Libertyville’s World War I Veterans: The Lovell Boys

In the second installment of our profiles of World War I veterans from Libertyville, we focus on four young men all from the same family. Brothers Harold, Wendell, Clarence, and Kenneth, the sons of local druggist Frank B. Lovell, owner of the predecessor to today’s Petranek’s Pharmacy, all served during World War I.

Front: Harold Mason, Florence Lovell, Clarence Lovell. Rear: Charles Forbrick, Kenneth Lovell, Harold Lovell. Circa 1907-1910. Courtesy of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.

Harold Messer Lovell (1888-1971) was born August 26, 1888 in Libertyville to Frank Blodgett Lovell and Augusta Messer Lovell. Frank and Augusta were married in their home town of Ornaga, Illinois in July 1887 and may have moved to Libertyville shortly thereafter. Harold attended the local schools and spent at least one year at Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia. By 1910 he was working as a clerk in a drug store, most likely his father’s. When he registered for the World War I draft on June 5, 1917, he was 28 years old and living in San Francisco. He listed his profession as “rodman” (a surveyor’s assistant who holds the leveling rod), but was not employed at the time. He described himself as tall and slender with fair hair and gray eyes.

It appears that he was not selected for service in the early rounds of the draft as he completed another draft registration card in April 1918. At this time he was living in Denver, Colorado and had spent a year as an engineer with the Colorado National Guard. This time he was assigned to the 25th Spruce Squadron, one of several units assigned to support lumber production in the Pacific Northwest. The lumber was needed to build airplanes. 

It is not known where Harold went immediately following the war, but by 1920 he was back in Libertyville living on Park Place with his mother and younger siblings Clarence and Florence. Over the next few decades, he moved back and forth between Libertyville and Denver. The last record found of him in Libertyville is his World War II “Old Man’s” draft registration card completed in 1942. He finally landed in Denver where he passed away in 1971.

Wendell Blodgett Lovell (1889-1956) was born November 27, 1889 in Libertyville, the second son of Frank and Augusta Lovell. He attended local schools and joined his brother Harold at Staunton Military Academy. By 1908, Wendell had moved to Racine, Wisconsin and was working as an engineer. He married Margarethe Jorgenson within the next year and they had a daughter Marion. The young family lived with Margarethe’s family in Racine –  her dad was the proprietor of a hotel in town. The couple divorced sometime before 1917. Wendell’s WWI draft registration card lists his martial status as single. Tall and stout with dark hair and gray eyes, Wendell worked as a Machine Operator with the electric and gas company at that time. He entered service on July 25, 1918 in Company B of the 87th Engineer Battalion. During his service he was at Camp Taylor in Louisville, KY, Camp Upton in New York state, and Camp Merritt in Bergen, NJ. He was discharged January 6, 1919.

After the war he returned to Racine and worked as a crane operator for the gas company. He married Octavia Wilkinson in the early 1920s and had a son Wendell J. Lovell about 1922. He began work on the maintenance staff of Washington Park High School in 1928. He spent 26 years with the school district and retired in 1954. Outside of work, Wendell was a member of the Belle City Masonic Lodge #18. Memorial services were held at the Masonic Lodge upon his death in 1956.

Kenneth Haynes Lovell (1892-1974) was born June 27, 1892, the third son of Frank and Augusta Lovell. Kenneth attended the local schools and played a well received violin solo at the high school graduation in 1910. After graduation, he worked as a bookeeper for a time, possibly at his father’s drug store. He then attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he joined the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.

At the time of his draft registration in June 1917, the 25-year-old Kenneth was working as a traveling salesman for the American Radiator Co. of Detroit, MI. He was tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and light brown hair and still single, but not for long. He enlisted as a Private in the Signal Corps on December 10, 1917 and was recommended for Officer’s Training Camp  at Yale University. Just 19 days after enlistment, Kenneth married Gladys Jackson, an Indiana native who had moved to Libertyville around 1913 and was a teacher of botany, mathematics, and Spanish at the high school.

Kenneth was discharged December 12, 1918 and returned to Libertyville. The reunited couple settled on West Cook Avenue and in 1925 their son Kenneth, Jr. was born. Kenneth Sr. worked as a sales manager for a wire mill and later a wholesale lumber company. Gladys left her teaching position in 1922 but kept her hand in high school affairs by serving on the school board for 25 years.

Kenneth would lose both Gladys and Kenneth Jr. in the 1950s. Gladys passed away after a short illness in late March 1956. Kenneth Jr. was killed Christmas Eve 1957 when his car crashed into a tree on Skokie Highway (Route 41) near Westleigh Rd. At the time of Kenneth Jr.’s death, Kenneth Sr. was living with his son on Garfield Avenue. After 1961, he is no longer listed in the local telephone directory. Kenneth Haynes Lovell passed away in San Diego November 29, 1974.

Clarence B. Lovell (1894-1954) was born January 13, 1894, the fourth son of Frank and Augusta Lovell and the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Pharmacy in 1916. At Northwestern he was a member of the Kappa Psi Pharmacuetical Fraternity and served on the Y.W.C.A. Social Committee. At the time of his draft registration in June 1917, he was student in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Although Clarence’s name was called in the first round of the draft and his name appears on several honor rolls, details about his service are unknown.

After the war, he returned to Libertyville and worked as a pharmacist, most likely at F. B. Lovell & Co., the drug store run by his mother and James Swan after the death of his father Frank Lovell in 1910. Before 1922, Clarence moved to Dallas, Texas where he was married to Janet Hawkes on June 27 of that year. He worked as a pharmacist ta the Federal Drug Store. Their son Calvin was born in 1926.

By 1928, the family had moved to Colton City, California, near San Bernardino, where Clarence would own the Colton Pharmacy for many years. His wife Janet passed away in 1941. In early 1942, Clarence married Ulah Jackson. The couple would have just twelve years together before Clarence passed away December 23, 1954.

 

Sources:

  1. Frank Lovell. Illinois, Marriage Index, 1860-1920. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 9, 2018.
  2. Harold M. Lovell. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Fold3.com. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  3. Lake County Independent, June 15, 1906, p.5.
  4. Lovell, Harold Messer. War Risk Insurance index record. State of Colorado- Historical Records Index Search, http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/archives/archives-search. Accessed February 4, 2018.
  5. Crosman, Kathleen. “The Army in the Woods.” Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol. 112, no. 1 (Spring 2011).
  6. Lovell, Harold Messer. World War II Draft Registration Cards. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 4, 2018.
  7. Lovell, Harold. Social Security Death Index. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  8. Lovell, Harold. U.S Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  9. Lovell, Wendell Blodgett. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Fold3.com. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  10. Lovell, Wendell. U.S Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  11. “W.B. (Pat) Lovell.” Independent Register, July 9, 1956, p.2.
  12. “Lovell, Wendell B.” The Racine Journal Times, July 14, 1956, p.10.
  13. “Wendell Lovell, 66, Dies at Home Here.” The Racine Journal Times, July 14, 1956, p.3.
  14. Haight, Walter L. Racine County in the World War: A History. Racine, Wisconsin: Western Printing & Lithographing, 1920. Google Books. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  15. Lovell, Wendell Blogett. World War II Draft Registration Cards. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  16. Lovell, Wendell. Racine, Wisconsin. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 9, 2018.
  17. Crossley, Rod. Soldiers in the Woods: The U.S. Army’s Spruce Production Division in World War One. Portland, Oregon: TimberTimes, 2014.
  18. Lovell, Kenneth Haynes. World War II Draft Registration Cards. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 3, 2018.
  19. Lovell, Kenneth Haynes. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Fold3.com. Accessed January 19, 2018.
  20. Kenneth Haynes Lovell. Findagrave.com. Accessed February 21, 2018.
  21. Lovell, Kenneth H. U.S Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 22, 2018
  22. General Register of the Members of Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity, 1850-1920. Philadelphia, 1920.
  23. The Nautilus. Libertyville Township High School, 1918.
  24. The Nautilus. Libertyville Township High School, 1919.
  25. “Mrs. Gladys Lovell, Prominent Clubwoman, Dies at Age of 56.” Independent Register, April 2, 1953, p.1.
  26. Telephone directories, http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/search/collection/cookmemo11/searchterm/telephone%20directory/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/title/ad/asc.
  27. Telephone directories, 1961-62 & 1965. Print. Cook Memorial Public Library.
  28. Calvin Lovell in the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010
  29. Calvin Hawkes Lovell in the Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1932
  30. “Ulah J. Lovell, Businesswoman.” San Bernardino County Sun, January 6, 1991, p.20.
  31. Lovell, Clarence B. California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 23, 2018.
  32. Lovell, Clarence B. U.S Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed February 22, 2018
  33. “Lovell.” San Bernardino County Sun, December 26, 1954, p.16.
  34. Lovell, Clarence B. Dallas, Texas City Directory, 1925. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed January 31, 2018.
  35. The Syllabus. Northwestern University, 1916. Ancestry.com Library Edition. Accessed January 31, 2018.
  36. Lovell, Clarence B. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Fold3.com. Accessed January 19, 2018.
  37. “Lovell-Hawkes Wedding.” Daily Times Herald (Dallas, TX), June 30, 1922.
  38. “An Honor to the Village and School.” Lake County Independent, June 10, 1910, p. 3.
  39. “Local Draft Board Sends First Notices.” Libertyville Independent, August 2, 1917, p.1.

 

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