Monday, May 25, 2015

WWI Death: Remembering George J. Stenglein

Headstone from military cemetery
On this Memorial Day, I would like to take time to remember my great-uncle George J. Stenglein who was killed in action during World War I. He was only 27 years old.

George's mother, Kunigunda Boser Stenglein, was pregnant with him when she and her husband John left Germany and arrived in New York on May 6, 1891. George was born eight days later in Newburgh, Orange County, New York. It was a temporary stop since the family settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the following year.

In 1910, at the age of 19, George was a laborer at a Pittsburgh bottle factory. His 1917 draft registration card shows his employer was Johnson-Peter Co., which was a boiler, tube and pipe dealer. George is described as being of medium height and medium build, with brown eyes and light hair. He stated that he had one sister who was "solely dependent on [him] for support," which would have been my grandmother. (His father was living but did not have a job in the 1920 census, so perhaps this was also true in 1917.)

His military records show that he was drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1918. On September 26, 1918, he was killed in action in France. My grandmother was only 10 years old when the family received the tragic news.

George J. Stenglein is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France. You can see his headstone on Find A Grave.

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