Sept 28, 1940, Page 1
Major Hahn's Sudden Death Great Shock to Community
Heart Attack Ends Career of Guard Officer
'Skipper" Never Fully Recoverd From Operation
The entire community was shocked last evening when word was
received here of the death of Major Russell Hahn with the
213th Regiment in camp at Virginia Beach, Va.
Death came to the popular National Guard leader and public
official who was 50 years old, shortly after he had received
new honors in the military forces in which he had been a
prime factor for 30 years.
Major Hahn had been made Provost Marshal for Fort Story
and the Birginia State Camp. He had just sood retreat with
his bBattalion (the First of 213th Regiment( and had gone
to his tent. He was sitting on a chair from which he eoppled
as he was stricken by a heart attack.
Major Frederick O. Zillessen and Lieut. F. W. Ward of Easton,
physicains attached to the regiment ministerd to major Hahn.
He succumbed shortly after 6 o'clock last evening. Major
Zillessen telephoned the new to his wife in Easton and Mrs.
Zillessen relayed it to Major Hahn's family and friends.
Major Hahn had not fully recoved from an appendectomy which
he underwent last November when he was called into speical
maneuvers with his Battery, the Easton City Guards, which
he commanded for almost 20 years. Intimate firends knew that
he had suffered a heart attack after his return from the
maneuvers in August during which he had been promoted to
Major and executive officer of the regiment. He recovered
in time to precede the regiment to Virginia Beach laving
last week to make arrangments for the arrival of the 213th.
He had been given a year's leave of absence by District
Attorney Henry K. Van Sickle from his duties as chief detective.
Ironically shortly after the 213th was installed in camp
he had been named Provost Marshal, U. S. Army nomenclature
for the chief of police of the entire camp which included
four regiments of U.S. Army regulars, ina all about 5,00
officers and men.
He treated the appoinment humorously in a letter to John
C. Merrill, City Ediotr of the Express, a close peronal friend,
which Merrill recieved this morning. The letter perhaps the
last words written by the "Skipper" as he was affectionately
known by his men in the City Guards and County Detective's
office ir reorduced under an Express picture of him taken
before he departed for maneuvers in New York State Last August
8. He closes the letter with "so long".
Contacted by telepone today,Dr. Zillessen said he had been
with Major Hahn at mess in the morning and at noon, had met
him during inspection in the morning and that he had gone
about his duties as Provost Marshal during the afternoon.
"He appeared in fine spirits," Dr. Zillessen said.
He had stood with his regiment for retreat and had gone to
his tent. Dr. Ward, who whas the tent next to him, walked
by and exchanged a few words with him. Dr. Ward walked on
to another tent and returned within five minutes when he
saw Major Hahn slumped over a chair. He immediately rushed
to administer first aid. I was called, too, but could do
Dr. Zillessen said that Major William Smith, of Reading,
had been assigned to accompany the body to easton in accordance
iwth the United States Army custom of having an officer of
equal or higher rank with the body until the funeral.
So far as he knows Dr. Zillessen said no one from teh City
Guard or friends from the regiment will be at the funeral.
Major Hahn's service in public office began in January,
1932, when Judge Herbert F. Laub, then District Attorney,
appointed him a County Detective, serving under Captain J.
J> Menikheim, of the Easton police force who had been
given a leave of absence. Before Laub's term expred Captain
Menikheim resigned to return to the police force and Hahn
was promoted to Chief County Detective on Oct 1, 1935.
When William A. Frack, who had been First Assistant District
Attorney under Laub, was elected District Attorney he retained
Hahn as Chief County Detective, serving during the entire
four years of Frank's administration.
Hahn remined as Cheif County Detective when the present
District Attorney, Henry K. Van Sickle, assumed office at
the beginning of this year.
During this entire period he retined his post as commander
of Battery D, 213 Regiment Coast Artillery, spending his
spare time in the City Guard Armory and directing the Battery
to high awards in maneuvers with regular army forces and
as a unit of the National Guard.
His National Guard career began when he was 19 years old.
He enlisted in Tamaqua where he was employed on April 10,
1910 serving with Company B. 8th Regiment for two years when
he returned to Easton, his birthplace and transferred to
Company 1, 13h Infantry. This company was later transferred
to Company L. 4th Regiment.
As a crack unit of the National Guard the Company in which
he then was a sergeant particiapted in teh inauguartion of
Gov. Brumbaugh at harrisburg on January 19, 1915. That year
they encamped on Mr. Gretna and the following June 24, 1916,
the company departed for Mr. Gretna again to enter the U.S.
Army for service on the Mexican Border. The company was the
only one in Pennsylvania to report with full war streght
of three officers and 152 men. There was a great demonstration
by Eastonains when the company departed.
On July 13, 1916, hahn and the Guards arrived at El Paso,
Texas, where they remained until January 8, 1917. They returned
home on January 14 where there was an enthusiastic reception
by citizens and a complimentary dinner to the company at
the old Hotel Karldon.
Before teh United States entered the World War, Hahn was
mustered out of service and wnt to work at the Ingeraoll
Rand Company where he remianed until he was named a County
Hahn was commissioned a second lieutenant of Company A,
2 nd Regiment, Pennsylvania militia, on Sept 18, 1918. On
Jly 10, 1920 he was promoted to First Lieutenant of Company
A. ist Battalion Infantry of the Pennsylvania National Guards,
and before the end of teh year was made captain and commanding
officer of Battery D.
Major Hahn was born in Easton on July 4, 1890, a son of
Forrest and Carrie Hahn, both of whom resided on Hellertown
Road, easton. He was a member of the Masons and Tall Cedars
of Lebanon and the First Reformed Church.
Other survivors are his widow, the former Ester Naomi Bibighaus,
five children, Marshall, Forrest William, Emma Jane, Frank
Major, and Russell Jacob all of Easton, four grandhchildren.
Barbara Ann, Forrest W., Lois and Bruce Hahn, two sisters,
Mrs. Mollie Steyers and Mrs. Nellie Bryan, of Easton, and
Mrs. Jean Chegwidden, of Phillipsburg.