who lived his own life and left us the stories. My mother, Marian C. Strang, wife of Charles P. Strang, first transcribed C.B.’s WWI memoirs in 1977 and then his general life story in 1979. Much of this book has already been written, and although I have never done a book of this genre before, I have performed some minor editing. I have left the exact order as it was told and most of his direct original language. I feel that it is important for the reader to hear and experience just how the 81 year old C.B. told the story, with an edge of early 19 century wit.
Where exactly is Lindenwood, IL?
Lindenwood, IL lies in Ogle County northeast of Rochelle, East of Holcomb, southwest of Monroe Center, and southeast of Davis Junction; from the larger cities, it is about 25 miles south of Rockford and about 90 miles northwest of Chicago. It was founded around 1835 when William Campbell built the first cabin in the area.
Currently, this little town, still supports Swenson Spreader, which you will read about in C.B. Strang’s memoirs, especially as he become’s the first superintendent for E.W. Swenson,”Eck” as he was called by C.B.