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Osteen in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Heroes of the World War

 
 
Heroes of the World War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 4, 2017
1. Heroes of the World War Marker
Inscription.  The monument near this panel honors young men who served in a conflict hardly known by modern Americans. Yet in 1917 and 1918, the U.S. joined in a war that touched many Florida families, including people in rural Osteen. From Volusia County, nearly 5,000 men registered for the World War I draft, 500 served in the armed forces, and at least 22 gave their lives.

Osteen's community marker, (likely dating from the 1920s) lists two boys who died in the war and seven who served and survived. Missing from the memorial are World War I veterans who later moved to the area; women (if there were military nurses, clerks, or secretaries from Osteen); and African Americans such as Private Hershell McClenan, an Osteen resident who died from the flu at his Florida training camp.

Actually, the First World War was as much a medical event as a combat story. One of the marker's soldiers died in France, but another succumbed to disease in South Carolina. Though the war was not universally popular, Americans showed up through enlistment or draft induction, and an isolated southern place found itself drawn into global affairs. Even so, Osteen's
Heroes of the World War Marker behind Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 4, 2017
2. Heroes of the World War Marker behind Memorial
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tale remained personal, as when a mother and her boy cried together after learning he had been drafted.

(captions)
(left) Soldiers in training at Jacksonville's Camp Joseph E. Johnston, March 1918. Photo courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection/State Archives.

(upper right) Service card for William McKinley Pell, born in Osteen and inducted at DeLand. Like other boys named on the World War I marker, he came from a well—known area family, though his mother then lived in Miami. And like many trainees, he fell to flu-related pneumonia-in his case at South Carolina's Camp Jackson as the war was ending. Photo courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection/State Archives.

(center right) Charlie Leonardy's military grave in the early 1920s. Photo courtesy of Phil Beasley.

(lower right) Memorial card for Osteen's Private Charles Cooper Leonardy (with an incorrect death date). Buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France, he was a draftee who died in August 1918 after six weeks overseas. Card courtesy Phil Beasley.
 
Erected by Volusia County.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World I. A significant historical year for this entry is 1917.
 
Location. 28° 
Heroes of the World War Marker and Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 4, 2017
3. Heroes of the World War Marker and Memorial
50.777′ N, 81° 9.74′ W. Marker is in Osteen, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is at the intersection of Florida Route 415 and New Smyrna Boulevard, on the right when traveling north on State Route 415. Marker is located at the I. Walter Hawkins Veterans Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Osteen FL 32764, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Community Builders (approx. 3.2 miles away); George C. Means Memorial Bridge (approx. 4.3 miles away); Midway/Canaan City (approx. 5.8 miles away); American Patriots (approx. 5.9 miles away); Angelo J. Vaccaro (approx. 5.9 miles away); Nicholas K. Rogers (approx. 5.9 miles away); World War I (approx. 5.9 miles away); Tara R. Brown (approx. 5.9 miles away).
 
Heroes of the World War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 4, 2017
4. Heroes of the World War Marker
Heroes of the World War Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 4, 2017
5. Heroes of the World War Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 6, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 28, 2021