Purple Heart certificates found in vacant home

A treasured piece of history has been safely returned to a Cleveland family after workers employed by the Cuyahoga La...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 9:22 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 9:22 PM

A treasured piece of history has been safely returned to a Cleveland family after workers employed by the Cuyahoga Land Bank made a startling discovery inside a vacant home.

Two scrolls - carefully preserved - and a scrapbook filled with photos were found after the home went into foreclosure and was acquired by the Land Bank for renovation.

It turns out, the scrolls contained two original Purple Heart certificates for two brothers who died in combat in World War II within one month of each other in the summer of 1944.

Both were signed by President Franklin Roosevelt and honored the young Cleveland soldiers for their bravery and heroism.

Even more remarkable, the Land Bank was able locate descendants and return a treasured piece of history more than 70 years later.

Land Bank President Gus Frangos commissioned a team to begin piecing the family history together.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we could somehow find the next of kin?" he asked.

They did.

Property records revealed that Mary Connors and her husband purchased the home not long after their sons were killed in action.

The Land Bank was able to trace the family history that led it to both her grandson and great-grandson who remain in the Cleveland area.

"We knew of the medals and what had happened," Chuck Connors, Jr said. "What we didn't know was that they were missing."

The family history was found by Marvin Stover, owner of Beneficial Properties, who works with the Land Bank to clean out vacant homes.

"We look for more things of meaning," said Stover, who treats homes like sacred space that should be recognized as once being vibrant homes.

A photo book also contained carefully preserved photographs of Mary Connors, who was honored several months later, dedicating the U.S.S. Towhee minesweeper.

The ship was among scores of them built by the Lorain based American Shipbuilding Company.

The family was presented with both the scrolls and the photo book during a ceremony at Land Bank headquarters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Columbus
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 62°
Oxford
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Starkville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather