|Death: ||Mar. 15, 1945|
Eusebius (Latin name for James) Julius Halsema, 62, was born in New Bremen and was a brother of Geciena and Elizabeth Halsema, long-time N.B. Telephone Co. operators above the old Post Office at Main and Monroe Streets, and John Halsema, one time principal of New Bremen High School. The Halsema family lived in the two-story brick house west of the Home Furniture Store.
After graduating from New Bremen High School in 1899, "Jay" went to Ohio State University and graduated from there as a civil engineer in 1907. For a short time, he was engaged in government engineering on the west coast and in Yellowstone National Park, and in October 1908, he went to the Philippines where he became an American engineer for the Philippine government's Bureau of Public Works. He served with the U.S. Army in 1918. From 1920-1937, he served as Mayor of the city and province of Baguio.
When the Japanese took over the Philippines on December 27, 1941, the Halsema family – Jay, his wife (the former Marie Boesel of New Bremen, daughter of Julius Boesel), and their two children, James and Betty and Betty's husband (Rupert Foley), were taken civilian prisoners and were kept interned for over three years. In 1943, Jay and Marie were allowed to live outside the internment camp under constant surveillance, but James, Rupert and Betty (and their son, Michael, who was born inside the camp in June 1942) were kept behind barbed wire in a Manila prison until they were liberated on February 1, 1945, when the Americans recaptured the islands.
The Japanese tenaciously held on to Baguio, however, and it became necessary for the U.S. to bomb the district. In mid-March, remaining Americans gathered at Notre Dame Hospital due to the danger of the bombing and the Japanese occupation of their homes. On the morning of March 15th, the bombers came over earlier than usual. Most people went to the air-raid shelter, but Jay Halsema, recovering from a bout of dysentery, preferred to stay in the hospital in a concrete-walled room next to the doctor's office.
He was killed when several bombs hit the hospital. His body was found crushed under the concrete walls. All those who were killed were buried that same day near the grotto at the back of the hospital. Marie was rescued on April 27, 1945, when Baguio was freed by units of the 37th Division of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Both E.J. Halsema and his wife, Marie, are now buried in Baguio, which had been their home for over 30 years.
[from "The Towpath" – April 2009]
Johannes Halsema (1843 - 1930)
Veronica Dutmers Halsema (1850 - 1923)
Marie Boesel Halsema (1884 - 1958)*
Betty Helen Halsema Foley (1914 - 1997)*
James J Halsema (1919 - 2005)*
Unnamed Infant Halsema*
Julius Eusebius Halsema (1875 - 1876)*
John C Halsema (1876 - 1941)*
Gesina Julia Theresia Halsema (1878 - 1880)*
Lucius Hermann Halsema (1881 - 1901)*
Eusebius Julius Halsema (1883 - 1945)
Bernard Sylvanus Halsema (1885 - 1951)*
Geciena V Halsema (1886 - 1975)*
Elizabeth A Halsema (1893 - 1965)*
Created by: Lucille Francis
Record added: May 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69415985