I was down at the local Mormon Family History Center this morning (actually, I volunteer there weekly), browsed Ancestry.com for Smith Larson, and got some big payoffs. I don’t subscribe to Ancestry.com myself, it is *way* too pricey, and it’s a big “marketplace” out there now – well, I’ll save that for another post.
Anyway, the LDS has a subscription, so I can use it there. I found Smith Larson in the 1910 and 1920 US censuses, both times in rather surprising circumstances. Wish I’d have thought of those censuses earlier. I also found a fragmentary outline of his military career in over 50 monthly “muster rosters” of the US Marine Corps. There are some extensive details on combat action, medical issues, etc. in these rosters, but they are severely abbreviated, and need more study. There are also some crucial missing months.
Finally, but far from least, I found a concise “digest” of his Marine service, in a surprising place:
North Dakota Military Men, 1917-1918
Roster of the Men and Women who served in the Army or Naval Service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its Allies from the State of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918 Volume 3 Larkee to Rice
Name: Smith Larson
Army #: 154,280
Registrant: no, over age
Birth Place: Ontario, Wis.
Birth Date: 22 Apr 1877
Parent’s Origin: of Norwegian parents
Comment: enlisted in the Marine Corps at St. Paul, Minn., on April 23, 1918; sent to Parris Island, S. C.; served in Company A, 3rd Casual Battalion, to June 30, 1918; arrived in France, July 8, 1918; served in Replacement Battalion, to July 21, 1919; returned to Quantico, Va., Aug. 1, 1919, and served there to discharge. Grade: Private 1st Class, April 1, 1919. Engagements: Marbache Sector; St. Mihiel Offensive. Discharged at Quantico, Va., on Aug. 21, 1919, as a Private 1st Class. Previous military record: U. S. Marine Corps from March 27, 1906, to March 26, 1910. Died at LaCrosse, Wis., on Jan. 21, 1922; burial, Ontario, Wis.
I say “surprising,” because even though Smith was one of the 4 Larson homesteaders in ND c. 1909, I have not firmly connected him with the long-term homesteading of his brothers Axel, Isaac, and Oscar. You will also note that there is no mention of North Dakota in the above article. However, there is a tantalizing clue in the 1920 census (next post).
I hope I didn’t waste my $60 for those government records. Well, there are plenty more questions they *could* answer, when they come.
Thank you, cousins, for all the encouraging compliments. There are 2-3 more posts worth of facts here, but the next will be in a few days.