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HCJ dinner travels back in time

HCJ dinner travels back in time

March 20th, 2017 by Gerry Tritz in Local News

At right, Jeremy Amick, assistant director of the Missouri Office of Veterans Employment and Training, spoke about World War I soldiers from Cole County who died during World War I. He spoke Sunday evening at the 34th annual meeting of Historic City of Jefferson, held at the McClung Park indoor pavilion.

Photo by Gerry Tritz /News Tribune.

Historic City of Jefferson's (HCJ) 34th annual meeting on Sunday evening featured a World War I-themed program, with re-enactors, a presentation on area soldiers who fought in the war, and even a choice between lemon-pepper chicken or a German pot roast.

About 140 people attended the annual banquet, held at the McClung Park indoor pavilion.

Jeremy Amick, a military history author and speaker, gave the WWI presentation.

Amick is the assistant director of the Missouri Office of Veterans Employment and Training within the U.S. Department of Labor, and he volunteers with Silver Star Families of America. He has authored four books sharing veterans' stories, and has two soon to be released: "Together as One" and "Missouri at War."

Among other soldiers, Amick spoke about John Augustus Jennings, the first Cole County resident to die in combat. He died on May 31, 1918, while on the U.S.S. President Lincoln.

He also talked about Toney Jenkins, the only known black resident of Cole County to die during WWI. Others included well-known people in the community such as Thorpe Jacob Gordon and Milo Walz.

A homecoming parade after the war drew 20,000 people at a time when Cole County's population was 26,000, Amick said.

HCJ presented the volunteer of the year award to Connie Hubble, a longtime member of the organization. President Tammy Boeschen said she has served the organization in various capacities over the years, as a board member and as a volunteer for events such as the annual homes tour.

"Connie shares a passion for historic preservation, and is always a willing volunteer if she's in town," Boeschen said.

The HCJ's annual Preservation Pioneer Award went to Richard and Mary Ann Caplinger, who were involved in many early preservation efforts in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mary Ann was one of eight people who helped develop the city's first preservation ordinance, chaired the Historic Preservation Commission and was one of the first directors for the Historic City of Jefferson in 1983.

"She and Richard were considred 'pioneers' in downtown revitalization when they renovated the old Caplinger's Clothing building at 207 East High Street that was built in 1884," Boeschen said.

Richard Caplinger once told the News Tribune: "If we tear down everything here, there is nothing to see — we tear down our heritage."

Richard Caplinger accepted the award on behalf of him and his late wife, Mary Ann.

HCJ elected a officers for the upcoming year, with Boschen being retained as president. Kay Martellaro was re-elected vice president and Tim Morrow was re-elected treasurer.

Directors elected were: Jeanette Dulle, David Griffith, Lauren Lewis, Janet Gallaher, Tammy Boschen (re-elected), Kay Martellaro (re-elected), Tim Morrow (re-elected), Donna Deetz (re-elected) and Pam Taylor (re-elected).