Vets Finding Vets: Documentation at the Armory Pt. III

Although this was supposed to be the end of Documentation at the Armory, I just can’t do it! I plan to finish next month, just know that I’m only scratching the surface.

Two early members of Co E who caught my eye were George Schwob and John O. Bowman.

I often run across the funeral service info for Veterans I’m searching for, and I always check to see if George Schwob bugled TAPS at the service. He did so for literally hundreds of Veterans as they were laid to rest. Prior to enlisting in the National Guard, George (born in 1881) enlisted in the US Army on September 25, 1899 and was discharged May 30, 1901. He was a member of Co E from Oct 1918 until his discharge as Sgt. in June 1924. After a salute-worthy life of service to our country, our state, and then to his fellow Veterans, Mr. Schwob’s death occurred on July 10, 1969. His was the very last burial to be included in Lake View Cemetery’s first Veteran burial location at Monument Hill!

John O. Bowman enlisted in Co E in March of 1916, just prior to being mustered into Federal Service during the 1916-1917 Mexican Border War. I remember reporting to Norm Carlson that I had discovered a large scrapbook made by John O. Bowman completely about the Border War, it was amazing to us both. (It has been scanned.) We know John O. Bowman as a photographer whose county wide scenic photos were often reprinted in the newspaper, highlighting farm animals serenely grazing or a babbling brook complete with swimming waterfowl. He was known for taking these photos with his Brownie Box camera, but as I did a little online search for this article I discovered more info. He was nationally known, had paid 75 cents plus 6 coffee coupons for his Brownie, and he had exhibited 128 photos during the New York World’s Fair in 1940. Through the clippings included in the scrapbook, we learned that he was Historian for the Mexican Border Veterans Inc., which explains the scrapbook. In 1952, he became the National Commander for the United Mexican Border Veterans Assoc. Most of the photos in the scrapbook picturing life at Camp Pharr while they served at the border were taken by Bowman, who was 21 years old in 1916. Vets Finding Vets is partially funded by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

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