Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 13, 2014

Guard tradition ends

(Continued)

While the guardsmen were at war, Payton changed the armory and opera house into just a theatre, leaving the returning guardsmen no place to train.

Eventually, a new armory was built on East Jackson Street under the direction of George Ogle, the commander of the company.

The May 22, 1951 story was very detailed and included comments made by Capt. Wallace Koestner, the present commander of the company at the time. Capt. Koestner “spoke highly of his outfit saying that it isn’t just ‘another’ guard company but the ‘best’ guard company that this city has ever known.”

The same story says the Iowa National Guard wants to expand the Centerville facility as soon as funds become available or a lease deal is reached.

One more point the 1951 story made was the financial impact the guard had in Centerville.

“It was pointed out that Company G brings $17,000 into the city annually, and could bring much more than that amount into the city if the strength were increased.”

Centerville Company E evolved to became Company G. According to an Iowa National Guard advertisement in the Friday, April 24, 1953 Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen, during WWI Company E became Company D and was part of the “Rainbow Division,” which was commanded by Gen. Douglas Mac­Arthur. Since 1921, it has been known as Company G and in WWII it was made part of the 34th Infantry Division, or Red Bull Division, consisting of guard companies from Iowa and Minnesota.

The ad praises the men who were a part of the guard in Centerville.

“Since the beginning, the local company has distinguished itself in all its activities and has produced more than its share of war heros. No other guard company has a better record of producing fighting men of the highest quality.”

The ad says Com­pany G currently resides in the new armory located at North 10th and Franklin streets. The ad says plans are to add two wings to the building to house classrooms.

On Monday, Sept. 21, 1953, the Centerville Daily Iowegian and Citizen reported a contract was let to enlarge the armory at North 10th and West Franklin streets. The 52x128 foot armory was completed in 1950. The story says the plan calls for two additions, both 23x128 feet, on the east and west side of the building.

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A. I plan to attend all six days.
B. I plan to attend five days.
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E. I plan to attend two days.
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