Ivan Wettengel

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Ivan Cyrus Wettengel
25th Naval Governor of Guam
In office
July 7, 1920 – February 27, 1921
Preceded by William Gilmer
Succeeded by James Sutherland Spore
Personal details
Born 1876
Illinois
Died February 19, 1935
Nationality  United States
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Captain
Commands USS Mindoro
USS Wisconsin
USS Texas
Naval Training Station Hampton Roads
Awards Navy Cross

Ivan Cyrus Wettengel (1876 – February 19, 1935) was a United States Navy Captain who served as the 25th Naval Governor of Guam. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Wettengel commanded a number of ships. He received the Navy Cross for his command of the USS Wisconsin during World War I. He also commanded the USS Texas and the Naval Training Station Hampton Roads. During his tenure as governor, he overturned many of the unpopular policies of William Gilmer. He also attempted to assemble a bull-mounted Guam Cavalry, but the initiative failed. A number of locations in Guam are named in his honor.

Life[edit]

Wettengel was born in Illinois in 1876. At the time of his appointment to the Naval Academy he lived in Colorado.[1] His wife died on December 13, 1927 while he was stationed at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.[2]

Naval career[edit]

Wettengel graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1896.[3] Ensign Wettengel served aboard the USS Buffalo.[4] He commanded the USS Mindoro in 1900.[5] In 1902, while a lieutenant, he saw duty aboard the USS Constellation.[6] He served aboard the USS Newark in 1905[7] and the USS Minnesota in 1906.[8] In 1914, he served aboard the USS Arkansas as a lieutenant commander.[9] He commanded the USS Wisconsin during World War I, for which he received the Navy Cross.[3] He commanded the USS Texas from May 22, 1924 until September 28, 1925 when he became commander of Naval Training Station Hampton Roads.[10][11] He retired at the rank of Captain.[3]

Governorship[edit]

The bull-riding Guam Cavalry in 1920.

Wettengel served as Naval Governor of Guam from July 7, 1920 to February 27, 1921.[12] He overturned many of the policies of William Gilmer, the widely-criticized and dislike governor immediately prior to him.[13] During his tenure, the Navy opened the first naval aviation station on the island at Orote Peninsula.[14] He attempted a military experiment during his time in office by forming the Guam Cavalry. These units rode mounted bulls but the idea was abandoned when the bulls proved untrainable.[15] He endorsed increasing medical aid to the island in an effort to in improving the "civilizing and Americanization" of the Chamorro people by making health care and sanitation more widespread.[16]

Legacy[edit]

A number of locations on Guam are named in Wettengel's honor. Wettengel Elementary School, opened in 1968 in Dededo, Guam, briefly held the Eloy Q. Benavente Elementary School in 2008 before protest led school officials to re-affirm its original name in honor of Wettengel.[14] Wettengel Rugby Field is also named in his honor. Okkodo High School used to be known as Wettengel High School.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official Register of the United States: Containing a List of Officers and Employés in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1893. p. 641. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mrs. Ivan C. Wettengel". The New York Times (New York City). The New York Times Company. 14 December 1927. p. 29. 
  3. ^ a b c "Valor Awards for Ivan Cyrus Wettengel". Military Times. Gannett Government Media. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Army and Navy Orders". New York Tribune (New York City). Whitelaw Reid. 10 March 1901. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and Reserve Officers on Active Duty. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1900. p. 36. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Congressional Serial Set. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1902. p. 32. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Admiral Sigsbee's Flagship, Newark, Reached Port Yesterday". The Pensacola Journal (Pensacola, Florida). Loftin. 13 April 1905. p. 5. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1906. p. 17. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1914. p. 20. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Power, Hugh Irvin (1993). Battleship Texas. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-89096-519-6. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "New Governor of Virgin Islands". The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania). 5 August 1925. p. 2. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Naval Era Governors of Guam". Guampedia. Guam: University of Guam. 10 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "Chapter 3: America on Guam — 1898-1950". War in the Pacific National Historical Park: Administrative History. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service. 8 May 2005. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Hart, Therese (13 November 2008). "Wettengel Elementary name change draws controversy". Marianas Variety News & Views (Saipan). Younis Art Studio. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Rogers, Robert (1995). Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-8248-1678-1. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  16. ^ Hattori, Anne Perez (2006). "'The Cry of the Little People of Guam ': American Colonialism, Medical Philanthropy, and the Susana Hospital for Chamorro Women, 1898-1941". Health and History (Australia and New Zealand: Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine) 8 (1): 9.