05 June, 2017

Registration Day - June 5, 1917

Today is the day that millions of American men registered for the draft. It was mandatory with the threat of imprisonment if you did not register. It also applied to aliens living in the United States. 

Here are some of announcements I found in the newspapers of the time:


Frederick Post
Frederick, Maryland
Page Four


The Adirondack Record
Au Sable Forks, NY
Page One
There are just a few of the announcements I came across but they all wanted to make sure that men understood there would be consequences if you did not register. 

But as an amateur genealogist, I LOVE the draft cards. They provide valuable information for those searching for ancestors. In many cases, you are able to see the signature of an ancestor and also when they use their mark. You get birthdays, place of birth and what occupation they had on June 5th. 

This was just the beginning the actual draft number have yet to be called!

19 April, 2017

Draft Exemptions Have Started

The Selective Service Act passed on May 18, 1917 authorizing the temporary increase of military personnel. But before the Selective Service Act was enacted, many men began to file for exemptions. Below is an article from April 19, 1917:

The Daily News
Frederick, MD
April 19, 1917 page 5


FEWER EXEMPTION CLAIMS; 14 FILED
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More Than 200 Have Claimed Immunity From Service.
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MANY REJECTED, HOWEVER
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Now Believed That Nearly All Who Seek to Avoid Military Duty Have So Recorded Themselves in Compliance With law.

     Judging by the records that have been filed in the Clerk's Office at the Court House it seems that about all the persons who intended to claim exemption from military service have done so. Since yesterday there have been but fourteen applications for exemption filed, and of this number eight were allowed and six were thrown out.
     Considerably more than 200 claims for exemption have been listed in the Clerk's Office, but of this number it is believed that at least one-third have been thrown out. All claimants for exemption must file their claims enrollment notices from the enumerators. These claims must be verified by affidavit.
     Considering the number of person who have claimed immunity from military service on the grounds of being the support of parents or families, within fifteen days after receiving or on the grounds of physical disability, it would seem that a number are not yet familiar with the law. Neither of these reasons entitles any one to exemption. If a man had both legs off, he would not be exempt. The question of physical condition is one that must be passed upon by the surgeon at the time the enlistment is made, and over which the clerk of court has no authority.
     Likewise, persons who have others dependent on them for support are not immune. Only government officials, those exempted by the laws of the United States, persons holding a religious belief contrary to bearing firearms, and paupers, lunatics, persons addicted to the use of narcotic drugs and persons convicted of infamous crimes and the like, are exempt from service.
     Those recently exempted follow:
     William L. Waters, religious belief; William H. Delauter, railway mail clerk; William F. Fisher, religious belief; Robert E. Fox, religious belief; Welty K. Grossnickle, Church of the Brethren; C.C. Hite, postmaster at Frederick Junction; Gaven E. Metcalfe, substitute rural delivery carrier; W.C. Repp, German Baptist church.
     Those not exempt:
     J.A. Horan, B. and O. engineer; Adam B. Martin, support of wife and five children, bad eye, bad ankle and other physical disabilities; Charles R. Schneider, physical; William A. Wagaman, employee of Du Pont Powder Works.
     Ralph Hotter also filed a written statement explaining that he had given the incorrect age to the enumerators.
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For those doing genealogy, if you are unable to find a draft card for a person try looking for lists of those who were exempted from the draft. This would be on a local level so look at newspapers and court records.

13 April, 2017

An Appeal To The Residents of Essex County, New York

I am noticing all the announcements and appeals that have started to show up in various newspapers now the the United States has entered the Great War in April 2017. Below is an appeal that appeared in the April 13, 2017 edition of the Adirondack Record:

The Adirondack Record, Au Sable Forks, NY
April 13, 1917, page 1

AN APPEAL TO THE RESIDENTS OF ESSEX COUNTY

It is hoped that our farmers here in Essex County will plant {illegible} land this year and raise larger crops than ever before, tilling every available acre with staple food supplies such as potatoes, beans and onions; plant wherever you can; raise hogs and cattle, and not only raise them, but fatten them so as to obtain as much of the best producing meats as possible.

The Home Defense League are planning and hope to furnish seed to those unable to buy them, but who will agree to cultivate them, and repay from the crop raised the amount of seed furnished, and from every ten bushels raised one bushel or its equivalent in money?

People owning land or parcels of ground not being cultivated are earnestly urged to offer such ground to people who will agree to plant and cultivate it.

Every little helps, and every bushel of food raised will help just that much in the emergency. Every one doing this will be doing his bit to help, not only himself but the whole country. Your country needs your help, more perhaps in this way than your presence on the firing line. Will you help?

WALTER C. WITHERBEE,
Chairman Home Defense Committee
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Of course back in 1917 there were no 24 hour news sources so the newspapers of the day were THE vehicle to get information out to the people. When I am reading the papers, especially from the area my family is from in northern New York, I often wonder what was going through the minds of my relatives when they read (or were read to) these announcements and articles. Did they agree? Did they disagree? Were they just going with the flow? Were they aware of what was going in Europe? 

So begins the Great War for America........

04 April, 2017

Welcome to Denise's World War I HQ!

Welcome!

The focus of this blog is World War 1 aka the Great War aka the War to End All Wars. It has also fascinated me beginning with dressing up as a World War 1 solider for Halloween in a REAL uniform!! My interest was reignited in 1914 for the beginning of the Centennial of the start of the War in Europe. It was further sparked by the various podcasts and videos that started coming out at that time.  In my journeys searching for cemeteries, I come across many war memorials. I started taking photos of them as well. Then I started a mission to photograph all the World War 1 memorials and monuments that I could. I am still on that journey and have still have many more to go!

I also plan to incorporate newspapers from the time to highlight the what was happening at the home front. I plan to use my personal photos of not only monuments but old family photos from the time. 

So let's get this Centennial started!!