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1916 - Judge Gus Hadwiger Quits To Go To War

Back in 1916, in northwest Oklahoma, young men were beginning to enlist and sign up for the War in Mexico. One expert marksman with the Oklahoma National Guard, Judge Gus Hadwiger. This article was found in The Wichita Daily Eagle, Wichita, Kansas, Friday, 23 June 1916, page 10: "Judge Quits To Go To War." It would be Quartermaster Hadwiger, expert marksman with Oklahoma National Guard.

Found on

Alva, OK, June 22 (1916) -- War vacated the office of the county judge of Woods county and dust was gathering on the bench while Judge Gus Hadwiger was with his regiment at Oklahoma City. When the call for the mobilization of the Oklahoma militia came, one of the first to get the call and to respond was Judge Hadwiger. In peaceable times he was judge of the Woods county court, while i troubled periods he was Capt. Gus Hadwiger, quartermaster and expert rifleman with the Oklahoma National guard.

The first officer necessary in establishing a concentration camp was the quartermaster, who necessarily handled the camp equipment. Without waiting to determine what anxious litigants would do or deciding how a man charged with an oftense against the law would make a bond, Judge Hadwiger became Captain Hadwiger in a moment, and the thin blue-backed manual of arms occupied a vastly more important place than the ponderous yellow-backed Oklahoma code.

Captain Hadwiger closed his docket, exchanged the judicial ermine for a stern khaki service uniform and was out of Alva before members of the local bar had time to ask where he was going. The county commissioners would meet the first of the month and determine how the vacancy should be cared for until Judge Hadwiger returns from the front.

The newspaper reported that Captain Hadwiger was one of the best officers of the Oklahoma National guard. He saw four years of active service in the Philippine Islands and was promoted and mentioned a number o f times for conspicuous gallantry and conduct. Following his return to the states he was elected sheriff of old Woods county and served during the last days of the Oklahoma outlaws. At the time Woods county was composed of what was then included in Woods, Alfalfa and Major counties, and in the sparsely settled parts along the hills of the Cimarron river the Oklahoma outlaw made his last stand. The determined work of Captain Hadwiger and his deputies resulted in establishing order.

It was an interesting fact that in all three counties at the time of statehood Hadwiger's former deputies were elected to the office of sheriff in Alva, Fairview and Cherokee. Following his retirement from he sheriff's office, although forty years of age, he took up the study of law, graduated from college and was admitted to the bar. Less than two years after admission he was elected judge of Woods county.

For the past ten years (1906-1916) in the Oklahoma National guard Captain Hadwiger had qualified as an expert marksman and sharpshooter, being one of the crack shots of the regiment In the national rifle shoot at Sea Girt, N. J., several years before he also made distinguished record with a revolver. He had been an office or guard for the past fifteen years.
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