The biographical sketch below was part of the Crandon Public Library’s 2016 Cemetery Tour featuring WW1 soldiers laid to rest in the Crandon Lakeside cemetery.  Research for the sketch was conducted by Library staff using original documents and newspaper resources found within our Local History room.  We welcome any additional historic information on our soldiers, including photos.  Please contact us at forestctyhistory@gmail.com to submit this information.  –Thank you.

Hello, my name is Lynn Paul.  I was born on December 2, 1893, in Lincoln County, Wisconsin.  When I was a few years old, my parents, James and Agnes Paul, moved my sisters and I to the town of Prentice, in Price County.  My father was a traveling insurance agent and in 1910 he traveled to Crandon.  He must have liked it here an awful lot because he decided to stay here and raise us kids in Crandon.

United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

I was 23 years old when I registered for the draft. I was working in Karlberg’s grocery store in Crandon at that time and was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard.  After I was drafted and trained in the Army I was sent to an artillery camp in France.   While I was at the camp I saw a lot of German prisoners.  They were real young fellows.  Some of them were actually Hamburg University students who really didn’t seem to side with the Kaiser as much as other prisoners did.  I talked to a few prisoners who had lived in the States for awhile but unfortunately our superiors gave us the order forbidding us to talk to them so I never found out if they liked living in Wisconsin.

My buddy “Sloppy Weather George Gifford” came to my camp before his trip to Paris.  I wish George could have been in the artillery unit with Ben Ferguson and I as he was a blame good scout.  We were all proud and glad to fight for Uncle Sam especially after seeing the conditions of France and the Germans.  We were sure the Americans would bring home the bacon because us Sammies showed more pep in a minute than those Germans did in a week. In fact, I told Art Carpenter in a letter I wrote to him that was published in the Forest Republican that if “all the Germans and French are as slow as the ones I seen, it is no wonder that the war was lasting so long. It takes the German prisoners longer to fix a bath house or dig a sewer than it took Forest county to build the court house”

When I got back from the War, I married my girl Adah Moe and become a brother-in-law to Colonel Himes.  Ada and I had three children: two daughters and one son, Mary, Ellen and James. Many of you might recall that I was the owner and operator of Paul’s Grocery Store in town for 43 ½ years. My family and I lived above the store that is now the chiropractor’s office on Main street.  I always had candy to give to kids who came in my store, as well as candy to throw to kids at parades.  People said I was a very nice guy, highly thought of in the community. During the great depression I gave two bags of groceries to 7-year-old Homer Rosa at no charge shortly after his family moved to Crandon and had very little money.  After that, Homer’s mother never shopped for groceries anywhere else.

Crandon Street Scene. Crandon Area Historical Society Archives. Crandon Community Building Collection. 2013.1.1.138-2

I guess my patriotic feelings for our grand country must have made an impression on my own son James because during WWII he enlisted and as part of the 717th Bombardment Squadron and flew combat missions over enemy targets in southern Europe, Germany, Austria, France and in the Balkans.  Our family was devastated when he plane was shot down on February 19, 1945 and he was officially declared “missing in action” 

My wife and I and James sister’s Mary and Ellen had a headstone placed here in our family’s plot in memory of him.  I guess his name is also listed on a plaque in Florence Italy along with the names of the other soldiers missing in action and assumed dead.  We were real proud when the Government awarded Jim with the purple heart for his ultimate service to our country. 

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 03 June 2019), memorial page for Corp James Lynn Paul (24 Nov 1925–19 Feb 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 143606612, citing Crandon Lakeside Cemetery, Crandon, Forest County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Kevin Jackson (contributor 47952677) .

My wife and I spent our last days in Crandon.  I died in 1975 at the age of 81.

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