The War to End all Wars – Carl Frederick Brunotte

It was the war to end all wars. And yet in four short, yet incredibly long years, over 16,560,000 would die and another 21,200,000 would be wounded. Men and boys, from towns and villages in France, Britain, Germany and America fought for their freedoms. Carl Frederick Brunotte was one of them.

courtesy of The Great War 100 app

“A century ago, an assassin, a Serbian nationalist, killed the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary as he visited Sarajevo. This act was the catalyst for a massive conflict that lasted four years. More than 65 million soldiers were mobilized by more than 30 nations, with battles taking place around the world. Industrialization brought modern weapons, machinery, and tactics to warfare, vastly increasing the killing power of armies. Battlefield conditions were horrific, typified by the chaotic, cratered hellscape of the Western Front, where soldiers in muddy trenches faced bullets, bombs, gas, bayonet charges, and more.” Alan Taylor, artist.

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Carl Frederick Brunotte, in uniform. Courtesy of ancestry.com

Born in California to German parents, Carl grew up in the warm climate of Southern California. He had at least 6 brothers and sisters, he being one of the youngest.

See how you're related! Click to enlarge

See how you’re related! Click to enlarge

Carl grew up and later met Ida Jane Stotts. He was 30, and she was 25 years old.

Ida Jane Stotts Brunotte. Photo courtesy of ancestry.com

Ida Jane Stotts Brunotte. Photo courtesy of ancestry.com

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Records indicate they had no children.

There is not a lot of records as to Carl’s role in WWI, but it is certain that he participated. In the Freemasons records of Mill Valley California, it says:

Mill Valley Lodge Veterans Members of Mill Valley Lodge No. 356, F & AM have not failed to answer our country’s call to arms in times of need. All members of Mill Valley Lodge No. 356 are proud of the service that these brothers rendered on behalf of our nation. These Honor Rolls are offered to the community so that our neighbors in Mill Valley and our greater world community can also learn and remember what the members of Mill Valley Lodge No. 356 will not forget. Honor Roll of Brethren who Served in World War I September 22, A.L. 5919 (1919) at a Special Meeting, the Lodge was opened on the Third Degree of Masonry for the purpose of dedicating a bronze tablet to the members of this Lodge who served their country in the Army or Navy during the war of 1917-1918.

 Masonic Lodge number 356 in downtown Mill Valley.

Masonic Lodge number 356 in downtown Mill Valley.

The Secretary read the names of the forty-two members who had lately been in the Country’s service during the World War as follows: Bro…. Robert William BarrDorrence Beck Robert Belshaw Grover Cleveland Boyd Carl F. Brunotte Frederick Alexander Burden James Andrew Carlile Franklyn Broughton Conroy Matthew Demmer John Franklin Ellis Adolph Gustof Falk Richard Marion Finn George Newton Folker, Jr. Herbert Penn Folker Henry Guth Homer Byron Hyde Robert Jacob, Jr. Harold Sidney Johnson Olin Ransellar Kelsey Melvin Harvey Klyce Julius Kover Lee Lawrence Lane Ralph Lee Lockwood Ivar Wilhelm Lundqvist George Robert Mantlo Ross Reed McLeod Charles John McQuillan Lester Theodore Olmstead Roy E. Patterson Nathan Podhoretz Fred. Alfred Roemer John Nelson Ross James George Saxton, Jr. Albert Victor Shaw Zenas Abner Sherwin Francis Joseph Sommer Oscar Park Stowe Clarence Wilber Thomas Lon Mack Turpin Lionel Wachs Jesse Warren WagnerRoy Culver Ward By order of the Worshipful Master, F.A. Burden, the Flag of our Country was escorted to the East with appropriate ceremonies, them members present singing the Star Spangled Banner. The Service Flag was then retired by Past Master Harvey A. Klyce. Bro. A.J. Treat 33° then delivered the dedication oration, which was followed by instrumental and vocal selections.

He is also listed as a Sergeant in the US Army between 1917-1918. He was 48 years old.

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From what I researched Freemasons believe in three things:

Brotherly love: Love for each other and for all mankind
Relief: Charity for others and mutual aid for fellow Masons
Truth: The search for answers to the universal questions of morality and the salvation of the soul that only a man’s individual faith and his relationship with God can provide. Some Freemasons are Christian, some are Jewish, because it is not actually an organized religion, but more of a fraternity. There are no clergy, rather every man is their own thinker. Masonry initially began as a guild for stone masons who built the castles and cathedrals of Medieval Europe.

In WWI, Carl fought in a war that is still remembered 100 years later. Although we do not have exact record of his duties, it must have been challenging to leave his wife, and serve for a country who was fighting against his parent’s homeland. On top of the emotional trauma of war, many German-Americans faced heavy Anti-German sentiment back home. “Any German-Americans thought to have shown support or sympathy for Germany ran the risk of being named in newspapers as disloyal and, at times, risked physical harm.” (WWI Anti-German Sentiment).

Many Americans know a lot about WWII because it is constantly glamorized on TV and in books and movies, but don’t know as much about WWI. It was a gruesome war was death, disease and trauma on all sides.

courtesy of The Great War 100 app

courtesy of The Great War 100 app

Communications before computers - WWI carrying pigeons were used to carry messages during WWI. People would tie messages to the feet of pigeons. One time a pigeon saved over 200 men because of a delivered message.

Communications before computers – WWI carrying pigeons were used to carry messages during WWI. People would tie messages to the feet of pigeons. One time a pigeon saved over 200 men because of a delivered message.

courtesy of The Great War 100 app

courtesy of The Great War 100 app

courtesy of keeley shouldel

courtesy of keeley shouldel

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Although there were many casualties in the war, Carl was not one of them.
He returned home and lived to be 68 years old. He passed away 06, April 1939. His wife Ida passed away in San Francisco four years before him on January 22, 1935. They are both buried in the Woodland Cemetery in California. I am so grateful for his life and service to our country.

courtesy of findagrave.com

courtesy of findagrave.com

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Duel!

Showdown. Shootout. Shoot ’em up cowboy.
The picturesque wild west, was well – wild. 
An ideal “wild west” scenario probably wouldn’t be complete without a duel. Dueling, imported to America from Ireland and England, was a common way to handle many situations including neighbor quarrels, gambling disputes, or libel.
duel

It seems barbaric in our day. However a lot of people viewed it as honorable. Contrary to popular belief, the point of a duel was not “shoot to the death,” although that was frequently the outcome.
For example, in the code of dueling or the “Code Duello” “Any wound sufficient to agitate the nerves and necessarily make the hand shake, must end the business for that day.

Benjamin Franklin Morris was born deep in the heart of Texas.

Photo courtesy of Denise

Photo courtesy of Denise

See how you're related! Jacob C. See is the uncle-in-law to Benjamin Franklin Morris

See how you’re related! Jacob C. See is the uncle-in-law to Benjamin Franklin Morris. His sister (Rachel Jane See) had a daughter who married Ben Morris.

Later, in 1851-1852 his family settled in the Bakersfield area. They came to San Luis Obispo, California  around 1854 and went into cattle ranching. The Morris’s had their own stables and were breeders of fine horses. He was also listed as being a “Justice of the Peace” in the Coulterville Mariposa Newspaper.

Horses on a farm around 1800. These horses could have been similar to the kind Benjamin Franklin Morris would have raised

Horses on a farm around 1800. These horses could have been similar to the kind Benjamin Franklin Morris would have raised

Benjamin Franklin Morris. Photo courtesy of ancestry.com

Benjamin Franklin Morris. Photo courtesy of ancestry.com

When Benjamin was 26 he married Emmaline “Emma” Jane Monroe in San Luis Obispo, California on March 16, 1870. They had three daughters together. Sarah Amelia, Elizabeth (Etta) and Rebecca Marion. Emma died in 1877 during childbirth when Rebecca was born. Emma who was married at 16, passed away when she was 23.
With a newborn in the house, it was only a short two months later when Benjamin married Amanda Allen Laird.

Benjamin Franklin Morris with his second wife Amanda Laird and his daughter Etta morris

Benjamin Franklin Morris with his second wife Amanda Laird and his daughter Etta morris

With his second wife Amanda, Benjamin has four more children. Benjamin Jr. (born 1879), Mary Jane (born 1880), Josephine Goldie (born 1882), and John A. T. (birth date unknown).

It is ironic that Benjamin Franklin Morris was named after a founding father who were among some of the most noticeable Americans to condemn dueling. Franklin called duels a “murderous practice… they decide nothing.”

Family history tells that Benjamin. F. Morris was killed by George W. Walker on Higuera Street in front of the Central Hotel in San Luis Obispo. They were friends at one time, but a dispute over a horse and then Benjamin be-friended Walker’s ex-wife after their divorce, and this led to bad feelings and consequently a confrontation ending with Benjamin getting killed. Benjamin rode into town on Higuera St., in front of the Central Hotel, dismounted and seeing Walker said “look out!”. Both drew their pistols and fired at each other. Morris shot Walker in the thigh Walker shot once and Benjamin shot 2-3 times, one being a shot near the heart. “San Luis Tribune, 02-1884

“My grandfather [Benjamin Sr.] was shot and killed on the street, Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo. My grandfather had a contest with another man whose name was Mr. Walker. This Mr. Walker stepped out of a building and as my grandfather dismounted to tie his horse to the hitching rack, he shot him from under the horse’s neck twice. Hitting him near the heart once and a little higher on the shoulder the second time. My grandfather was not aware that this man was anywhere near, of that he was in this temperament. My grandfather, as he fell, drew his gun and shot Mr. Walker, but hit him too low, near the groin. They rushed Mr. Walker to the hospital, but he was crippled to the extent that he limped after that but he didn’t harm him in any other way. After this happened to my grandfather and his burial in the old Odd Fellows Cemetery in San Luis Obispo, Amanda (Ben’s wife) bought a stone for his grave [a huge stone as I have seen] paid $1,500 for it which was a lot of money in that day and age, and then the family broke up and . . . . “[the story she tells was that Mr. Walker and Benjamin had a horse race and Mr. Walker lost. “Grandfather had his own stables, raised his own horses and had some that was pretty good. This Mr. Walker came after my grandfather to race him. Race on of the horses he felt he could be at. I don’t know what the wager was or whether there was a wager. I don’t know but anyway my grandfather beat him in this horse race. And so my mom tells me that that’s what it was all about”] Source of the following information: Memories of the Benjamin F. Morris Family, as told by Hazel M. Finley Guy (his granddaughter), recorded by Terry Guy (Hazel’s grandson) in 1981 and text edited by Wayne T. Scott, my brother:

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Image courtesy of San Luis Obispo County Regional Photograph Collection, MS 168

When he died his three daughters Sarah, Elizabeth and Rebecca were made wards of the court and put in a San Luis Obispo convent for 3 years. (They were taken care of by nuns at the girls school).

Image courtesy of San Luis Obispo County Regional Photograph Collection, MS 168

Image courtesy of San Luis Obispo County Regional Photograph Collection, MS 168

Philip Kaetzel was appointed administrator of the estate. When Ben died two brothers [Joseph Morris Jr. & Elijah Morris] living in Wyoming came down. One (Uncle Joe) was a foreman for Kern County Land and Catte Company (several years before and after 1900) . He bought a cattle ranch consisting of 999 thousand acres. Lester Guy (my dad) wondered why he didn’t buy one more acre.” – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=tcbjammon&id=P136

Benjamin Franklin Morris died on March 2nd 1884. He is buried in the San Luis Obispo Cemetery (Lady Sutcliff, section 5, lot 5, plot 3).

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courtesy of findagrave.com