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Your Silent Neighbors

Take a tour through the past with “Your Silent Neighbors", which introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.

Choose a name from the list to begin your journey into Canton's Past:


11/23/2021 - Frederick J. Yeske

YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, Frederick J. Yeske, Baseball Player, War Hero
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian

Frederick J. Yeske (1921-1943) was born and grew up in Collinsville where he attended local schools and became an outstanding athlete.  He was especially skilled as a baseball pitcher and set a single-game Canton High School strikeout record of 21. 

Yeske went on to play professional baseball with three different teams.  First signed by the Hartford Bees of the Class A Eastern League in 1941, he was optioned to the Goldsboro, North Carolina Goldbugs of the Class D Coastal Plain League where he posted a 9-8 record.  In 1942, he played for the Welch, West Virginia Miners of the Class C Mountain State League where he was 7-5. 

In September 1942, Yeske joined the Army and was assigned to Company G of the 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division.  His unit landed in North Africa in April 1943. They first saw action in September of that year near Salerno, Italy as part of the first invasion of the European mainland.  There was an intense, bloody battle, but the division slowly advanced. 

On December 1, Yeske wrote a short note to the Canton War Council, thanking them for Christmas gifts.  “We hope that peace will come soon,” he wrote, “and that everyone can enjoy Christmas at home.”  Three weeks later, Yeske was killed in action in a battle near the Italian village of San Pietro.  He “died single-handedly attacking an enemy position on a hill in Italy that was wreaking havoc with his unit,” recalled cousin Stephanie Moore in 2009. 

Frederick J. Yeske is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Collinsville. 

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.

A special thank you to Tom Hart who brought Mr. Yeske to our attention.  Much of the information in this profile came from the website of Gary Bedingfield who remembers baseball players who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country: https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/yeske_fred.html 




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Kathleen Taylor
Town Historian


Office: (860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800Office: (860) 409-4205

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Location: 40 Dyer Ave, Canton, CT 06019