Jefferson County and World War I

Date in History: Pre 1920’s

Over 1600 men and women from Jefferson County served in the armed forces during World War I. Most of the men from the Fort Atkinson area served in the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division, which had a very distinguished war record in France. Eleven of our soldiers never came home from that war, including Edwin Frohmader, whose name is now associated with the local chapter of the VFW, and Paul Frank Florine, whose name lives on with our American Legion Post.

On the homefront, any sign of Germanism had to be eradicated and a wave of renaming began. Sauerkraut became liberty cabbage, and hamburger became liberty steak. In Fort Atkinson, Germany Street became Sherman Avenue and LaFollette Street, named after Wisconsin’s isolationist Senator Bob LaFollette, was renamed Wilson Street after President Wilson. The Jefferson County Union even discontinued its German language edition that had been in existence for over 25 years.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 05/26/2003.

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