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

More Than 200 Have Claimed Immunity From Service.
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.
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.


  1. Denise,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2017/04/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-april-21.html

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Jana! I'm having fun doing this research and sharing. You just never know what you may find!!