During a home remodeling in Bay View the homeowner discovered a brief note written on a hidden panel: “#12109, Phil Herriges & Sons. Feb. 20, 1943. Ralph leaves Monday for the Army.”
The homeowner consulted the online 1940 federal census that showed Phil and Estella Herriges living on E. Van Beck Ave. in the Town of Lake, now the south side of Milwaukee. They had 17 children, including Ralph, who was listed as 16 years old. So the age fit for someone entering the military three years later.He then found a Journal Sentinel death notice for Ralph, confirming he was the son of Phil and Estella. Ralph died, not as a young soldier in the trenches of Europe, but in 2006 of natural causes at age 82.
Read the rest of this story at Mystery of 72-year-old message makes sleuth of homeowner
Credit: Image Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel