Olean, N.Y. — The Olean Public Library will be displaying World War I memorabilia Aug. 1–30. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of WWI. Photographs, artillery, soldier apparel and information related to local soldiers who fought in WWI will be displayed.
Over 500,000 men from the state of New York enlisted during World War I. Of those that enlisted, about 15,800 were from Cattaraugus County. Two soldiers who had local ties to Olean, Lieutenant Leland J. Hagadorn and Private Ole Olson, both died in the line of duty.
Hagadorn was a well-known young man in Olean — a 1912 graduate of Olean High School, who played basketball and football, and attended Yale University. He enrolled in the aviation service and trained at Cornell Aviation School in Ithaca. He went to France in August of 1917 to complete his training. Hagadorn died less than one year later at the young age of 24 in an airplane accident.
Private Ole B. Olson, enlisted in Company I on June 7, 1917. Olson trained at Wadsworth Spartanburg, S.C., during the winter months and then went overseas in the spring of 1918. Olson was killed in action on Sept. 29, 1918, at the age of 23.
World War I (1914-1918), became known as “The War to End All Wars.” This tumultuous time in history brought forth different and devastating forms of warfare, countless deaths and changed the course of world history forever.
The Olean Public Library is located at 134 N. 2nd St. in Olean. Summer hours are Monday–Thursday 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sunday.