The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.
Gold Star Roll: Leo Kolb - May 11, 1917
Today marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Second Class Yeoman Leo Kolb’s enlistment in the United States Navy. Kolb was born in Melrose, Minnesota and spent many of his earlier years hunting, trapping, and beekeeping. When war broke out, he was employed as an accountant in Chokio, Minnesota, and he made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy in order to perform similar clerical duties. Though Kolb was stationed far from physical danger at the U.S. Navy’s Pay Office in Philadelphia, he fell victim to the Spanish influenza epidemic. Sources reported that despite Kolb's illness he remained at his work until he could "attend to his duties no longer" and had to be carried to the hospital. He died on September 21, 1918, at the age of twenty-one. Kolb was buried at St. Boniface Cemetery in Melrose, Minnesota, with the Home Guard and other military personnel in attendance. His Gold Star papers indicate that his funeral was the largest that his community had ever seen.
Citation: "Kolb, Leo A." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St Paul, Minnesota. [114.D.4.4F]