Henry County in the Great War: German-Americans, Patriots, and Loyalty 1914-1918

  • September 30, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • Location: Allen County Museum
  • Address: 620 W. Market Street, Lima, OH 45801
  • Times: 2 PM
  • Admission: Free - Donations Welcome
  • (419) 222-9426
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 In 1918, an organization in Napoleon, Ohio, called “The League of American Patriots of Henry County” was formed with the reported purpose of stamping out pro-German propaganda in the county.  Despite their stated goal, the League of American Patriots, lead by Napoleon’s Methodist and Presbyterian ministers, set its aim on the German Lutheran churches and especially their parochial schools.  Several high profile Loyalty Trials were held by the League in Napoleon, Ohio.  Nearly all of the targets of these loyalty trials were German Democrats running for office.  In 1918 in Henry County, Ohio, like many other places in the United States at the time, petty religious, political, and personal grudges were exacerbated by the German spy hysteria that gripped America.  Patriotism was used as a cloak to settle these scores.
     The Allen County Historical Society is pleased to present Mr. Michael McMaster, Education Programs Coordinator for the Wood County Museum, Bowling Green, Ohio.   Born and raised in Napoleon, Ohio, Mike attended St. Paul Lutheran School in Napoleon and graduated from Napoleon High School in 1988.  He served in the U.S. Army from 1988 through 1991 in the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm.  Michael was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge in 1991.  He went on to attend Bowling Green State University earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education.  Michael taught 4th grade for one year and went on to teach the subjects of Science, Math, and Art at St. Catherine’s of Sienna School in Toledo from  1997-2000.  In 2003, Michael earned a Master’s Degree in American Culture Studies at BGSU prior to joining the staff of the Wood County Museum.
     Mr. McMaster has authored two books:  “All for the Glory of God: The Biography of Ms. Edna Theel" and “Henry County in the Great War: German-Americans, Patriots, and Loyalty,1914-1918”.  Mike, his wife Anna, and four children reside in rural Henry County.  This program is free and open to the public.

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