Appendix C: Coatesville Newspaper Articles about Vern McAninch, October 1912


[Thursday, 17 Oct. 1912] [Note C.1]

“Back from Alaska” / Vern McAninch, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. A. McAninch, living west of

town, arrived home this week after a long trip from the far north. Vern has been a member of the

U. S. signal corps with headquarters at Signal Corps Rapids, Alaska [Note C.2], the past two years.

Every member of the corps was poisoned from eating canned meats and all but two or three died

[Note C.3]. Vern came south as soon as possible on a hospital boat and was taken to a hospital in

San Francisco where he remained until able to make the trip home. He was given a discharge

from further duty on account of disablement, and it is hoped by his many friends to see him soon

the ‘Breakie’ they once knew.

Source: Coatesville Herald, Coatesville, Indiana, Vol. III, No. 42, Thursday, Oct. 17, 1912, pg. 1

[image online: McA-Vern-1912-Back-From-Alaska.jpg] [Note 8.d. (image)]


[Thursday, 24 Oct. 1912]

“A Brave Life Ended” / As has been repeatedly stated in these columns . . . To leave home

and friends and be faithful to duty in a foreign field . . . this is the kind of bravery that counts in

life’s battles . . . and this is the kind should be given to a young life just ended in Coatesville.

Two years ago, then a boy in his teens, Vern McAninch, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. A. McAninch

of this place, joined his services with those of the government of the United States. He was sent

to the far north, after a year or more of duty in the States, to do duty as a signal officer in Alaska.

It required many weary weeks to reach his destination. Here he remained serving the government

faithfully until January, 1912, when the entire signal corps, numbering twenty-two men, were

poisoned by eating bad meat. Out of the entire number Vern was the only one who lived to reach

home [Note C.3]. He was sent down to San Francisco in a hospital boat and placed in a hospital

in that city, where he remained a patient sufferer during all those months from May to October,

when he had sufficient strength to make the journey home. His friends were greatly rejoiced to

see him again, but it seems the poison had a deep hold upon his system and affected his kidneys,

and on Sunday morning at 5 o’clock his spirit took its flight to the God who gave it.

This is the story of a young but brave life, the last sad rites of which were held at the

Methodist church on Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, 1912, the Rev. C. O. Smock officiating.

Source: Coatesville Herald, Coatesville, Indiana, Vol. III, No. 43, Thursday, Oct. 24, 1912.


[Friday, 25 Oct. 1912]

“Came From Alaska To Die” /”Signal Corps Member Dead After Eating Bad Beef”

Vern McAninch, age twenty-one, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. A. McAninch, of Coatesville, died

Sunday morning. He had been a member of the United States signal corps in Alaska for two years.

In January all the twenty-two members of the corps were poisoned by eating bad beef [Note C.3].

McAninch was brought in a hospital boat to San Francisco, where he remained until a week ago,

when he was sent home. The poison resulted in a disease of the kidneys, which was the

[unreadable] at his death.

Source: Plainfield Friday Caller, Plainfield, Indiana, Friday, 25 Oct. 1912, pg.4 col.4 



McAninch Family History NL v.XX n.3 / July 2012 / Frank McAninch, Editor / page 2012-37


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