Photo courtesy of the Howard County Historical Society
Photo courtesy of the Howard County Historical Society

“War in Europe! An army must be raised! Equipment must be furnished! Food must be produced! Money must be collected!”

These words rang across the United States – and Howard County – in 1917 and the way county residents and organizations responded will be commemorated at a special World War 1 centennial event set to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Rozzi’s Continental Ballroom, 920 Millbrook Lane. Tickets for the event, part of the annual meeting of the Howard County Historical Society, are on now sale. 

 “The Howard County Historical Society is proud to have been chosen as the county’s representative in honoring those people and those events from 100 years ago,” said Peggy Hobson, chair of the society’s events committee who has led planning for the Oct. 17 commemoration. “We are excited to share the stories of how Howard County stepped up to help win the war.

“Few of us today know very much about that time in our history. The state of Indiana, as part of a nationwide initiative, felt it was important that we remember and acknowledge the sacrifices of our grandparents and great-grandparents in World War I,” Hobson continued. “The state committee then accepted applications from local communities who wanted to recognize at the local level the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the war effort.”

Tickets are $35 for historical society members and $45 for non-members. They can be reserved online at howardcountymuseum.org or the HCHS offices at 1218 W. Sycamore St. For more information, call the society office at 765-452-4314.

Using the Howard County Historical Society’s archives and well-known county educator C.V. Haworth’s 1920 book “Howard County in the World War,” event planners uncovered many stories of individuals and organizations that contributed to the war effort.  With re-enactors taking the part of various historical figures, the Oct. 17 event will share stories ranging from the life and death of Howard County’s most decorated war hero to the tireless volunteer hours devoted to supporting the war effort by Howard County organizations.

Among the “ghosts” who will be represented by the storytellers are C.V. Haworth, who will talk about the work of such organizations as the YMCA, Knights of Columbus, and the Chamber of Commerce; Charles Munkenhern, whose entrepreneurial efforts secured government contracts for Howard County businesses; Ora Butler, the sheriff who helped run the county’s chapter of the American Protective League; and the mother of soldier John Cosler. “Haworth” also will share the story of Howard County hero Sgt. E.F. Reed, recipient posthumously of the Distinguished Service Cross. Howard County Historian Jonathan Russell also will speak.

Participants also will able to view a special exhibit of letters, medals, photographs and other artifacts, some from the historical society’s collection and a number of new ones that have been donated or are on loan for the World War I commemoration. Any community members with World War I memorabilia related to Howard County may still share them at the event by contacting Hobson at 765-271-0039 or mpzhobson@gmail.com.

For more information on the state commemoration efforts, go to www.ww1cc.org/indiana .