Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Apr 05

From Greene County to the Battle of Bataan

Posted on April 5, 2019 at 1:28 PM by Melissa Dalton

On Tuesday, April 9th, Americans and Filipinos will remember that seventy-seven years ago in 1942, at least 75,000 U.S. and Filipino troops surrendered to the Japanese on the Peninsula of Bataan. The surrender culminated after several months of fighting in which the American and Filipino forces were severely undersupplied. After securing the area, the Empire of Japan thus controlled all of Southeast Asia.

Following the Allied surrender, the American and Filipino troops were forced to make a strenuous sixty-five mile march (the Bataan Death March) to Japanese controlled prisoner of war camps.

One of those prisoners included a former Osborn resident, Paul Denton Kundert. In March 1944, the Xenia Daily Gazette included a Greene County Chapter American Red Cross campaign announcement that listed Paul as one of the POWs.

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                     Fig. 1 Xenia Daily Gazette, March 20, 1944 (Newspaper Archive)

In an earlier post, we briefly showcased this Naval Intelligence Officer who was imprisoned at the Manila Internment Camp and the Los Baños Prison Camp.

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Fig. 2 Probate file for the estate of Jost J. Kundert, File Box 952, (Greene County Archives)

On February 23, 1945, over 2,000 Allied internees including Kundert were liberated from the Los Baños Prison Camp. In this week’s post, we want to expand the scope of Kundert’s life. Paul Denton Kundert was born in Bath Township to Jost (Joseph) and Agnes Kundert in 1916. In May 1928 Agnes died from uremia, which causes extreme and irreversible damage to the kidneys.

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                         Fig. 3 Agnes Kundert Certificate of Death (FamilySearch.com)

After their mother passed, Paul and his sister Regine were taken in by their half-sisters, Audree Zeller and Beatrice Ford. In June of that year, Paul’s father petitioned the Greene County Court for possession of his two children whom he claimed were being held unlawfully. Jost (Joseph) was awarded custody of his two children in June 1928.

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       Fig. 4 Greene County Common Pleas Journal 62, Pg. 632 (Greene County Archives)

However, by 1930, we find Paul and Regine living at the Ohio Pythian Children’s Home in Springfield, Ohio. This children’s home opened in 1895 and was responsible for the care of infants up to late adolescents.

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Fig. 5 1930 Clark County, Springfield City, Ohio Pythian Children’s Home Census Record (FamilySearch.com)

What was perplexing is that their father Jost (Joseph), was still living during the 1930s and married a woman from Franklin County, Ohio in 1931. Perhaps the children returned to live with Jost (Joseph) after he re-married? In 1934, Paul turned eighteen and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. For more than ten years, he served in the military.

After the war, Paul married a woman also from Osborn and the couple later lived with their daughter in Virginia. Paul Denton Kundert passed away on April 10, 2004, the sixty-second anniversary of his capture.

Until Next Time!

Sources:
NewspaperArchive.com
FamilySearch.com
Greene County Archives



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