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Buford, Abraham (18 January 1820–09 June 1884), horseman and soldier, was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of William Buford, a stockman, and Frances Walker Kirtley. The youth left Centre College in 1837 to accept an appointment to West Point, where he graduated in 1841 next to last in a class of fifty-two. Brevetted a second lieutenant in the First Dragoons, he received his regular commission on 12 April 1842. Satisfactory service on the western frontier brought promotion to first lieutenant on 6 December 1846. The previous year he had married Amanda Harris; they had one child....

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Jackson, William Hicks (01 October 1835–30 March 1903), army officer and horse breeder, was born in Paris, Tennessee, the son of Alexander Jackson, a doctor, and Mary W. Hurt. William grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, to which his parents had moved while he was still young, and went on to attend West Tennessee College. Prior to graduation there, however, he accepted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, entering in 1852 and graduating four years later. Commissioned a second lieutenant, Jackson was stationed with a regiment of mounted rifles in Texas, and served in operations against the American Indians in New Mexico....

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Kurtz, Frank (1911–31 October 1996), athlete, military aviator, was born Frank Allen Kurtz in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Frank Kurtz, Sr., an insurance salesman, and Dora Kurtz (maiden name unknown). His parents divorced shortly after he was born. Kurtz ran away from home at the age of twelve to hawk newspapers in Kansas City, Missouri. Possessed of youthful dynamism, he was soon featured in the ...

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Roosma, John Seiba (03 September 1900–13 November 1983), athlete and army officer, was born in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of Simon Roosma, a building contractor, and Mamie Casteline. In his youth, Roosma was a standout basketball player on the Passaic High School “Wonder Teams” that won 159 straight games from 1919 to 1925. Roosma’s teams initiated the streak, and his ability to score was largely responsible for their success. Roosma played from 1919 to 1921, when his teams compiled the first fifty-seven victories of the streak. Roosma’s 1918–1919 squad had won twenty games in a row before bowing to Union Hill High School in the state championship game. But then his teams rebounded to win New Jersey state high school basketball championships in 1920 and 1921. He averaged twenty-eight points per game during his senior season and was named to the all-state team for three years in a row. ...