Sunday, May 24, 2009

On This Memorial Day Weekend...Sacramento History Photo of the Week: Issue No. 17!

As a young resident of Alkali Flat at 1315 “H” Street, Hugo Frank Wallner was a 1913 graduate of Sacramento High School and a bank teller at the California National Bank. In February 1916, the 25-year-old won an adding contest at the Travelers Hotel on Fifth and “J” Streets. He was able to list an amazing total of one hundred checks in one-minute, thirty-one seconds. A few years later in the spring of 1918, Wallner was married to Miss Freda Caldarella. Just weeks after marrying, Wallner was dispatched to France, serving as a clerk in the 91st Infantry Division. Although holding a task that would seemingly keep him out of harm’s way, Wallner was sent into combat in September of 1918. According to his Lieutenant, he died of wounds suffered during an attack in the Epinonville sector of the Argonne. This made him one of the over one-hundred Sacramentans – and the only Alkali Flat resident – to die in the Great War. His heartbroken Freda never remarried and died in San Francisco in 1983.

This photo and many more like it can be found in the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room which is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5, and Thursday 1 to 8.

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