Saturday, June 09, 2007

Watch lost in WWI returned to grandsons

A World War I veteran's watch lost nearly 90 years ago, has stood the test of time. William B. Gill lost his watch in France, where he served in the U.S. Army. Another man, Carl Grothaus, won it in a poker game and brought it back to South Dakota.

Grothaus searched to no avail for the owner based on an engraving on the back: "W.B. Gill, Sioux City, IA, U.S.A."

After Grothaus' death, his son, Dewey, enlisted the help of Peggy Powell, a genealogist in Hornick.

In April, Powell located Gill's grandson, Lloyd, in Springfield, Mo.

Lloyd Gill and his brother Bill Gill of Keizer, Ore., reclaimed the watch Wednesday at the American Legion Post 1981 in Sioux City.

Their grandfather died in 1962 in Omaha, Neb., after suffering from effects of mustard gas exposure during the war.

"To see that watch and hold it in my hand, knowing it belonged to my grandfather," said Lloyd Gill, pausing and slowly shaking his head in a loss for words, "I don't know if I can describe it."

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