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Stub Wedgbury

 

Date and Place of Birth: July 22, 191, Webb, IA
Date and Place of Death:    April 22, 1945, Germany
Baseball Experience: Amateur
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Military Unit: Medical Detachment, 103rd Infantry Regiment US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

“Harley was a friend of all and was loved by all. He faced life with a smile.....His life and sacrifice remind us each one, that there are some things worse than death and other things worth more than life itself.”
Reverand. C. V. Pence

Harley S. “Stub” Wedgbury, son of Scott and Laura Wedgbury, was born on July 22, 1917 in Webb, Iowa. He attended rural schools there until 1927 when the family moved to Laurens about 15 miles southeast of Webb.

Wedgbury was a left-handed pitcher and made a name for himself with the Laurens High School baseball team. He also participated in track and football. In his senior year, the baseball team won the county championship and went to the semi-finals in the district tournament. There they were narrowly defeated, 6-5, by Ashton, the eventual district champions. Wedgbury hit a homerun in the loss.

In the fall of 1936, Wedgbury entered Coe College in Cedar Rapids. There he and his brother Lowell were members of the record-setting one mile relay team (Lowell was inducted in the Coe College Sports Hall of Fame in 1992). During the summer months, Wedgbury played baseball for the Laurens Orioles, a team managed by his father, Scott.

In 1939, Wedgbury went to work at the Farmers Elevator in Laurens - a business providing farm equipment services - before working his own farm in Curlew. He continued to play baseball during the late 1930s and early 1940s with the Laurens club. On July 14, 1940, he hurled a one-hitter against Webb. He struck out 12 and allowed just four base runners in the 1-0 win. He also played basketball throughout these years with the Laurens Merchants.

Wedgbury’s first brush with the military came in April 1941, when he failed a medical. On October 15, 1941, he married Argenia Christensen, and was then inducted into military service on December 14, 1942. He was assigned to the medical corps and trained at Fitzsimmons Hospital, Denver, Colorado; Camp Howze, Texas and Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. He attained the rank of corporal in April 1943 and was home on furlough in May of that year to spend time with his wife and daughter, Judy Kay, who was born January 1943.

By February 1944, Wedgbury was a staff sergeant and Argenia and Judy Kay, traveled to Camp Claiborne, returning home in August when Wedgbury was preparing for deployment overseas. He was sent to Europe in October 1944, and served with the medical detachment of the 103rd Infantry Division. He received the Purple Heart in December for a slight wound received in action. On May 9, 1945, came the telegram informing Argenia that Staff Sergeant Wedgbury had died from wounds received in combat in Germany on April 22. At the time of his death, his second daughter, Carole Ann, was just four months old. He had never seen her.

On Sunday, May 27, 1945, the Church of Christ in Laurens was filled to capacity with friends and relatives who had come to honor Harley Wedgbury at Memorial services.

“Harley was a friend of all and was loved by all,” declared the eulogy read by the Reverand. C. V. Pence, pastor of the church. “He faced life with a smile.....His life and sacrifice remind us each one, that there are some things worse than death and other things worth more than life itself.”

Harley Wedgbury is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery in Saint-Avold, France.

Sources
Laurens Sun, May 21, 1936
Laurens Sun, August 12, 1937
Laurens Sun, August 26, 1937
Laurens Sun, May 18, 1939
Laurens Sun, July 18, 1940
Laurens Sun, April 17, 1941
Laurens Sun, January 8, 1942
Emmetsburg Democrat, February 4, 1943
Laurens Sun, April 15, 1943
Laurens Sun, May 6, 1943
Laurens Sun, February 24, 1944
Laurens Sun, August 31, 1944
Laurens Sun, May 10, 1945
Ruthven Free Press, May 23, 1945
Laurens Sun, May 31, 1945

Date Added July 17, 2013

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