Norman F. Claussen of St. Paul was a first lieutenant with the 15th Field Artillery in the National Guard and served in the Mexican Border conflict in 1916. In 1917, he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He received the Silver Star for “gallantry in action” and for “brilliant leadership” during his tour. In October 1918, shortly after returning to the United States, he died of influenza.
Claussen was the oldest of four children and the only son born to Oscar and Martha Willins Claussen, who were the children of German immigrants. Martha's parents immigrated to Minnesota in the 1850s, and by the turn of the century, her father was the president of a bank. Oscar and Martha were married in January 1891 in St. Paul, and Norman was born the next year. He was only 26 when he died.