Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Boxley, Fred A., 1877-1936; Klemm, Karl D., b. 1880; Marks, Ted, b. 1882; Elliot, Arthur J., born 1882
World War, 1914-1918; Armed forces officers; Soldiers

Longhand Note of Judge Harry S. Truman, December 3, 1930. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Dec. 3, '30

I went to the funeral of the largest inferiority complex I've ever known Monday.

When I was twenty one I was a clerk in the old Union National Bank. Fernando O'Neal owned it, and operated it and the Calvary Baptist Church. I joined the National Guard of Missouri while I was there. Battery B of the 1st Mo Bu of Art[illery]: Geo. R. Collins Captain, Fred A. Boxley 1st Lt. and numerous sgts. pvts. and corporals.

We went to Cape Girardeau in our first encampment. Dr. J. Thos Pittam was the Medico attached to us. He had a pvt by the name of Elliott in his section, a large fat individual whose military ability was shown by his adroitness in escaping duty of any nature.

In 1907 or 1908 we went to St. Joe and I found Elliott as my chief of section (the 6th) in Bty. B. He had the sorest saddle seat in the Bty both going and coming. We used the horses of Lemon Bros. Circus.

Elliott kept advancing in National Guard Military affairs and finally became Captain of Bty. B.

We went to Ft. Riley some time after he became Capt. And some of the boys to show that they still loved him took a bucket of ice water and emptied it over him in his night gown, one of these old fashioned long affairs that reached to his ankles. If he'd ever caught the perpetrator of that joke I am certain he'd have killed him. He never caught him.

Things went along and in 1916 Elliott as Captain took B Bty to Laredo, Texas. When he got home he had a mutiny. He also had one on the Border but it wasn't serious.

On Apr 6, 1917, War was declared with Germany. I met Ted Marks on the street one day and told him I'd like to go to France if B Bty went. I'd been out of the Guard some five years running or trying to run a farm.

B Bty was expanded into a Regiment, the 2nd Mo. F.A. afterwards 129th F.A., 35th Division. By doing a little recruiting duty I was elected 1st Lt. Bty F, 129th F.A. and due to the gangs held, i.e. old Bty B men Elliott was made Lt. Col 2nd Mo F.A. and Karl Klemm was made Col and Comdg [Commanding] officer.


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