PRIVATE JOHN RICHARD GEIST was born in Pottstown PA on March 1, 1893 to John G. and Irene Geist. The family lived in Pottstown through at least 1900. The family had moved to New Jersey by 1908, and was living at 515 North 9th Street by the summer of 1910. The Geists had moved to 835 York Street in North Camden by 1914 and were still at that address in June of 1917 when J. Richard Geist registered for the draft. He was called up in October of 1917. Initially sent to Fort Slocum, Private Geist was transferred to Camp Greene, where he was a member of Battery F, 16th Field Artillery.
Private J. Richard Geist died at Camp Greene, in Charlotte NC of spinal meningitis and pneumonia on January 11, 1918. 24 years old at the time of his death, he had been a member of the patriotic fraternal organization, the Improved Order of Red Men. Private Geist belonged to Ottawa Tribe No. 15, which met in Morgan's Hall on Market Street in the years leading up to America's entry into World War I. Ottawa Tribe No. 15 members included Joseph Covert, Fillmore Haines, Burton Bagg, John Harkins, William Schucker, and Ralph Benner.
Private J. Richard Geist was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John G. Geist, a brother, Leonard, and a sister, Lillian. The Geists had moved to 28 East Stiles Avenue in Collingswood NJ by January of 1920.
Private Geist was memorialized by the Red Men when they erected their War Memorial in Camden in May of 1920. The Red Men War Memorial, a statue of an Indian chief by Camden sculptor Nicola Berardo, stood for many years in the park at Benson Street and Haddon Avenue, before being moved to Tuckerton, New Jersey in the early 1980s, due in great part due to indifference on the part of those in City government at the time.
Camden Courier-Post - January 20, 1928
GOLD STAR MOTHERS TO ATTEND FOREIGN WAR VETERANíS BALL
Gold Star Mothers will be the honor guests at the first annual military
ball of the Camden Post, No. 980, Veterans of Foreign Wars, to be held on
Friday evening, February 3, in the Elks
ballroom, Seventh and Cooper
Elaborate plans for this ball are under the chairmanship of John S.
Invitations have been issued for patrons and patronesses and the list
will be announced early next week.
Gold Star Mothers to attend the affair are Mrs. C. Alberger, Mrs. Harriett Ablett, Mrs. Laura Brown. Mrs. A. Crangel, Mrs. A. Cassidey, Mrs. R. Dilks, Mrs. Kate Geist**, Mrs. M. Griffen, Mrs. Horace B. Keebler, Mrs. H. Kirk, Mrs. Ross Leahy, Mrs. M. A. Matson, Mrs. M. McGuckin, Mrs. Mary Martin***, Mrs. M. Matthews, Mrs. Cooling Pond, Mrs. Oliver Powell*, Mrs. Mary Pennington, Mrs. C. Rolk, Mrs. E. Simons, Mrs. Mary Schucker, Mrs. Margaret Steigerwald, Mrs. Annie Taylor, Mrs. M. Osborn, Mrs. Mary Keegan, Mrs. Anna Kennedy, Mrs. T.C. Young and Mrs. Walters.
Assisting Mr. Pennington in planning this ball are John Rouh, James W. Connor, Charles Bozian, Robert MacMahon, Edward Watson, David Lukoff, Harry Laxton, Edward A. Stark, George Jones, William V. Long, Joseph Keefe, Charles Blank sad Marvel Passwater.
Newspaper error- Mrs. Oliver Powell was actually Mrs. Oliver Purnell
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