The Williams County Historical Society will be hosting a dinner on Thursday, November 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the museum. Speaking at the dinner honoring the anniversary of World War I will be Micheal McMaster who will explain the Loyalty Trials held in Northwest Ohio during the war.
McMaster was born and raised in Napoleon, Ohio. After serving as a combat infantryman in the United States Army from 1988-1991, he attended Bowling Green State University and graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education in 1996. Michael McMaster taught at St. Catherine’s of Toledo School for 3 years and returned to Bowling Green State University in 2001 to earn a M.A. degree in American Culture Studies. His Masters thesis, Henry County in the Great War, was nominated for award in 2003. It was this thesis that was the basis for his second published book, Henry County in the Great War: German-Americans, Patriots, and Loyalty. 1914-1918. Today, Michael McMaster is the Education Programs Coordinator for the Wood County Historical Center and Museum in Bowling Green, Ohio. Michael has been with the museum for the last 11 years. In 2007, Michael published All for the Glory of God: The Biography of Ms. Edna Theel.
McMaster married Anna (Rausch) in 1993. They have four children: Samuel, Elyse, Claire, and Elliot. He currently resides in rural Henry County.
In summing up his presentation for the dinner, McMaster explained that “In 1918 an organization in Napoleon, Ohio called The League of American Patriots of Henry County was formed with the reported purpose of stamping out pro-German propaganda in the county. Despite their stated goal, the League of American Patriots, lead by Napoleon’s Methodist and Presbyterian ministers, set its aim on the German Lutheran churches and especially their parochial schools. Several high profile Loyalty Trials were held by the League in Napoleon, Ohio. Nearly all of the targets of these loyalty trials were German Democrats running for office. In 1918 in Henry County, Ohio, like many other places in the United States at the time, petty
religious, political, and personal grudges were exacerbated by the German spy hysteria that gripped America. Patriotism was used as a cloak to settle these scores”. McMaster’s presentation is expected to last approximately 30 minutes.
The Italian dinner for the event is being prepared by the Williams County Fair Foundation and tickets are $12.00 per person. This event is open to the public. Seating is limited, so please call your reservation in today to 419-485-8200. Tickets may be paid for at the door, but your reservation is requested for the dinner count.
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