Legion honors namesake Charles Conklin

Becky Vargo • May 11, 2017 at 9:30 AM

It’s been a few years since a memorial service has been held for Charles Conklin, but the members of the local American Legion post felt that it was time, given that it will be 100 years next year that the young Grand Haven man gave his life for his country.

Charles A. Conklin was about age 23 at the time of his death in June 1918 in France.

About 30 people gathered at the young man’s grave at Lake Forest Cemetery for the service late Sunday morning, said Charles A. Conklin American Legion Post Cmdr. Chris Jarvis.

There was prayer, a 21-gun salute and a performance of Taps.

Jarvis said the group moved back to the Legion post on Harbor Drive, where they made a toast to young man and raised the flag outside the post that had been lowered in Conklin’s honor 24 hours earlier.

Born in 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Conklin, the young man was active in sports – particularly baseball – in high school. He was also involved in school affairs. He graduated from Grand Haven High School in 1914.

Conklin was working in Cincinnati when war started with Germany, so he enlisted in the Ohio National Guard. He then became a part of the famous Rainbow section, according to his obituary.

The publication noted that Conklin was the first Grand Haven resident to lose his life in World War I.

His remains were returned to Grand Haven, at the request of his family, in 1921.

“Most of the veterans who died overseas, especially during World War I, were buried there (in Europe),” Jarvis said. “Their remains never came home.

Conklin is buried in a family plot at Lake Forest Cemetery.

Jarvis said they hope to have a family member at next year’s memorial service.

Recommended for You

    Grand Haven Tribune Videos