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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;

  • Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
  • Valley Times : Do You Remember?
  • The Independent : Do You Remember?

The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.

They will also be found on this page each week as well.

 

If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

Archive Page

Livermore had its own National Guard unit

By Barry Schrader.................................September 8, 2005

Many people gather for picnics, art shows, concerts and even the weekly Farmer’s Market in Carnegie Park between Third and Fourth streets in Livermore, but few probably take much notice of the unobtrusive cement monument that stands on the southeast side of the old Carnegie Library.

After this weekend more people will begin noticing it, as the community rededicated the remaining piece of the town’s original 116 foot flagpole Friday afternoon, now relocated directly behind the monument. This ceremony took place exactly 100 years since the pole’s first installation at First and South Livermore on Admission Day in 1905. The pole, now shortened to 56 feet, is topped by its original brass ball and reinforced by a steel rod the length of its core.

The new flag that was donated by the Josefa Higuera chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It should be noted though that the original flagpole that stood beside the monument was presented in memory of R.A. Hansen by his son H. Ross Hansen. Hopefully the city will return it to the Hansen family or VFW so it can be relocated elsewhere.

The monument was dedicated in 1966 as a tribute to Company I, Fifth Infantry of the California National Guard, as well as to recognize the community’s war dead from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and lastly, the Vietnam War.

Company I was formally organized on April 20, 1900 with 52 young men in its original unit. The Company’s first captain was the Rev. Carl M. Warner, the local Methodist minister. Among its membership over the years were many who gained later prominence--such as Captain Joseph S. Concannon who later fought as a regular under Gen. John Pershing, being a part of the US 1st Cavalry; Carl F. Wente, who became president of the Bank of America; Superior Court Judge Harold Louderback; Rev. Arthur Hicks, local Presbyterian minister; Arthur Henry and his son Maitland Henry, both publishers of the Livermore Herald; San Jose police chief William Brown; Contra Costa County Sheriff John Miller; Chester and Philip Langan, grandsons of Livermore’s founder William Mendenhall; Dennis Bernal of the Amador Valley’s pioneer family; and Robert Livermore, great-grandson of the town’s namesake.

The Livermore unit was first called to duty in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. They patrolled the ruins of San Francisco from April 17 to May 19. Then came the Mt. Tamalpais fire in 1911 when they were activated again. The 1916 Mexican border clashes with Pancho Villa near Nogales, Arizona were next and the Guard unit saw action from June to October, chasing Villa and his troops into a canyon near San Juan, then losing him. At the outset of World War I the Livermore Guard was merged with Company A of the 159th Infantry, then becoming a part of the 40th Division in 1917. Livermore had been the smallest town in the state to have its own guard unit during that 17 year period. Company I also promoted community events—particularly the Thanksgiving Eve military ball and the homegrown talent shows and plays, which continued many years after the disbanding of the local unit.

It was Maitland Henry who got me involved in the Company I reunions in 1968. He called me at home in May of that year saying their annual reunion was taking place next Sunday and would I come down and take a photo of them around the monument, a traditional meeting place for the surviving veterans, who would then adjourn to the home of Shirley Hahn who always prepared them a sumptuous meal while they continued their reminiscing. I took photos for two or three years that I remember and made sure they got published in the paper.

Their last reunion on record was in 1981 when only three veterans were able to gather for the 52nd time. Those last three were Jack Jensen, Chester Andersen and Robert Livermore. Now their record books, photos and other memorabilia are held by the Livermore Heritage Guild in the Carnegie History Center.

* * *

Now for this week’s tricky question: What does the bizarre killing of Michael Malloy in 1933 have to do with a fellow who hangs around the Pleasanton courthouse today, some 72 years later? You may have to go on the Internet to find that tie-in. By the way, Malloy was no relation to Michael Maloney, former local press photographer now with the San Francisco Chronicle, but his mother Marian Maloney is now my neighbor.

 

The columnist can be reached via email at :

Historian2sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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