In Memory of
PRIVATE MYRON D. BURNS
(3 June 1900 - 23 July 1918)
Company F, 7th Regiment, 3rd Division
Army Expeditionary Forces
Awarded the Distinguished Service
Cross, posthumously, by the United States Government for extraordinary
heroism in action, near Fossoy, France, July 15, 1918. Although
suffering from severe wounds, he killed eight of the enemy with
his rifle and bayonet, and crawled about for two days before being
picked up. He died shortly after from his wounds.
"In the hours before dawn, when the Germans
began to cross the river on the right, the Seventh, though badly
punished by the bombardment, was in readiness to receive them.
At 7 a.m., July 15th, 1918, word was received that the Germans
had crossed the Marne and were proceeding west toward Fossoy in
large numbers. At this time the German batteries which had been
firing the bombardment were visible on the forward slope of the
north bank of the Marne where they had been placed during the
night in order to fire point blank at the target. Before a new
right flank line could be organized, a force of Germans (about
a company) came south along the river and railroad. Another larger
force came across the fields south of the railroad. To oppose
both of these forces were one platoon of Company I and one platoon
of Company F, in position along the railroad between two advancing
"These plattons were under second lieutenant E.W. Gray of
Company I and second lieutenant A.H. Baker of Company F. The platoon
of Company F had been in process of relieving that of Company
I, when the bombardment commenced and in the emergency both platoons
stayed on the line. The Germans pressed on toward them in skirmish
formation. The attack never passed beyond their position. Their
heroic stand against superior forces can best be told by the number
of dead Germans who lay in front of the railroad line, circling
the bodies of those two platoons who gave their lives to stem
the German advance. It must have been that these men disdained
to await the Germans' attack but advanced to meet the enemy, for
in front of the American line mingled with German dead, were the
bodies of men of these two historic platoons who had died fighting."
"Second Lieutenant Baker of Company F was carried as missing
for some time until he was reported in a hospital wounded. Of
the heroism of individual men of these two platoons too little
is known. They halted the Germans and died. Next to these immortal
platoons was second lieutenant Robert G. Butcher, with another
platoon of Company F, in a position in a ravine just north of
the railroad on a road that runs north from Fossoy to the river.
This platoon was isolated from the regiment by the advance of
the Germans from the east, but fought on valiantly. Beyond their
position no Germans passed; dead bodies showed the fate of the
Germans who reached this point."
From the History of the Third Division,
United States Army in THE WORLD WAR, February 1919. J.F. Gilfert
Private Myron D. Burns funeral procession
through Eldred on its way to Oak Hill Cemetery.
February 5, 1922
"THE ELDRED EAGLE"
February 10, 1922
The body of Myron Burns arrived here last Saturday and was taken
in charge by a patrol of the Myron Burns Post, Veterans of Foreign
Wars who carried it to the Opera House where he laid in state until
the funeral, Sunday afternoon, which was the largest funeral ever
held in town.
Long before the time set for the service the hall was filled and
many were unable to get in at all. The services were conducted by
Rev. W. E. Van Dyke of Smethport who served in the work "Over
There" assisted by Rev. Sprague of the Baptist Church; Rev.
W. E. O'Hern of St. Raphaels Catholic Church and Rev. Southworth
of the Free Methodist Church.
A delegation of about twenty of the Smethport Post, American Legion,
accompanied by the Smethport band were also present and added greatly
to the solemnity of the occassion.
parade of the Myron Burns memorial.
This memorial fountain is erected
by popular subscription of a devoted community to
Eldred's only supreme sacrifice in the Great War.
|The Myron Burns
memorial fountain has been moved several times since being originally
located in front of the Eldred bank at the corner of Edson Street.
The monument would later be placed in front of the Eldred High
School until it was then moved to the newly built elementary school
in 1959. The monument was then moved again to a new position in
front of the school when renovations of the elementary school
took place in the early 1990s. Each year on Memorial Day the veterans
and townspeople march from Main Street to the only memorial for
our community's heroic dead.