Custer Survivor New Forensic Evidence
Newly received forensic evidence to be included in the forthcoming second printing. Return to Custer Survivor Main Page.
Frank’s Last Name: Finckle to Finkle to Finkel
This letter is from Naedene Shearer, Chief Deputy Auditor of Dayton, Washington. It states that, reviewing records at the Columbia County Courthouse in Dayton, Frank's last name's spelling drifted from Finckle to Finkle to Finkel through his life in Dayton.
His Widow’s Claim He Enlisted as Frank Hall
As detailed in Chapter Ten, “Starting the Fire, Wrong Smoke Signals”, Frank’s widow, Hermie, attempted to claim her husband’s pension, and in the face of anti-German sentiment at the time, states that he enlisted as “Frank Hall”. The fact that there was a real Frank Hall in the 7th Cavalry, who bore no physical resemblance to Finkel, resulted in years of confusion among those researching survivors of Custer’s Last Stand. Hermie’s application for Finkel’s discharge certificate, showing she claimed he enlisted as Frank Hall, is shown here.
August Finkle’s Physical Resemblance to Frank Finkel
This letter from Major General Edward F. Witsell, Adjutant General, dated 19 March, 1948, to Dr. Kannenberg, of the Oshkosh Public Museum, describes August Finkle’s height, pale eyes, and dark hair. These characteristics match the man known to us as Frank Finkel. Not incidentally, Frank Finkel confidentially told his son Ben that he had joined the Army under the name “August Finckle.”