World War I began in Europe in 1914 and the United States formally entered World War I in April 1917, at a time when Louisville and the other towns in the Northern Coal Fields of Colorado were just coming out of the era of the long coal mining strike of 1910-1914. Just as the “Long Strike” left lasting effects on the town, so did World War I leave an impact. Louisville drew together as a community in support of the war effort, but many Louisville families were disrupted as a result of the war.
In 1924, a women’s club erected a stone “World War Honor Roll” monument in front of the Louisville Town Hall. It is now located in the middle of the Louisville Cemetery. It lists 95 men and one woman who served and who were from the Louisville area at the start of the war. (At least about twenty additional Louisville residents are known to have served in the war, but were not listed on the memorial monument. It’s believed that some of them had moved away before the monument was put up, while others moved to Louisville from other places around the United States after the war. In addition, many residents had relatives serving in the war from other places.)
Article by Bridget Bacon, Museum Coordinator
Photo: This 1917 photo shows Navy recruitment in front of the Louisville Town Hall, which was located just south of the Austin Niehoff House at 717 Main Street, Louisville.