DAR seeks soldiers’ names for WWI monument restoration

In 1924, a monument was placed in front of a public school on Carlsborg Road, with a bronze plaque that read “In memory of the Clallam County boys who fought and died in the World War. And of their heroic mothers. Erected by T. Benoit, 1924.”

World War I had ended only six years earlier, and the memories were still fresh. Many in the county could have named those “boys” and may have known them personally. Maybe that is why Mr. Benoit did not include their names on the plaque.

Today, the stone monument sits without a plaque at all, in front of Carlsborg Family Church—the former school property. Priscilla Hudson of Sequim Prairie Garden Club brought this forgotten monument to the attention of the local Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Last October, eleven members of Michael Trebert Chapter took the initial step to restore the monument by cleaning the stone on which the plaque was placed.

“The three pillars of DAR service are historic preservation, education, and patriotism,” said Judy Tordini, Regent of the chapter. “This kind of project touches on them all.”

The chapter hopes to add a new plaque this year, which will include the original wording as well as the names of the Clallam County men who lost their lives in World War I.

One of the names to be added is Clyde A. Rhodefer of Sequim. He is the great-uncle of Anita Reynolds, the Vice-Regent of Michael Trebert Chapter. Reynolds—and many other chapter members—are eager to see the monument restored. “We believe this is the only monument in Clallam County created specifically in memory of the local men who died in World War I,” Reynolds said.

Sandy Frykholm, the chapter’s Historian, wants to be sure they collect all the names that should be included. “We hope to find the names of all Clallam County military personnel who died in World War I. They are the men Mr. Benoit wanted to honor with this monument,” she said.

Michael Trebert Chapter would also like to identify living relatives of those men so that they can share their relatives’ stories with the chapter. Family members would also be invited to attend the rededication of the monument.

“Because this is the 100th year since the monument was placed, we would like to hold the rededication before the end of 2024,” Frykholm said. The chapter hopes to collect all names for the monument by the end of May, to allow time for creation of the new plaque.

Readers who have information about World War I soldiers from Clallam County who died in the war can contact Sandy Frykholm at 360-461-6897 or by email at sandralfrykholm@olypen.com.