Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 2, 1891
Place of BirthTower, Minnesota
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinRudolf F. Absetz, Virginia, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Trade / CallingHorseman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number23
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Address at EnlistmentNot stated
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 24, 1914
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEngland
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 25, 1974
Age at Death82
Buried AtGood Hope Cemetery, Greenfield, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
PlotSection 4, Block 13, Lot 47N2

Absetz, Joseph Anton

Joseph Anton Absetz was born on 02 July 1891. Although Joseph stated in his enlistment papers that he was born in Moose Factory all the evidence proves that he was 1 of 4 boys born in Tower, Minnesota to Austrian immigrants Joseph and Annie Absetz (1900 United States Federal Census). The 1930 Census states that Joseph and Anna were born in Yugoslavia so there is some discrepancy here as to ethnic origin.

The 1910 US census lists Joseph Jr. working as a labourer for a circus in Fairbury, Nebraska.

It is presumed that Joseph may have lived in Kenora, Ontario, Canada  in 1914 as articles in the Miner and News at that time have him enlisting for WW1 with a group of Kenora lads. Joseph signed attestation papers on 23 September 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec. He was assigned to the 8th Battalion, 90th Winnipeg Rifles also known as the Black Devils. He sailed from Quebec with his unit aboard the S.S. Franconia on 04 October 1914. Upon his arrival in England Joseph was transferred to the transport section of the 8th Battalion. On 21 December 1914 he was discharged as a deserter as declared by a Court of Lark Hill inquiry.

In 1917 a USA Draft Card states that Joseph saw 5 months military service in the infantry as a private, was currently unemployed and under doctor’s care. A 1942 Draft Card also supports this.

The 1920 US census shows Joseph once again living with his parents. His father was a retail dealer in Feed and Joseph was his delivery man.

Later that year (05 June 1920), Joseph married Margaret Jakse, an immigrant from Yugoslavia. The 1930 United States Federal Census records them living in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with two children, Frank and Margaret. Joseph’s occupation at that time was ‘heat treater’ in a ‘tractor shop’.

Joseph died in Greenfield, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin on 25 February 1974. He is buried in Good Hope Cemetery with his wife, Margaret, who passed away in 1980.

Absetz-Joseph-Anton-1 Absetz-Joseph-Anton-2 Absetz-Joseph-Anton-3 Absetz-Joseph-Anton-4 Absetz-Joseph-Anton-5 Absetz-Joseph-Anton-6

Gravemarker photo courtesy of Scott Smith on

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