Two medals awarded to one Missourian have been placed on display in the State Museum.
The State Treasurer’s office received the medals after they were found in a bank safe deposit box. Clint Zweifel says the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre (French Cross of War) were earned by a Dover native, Major Ernest Slusher, during World War I.
Zweifel says previously, medals recovered such as this were auctioned off. He ceased that practice and began looking for the families of original recipients.
Margaret Means of Festus is the closest relative to come forward after earlier stories circulated, looking for family of Major Slusher. She happened to have volumes of information that fleshed out the story behind the Medals. That includes documentation establishing that the Major, after he returned home, displayed the medals at his doctor’s office in the Kansas City area.
Means is in the process of seeing if she is the lawful owner of the medals, but has agreed to continue to loan them to the State Museum.
Zweifel says since taking office, his staff has returned 23 medals out of 86. He hopes to find families for the remainder.