Linebaugh Public Library is honored to host a month-long display to honor the service of Rutherford County residents who served in World War I, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America's entry into the war on April 6, 1917. Artifacts of long-time resident, Lawrence J. "Frenchy" Lemieux will be on display, provided by his daughter, Libby Green. The display will also include items of William Thomas Robison and Mary Ross, the grandparents of Linebaugh Board and Foundation member, Marcie Richmond.
L.J. Lemieux, born in Montreal, Canada, left his family farm in Platsburg, NY, at the age of 21 to join the Army in 1918. He served as a soldier and cook, as well as a medic in the 113 Hospital Corps in France. Called "Frenchy" by his comrades because of his French-Canadian heritage, Lemieux saw the trials of war in the Battles of St. Mihiel and the Argonne Forest in the fall and winter of 1918. He was discharged from service in September of 1919.
Lemieux moved to Murfreesboro in 1939, for the opening of the Alvin C. York Veterans Hospital, to work as a chef, serving the veterans he held so high. He served as part of the original staff there for 18 years, until his retirement in 1957. He passed away in 1984, at the age of 88, one of the few remaining Rutherford County veterans of the Great War.
Dr. William T. Robison was a native of Rutherford County, where he received his early education, later graduating from Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, then earning a B.S. and M.D. from University of Chicago. With the outbreak of WWI, he served at Base Hospital No. 13, seeing 10 months of service in France. It was while serving in France that he met Mary Ross of Evanston, Illinois, who was serving as an R.N. in the same unit. Ross actually sailed to Europe on SS Leviathan, a German ship seized by the U.S. and renamed (formerly called Vaterland).
Dr. Robison returned to Murfreesboro in 1920, and married Miss Ross in 1922. Their second child, Mary Alice, was the first baby born at Rutherford Hospital. The family lived an active life in Murfreesboro, where Dr. Robison held his medical practice until his death in 1942. Mrs. Robison returned to Evanston with their daughter following the passing of her husband.
The memorabilia of these veterans will be on display in the 2nd floor Reading Room at Linebaugh throughout the month of April.