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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information

Calvin P. Titus

From "History of Benton County Iowa," Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company,
1910, p. 245-6.


Calvin Pearl Titus was born at Vinton, September 29, 1880, and on July 4,
1901, the people of his native city turned out to welcome and to honor him
as one of the heroes of the Boxer rebellion in China.  As a bugler of the
Fourteenth United States Infantry he had been the first American soldier to
scale the walls of Pekin and to assist in the rescue of the imprisoned
Christians therein, some of whom were reached too late to escape massacre.
For that bright day in his life (May 27, 1900) young Titus had been
rewarded with a medal and a cadetship in the regular army and had received
marks of especial honor at the national capital.

Mr. Titus had spent about half his life in Vinton, and the balance at
Wichita, Kansas.  He was a natural musician and, as he became connected
with Evangelical work in Vermont, and was thus engaged when the president
called for troops to serve in the Spanish-American war.  Enlisting in the
First Vermont Regiment, he accompanied the command to Chickamauga, but was
sticked with fever and obliged to return to his home in Wichita.  In April,
1899, he re-enlisted in the Fourteenth United States Infantry, served in
the Philippines until July, and on the outbreak of the Boxer rebellion, was
ordered to China.  The march to Pekin, of one hundred miles, was attended
by hardships and privations, and when the first company of the Fourteenth
Regiment approached the wall, which the knew notn how they were going to
scale, Mr. Titus offered to try, and, as stated was the first foreinger to
scale it, there planting the Stars and Stripes.  Shortly afterward, he was
slightly wounded.  At the close of the Boxer war the regiment was sent
home, and Vinton sent an invitation to Bugler Titus to visit the city, at
which time they took the opportunity of giving him a royal reception, with
Company G, Forty-ninth Iowa Infantry, as a guard of honor.  He was welcomed
to his old home as befitted a valiant hero, and the day was made notable by
the speeches of gifted orators and the large assemblage gathered to honor
the city's guest.

Soon after returning to his regiment Bugler Titus was notified of his
appointment by President McKinley to West Point, as a reward of his bravery
at Pekin, and he was graduated from that institution with honors in 1905.
He was then appointed lieutenant in his old regiment, but in 1908 resigned
and re-entered religious work, which he continued about one year.
However, he decided he could be more useful in the army, being so familiar
with its customs and orders were issued revoking his resignation.  He
received, in 1909, the appointment as chaplain in the army, and all who
know him feel assurance he will serve with distinction to himself and honor
to his country.  As his people have moved from Vinton, he is seldom a
visitor to the city, but will always receive a warm welcome from his former
friends and associates.

Submitted by Kent Wayson
© Kent Wayson

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