Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson saved a man’s life at the Pennsylvania Depot on Oct. 11, 1916.

The 28th President of the United States arrived at the Pennsylvania Depot and stood at the rear platform of a train car.

The Evening Item reported, “After the train to which the president’s car was attached had pulled to the station and stopped, without warning a large crowd swarmed to where the president stood… Mr. Charles Gagen, an aged but enthusiastic supporter of Wilson, was the first to rush to the rear of the president’s car just as the train started to back up… Suddenly realizing his predicament, Gagen, with the other hand, clung to the railing... The president held tight, while a secret service agent and local patrolman Henry Vogelsong, came to the rescue. They grabbed Gagen and hefted him to safety.”

The president saved a local man’s life.

Less than a year later, on April 6, 1917, the United States entered the almost three-year-old European conflict that became World War I.

East central Indiana mobilized 2,001 patriots for duty.
Of that figure, Wayne County blood soaked foreign soil with 64 dead.

When President Wilson returned to Richmond on September 14, 1919, he leaned over the side of the train platform to shake the hands of men and women.

On the previous visit he held tight to save a man’s life. On this occassion he clasped the hands of local citizens who had supported the country throughout the “war to end all wars” and paid dearly with the blood of loved ones and neighbors.


 


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June 19, 2012