Remembering WW1 Soliders: Lynn Paul

The biographical sketch below was part of the Crandon Public Library’s 2016 Cemetery Tour featuring WW1 soldiers laid to rest in the Crandon Lakeside cemetery.  Research for the sketch was conducted by Library staff using original documents and newspaper resources found within our Local History room.  We welcome any additional historic information on our soldiers, including photos.  Please contact us at to submit this information.  –Thank you.


Hello, my name is Lynn Paul.  I was born on December 2, 1893, in Lincoln County, Wisconsin.  When I was a few years old, my parents, James and Agnes Paul, moved my sisters and I to the town of Prentice, in Price County.  My father was a traveling insurance agent and in 1910 he traveled to Crandon.  He must have liked it here an awful lot because he decided to stay here and raise us kids in Crandon.

Lynn Paul World War 1 Draft Registration form. [source: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.]
I was 23 years old when I registered for the draft. I was working in Karlberg’s grocery store in Crandon at that time and was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard.  After I was drafted and trained in the Army I was sent to an artillery camp in France.   While I was at the camp I saw a lot of German prisoners.  They were real young fellows.  Some of them were actually Hamburg University students who really didn’t seem to side with the Kaiser as much as other prisoners did.  I talked to a few prisoners who had lived in the States for awhile but unfortunately our superiors gave us the order forbidding us to talk to them so I never found out if they liked living in Wisconsin.

My buddy “Sloppy Weather George Gifford” came to my camp before his trip to Paris.  I wish George could have been in the artillery unit with Ben Ferguson and I as he was a blame good scout.  We were all proud and glad to fight for Uncle Sam especially after seeing the conditions of France and the Germans.  We were sure the Americans would bring home the bacon because us Sammies showed more pep in a minute than those Germans did in a week. In fact, I told Art Carpenter in a letter I wrote to him that was published in the Forest Republican that if “all the Germans and French are as slow as the ones I seen, it is no wonder that the war was lasting so long. It takes the German prisoners longer to fix a bath house or dig a sewer than it took Forest county to build the court house”

U.S. Army Transport list. Lynn Paul arriving in the United States. May 3, 1919. [Source: U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.]
When I got back from the War, I married my girl Adah Moe and become a brother-in-law to Colonel Himes.  Ada and I had three children: two daughters and one son, Mary, Ellen and James. Many of you might recall that I was the owner and operator of Paul’s Grocery Store in town for 43 ½ years. My family and I lived above the store that is now the chiropractor’s office on Main street.  I always had candy to give to kids who came in my store, as well as candy to throw to kids at parades.  People said I was a very nice guy, highly thought of in the community. During the great depression I gave two bags of groceries to 7-year-old Homer Rosa at no charge shortly after his family moved to Crandon and had very little money.  After that, Homer’s mother never shopped for groceries anywhere else.

I guess my patriotic feelings for our grand country must have made an impression on my own son James because during WWII he enlisted and as part of the 717th Bombardment Squadron and flew combat missions over enemy targets in southern Europe, Germany, Austria, France and in the Balkans.  Our family was devastated when he plane was shot down on February 19, 1945 and he was officially declared “missing in action”  My wife and I and James

James L. Paul Headstone. Lakeside Cemetery. Crandon, Wisconsin. [source: Kevin Jackson, photo.]
sister’s Mary and Ellen had a headstone placed here in our family’s plot in memory of him.  I guess his name is also listed on a plaque in Florence Italy along with the names of the other soldiers missing in action and assumed dead.  We were real proud when the Government awarded Jim with the purple heart for his ultimate service to our country.  My wife and I spent our last days in Crandon.  I died in 1975 at the age of 81.

A member of Crandon graduating class of 1913 tells his story

Good afternoon Forest County residents.  It’s been awhile.  We’ve been busy developing a new online platform that highlights our holdings found within our Local History Room.  The resource is titled “The Crandon Public Library Local History Archives” and can be found at

One of the items found within the site is an one page questionnaire completed by an unknown source regarding the World War 1 military service of Forest County resident Ralph Owen Wyman.

Ralph Wyman, son of Eggbert and Jennie Wyman, entered the United States Navy on April 10, 1917 in Milwaukee.  He trained aboard the U.S.S. Oregon and was promoted to the rank of Engineman aboard the U.S.S Mississippi.   A year later, in April of 1918, Ralph was aboard the U.S.S. William Rockefeller when it left New York carrying a cargo of fuel oil.  The ship successfully made its way to Lamlash, Scotland on May 15th continuing on its course, escorted by two destroyers, for Rosyth, Scotland.   On 21 May 1918 the William Rockefeller was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sank in 13 minutes. Three of her crew of 51 were lost. [source:]

Within two days Ralph Wyman and the other young men that were aboard the U.S.S. Rockefeller were rescued by the U.S.S. Megantic and arrived at the Port of New York on June 2, 1918.  

According to Ralph Wyman’s military headstone application, Ralph continued his military service in the U.S. Navy, mustering out in July of 1919.

Two photos of Ralph Wyman exist in our local history photo collection.  A portrait of the Wyman brothers, and a photo of the 1913 Crandon High School graduating class.

The graduating class of 1913. (Names not in order: Rosslyn McCoy, Amy Grandine, Emma Beggs, Della Ferguson, Flourice Laatsch, Joy Woodbury, Russell Bailey, Joy Riggs, Will Shay, and Ralph Wyman

Lest We Forget

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

This morning I spent some time with the 1944 edition of the Forest Republican.  Not a week went by in 1944 that Forest Republican readers were not told about a local boy missing in action, or one that had fought and died for our country.  The clippings below only offer us a glimpse into the lives of these soldiers and does not give justice to their time served, nor their sacrifices given.   It does allow us to pause, remember and to share.

If you are interested in helping us preserve these stories as they deserved to be told, please contact Michelle at the Library.


The personality of James Beulen, Forest County Civil War Veteran

Here’s a follow up, written by local historian R.T. Krueger, about Forest County’s Civil War veteran James Beulen. R.T. has spent many hours researching and documenting Forest County’s civil war veterans and over the years he has managed to track down photos of the veterans.  A photo of James Beulen and some of his contemporaries is included in this post as well.

I’d never make a good academic historian – I’m too eager to fill in blanks with my own opinions.  Create personalities for people from the shreds of documentation.  I’ve done this with far too many of the folks I’ve researched and James Beulen is no exception.  He seems to me to have had the classic “bark is worse than the bite” personality.  Serious, civic-minded, even gruff when the situation required, but never too full of himself to take things too seriously.  Never afraid to be made fun of respectfully and to do the same to others.  Quietly generous with his time and money. 
Shirley Coleman, of Crandon, provided me with a page of hand-written notes her mother had put together on memories from her childhood.  This is what she said of Mr. Beulen, “Civil War veteran, often visited my folks, told us war stories, every other word was a curse, we loved it.”
Jim Beulen was born in the east, but came to the frontiers of Wisconsin as a kid, along with a wave of New York farmers who made the journey in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  He and several of his brothers enlisted in the Union service during the Civil war and Jim rose to the rank of sergeant by its close. 
Like so many other young men from Central Wisconsin, Jim hooked up with logging crews working in the northwoods and, by 1884, was employed at a new mill on the north shore of Lake Metonga.  When Forest County was created a year later, Governor Jeremiah Rusk, himself a Civil War vet, named Buelen to be the first sheriff.  Governor Rusk was probably looking for a man with some natural sense of authority and leadership and Buelen’s wartime experience would have made him a prime candidate.  Jim Buelen resigned as sheriff after only a short time, but would later serve the community as an alderman and in other civic roles throughout his years in Crandon. 
While these things make him noteworthy as a pioneer settler in Crandon, it is the informal paper trail that he left that makes him interesting to me.  He seems to have been one of the local newsmen’s go-to guys on those slow news days.  A man who always had some ridiculous cause, complaint, or issue to keep the typesetter busy.  These are some of my favorites:


Fine Cut Club Resolves

That the Rights of the American Citizen are Being Trampled Upon

At the last meeting of the Fine-Cut Club a resolution was passed authorizing the president of the order to appoint a commission to investigate the workings of that unholy combination the tobacco trust.  To the members of the Club, tobacco is the staff of life, and the article put upon the market in these degenerate days is something fierce.  Brown paper, sawdust, bootlegs, and supernuated German socks, it is believed are ground up and sold as “Duke’s Misery”, “Dub’s Delight” and other popular brands, while plug contains things unmentionable.

A prominent member of the club said he bit off a chaw of plug once and immediately thereafter found a rat’s tail between his teeth.  He said on more than one occasion the hired girl had complained about his breath and he would like to know how he could have a violet breath on a diet of rat tails.  What?

One of the veteran members of the Club advocated a boycott upon all Crandon merchants who refused to keep “poor boxes” in a prominent place in their stores.  He said he had patronized Crandon merchants liberally for many years, running large accounts, some of which he had been forced to pay, and he thought any self-respecting dealer should willingly furnish free tobacco to such as he, as well as free cigarette papers to tallow-faced dudes.  The brother’s remarks were uproariously cheered.

The next meeting of the order will be held on “All Fool’s Day”, April 1st.  A special program is being prepared.



Sporting News


Col. James Beulen, president of the Crandon Euchre Club and Fine Cut Chewers Union arrived home Saturday from a trip to Seattle.  In an interview with the sporting editor of this paper he stated that prospects look good for some interesting games this winter and with the knowledge he had picked up on his trip he could easily trim anyone brought forth…. Mr. Beulen expects to meet all comers and convince them that they do not know anything about the game… Hereafter, spectators on the sidelines will be charged a nickel a piece, the fund to be used in buying chewing tobacco for the players… Thomas Walker, he of little words, has been chosen by James as a partner.  When the score gets too close for comfort and the opposing players go over the top and out upon no-man’s land, Walker and Beulen will give them a gas attack.  Mr. Walker will quote a few of the ten commandments and little Shakespeare and Mr. Beulen will use a few chose words that go something like pbzqtohellwiththem.  This method of attack is sure to rattle their opponents and win the game.  Since leaving Crandon, Mr. Beulen has learned to swear in French and Dago which feature will be introduced whenever necessary.


Beulen spent time out West with old buddies and his brother, but reported not being impressed and always returned to Northern Wisconsin.  He passed away in 1926 after over 40 years on and off in the area.