RAYMOND HENRY GORDON
Branch: U. S. Army
Rank: Private First Class
Status: Died of wounds
Date of Service: WWI
Home Town: Moose Creek Township
Raymond Gordon’s headstone in Moose Cemetery
Raymond Henry Gordon was born November 29, 1895 in Hillsboro, North Dakota to Lars Hanson and Ane (Annie) Robele Gordon. Raymond was the 9th in a family of 13 children born to Norwegian immigrant parents. Raymond’s father Lars had been born in Brottum, Norway in 1847 and had immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 13 years old. Annie, born in Hallingdal, Norway in 1863, had immigrated with her birth family when she was four. The couple met and married in Caledonia, North Dakota in December of 1879. Although 13 children were born to the pair, only seven outlived their parents. The children were: Kristi, (died at birth) Clara Helen (1881-1882), Hilda, Clara Hermina, Agnes (1897-1901), Emily, Harry, Lawrence, (1893-1916) Raymond, Ella, (1898 -1902) Elmer, (1900 – 1904) Luella, and Ernest.
The family settled near Hillsboro where Lars farmed and was employed as a janitor in a bank. The 1910 census revealed that Clara Hermina was a schoolteacher in a public school, Emily was a servant in a private home, Harry was a laborer on the railroad and Raymond was attending school.
Some time between 1910 and 1915 the family moved to Moose Creek Township in Clearwater County, Minnesota where son Harry had bought a farm near Hans’s brother Andrew L. Gordon’s farm. Raymond moved with them to help Harry on his farm.
Raymond was age 22 when the United States joined WWI in April of 1917. Older brother Harry had already joined and was a member of Co. B, 9th Battalion, 20th Engineers in France. Raymond enlisted in the First Minnesota in June of 1917 and traveled to Fort Snelling where he trained for four months. In October of 1917 he was transferred to Camp Cody at Deming, New Mexico for another eight months of training. Camp Deming was one of 32 training camps the U.S. had established to bolster its standing army of only about 200,00 troops with National Guard troops. Camp Cody was huge. It had 1,200 shower/bath houses and 120 mess halls where at least 10,000 loaves of bread were baked daily. The camp featured framed tents with floors, electric lights and coal heaters.
In June, 1918 Raymond’s training was finished and he was sent overseas as part of a replacement unit. Private First Class Gordon boarded the Mentor on June 28, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York. When he reached France he was assigned to Co. I, 166th Infantry with which he was immediately sent to the front. On July 29 he was slightly wounded, healed quickly and was returned to his company. On November 9th of 1918 he was not so lucky. He received wounds which eventually led to his death four months later at Base Hospital No. 8 in Savenay, France on February 3, 1919. Raymond’s body was shipped home from St. Nazaire, France aboard the U.S.A.T. Sherman on August 31st, 1920 along with 765 other war dead. The ship arrived in Hoboken on September 11, 1920. His brother Harry had safely returned from the war earlier.
Raymond’s remains were sent home to Shevlin with a military escort and funeral services were held at the Synod Lutheran Church. He is buried in Moose Cemetery with his mother Annie, father Lars, brother Lawrence and brother Ernest.