In Memory of

(3 June 1900 - 23 July 1918)
Company F, 7th Regiment, 3rd Division
Army Expeditionary Forces
Government Citation:
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.
Aisne-Marne Offensive
"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 forces."
"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 collection

Private Myron D. Burns funeral procession through Eldred on its way to Oak Hill Cemetery.
February 5, 1922

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.

Below: Dedication 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.