Crosby in Divide County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Crosby Freedom Rock Veterans Memorial
Honoring Divide County Veterans
Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II
Divide County History:
The earliest inhabitants of what became Divide County included natives of the Assiniboine tribe, dating back to prehistoric time. They crossed the area as they moved between their summer and winter homes. Writing Rock, located in the far western part of the county, has petroglyphs left by the Assiniboine.
Settlers came around 1902, with Divide County offering some of the last unclaimed land available through the United States Homestead Acts. Prior to that, the land had been used for grazing by ranchers near the Missouri River who drove cattle into Canada near present day Ambrose around 1867.
Divide County was officially born in 1910 following an election to divide Williams County. Crosby was named the temporary, then permanent, county seat. The town was founded in 1904 and was at the end of a Great Northern Railway branch line. The Soo Line Railroad also ran through it. Crosby was named after businessman, S.A. Crosby, who was involved in establishing it.
Small grain farm and ranching operations remain Divide
Currently, the county has approximately 2,500 residents.
David D. Elsbernd
The first North Dakota Freedom Rock was inspired by Crosby native Corporal David Elsbernd (1949-1969), who was killed in action by a rocket grenade in Vietnam.
David was an American Gold Star Casualty and is honored on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.
On November 9, 1943, Henry Gurke was in a shallow foxhole with a fellow Marine, delivering a fierce stream of fire against the advancing enemy. When a grenade dropped into the foxhole, he flung his body over it to smother the explosion and save his fellow soldiers. Giving his life, he is remembered as an amazing example of selflessness, bravery, courage, and sacrifice.
Woodrow W. Keeble
Woodrow Keeble volunteered to take charge of three platoons after their officers and platoon leaders were wounded or killed in action. His actions to support his soldiers earned him a Distinguished Service Cross and would later earn him the Medal of Honor. Seeing one of his platoons pinned down by enemy fire, Keeble
Willis W. Bradley
Willis Bradley was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on the U.S.S. Pittsburgh at the time of an accidental explosion of ammunition. Commander Bradley (then lieutenant) was blown back by the explosion. While still dazed, he crawled into the storage locker to extinguish burning materials which were in dangerous proximity to a considerable amount of powder, preventing further explosions.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, Korean • War, Vietnam • War, World I • War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Freedom Rock Memorials, the Medal of Honor Recipients, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart series lists.
Location. 48° 54.542′ N, 103° 18.17′ W. Marker is in Crosby, North Dakota, in Divide County. Memorial can be reached from the intersection of 5th Avenue Southwest and 6th Street West, on the right when traveling west. Marker and Freedom Rock are located on the Divide County Pioneer Village & Museum grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal Touch for directions.
Also see . . .
1. The Freedom Rock. Thanking our Veterans, one painting at a time. (Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. David Duane Elsbernd.
David is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 18w, Line 61. David's commendations include the Purple Heart. David is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 18w, Line 61.(Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Henry Gurke Congressional Medal of Honor Citation.
For extraordinary heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the 3d Marine Raider Battalion during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area on 9 November 1943. When a Japanese grenade dropped squarely into the foxhole, Pfc. Gurke, mindful that his companion manned an automatic weapon of superior firepower and therefore could provide more effective resistance, thrust him roughly aside and flung his own body over the missile to smother the explosion. With unswerving devotion to duty and superb valor, Pfc. Gurke sacrificed himself in order that his comrade might live to carry on the fight.(Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Woodrow Wilson Keeble Congressional Medal of Honor Citation.
Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepedity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Sangsan-ni, Korea on 20 October 1951. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Master Sergeant Keeble dashed forward and joined a pinned-down platoon. Then, hugging the ground, Master Sergeant Keeble crawled forward alone until he was in close proximity to one of the hostile machine-gun emplacements. Ignoring the heavy fire that the crew trained on him, Master Sergeant Keeble activated a grenade and threw it with great accuracy, successfully destroying the position. Continuing his one-man assault, he moved to the second enemy position and destroyed it with another grenade. Despite the fact that the enemy troops were now directing their firepower against him and unleashing a shower of grenades in a frantic attempt to stop his advance, he moved forward against the third hostile emplacement and skillfully neutralized the remaining enemy position.(Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
5. Willis Winter Bradley Jr.
Willis(Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
6. Willis Winter Bradley Jr. Congressional Medal of Honor Citation.
For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, at the time of an accidental explosion of ammunition on that vessel on 23 July 1917.(Submitted on July 27, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 14, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 101 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.