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HQ Company and Battery A, 58th Artillery, C.A.C.

HQ Company

PFC Fred Keegan of HQ Company

St. Patrick’s Cemetery is located in Johnson City, New York, which is part of the greater Binghamton, New York area, and in the cemetery located in a quiet less visited part rests a lowly flat granite military gravestone. This grave seems to be in an area of the cemetery where some of the stones have toppled over, as there are two other stones that have fallen over and lay touching this military stone. The name on the stone is “J. Fred Keegan” of New York who was a Private First Class of the 58th Artillery, C.A.C. during the First World War.

J. Fred Keegan was born to Frank and Mary Keegan on September 13, 1899. Frank and Mary Keegan lived in Binghamton, New York, where Frank worked for the railroad as a wrecking boss. In 1910 the Frank Keegan family lived at 103 Chapin Street in Binghamton, and at the time the family consisted of Frank and Mary along with eldest daughter Gertrude who was then a 22-year old single woman and was working as a lawyer, son Harry J. who was 21-years old and single working as a fireman on the railroad, and daughter Laura N. who was 14-years old and in school and youngest son J. Fred who was 11-years old and also in school.

In his early years according to the 1910 Federal Census Fred Keegan may have went by the name of “Frank J.” and was likely named after his father. But for most of his life he went by the name of “J. Frederick” or “J. Fred.”

By the time America entered into the First World War J. Fred Keegan would have been 17 and a half years old. When the 58th Artillery was formed in December of 1917 Fred Keegan was serving in the Headquarters Company as a Private First Class. He would have turned 18 in September 1917 and he enlisted into the army on September 17, 1917 just a few days after his 18th birthday.

As the 58th Artillery was being formed in December Keegan was added to the ranks of the 58th artillery to fill out its ranks for wartime service as a new recruit. PFC Keegan’s service number was 628660 and he served through out the duration of the war with HQ Company, 58th Artillery. After the return of the 58th Artillery to the States after the war PFC Keegan was Honorably Discharged from service on May 7, 1919 and he returned to civilian life and his family back in Binghamton, NY.

January of 1920 found Fred Keegan living with his widowed mother Mary at the home on Chapin Street in Binghamton. Fred was still single and was then working as a clerk at an insurance office. Living in the home with Mary his mother was Fred’s 24-year old sister Laura who was single and was working as a schoolteacher. Additionally living in the home was Fred’s grandmother, Mary’s mother Elizabeth Halpin who was an 83-year old widow. Elizabeth was born in Berlin, Germany and had come to America in 1853.

By the spring of 1930 Fred Keegan was still a single man. He still lived with his mother Mary who was by then 65-years old. But they had moved from the Chapin Street home to one located on Moeller Street in Binghamton. The home on Moeller Street was filled with new life as Mary’s eldest daughter Gertrude and her husband Carl Schaeffer and their two young daughters were also living there. Carl Schaeffer was a 43-year old German born man and worked as a real estate broker. Carl and Gertrude’s daughters were Laura R. who was 9-years old and G. Constance who was 6-years old. Fred Keegan was then working as a salesman for a local mercantile agency.

The last years of Fred Keegan’s life is not known, and it is believed that he may have never married or had any children. The last chapter of his life was written on November 28, 1948 when he passed away. Being that he was buried in the St. Patricks Cemetery in Binghamton he likely lived his entire life in and around Binghamton.

Fred Keegan was laid to rest in St. Patricks Cemetery and his grave lay with out a marker for about a year and a half. On April 20, 1950 Fred’s older brother Harry J. Keegan signed for the installation of a flat granite marker, and on May 5, 1950 that stone was placed on Fred Keegan’s grave thus marking the last chapter of his life.

Photo of PFC Fred Keegan on the left likely taken in America before the 58th Artillery sailed to France. PFC Keegan stands smartly for the camera between two Army tents in the background, and the young 18-year old soldier is wearing his service weapon, a Colt Model 1911 pistol. On the right is his pay book showing the paper sleeve cover showing his name, service number 628660 and unit “HQ CO. 58th ART. (CAC) stamped in red ink.

J. Fred Keegan’s gravestone in the St. Patricks Cemetery.

Non-Commissioned Staff of HQ Company, 58th Artillery CAC. This photo was taken in France during 1918.
This photo was from the collection of Asst. Engineer Walter H. Cole who is the last man on the right in the back row. The names are:

Front Row left to right:
Engineer Henry Dollet, Service No. 627602,
Radio Sgt. Elliott Grossman, Service No. 608966
Radio Sgt. Virgil C. Scarbrough, Service No. 627608
Radio Sgt. George A. Routledge, Service No. 693807, born in Indiana
Radio Sgt. William C. Holcombe, Service No. 719027
Radio Sgt. Robert Seeman, Service No. 614020, born in Bohemia (Czech Republic)

Middle row left to right:
Master Electrician, Kenneth Lawrence, Service No. 627604, born in New York
Engineer Banjamin A. Gerry, Service No. 599110
Radio Sgt. Frank L. Lane, Service No. 627609, born in Louisiana
Color Sgt. Petrus DeWulf, Service No. 627712, born in Belgium
Color Sgt. Karl E. Kickhafer, Service No. 627713, born in Wisconsin

Back row left to right:
Radio Sgt. Fred V. Green, Service No. 627607, born is Alabama
Radio Sgt. Grahm V. Lowe, Service No. 627610, born in New York
Master Gunner William J. McMinn, Service No. 693931
Sgt. Major Jr. Gr. John D. Springett, Service No. 627663, born in New York
Master Gunner Daniel J. Hayes, Service No. 627890, born in New York
Master Gunner Harl L. Russell, Service No. 627606
Assistant Engineer Walter H. Cole, Service No. 627603, born in Virginia

Radio Sgt. Frank L. Lane, Service No. 627609, HQ Company

Radio Sgt. Frank L. Lane
Photo provided by Hallie Borstel, Great-granddaughter of Sgt. Lane

Frank L. Lane served as a radio sergeant with the 58th Artillery, CAC.  He enlisted at Jefferson Barracks in 1916 and was sent to France on May 10, 1918 and stayed there until April 16, 1919. Frank was honorably discharged from the army on June 4, 1920 at Governor's Island.

1st Lt. Samuel Arthur Devan, HQ Company, Regimental Chaplain

After the end of the First World War the 58th Artillery had returned to the United States. And shortly thereafter a book entitled "The History of the 58th Artillery, C.A.C." was published as a written history of what the men of the 58th Artillery did and how they helped win the fight. In the introduction of this book is the following sentence, "Chaplain Devan and Sergeant Rennie are entitled to special appreciation for their work in constructing the foundation and framework of this book..."

1st Lt. Samuel Arthur Devan, B.D., M.A., Regimental Chaplain

Ninety-two-years after "The History of the 58th Artillery, C.A.C." was published two photographs of Chaplain Devan were discovered. One photo shows Chaplain Devan standing alone somewhere in France. He is in uniform with mud on his boots and his gas mask in its bag around his shoulder with his name stenciled on the bag. He is a man of five-feet, eleven and one half inches tall with a dimpled chin, wearing wire-rimed glasses. His eyes appear to be looking directly at you and if this were a color photo his eyes would have been blue and his hair was brown. On his helmet is a simple cross, not the Lorraine Cross, which was the emblem of the 58th Artillery but the cross of Jesus, the one he truly served. Lt. Devan stands in the photo with his arms crossed and you can see on his left arm his wristwatch, almost as if to say time may pass but I will stay true to my convictions for Christ.

The second photo shows Chaplain Devan next to one of the 58th Artillery's staff cars painted with the emblem of the 58th Artillery clearly visible on the door of the car. Again Chaplain Devan is standing in the mud of France and he is wearing his heavy winter overcoat with his hands in his pockets. He has on his garrison cap with the cross of a chaplain clearly visible. But just who was chaplain Devan and what sort of man was he?

Samuel Arthur Devan’s roots begin with Thomas Devan, who is believed to be his grandfather. Samuel's early history is a bit uncertain as even his exact birth date is not known, some sources state it as February of 1885 and others state it as December 5 or 6, 1887. It seems that Thomas Devan was a Doctor and a Baptist preacher and was born in New York about 1809. Chaplain Samuel Arthur Devan likely was inspired from his grandfather to take up the way of the cross, a profession that he would follow his entire life.

Chaplain Devan stands next to one of the 58th Artillery's staff cars with the regimental logo clearly visible in the door.

In 1880 Thomas Devan was a 71-year old widow living in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He and his late wife who was named Emma E. together had at least 4 known children, Emma, Ellen, Fannie and Spencer. The Thomas Devan family must have been somewhat well to do and may have lived in Europe for a time, as it is known that at least one of their children, a daughter named Ellen was born in Paris, France. Spencer Devan, the only known son followed his father Thomas in as much as he was a doctor. It is believed that Spencer Devan was Chaplain Samuel Arthur Devan's father.

Little is known of Spencer Devan or who his wife may have been, but it is known that there were 3 sons born to that marriage. This is known from the 1900 Federal Census. In New Brunswick, NJ living at 131 Somerset Street lived two sisters named Emma and Fannie Devan. They were Thomas Devan's daughters and living with them in the home were 3 brothers likely of Spencer Devan. It is not known what happened to Spencer Devan or why the 3 brothers were living with their Aunts, Emma and Fannie.

The 3 brothers were listed as "Spencer Devan, Allen Devan and Arthur Devan" on the census form. It is known that Allen and Arthur's real names were Thomas Alan Devan and Samuel Arthur Devan and so it is clear that the boys were listed by their middle names. It is also known that Thomas Alan Devan the older brother of Samuel was also a doctor. This is known from a 1913 United States Passport application that Thomas Alan applied for. On the document he listed his address as Highland Park, in New Brunswick, NJ and was at the time a Physician. Samuel Arthur Devan as a witness for his brother also signed this document.

Family roots run deep and like his brother, father and grandfather who were all doctors Samuel Arthur also carried on family traditions. But Samuel followed his grandfather not as a doctor but as a Baptist minister. Clearly it was in the blood of the Devan family to serve others.

It is not known at what age Samuel Arthur heard the call of God to take up the cross but it is known that he received an A. B. Degree from Rutgers University in his hometown of New Brunswick, NJ. Devan went on to get his D. B. Degree from the Rochester Theological Seminary in Rochester, New York, which was ran by the Baptist Church. And he received his A. B. Degree and A.M. in Theology studying at Oxford University in England. From a U. S. Passport application filled out on October 7, 1913 at the American Embassy in London, England, Samuel was and had been since October of 1911 studying at Christ Church in Oxford, England where he was a Rhodes Scholar. The reason for the Passport was that for the next year he would be traveling in Russia as part of his schooling. He signed this application as "S. Arthur Devan" so clearly it was family tradition to use the middle name.

After returning from the year long study in Russia Samuel Arthur Devan was ordained at the Livingstone Avenue Church in New Brunswick, NJ. His first church that he was pastor of was in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. He then was the pastor at the Lower Merion Baptist Church located at 911 New Gulph Road in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania from March 14, 1915 through October 15, 1917.

In June of 1917 as America entered into the fight that had so far remained in Europe, the United States Government instituted a Federal Draft. In the first call up of men on June 5, 1917 Pastor Samuel Arthur Devan did his duty and registered. He did so in Lower Merion, which is located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in the southeastern part of the state. He was single at the time and was the pastor at the Lower Merion Baptist Church there in Bryn Mawr.

Pastor Devan was then called into Federal Service on October 3, 1917 and entered the army as a chaplain at the rank of First Lieutenant. His first assignment in the army was at Fort Howard, Maryland, and from there joined the 58th Artillery as it was being formed.

Once in France the men of the 58th Artillery were well cared for, as far a spiritual needs were concerned. Chaplain Samuel Arthur Devan was assisted by two civilians, the two were Miss Susanna Bottomley, of the YMCA, known to the men of the 58th Artillery as "The Daughter of the Regiment" and Reverend James H. Eding from the Knights of Columbus. Miss Bottomley managed canteens in the various villages and in many ways made conditions as cheerful as possible for the enlisted men. They became greatly attached to her and her presence with the Regiment was a very beneficial influence. Father Eding looked after the spiritual welfare of officers and men and was very popular with all. Both Miss Bottomley and Father Eding continued with the 58th until after the cessation of hostilities. They were valued aides to Chaplain Devan, the Regimental Chaplain who supervise the welfare work of the Regiment in addition to his ministerial duties. Chaplain Devan had quickly gained the confidence and respect of officers and men. His interest and sympathy for those of all faiths and his warm friendliness made a positive influence in the Regiment and brought him a deserved popularity among the men and officers alike.

After the end of the war and the return of the 58th Artillery from France Chaplain Devan was discharged from the army on August 1, 1919. In January of 1920 he was living in The Bronx, New York. He lived in a boarding house located at 206 Bedford Park Blvd, ran by Meta Allen, she being a 56-year old unmarried German woman. On the 1920 Federal Census Devan was still using his middle name as the census form lists him as "S. Arthur Devan" he was single and was listed as a clergyman.

Within a few months time Samuel Arthur Devan married Winifrede Richards. They were married on June 3, 1920 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Winifrede was born about 1893 in Pennsylvania and would pass away in 1960. Samuel Arthur Devan after the war then became the pastor of a church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. In 1921 Samuel and Winifrede had their first child a son named Thomas Arthur Devan born while serving at the Lansdowne church.

Sometime prior to 1923 the Devan family had moved to Annandale, New Jersey. It is likely that Samuel was the pastor of a Baptist Church in the Annandale area. The church at which he was the pastor of may have been in Plainfield, New Jersey about 24 or so miles away from Annandale. It is known that in 1930 the Devan family was living in a rented home on the Cokesbury Road, in Annandale.

There in the Annandale area the couple's next five children would be born. Richard was born in 1923, Winifrede, named after her mother was born in 1924, Roger Gilbert was born in 1925, Christopher Bartman was born in 1926 and the last child a daughter named Mary Augusta was born in March of 1930. The youngest son, Christopher Bartman Devan would follow in his father's footsteps serving in the army. Christopher was a Corporal serving in the Army during WWII and the Korean War. He passed away on February 8, 2001 and is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, New York.

Pastor Devan also lectured from time to time at the Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania. The seminary mostly served as an American Baptist Church school, training seminarians for the entry into the Baptist ministry. The most famous student of Crozer Seminary was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King had enrolled on September 14, 1948 and graduated on May 8, 1951 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.

In 1930 Samuel Devan left the Annandale, New Jersey area to become the Chaplain at the Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. He held the position of University Chaplain from 1930-1940. Hampton University is an African-American College started in 1861 with the first class being taught by Mary Peake, a free Negro. She held her first class, which consisted of about twenty students, on September 17, 1861 under a simple oak tree. This tree would later be known as the Emancipation Oak and would become the site of the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Today, the Emancipation Oak still stands on the Hampton University campus as a lasting symbol of the promise of education for all, even in the face of adversity.

Samuel Arthur Devan would pass away on May 5, 1951 in Washington, DC and was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Nyack, New York. This is the same cemetery where Samuel's son Christopher is buried, and Samuel's wife Winifrede R. Devan was buried there with Samuel when she passed away on July 9, 1960. The gravesite is located in Section P, Lot No. 181, Graves 2 and 3.

But even after his death the legacy of Samuel Arthur Devan lives on for in a May 19, 2004 article that appears on the web site his words are still alive.

It is easy for a pastor to be intimidated by the jargon and artistic flair of musicians. Nevertheless, every pastor must be aware that the key to music's effectiveness in the church is still in his hand. Music can have, indeed must have, a place in the larger ministry of the church. In a culture bombarded with musical sounds around the clock, it is crucial that pastors develop a clear perspective.

But this creates a dilemma for the over busy minister. As Samuel A. Devan writes, the pastor " expected to combine the financial acumen of John D. Rockefeller, the spiritual fervor of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the scholarship of Spenger, the organizing ability of a German bureaucrat, the aggressiveness of Napoleon, the smoothness of a politician, the tenderness of a parent, the magnetism of Lloyd George, the manners of Chesterfield, with the literary force of St. Paul, and the evangelistic impetus of John Wesley. It is hardly to be wondered at if occasionally some individual falls a little short of expectations in some of these particulars."

Battery A

Truman Lahr, Wagoner, Battery A

In December of 2002, I recieved these photos and info from Andy Lahr who's grandfather was a Wagoner in Battery A, 58th Artillery. During WWI Wagoners were like truck drivers. The name Wagoner is a hold over from the old horse days. Wagoners drove trucks that supplied the battery with ammunition, powder and other supplies that the battery needed. The dates that Wagoner Lahr served overseas match exactly the dates that the 58th Regiment sailed and returned to the states.

I thoroughly enjoyed your history of the 58th CAC. My Grandfather served in the 58th CAC Battery A. I am attaching a couple pictures from his service in France. I'm not sure if you're interested in more pictures but here they are. My Grandfather is third from the left/top row in both pictures. The information I have from his service is:

Truman Lahr served in World War I as a wagoner for Battery A, 58th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps. He served overseas fom May 10, 1918 to April 27, 1919. He was inducted December 10, 1917 at Fort Slocum, NY. He was discharged May 15, 1919 at Camp Dix, NJ

Again, thank you and I hope you find this information of some use.

Andy Lahr
Cressona, PA

The above photo shows Wagoner Truman Lahr in the back row third from the right. Each Artillery Battery would have had 26 Wagoners and this photo contains 26 men, so I would think that this was all the Wagoners for Battery A. All the men in this photo have the dress of the Wagoners of that time. Leather coats, hip boots, large leather gloves and driving goggles. Again Wagoner Truman Lahr is in the back row third from the right. In this photo there are 20 men and some of the men are in both of the photos.
Two unidentified Wagoners of Battery A, both of who appear in the above photos. This is typical of what the Wagoners of the Artillery wore. Neither of these men are Truman Lahr.

On the left is Truman's Dog Tag with its original string. Above right is a picture in their quarters (I think at camp Slocum) he added a note on the back: "Picture of a bunk in the rear and a couple wall lockers" my Grandfather Truman is third from the left back row.

Pay book of Truman Lahr showing 3 months pay.

Signed by Truman Lahr and the Captain of Battery A, George W. Farnham.

Discharge of Truman Lahr (front)
Discharge of Truman Lahr (back)

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This page was last updated on: 7/18/15 and owned by Joe Hartwell ©2004-2015

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