Norbert Markus was a grand uncle who was born in Quincy, Illinois on September 19, 1896 to parents John William Markus and Mary Anna Husam Markus. He had attended parochial school and had graduated from Quincy (public) High School. He then attended and graduated from St. Francis College which would later become Quincy college and is now known as Quincy University. Later he attended the University of Wisconsin and was taking commercial courses. He was working for Smith, Barney & Company in 1942; so I assume he was taking classes dealing with the financial sector.
He left Quincy in 1914 and went to live with his sister (Mrs. Charles Meyer) in Chicago. He went to work for the John B Rogers Amusement Company where it looks like he was helping set up stage productions. In 1915 he had been helping set up productions in Wisconsin and Indiana, An article in a Quincy newspaper says that in June, 1915 he took a position as a social entertainer at a fashionable hotel in Portland, Maine.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in May, 1917, Norbert entered officer training school at Ft. Sheridan (US Army). In about October, 1917 he was ordered to France during World War I. Norbert was a second lieutenant in the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion, First Division. On or about May 18, 1918 he was severely wounded near Soissons. The bullet went through his side but didn’t hit anything vital. He got up and led his men to a shell hole where one of them bound up his wound. About 6-7 hours later, he crawled to an aid station. He would later receive the Distinguished Service War Cross for this action.
Then in early June, in a battle near Cantigny, he was hit in the foot by enemy fire. It has been said that after he was wounded, he remained at his machine gun until it was exhausted. He would later receive the Distinguished Service War Cross for his bravery and was cited by the French commander-in-chief. By September he would get the cast off of his foot and he wrote his parents that he was ready to get back to the front. But he also indicated that there was a chance he could be sent home to be an instructor. After getting out of the hospital, he did not see any more action on the battlefield; however he did go into Germany with the Army of Occupation. He returned to the hospital for a short while and was then ordered back home. In December, 1918 he did finally return home for a few days, but was ordered to the hospital at Ft. Sheridan for treatment. “Nobby” as his friends called him had returned a true hero from the Great War.
|Norbert and his mother, Mary Husam Markus|
Next: Bernard Husam, Norbert's Grandfather
I have a blog about the maternal side of the family at happekotte.blogspot.com