2013 Veterans Day Tribute

Class of 1941 Alumni Site Editor - Marine Paul T. McLauglin


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Ilion High School - Paul T. McLaughlin - Class of 1941

This Veterans Day, November 11, 2013, I am happy and proud to salute SSgt Paul (Mac) T. McLaughlin, IHS Class of 1941 Editor. Class Editors have come and gone since May 1997 when this alumni site was launched. Paul still continues in his role as 1941 Class Contact and has been a true friend and supporter. For 16 years he has shared correspondence, telephone calls, countless photos and stories about his IHS classmates. Paul's contributions have always shown his commitment to honor all fellow Veterans and his pride in his hometown, Ilion NY.

If you would like to send Paul a Veterans Day Greeting, you can contact him via email Paul McLaughlin - meimacpl@aol.com.

 

Paul served his country during World War II and the Korean Conflict as a member of the US Marine Corps. Paul also played Baritone Horn in the 3rd Wing Marine Corps Band. He has been a member of the Marine Corps Reserves for 70 years. His pride in his country was instilled by his father, the first Commander of American Legion Post 920, Dennis J. McLaughlin.

Dennis J. McLaughlin
Dennis J. McLaughlin - Former member Ilion Board of Education

 

Herkimer County GenWeb Ilion Site

Not only is Paul the Alumni Site Class of 1941 Editor, he is the Ilion and Town of German Flats Coordinator for the Herkimer GenWeb web site. Early in 2000, Paul wrote me that "Judy Breedlove (Herkimer County Genweb site) wrote to the mayor requesting his approval for us to use excerpts from the ILION CENTENNIAL BOOK which was published in 1952." *Note - Judy Breedlove lives close to Paul in Texas. In June 1999, Judy wrote me and stated "Creating a subsection for Ilion alone will be a first and may be a first for the entire GenWeb. We feel that the information we have available to us via Paul - and hopefully from visitors - will warrant the separate Ilion section....Paul and I visit frequently in person, by phone or by e-mail. Paul is a great guy and his energy and enthusiasm are catching!"

His scholarly research on veterans and the tributes he republished exemplify his dedication to veterans. In May 2000 and May 2001, Paul and Carolyn Deming Bayer, IHS Class of '47, dedicated 'Memorial Day Tributes to Veterans' on the Herkimer GenWeb web site.

 

Ilion and the Wars

Source "Ilion 1852-1952" - Paul thanked Ilion Mayor Haggerty and other Ilion officials for granting permission to provide this information on the Herkimer GenWeb site for Ilion visitors.

Ilion WWII Honor Roll

Ilion WWII Honor Roll

Ilion WWII War Dead

Ilion WWII War Dead

 


Jake Cooper

Paul worked with Beth Brewer of The Herkimer Evening Telegram to share articles about his fellow classmate and veteran, IHS 1941 Alumnus, Jake Cooper. With permission of The Evening Telegram, the full story is available on the alumni site here: Ilion native recalls fighter pilot experiences.

 

Ilion High School Baseball Team 1941
Batting Order: Durkin, Sutherland, Singleton, Bullis, Bates, Cooper, Strife, Garnsey, Smallwood, Momberger, Dibble, Marsden, Chesebrough, Carter

THE SONS OF SWARTHOUT-IN-SERVICE

Jake Cooper came across the booklet that honored members of the Ilion High School baseball team who were in the service during World War II. Paul and Jake provided the booklet so that it could be shared with alumni. Professor Elwyn Swarthout, also known as 'Stub', taught public speaking at Ilion High School and was also the baseball coach. During World War II, he wrote a booklet that honored members of the team who were in the service.

Ilion High School Baseball Team 1941

 

1946 McLaughlin-Baxter Wedding

Paul grew up at 162 John St, Ilion NY, graduated from Annunciation Grammar School, and Ilion High School with the Class of 1941. He briefly returned to Ilion after his service with the Marine Corps. He married his high-school sweetheart, Carol Jane Baxter, on September 11, 1944. Paul and Carol were meant to be with each other. They were born within 26 days of each other, and were delivered by the same doctor, Dr. Diss, in the Ilion Hospital. Paul will celebrate his 90th birthday this December 19th.

Carol Jane (Baxter McLaughlin) passed away on Aug. 28, 2013 in Nassau Bay, TX.

 

Paul's son, Dennis McLaughlin, continued in his father's footsteps to honor veterans. Dennis McLaughlin, rode his recumbent bicycle across the country for the Semper Fi fund: Ride for Heroes. The cross-country fund-raiser began in June of 2012, started in St Augustine, Florida, they rode west across the southern US, and arrived in San Diego, California, two months later in August. The bicycle ride was done to raise awareness and funds for our country’s wounded veterans; specifically for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. See the full story at the Ride for Heroes. see also facebook - Injured marine Semper Fi Fund: Ride for Heroes

Dennis McLaughlin Semper Fi fund
Dennis McLaughlin (far left)

 

St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church, Herkimer, NY
St. Francis de Sales
Catholic Church
Herkimer, NY

Dennis also had the opportunity to see his grandfather's woodwork while traveling through NYS. He stopped in Herkimer to see the ceiling of the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church which his grandfather, Dennis McLaughlin installed. Paul McLaughlin is very, very proud of his children and his own father, Dennis. Paul contributed the article about the church, which appears on the Herkimer County GenWeb site, with the permission to reprint by the Parish and The Obsever Dispatch. The ceiling "... was constructed and installed by the Mohawk firm of McLaughlin-Stevens, Inc. under the personal supervision of Mr. McLaughlin, 'a man of stupendous ability'."

 

The McLaughlins have been looking skywards ever since Dennis McLaughlin Sr. installed the ceiling in St. Francis de Sales Church. In 1986, Paul and Dennis founded McLaughlin Erectors, Incorporated, which now services most of the nation's skylight manufacturers. "MEI has installed major skylightsystems in shopping malls, hotels, walkway covers, natatoriums, and schools."

 

Paul's efforts to preserve and share Ilion history are still available on the Herkimer County GenWeb Site. One of the great treasures that he shared was the 1904 Souvenir Of Ilion booklet. Many of y'all might have 'found' the images from this collection on other web sites. Paul McLaughlin, Carolyn Deming Bayer and Jane Nile deserve to be thanked for the opportunity to view these rare photographs.

Paul stated the following on the main page...."Copies of the book were provided by Carolyn Deming Bayer, IHS Class of '47, of Ilion, and Jane Russel Nile, IHS Class of '50, from Aptos, CA., and transcribed by Paul T. McLaughlin. I am indebted to Carolyn and Jane for this because, without it, I would not have been able to provide this touch of history to our readers. I also want to acknowledge the immeasurable support and assistance provided to me by Lisa Slaski, Assistant County Coordinator for the Herkimer/Montgomery Counties GenWeb website."

He also noted how rare and delicate these books were with this statement, "A crumbling copy of the book is available to view in the genealogy section of the New York City Public Library on 5th Avenue. It was noted that this copy of the book was a "Gift of Ilion Free Library" in 1904, so presumably there are copies at libraries in Herkimer County. The book was brought out in an archival box, no photocopying or interlibrary loan, as the loose pages flake when you turn them."

Souvenir of Ilion 1904 - Remington Mansion
Remington Mansion

Souvenir of Ilion 1904
Souvenir of Ilion 1904

 

Souvenir of Ilion 1904 - No Name Resident
Souvenir of Ilion 1904 - Residents
Unidentified Individual

One resident appearing in the Souvenir of Ilion 1904 was listed as "No Name" with this note "....if you know this person, please let us know who it is!"

It has been fun to discover that by comparing photographs of the School Board of Education that are on the ilionalumni.com site, with the photo of the unidentified individual, that I now know the identity. No Name - (if you know this person, please let us know who it is!)

 

Paul worked with Ilion alumnus, Terrance J. Sweeney, to share Terry's large collection of Old Ilion Postcards. These images are also hosted on the Ilion section of the Herkimer County GenWeb site and were published from February - March 2000

Terrance J. Sweeney's Ilion Postcards, Part 1
Terrance J. Sweeney's Ilion Postcards, Part 2
Terrance J. Sweeney's Ilion Postcards, Part 3
Terrance J. Sweeney's Ilion Postcards, Part 4

Terrance Sweeney Postcards-Herkimer County GenWeb site
Terrance J. Sweeney's Postcard Collection

 

LEGACY - Annals of Herkimer County

Paul worked with the Herkimer County Historical Society to reproduce six articles from "LEGACY - Annals of Herkimer County" which is published quarterly by the Herkimer County Historical Society, 400 North Main Street, Herkimer, N.Y. 13350. These articles and associated images were republished on the Herkimer County GenWeb site on March , 2005.

"We are grateful to the Herkimer County Historical Society, which holds the copyrights, for granting us permission to reproduce the following articles for our reader's enjoyment." The articles were written by the following: Robert J. Hoffman, H. J. Swinney, Alice L. Curtis, Jeffrey Steele and Jane Spellman. Always the consumate historian, Paul never failed to cite and credit his sources.

 

Paul's historical interests extended beyond the village of Ilion and Herkimer County. Paul also conducted considerable research on Martin Jensen a pilot and airplane designer. Paul donated his collection to the University of Wyoming. "The collection contains binders of documents and photographs about Martin Jensen and the Langley plastic bonded plywood molding process. Included are photocopies from books and newspapers and printouts of web articles. Also included are photographs pertaining to Jensen and to the aircraft he designed." see also University of Wyoming - American Heritage Center - Paul T. McLaughlin scrapbooks about Martin Jensen, 1927-2010.

 

The last time Paul was in Ilion was for his 58th Class Reunion. We have been corresponding with each other ever since. He would send me news about classmates, Yearbook photos, articles and many, many more items. One of the most interesting tidbits, we both discovered, was that the best man at Paul's parents' wedding was Leo Kennedy. My great Aunt, Margaret Carney Kennedy, was married to Leo Kennedy. It is a small world indeed.

Ilion High School Class of 1941 Reunion Committee
Class of 1941 Reunion Committee
Paul is 2nd from left on top row

 

Mr. Paul T. McLaughlin, I salute you for all you have done for our Golden Bombers, Veterans and Ilionite Historians!

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"

May God Bless You!

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Published November 11, 2013
Modified September 28, 2014
Digital Image Copyright & Copyright © 1997 - 2013 Aileen Carney Sweeney
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