Captain Rufus Ford Montgall
Rufus Ford Montgall was born in St. Louis in 1887. He was the second cousin of Harry Truman. At the University of Pennsylvania he was in Phi Delta Theta. In Kansas City, he was the vice president of the American Sash & Door Co.
Rufus registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He was sent overseas as part of the Quartermaster’s Corps. On May 30, 1918, he and two others were working “at their headquarters in an abandoned chateau, miles behind the fighting line, when an aeroplane dropped a bomb on the chateau and killed the three men.”*
Capt. Montgall is buried in Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France, and there is a plaque located in Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City with the following:
CAPT. RUFUS F. MONTGALL
QUARTERMASTER RESERVE CORPS
1ST DIVISION, A.E.F.
KILLED NEAR BONVILIERS, NORTHERN FRANCE
WHILE IN ACTIVE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY
AT REST, GRAVE 14, ROW 14, BLOCK C
U.S. MILITARY CEMETERY
SOMME AMERICAN, BONY, AISNE, FRANCE
*Information and quotes gleaned from
A letter from Montgall to his mother, written just days before his death, was later printed in the Kansas City Star to help raise funding for the Liberty Memorial.