Long-Lost Letters, Written by Local Man Who Died in WWI, Show Love for His Hometown, Freedom


The long-lost letters, written by Coatesville resident Cpl. Wellington Sahler more than 100 years ago, are now considered a true treasure by a local history buff, writes Ashley Johnson for 6ABC.

Sahler died while fighting in World War I, and for many, his letters represent a mark of freedom and the ultimate sacrifice.

“It really mentions his love for Coatesville,” said history buff Joseph Felice. “He would go canoeing in a dam, and he mentions that a lot. He mentions dancing, going to parties.”

The journey began when the VFW Post 287 that carries Sahler’s name celebrated its centennial. Felice noticed banners featuring the World War I soldier and started doing his own digging.

“He was in the Army with his best friend Lance Eck, the one who chartered the Post when he came home in 1919,” said Felice.

Felice then reached out to one of Sahler’s living relatives, since he had no children.

Felice said Sahler’s legacy speaks to overcoming struggles, including a rough childhood, as well as attending Girard College in Philadelphia before enlisting in the Army.

“To find these letters meant a lot to him because he really wanted to know what Sahler himself thought, and we all got that chance,” said Felice.

More about these long-lost letters is at 6ABC.