If you knew C.B., or knew someone who told you stories about him, the blacksmith shop, life in Lindenwood, IL or want to share something about WWI, please feel free in the comment section below. If you wish to share privately first, and/or want to share a photo, contact me via the Contact page.
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The letter below was sent from great aunt Joyce, C.B.’s youngest sister (the 11th child), to my mother, Marian Strang in 1985 when I was in competitive Ice Dancing. Below I learned of my great grandfather’s (C.B., Sr. – their father) prank at an ice skating party the night of their wedding.
4 thoughts on “Shared Stories”
The only war story I can remember that my father told me was about the engineers. They would be sent out to work on a job, they were unarmed. The German solders would sneak up on them and shoot the engineers. This happened several times. The Germans became so brazen that they would walk right up to the engineers and kill them. Winchester Arms developed a shotgun for the engineers to use while they were working. I think it was shorter version of the 1897 pump shotgun and it had a sling. The engineers would carry it under their coats. My father said the first time they were working and the Germans came, the engineers let the Germans get close, then the engineers pulled out their shotguns and killed the Germans. We had a lot less Engineers killed after that incident.
Charles B. Strang Jr. was my father. The stories about him were told to me by his brothers and his sister Joyce. Dad never talked about himself much. This first story was told to me by my father and later clarified by his sister Joyce. I call this one the Bull. A relative had a bull in a pen in the Lindenwood area. I don’t know the exact location or the size of the pen. It was large enough that to walk around it took some extra time. Jake the owner of the bull had told everyone not to go through the pen. For whatever reason one day my father cut through the pen. The bull started to chase him. Back in those days my father carried a pistol with him most of the time. According to my father when the bull got close to him, my father pulled his pistol and shot in the ground under the bulls nose. He said the bull was scared away. End of story, until years latter when I asked Joyce, his sister, about the story, there is a different ending. Joyce laughed at the story I told as told to me by my father. Joyce said that my father scared the bull alright, My father shot the bull and killed him. Jake the bulls owner was less than happy. I never was told what sort of punishment my father received.
When I was 10-12 years old my uncle Merrill, my dads brother, came to Lindenwood for a visit. Merrill was a train engineer in California. I had been sent to bed so my father and his brother could share stories of growing up in Lindenwood. I decided to sneak part way down the stairs to listen. One of the stories that came up was on a Halloween night in down town Lindenwood. My father, Merrill and some other boys decided to dismantle the doctors buggy and reassemble it on top of the store. There were two stores and I am not sure which. one it was. Anyway they finished their grand plan. As I sat on the steps and listened I was found out and sent back to bed. The next day when I questioned my father he denied having a part in the deed. I then told him I had heard he and my uncle talking about the buggy. After a while him claimed he knew about it, finally he admitted to being the lookout for the group. This was the only time I ever saw my uncle Merrill, I was never told about any punishment they may have received.
I just remembered that my father took his pillow when he went to the Army