Madison County During World War I
Reporting To Duty - Madison County's Young Men Off to War
FAREWELL FOR NAVAL RESERVES - ALTON BOYS LEAVING FOR DUTY WILL BE GIVEN ROUSING FAREWELL
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 7, 1917
A farewell is planned by the Board of Trade to be held tonight for the members of the Alton division of Illinois Naval Reserves, who will leave this evening under the command of Lieut. Maxfield, for Chicago. The division will take the train out of Alton at 10 o'clock tonight for Chicago, where they will be received and routed to the East. It is generally believed they will go to Philadelphia, and there will be put onboard warships. The routing of the division and the time of leaving Chicago will not be announced, and neither will the destination. The Board of Trade has engaged the White Hussars band to assemble at the depot. Capt. Larrimore has promised to give them about forty of his men to serve as an escort of honor for the Alton boys who are going away to see actual warfare, and have an active part in it. The plan is for Capt. Larrimore to have his company at Union Depot about a half hour before train time. The White Hussars will be there too. The band and the soldiers will parade around through the west end business district and assemble a crowd at the depot. There, the Naval Reserves will be given their farewell by the Alton people. The departure of the first of the Alton boys for service in the war with Germany will be made a big event in Alton. It is expected that the crowd that assembled to see the boys away in 1898 will be as nothing compared with the one that will bid them farewell this time. Some of the young men were in Alton at the time they joined the Alton Naval Reserves, but they are not here now. Most of these are expected to join. Those from out of town are:
Word has been sent to all of them, and it is expected that they will join the division later. In the list are some of the best young men in the city of Alton. Compared with other divisions of the Naval Reserves, the Alton boys are in the best of trim. Leland Winkler, editor of the Tatler of the Alton High School, is among those called out. Two grandsons of James Pack will respond to the call. They are August and William Kaeshamer. Earl Cuthbertson and Harry Slagg of Alton will not go. The navy department ordered the resignation of Cuthbertson some time ago because he could not navigate a man of war. Slagg fell from a street car several days ago and injured himself, so he will be unable to leave for the present. At the armory this morning the boys were putting their marks on all of their clothing and getting everything in readiness. The word had gone out to take as few extras as they possibly could. Some hesitated about leaving out sweaters and other garments, but were advised to make their loads as light as possible. The suits and the equipment of all of the Alton boys is first class. for weeks they have been preparing for a call, and everything was in readiness when it came. The boys were all thinking of the parting tonight. One sailor remarked: "I'm going to be pretty busy tonight just before that train pulls out. I have promised to kiss fifteen girls goodbye thus far." The following is the complete list of the boys who will leave with the Illinois Division of the Reserves:
ALTON YOUNG MAN GOING TO WAR LEAVES CHOCOLATE MEMORIAL FOR CHILDREN HE WISHED TO REMEMBER HIM
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 10, 1917
An Alton young man who was leaving home to join the army, and was incidentally leaving some little folks in whom he was deeply interested, and whom he wished to bear him always in remembrance, whether they ever saw him again or not, contrived to erect in their minds an altar of remembrance which he built out of sweet chocolate. John Venardos had a call from the young man yesterday, and for the first time since he was in business, Venardos was asked for a price on one of those slabs of sweet chocolate he displays in his windows. The price was named and the young man, who is going to be a soldier, said he would take it. The candy store man tried to persuade him to take part of it, but the young would-be soldier boy was determined to have all of it. He refused also to allow it to be broken up. There was just ten pounds of sweet chocolate in that cake which he carried under his coat to the house where the little children lived who were to get it. There was wild delight among the children, and it is safe to predict that there will never be a day in their whole lives, whether they ever see their friend again or not, that they will not remember him when they see chocolate. They will recall that chocolate monument he gave them, and it will be more enduring in their memories than if he had given them something that was far more valuable. The candy store man had not expected to sell the slab of sweet chocolate. He merely put it on display to let candy buyers see what sort of chocolate he used in making his candies.
BROTHERS-IN-LAW (J. A. KIESELHORST and GEORGE BRUNNER) TO ENTER TRAINING CAMP
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 27, 1917
J. A. Kieselhorst and George Brunner, sons-in-law of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Davis, will leave tomorrow for Culver Military Academy in Indiana, where they will take the two weeks' course in military training that is to be given there. Mr. Kieselhorst is a graduate of the Culver school, and Mr. Brunner is a veteran of the Spanish-American war. Both have ambitions to escure commissions in the United States Army, to give service wherever they may be needed. Both are conducting prosperous business enterprises in Alton. Mr. Kieselhorst recently bought a home into which he has moved his family. When the two finish their course they are ready to tender their services to the government. Both have had much training already in a military way, and it is said that the course of training offered in the two weeks camp would put them in shape for taking up the task of helping to form the new United States army. The first Alton business man to make the sacrifice that might attend his leaving his business is Lieut. J. B. Maxfield. Others will follow in his steps, and it is expected that, if the government calls for their assistance, a goodly number of men prominent in the business world in Alton will quit their business and go serving Uncle Sam. The attendance nightly at the drills of the training corps indicates that the zeal of Alton business men to do their part is not excelled by any class of citizens here. Just before he was called away from Alton, Lieut. J. B. Maxfield had bought a new Dodge car. As he could not take it with him and he might not be back to use it for a long time, he left it with his brother, L. H. Maxfield, to dispose of.
BIG CROWD SEE COMPANY B LEAVE - PLENTY OF TEARS
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 1, 1917
Over five hundred people were at Union Station this morning to give the soldiers a send-off as Company B left Alton this morning for St. Louis. The crowd was the largest that has been at the station for several years, with the exception of that when the Alton Naval Reserves left several months ago. The train was due to arrive in Alton at 9:10 o'clock this morning, but it was delayed for an hour, and the friends and relatives of the soldiers waited with them for an hour in the hot sun. Small boys ran hither and thither carrying the canteens of the soldiers and filling them with water. Some enterprising soldier opened a soda water stand on the station platform and did a rushing business during the wait. H. M. Spaulding, representing the Y.M.C.A., presented each of the young men with a Bible before they left the city. Company B of the Missouri National Guards left Alton at 10:10 o'clock this morning in a special train. They will go to St. Louis where they will join the other companies of the regiment before being sent elsewhere. The work of handling the equipment was well managed. At 6 o'clock this morning the last of the boys went off watch, and by 9 o'clock all was in readiness for the move. All of the equipment which had been placed at the barracks was removed and packed so it would be handled easily. There was many a sad parting when the train pulled out of Alton at 9:20 o'clock this morning for St. Louis. Many of the soldiers left sweethearts behind, and several had married Alton girls since being stationed here. A number of romances had sprung up during the time the soldiers were making their stay in Alton. Besides this, there were about 25 Alton boys in the company. Almost all of these had enlisted in the National Guard since it was stationed at Alton. They received their first taste of being called away from home for duty today. Relatives and friends of all of these boys were on hand to see them off this morning. Leo Willis of Alton was game. Although he had been ill for the past two weeks and was hardly in a physical condition to make the trip, he did not hesitate. He bade his relatives and friends goodbye and left this morning with his company for St. Louis. Last night had been a big night for the young men who could get away from duty. They had been out bidding farewell to their young lady friends in Alton. Among the members of Co. B were many young men of high grade, and the conduct of those young men had been good. Naturally there were some among the soldiers who did not reflect much credit on the organization, and who caused more or less trouble while they were in the city, but in the past ten days there had been a marked quieting down of the turbulent spirits. As the train drew out of Union depot this morning with the soldiers onboard in special cars attached to the train for their accommodation, the bugler blew a long drawn out mournful call of "Taps." It was the farewell of Co. B in Alton. The young men and the officers had been given very friendly treatment here, had been well cared for, and for the most part they had nothing but regrets ever leaving Alton.
EMIL HOEHN REPORTS FOR EXAMINATION - WIFE DIED DURING THE NIGHT
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1917
Emil Hoehn, a well known young man of Upper Alton, suffered an unusually sad experience in presenting himself for examination before the exemption board at the Y.M.C.A. Mrs. Hoehn had died during the night. Mr. Hoehn was left with two little children. In passing through the hands of the doctors who were making the physical examination, he made a splendid physical record, and on being reported to the exemption board he made his application for exemption. He told the members he was the father of motherless children. His is the first case of the kind that had so far come before the board of death invading a home just before the head of the household was called for examination for military duty. He is private secretary to F. W. Olin at the Western Cartridge Co. office.
SERBIAN WAIVES CLAIM - IS FIRST OF ALIENS WILLING TO FIGHT FOR U. S. OTHER MEN ALSO DO THEIR PART.
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 20, 1917
Vasso Samaridga, a Serbian who has been living in Alton, is the first alien to waive his rights an an alien to refuse to bear arms, and he announced this morning his willingness to fight for the United States. His course was in marked contrast of that all other men who are out and out aliens, and have so far refused to make any concessions, and stood on their treaty rights. Samardiga will be certified as a soldier by the local exemption board. George Schneider appeared today and said that he was sorry he had filed any claim for exemption, and was willing to withdraw it. He had certified that he was supporting his mother, but he said he had quarreled with her and he had announced that he was ready to take his chances in the army fighting. Cobett Calame, who appealed from the physical examination made by the doctors, appeared Monday and withdrew his claim. He is a healthy young man from the North Side. Though he believed he was not physically fit, he concluded that it was his duty as a patriot to be willing, if Uncle Sam needed him. The Pattison dairy is hard hit by the draft. Two Pattison brothers and their assistant at the dairy in Godfrey have been called, and as they are healthy specimens there seems small chance of their being exempted. The young men are building up a successful business. John E. Butler is certified as being a member of the third artillery at Camp Louden. Butler was among the list posted as not having reported for examination. The adjutant general has reported Butler could not be found in the artillery. He was there, nevertheless.
FAREWELL TO SOLDIERS AT 5 O'CLOCK
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 4, 1917
The biggest farewell celebration that Alton has ever known for the departure of soldiers will be started at 5 o'clock tomorrow morning at the Union Station. It will continue through the day until 8 o'clock in the evening. The first twenty of the boys who are to be sent from Alton were called out received notice this afternoon that they would leave Alton at 5:40 o'clock in the morning, just twenty-four hours ahead of the time they expected to go. The celebration which had been planned in their honor for tomorrow evening would have been twelve hours late. Instead of having that, Alton will have a celebration and a farewell tomorrow morning. The change in the plans was made this afternoon while the committee was in session at the Mineral Springs Hotel. There is wild enthusiasm over the plan of holding the celebration early in the morning. It will give everyone a chance to attend, no matter where they work, and the crowd should be much larger than was ever gathered together before in the city. The White Hussar Band has been hired and will give a concert. E. B. Seitz will deliver a short address to the boys who are leaving, and Rev. M. W. Twing will give his blessing for the city on the first twenty boys who are to leave Alton for the training camp. The community singers may be given a chance to show their ability and do some singing tomorrow morning. But the morning celebration is to be merely the start of the celebration in honor of the young men who are to be called away to the training camps. Tomorrow evening at 7 o'clock the celebration will be resumed. At 7 o'clock the parade will be held from the Boals planing mill yard to the Alton City Hall, where Capt. R. P. Hobson will deliver a short address. Every man who has been included in the draft is urged as a part of his duty not to be a slacker tomorrow evening, but to take part in the parade of the drafted men from the city hall.
BIG CROWD FAREWELL TO DRAFTED MEN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 5, 1917
If the farewells that are to come for the drafted men in the second, third, and fourth contingent are to be greater in proportion as the number of men increases, Alton is to do fitting honors to her drafted men. This morning, to speed the twenty men in the first contingent on their journey, a crowd estimated to be close to 2,000 assembled at the city hall and depot. The local committee in charge of giving a fitting send-off had engaged the White Hussar Band to play, and had also secured E. B. Seltz to make a short talk, and Rev. M. W. Twing to give the parting blessing on the heads of the young men. When daybreak came it found the people beginning to assemble. Some were on hand before 5 o'clock, and from that time until about 6:20, when the train came in 40 minutes late, the crowd kept growing. Market street was lined with automobiles, and there were many hundreds of people who rode on foot and many who used the street cars. The twenty men, in charge of John Bowman and Jack Matthews, were lined up in the waiting room of the Alton, Granite and St. Louis Traction Co. There they were given final instructions by Chairman John D. McAdams of the local exemption board, in whose hands the men were. The men had been told that they were under military orders, and must obey the commands of the two men who had been put in charge of them. They were instructed not to separate and that they were to be delivered in a body at Camp Taylor. Every contingency had been provided for. The men had been provided with meal tickets good anywhere, and transportation to Camp Taylor. The roll was called; all were present, and it was announced that the places were full and none of the alternates who were on hand could go with the first contingent. One man, the only one who had not been given personal notice of the change in plans from Thursday to Wednesday, was the first one on the ground this morning. Messengers seeking him had not found him, but he reported just the same. The names of the twenty men are:
The formalities disposed of, the program was started near the depot. John D. McAdams, chairman of the exemption board, mounted a truck, and after making a short talk to the men and the audience, introduced E. B. Seitz, who had been selected by the local committee to make a speech of farewell. Mr. Seitz took about 10 minutes to make the talk, and in it he told the men and their families that they were the "honor" men of the City of Alton; that they had been selected from the number of drafted men who were desirous of going first to the cantonment at Camp Taylor. Mr. Seitz referred to the debate that had taken place fifty-nine years ago from the east side of the city hall, between Lincoln and Douglas, as paving the way for the new freedom of those days that made free the black race. These boys, starting from the spot that had been made historic in those days, are to be the champions of the newer freedom by which the world is to be made safe for democracy, the emancipation from militarism to be complete for men of the white, the black and the brown skins, or whatever color they may be. In conclusion he read all extract from President Wilson's message to the men of the new army, and then he addressed a short exhortation to the men and their families. Rev. M. W. Twing of the First Baptist Church offered the closing prayer, and just about that time the train arrived for the men to get onboard. H. W. Eden, chairman of the local committee, announced to the twenty men, and for the benefit of those who were to be in the remaining contingents of the local quota, that the local committee would constitute itself the local representatives of the drafted men, and that if they needed anything, or if there was any special need arose in their families at home which could be attended to, for the drafted men to let the local committee know.
DRAFTED MEN GIVEN STIRRING FAREWELL - THOUSANDS AT TRAIN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 20, 1917
The drafted men, 102 strong, left this morning for Camp Taylor after a farewell that drew thousands of people to the station to see them off. The start was late for several reasons. The exemption board was delayed at the Y.M.C.A. in getting the men marshaled ready for the departure. Some of the men had not arrived on time. This made verifications of the roll call necessary, and put the men behind in marching for the train. Then at the train the crowd was so dense that it was with great difficulty the train was loaded with the passengers. The process of loading was delayed by relatives who gathered to say farewell to the departing drafted men. At the Y.M.C.A. it was found that ten of the men were absent. The alternates to the number of ten were called upon to fill the vacancies. Some of the men were absent for known reasons. One was in a hospital at Granite City suffering from an injury; another was in New York and will be sent from there; a third was known to have skipped town with the avowed intention of dodging the draft. It was known that these men would not be present. One or two had failed to answer roll call Wednesday morning and did the same today. Two of the absentees failed to make the train. One man, G. M. Kelly, told a sad tale. He said that he overslept himself this morning, the first time in years. He hurried down to the train and was exulting over having been there on time. He was disappointed when told that because he had failed to be at the Y.M.C.A. at the mustering time, he would not be allowed to go. The reason for this was the roll was made up there, the physical examination blanks were prepared for the men who were to go, and was entrusted to the head of the contingent. It was impossible to remove Kelly's alternate, put on as his substitute. Kelly pleaded he had told everybody goodbye, had quit his job and was ready, but he was told it was no use. After the roll call at the Y.M.C.A. and the final instructions being given the men, the march was taken up to the depot. Outside the post office force, the White Hussars band was waiting. The Upper Alton drum corps also was there, and the drafted men falling in behind the band, and a big American flag carried by the post office employees started the march. At the depot the exemption board chairman, J. D. McAdams, made a short talk, and he was followed by Rev. E. L. Gibson of the First Presbyterian church. Rev. Gibson gave a five minute address to the men and to their families, and then he offered prayer. The police had difficulty in clearing a way to the train so the drafted men could get aboard. It was a half hour after the time set for the departure of the special train when the signal was given to pull out of the station and make the beginning of the trip to Louisville, Ky. In the throng that gathered about the train to say farewell there was many a moist eye and quivering lip. The men were brave, calm and most of them were smiling. Some of them looked grave because of the breaking of home ties, but there was not a word of discontent among them, at least if they were dissatisfied they said nothing of it. Charles E. Maguire, who was in charge of the men, called up by telephone from East St. Louis and reported that the train had arrived there safely and that the whole number, 162, was on board. It had been feared that in making the count at the train, some might have been missed. Anyway, the count when the train left Alton totaled only 169, but it was believed that some of the men might have boarded the train at another place than the one where the count was being made. This proved true, as the check was perfect when East St. Louis was reached. The following is a list of the men who failed to go as listed with reasons indicated, and in whose place substitutes were sent:
The substitutes who went in their places were:
There were many disappointed alternates who were not taken today. The men who did not show up this morning will be first in the list to be called for October 3, and no chances will be taken with them that time. The local board will take some _____ action with regard to some of the____.....[unreadable].
SOLDIER BOYS GIVEN GREAT SEND-OFF - 10,000 IN BIG CROWD
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 6, 1917
The boys who went away from Alton for Camp Taylor, Kyn., Friday night, were given the biggest farewell demonstration yet given the Alton contingents. It being the first evening farewell party, there was opportunity for far more people to be present, and the streets were thronged with citizens who wanted to give the boys a fitting send-off. The enthusiasm that was among the boys had spread to the crowd. The exemption board had convincing proof of the interest that was shown by the boys. Out of the 84 who left Alton, only two of the list failed to appear. Benny Gregg, one of the drafted men, did not show up when called. Tony Lograsso, an Italian, was too late in arriving. He came in after the hour fixed for the arrival of the men had been passed. The exemption board ruled him out because it had been necessary to change the list and substitute an alternate for Lograsso. It was a deeply disappointed Lagrosso who appeared a few minutes later and was told it was too late to make any changes. Young men were demanding positions in the list. The alternates called to fill gaps in the ranks were insistent that they be sent, and so when one got Lograsso's place, there was nothing to it but that he would hold on. Lograsso pleaded he had sold his clothes, quit his job and he just simply had to go away. Then five men of the alternates near came to tears. They had expected to go, had quit their jobs, had arranged for departing, and they, too, just simply "had to go." The exemption board members were in a tight hole. They wanted to please everybody, so Chairman McAdams telephoned Springfield to Adjutant General Dickson, asking permission to increase his quota five men. The answer was delayed, and it came in too late to be taken advantage of. However, it was decided the five would be sent away tonight, if they still wish to go. The farewell address was given by Rev. Frederick D. Butler of St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 6 o'clock Friday evening on the west side of the city hall. An immense throng was gathering as the speechmaking was opened. Rev. C. E. Combrink offered prayer, after which the boys were given time to say farewell to those who had gathered to see them off. The train was one hour late in getting away from Alton. It carried the Jersey County and Morgan County contingents of 24 each on arriving at Alton. The two cars which had been set apart for the Alton contingent had on its sides two banners. One read, "Alton to Berlin." The other read, "To Take the Germ Out of Germany." Prior to departing from the city, every member of the party was given a copy of the Friday evening issue of the Telegraph, to be taken along to camp. Alexander McPherson, Joseph Hartmann, John Ostermann, were listed this afternoon to be sent away to Camp Taylor. The other two alternates who were to come asked to be held till Oct. 19.
ALTON YOUNG MAN LONGS TO JOIN THE ARMY - RECRUITING OFFICER WRITES BACK - "COME TO SPRINGFIELD AT ONCE"
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 13, 1917
The Illinois State Journal of Springfield today printed the following about a young man in Alton, who is yearning for the opportunity to go to war. Springfield, No. 13. "Inexperienced in life," but extremely anxious to get in the army, Aloysius William Flori of Alton has written to Chief U. S. Recruiting Officer, Springfield, Ill., the following letter, which among the letters received at that office is a classic: "Dear Sir: Kindly lend me your ear. I have patiently waited for my call to arms in behalf of my country, but to no avail. Please use every influence to the effect that I be called at the earliest possible date. My presence in the army or navy may not be of much consequence. I am only 26 years old and inexperienced in life, yet my nine years college training, coupled with an ambition to do, may help. I am willing to serve where needed most and long to go at once. Am single, healthy, parents alive, well and have five other sons for support; all single and working." Recruiting Officer Hanson wrote back to him briefly, "Come to Springfield at once." Aloysius W. Flori mentioned above is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Flori, of Pearl street, Upper Alton, and he is also one of the proprietors of the Flori Bros. Home Bakery. He has one brother, a priest, and the others are associated in the conduct of the bakery or in working at the factory or store.
PREFERS ARMY TO PRISON LIFE - GEORGE WILLIAMS PARDONED SO HE CAN GO TO WAR
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 13, 1917
It was a case of going to jail or going into the army that took George E. Williams southward to Camp Taylor, Monday evening. Williams had been in the penitentiary and was put on parole. He was drafted and temporarily exempted because he was a paroled convict. He said he wanted to go to the army, and sought to have his parole terminated and a pardon granted him so he could become a soldier. The State Board of Pardons said they would grant the pardon if Williams would go into the army. Then Williams became reconciled with his wife, and he seemed to be satisfied not to hurry about getting into the army. It was all one to him whether he went or stayed, as his wife had taken him back. But a few days ago trouble arose, Williams and his wife fell out, she had him arrested, he was fined and gave Magistrate Maguire an order on his employers for his pay. Then Williams hurried away, collected what was due him, and when Magistrate Maguire called to get his money, there was naught for him. That made the magistrate sore, and he was going to have Williams sent back to the prison. That threat made Williams think about the army. It was agreed all around that if Williams could be sent to the army, the strict discipline might do him good. Anyhow, he would be where he could be held to stricter account than at home, and he wouldn't have his domestic troubles to annoy him. So he asked to be sent to Camp Taylor and has been sent. His pardon papers, while not received, have been granted. One lone sister saw him off at the train and wept hysterically as Williams started for Louisville. At least he had one friend in the world to whom he was a potential hero.
ILLINOIS RESERVE MILITIA TO BE MUSTERED MONDAY
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 17, 1917
The Illinois reserve militia unit that has been organized in Alton will be mustered into service Monday evening at the armory on the river front. A message was received today from John G. Oglesby, chairman of the militia committee of the State Council of Defense, stating that Col. Abbott, inspection and mustering officer, with a medical assistant, would be in Alton Monday night, November 19, to muster in the unit in the reserve militia. The request was made that the unit be ready for inspection and muster at 8 p.m. Col. Abbott will arrive at 5 p.m. Monday from Springfield. The following reception committee has been named, consisting first of the officers of the home guard company - Capt. George S. Brunner; Lieuts. J. O. Parsons, Stanley Allen, and in addition, Dr. Robert Parks of Wood River, D. A. Wyckoff, Mayor Sauvage, Capt. Ralph Jackson, E. M. Dorsey, R. C. Hardy, E. L. Rose, E. J. Lockyer and J. A. Kieselhorst. The reception committee will meet the mustering officers at the train, take them for a trip in automobiles through Alton, including a visit to the Western Military Academy, where there will be a special parade. From there, the party will go to the Illini Hotel for dinner, and at 8 o'clock the mustering will take place. It is said that there will be only a short ceremony of mustering in, and it will start promptly at 8 p.m. The men have been measured for uniforms, and in a short time they will be fully equipped. Rifles are ready and will be supplied immediately after mustering in.
MEMBERS OF COMPANY B
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 19, 1917
The Telegraph has received a request to publish the following letter from the Alton boys who enlisted in Co. B when that company was stationed here. Instead of being Co. B First Missouri Infantry, it is Co. B 138th Infantry, and is stationed at Camp Boniphan, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. To the People of Alton:
"The boys of Co. B of the First Missouri Infantry wish to send the people of Alton, who were so kind and who treated them so royal while being stationed at Alton, their sincere thanks, and also send their best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and many of them. The boys say they never struck a more patriotic town than Alton. Here is a list of some of the Alton boys who enlisted in Co. B:
MILITIA COMPANY MUSTERED IN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 20, 1917
The new reserve militia company was mustered into service Monday evening by Col. Richard Abbott, mustering officer, who was sent here by the Illinoi9s State Council of Defense. Sixty-five men were mustered in after being given physical examinations and being required to sign their oath of allegiance, and afterward repeat it as they stood in line. Col. Abbott, accompanied by Capt. Taylor, assistant medical officer, arrived in Alton Monday afternoon and were taken to the Western Military Academy where they witnessed the "retreat" ceremony, including the hauling down of the flag. Then they went to the Illini hotel where they had supper. Following supper they repaired to the armory at the foot of Market street, where the mustering in was to take place....It was stated to the men that their uniforms and rifles would be here about the same time. The company will be fully equipped for service eventually, all having been measured for uniforms which will be delivered as soon as the uniforms can be made up. The following are the members of the new militia company:
ALTON MEN SELECTED FOR TRAINING CAMP
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 5, 1918
Five additional Alton young men who were sent to Camp Taylor in the drafted contingents, have been selected for appointment to the officers reserve training camp, and will be given opportunity to win commissions. The men who were selected are: Adron W. Moore, headquarters company; John A. Ryrie, Co. C.; Thomas E. Henry, Co. D.; Jack Matthews, Co. E.; John D. Bowman, Co. D. The other drafted men in the 333rd infantry at Camp Taylor who were selected are as follows:
THREE DEPART FOR CAMP TAYLOR
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 16, 1918
Three young married men were shipped away to Camp Taylor by the local exemption board Tuesday evening. Two of the men were seen off at the train by weeping wives, who were left behind to work at the Alton State Hospital while their husbands went into the army to do what they could for their country. Benjamin Frye and Clyde Edward Oldham had been attendants at the state hospital. When they received their classification notices, they determined to get into the military service at once. They would prefer, if they could, serving as nurses in case their particular kind of services is needed, but they are ready for anything. Wedo Malfatto, a young man of Italian birth, was not seen off at the depot by his wife. She, it is understood, had separated from her husband and had gone to live with her parents and had notified her husband that she planned to see that he entered the army in the draft. Malfatto had a notion in his head to do that anyhow, and he got busy, insisted that he be sent at once, declared he had given up his job, and that it would be a great accommodation to him to be allowed to go to Camp Taylor without delay. The exemption board does not know whether or not the three men will be received at Camp Taylor at this time, but think under the circumstances they may be.
LIST IS COMPLETED OF MEN LEAVING FOR ARMY
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 20, 1918 and February 22, 1918
The local exemption board today completed the list of names of men who will constitute the last contingent of the first quota in the draft. The men, numbering 158, will leave Alton next Monday afternoon for Camp Taylor. It is not known certainly that these men will be merged with the units in which other Alton men were placed when they went to Camp Taylor last fall. It is known that this policy will be adopted at some of the other cantonments. Announcement was made at Camp Grant that the final contingents would be met by men from their own exemption districts at Camp Grant, and would be mingled with them in the companies, but whether this same rule will be followed at Camp Taylor is not fully known. Many of the Alton boys who went to Camp Taylor have been sent elsewhere now, and the companies are run down and must be filled up. Whether they will be filled by the latest drafted men or will be filled by combining some of the companies already there has not been given out. The following is the list of names of men who are scheduled to depart next Monday afternoon to begin their training in Camp Taylor:
158 ALTON BOYS DEPART FOR CAMP TAYLOR TO FINISH QUOTA - BIG SEND-OFF GIVEN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 25, 1918
As a fitting send-off for the drafted men scheduled to leave today for Camp Taylor, to begin their training for military work, Alton had made great preparations. It was uncertain up to the last minute just who would be in the contingent. Some of the men notified to be here to make the start for Camp Taylor were at a distance, and it developed that a few of them were troubled with financial difficulties which made it hard, if not impossible, to get here. One man without any funds wired here that he could not make it and a telegram was sent that he be entrained from the place where he was, and that he accompany the contingent from that place to whatever camp they were going. Several others pleaded either insufficient time to get here by Monday morning, or that they were unable to raise the money. One man wired from a distant point in the East that he was on the way and would be here in good time to make the start with the other drafted men. About eleven out of the whole number were away from Alton. The local board was notified Saturday that it owes Camp Taylor only 147 men instead of 158, but the whole 158 will be sent, and allowance will be made for some men who may be sent back home. There is considerable interest in what will be done with some of the boys who are being sent out this time, and who are below the standard of those who were sent before. Many believe that they will not be kept in the army even though the regulations have been made less stringent. The men met at 8 o'clock this morning at the Y.M.C.A. to receive their final instructions and to be put under military orders by the local exemption board. At the Y.M.C.A. this morning almost all of the men in the contingent reported for shipment to Camp Taylor. There were eight of them missing when the roll was called. Chairmen formally inducting them into the military service and informing them that they would be expected to report back at the Y.M.C.A. at 2:45 o'clock in the afternoon. The men were told that according to the officers at Camp Taylor, Alton had sent the best contingents so far received there, whereat the drafted men applauded vigorously. The men were also told that being under military orders, they were not to take any intoxicating drink, and that every man of them was to be on hand promptly to make the start in the afternoon. They were also requested to ask their families to conclude their farewells before it was time for the men to board the train, as the train was to make a prompt start. Secretary Webster of the Y.M.C.A. was introduced to the men as a man who would accompany them on the trip to Camp Taylor, and he made friends with them at once, making a short talk to the boys. It was a fine appearing company of young men who made up the contingent at the Y.M.C.A. this morning. There did not appear to be a man among them who was unwilling to go to camp, and the showing made was a very happy one. The Western Military Academy had sent its pledge to furnish 275 men to escort the drafted men from the Y.M.C.A. to the train, and the White Hussar Band were ready with their full quota of band members to play the send-off for the boys. It was a great gathering before the Y.M.C.A. and on the streets to say farewell to the drafted men. It was one of the best of the send-offs any contingent has had. Each man was presented with a Smilenge Book through the Alton Council of Defense, which had collected the books from purchasers. Faustinus Coppinger, who was put in charge of the contingent, selected as his aides four men: Ernest Netzhammer, George Yackel, William Blake, and James Lynch. To saying Alton's farewell, the Upper Alton Presbyterian minister was selected. Rev. W. T. Hunzsche said in part:
"Soldiers elect of the National Army of the United States - we are proud of you, and because we are proud of you we are gathered here today. We are proud with a pride not superficial, but real; not shallow, but deep. The tears and the sighs of farewell cannot overcome our pride. As all of us are proud of each star in the nation's banner, so also are all of us proud of each star in our new service flags. The mariner of the night, lost in the depths, follows the glittering stars to his desired haven; even so, in the depths of our vigil will the stars which represent you men guide our thoughts to the victory of the right. Our pride is an honest pride. No matter what mistakes you at times do make, no matter what temporary reverses you at times do meet, we shall remain proud of you. Only one thing can slay our pride - the lowering of your moral standards. Aye, he who surrenders his life to vileness, to impurity and to evil, he, and he alone, we deem unworthy of our pride, unworthy of our nation, unworthy of our cause. We honor you. The honor of the nation is in your hands; therefore, we honor you. The world will judge America by you. You are to show the world what your native land deems honorable. We are fighting a nation of men, a nation that calls the crushing of the weak, the violating of the sanctity of womanhood, the developing of brute force, and the believing that might makes right its national honor. That you in your personal lives oppose these things is the demand your nation makes of you. The helping of the weak, the upholding of the sanctity of womanhood, the developing of spiritual strength, the believing that right makes might - these are the things America calls national honors. Remember, oh soldiers of America, we beseech you, that he who stoops to use the instruments of Germany, who drinks to drunkenness, who violates the honor of any woman or girl, who bullies the weak and who believes in physical force alone - though he lead his comrades through the lines of the enemy, though he march in triumph through the streets of Berlin, has surrendered to the principles of Germany. He who holds the principles of righteousness, who shuns drink, who treats each woman as his mother or sister, who helps the weak, who believes in the triumph of the spiritual, though he be taken capture on the first charge, though he be scorned and spat upon and reviled in the streets of Berlin, never has and never will surrender to Germany. Proud of you and praying that you by word and deed may never corrupt our pride, entrusting with you the honor of our nation, and praying that there may be among you no traitor, false to our nation's honor, we pledge our thoughts and our prayers and our efforts to support you to the end, and bid you go on in the name of Christ to the victory of righteousness and of humanity. Goodbye boys! Be worthy of your trust!"
The men in the contingent today are:
F. W. OLIN, SON OF CARTRIDGE MANUFACTURER, WITHDRAWS EXEMPTION CLAIM - READY FOR SERVICE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 13, 1918
The local exemption board today received a letter, transmitted from the district board and written by F. W. Olin Jr., in which the writer says that he desires to withdraw his claim for deferred classification, as he no longer fills the position he filled when he made the claim. He has been connected with the Equitable Powder Co. and the Western Cartridge Co., and as such he made a claim that he was an important person to the plants and was needed there. His case had not yet been passed upon by the district board when his letter, written and mailed in New York, was received by that board. As requested by Mr. Olin, the district board referred the letter to the local board, and Mr. Olin will be put in Class 1.
SHURTLEFF [COLLEGE IN UPPER ALTON] LOOSES LAST MALE SENIOR - ALL SERVING COUNTRY
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 19, 1918
A manless senior class is a foregone conclusion at Shurtleff College commencement this year. One by one the call to the colors has drawn students from the college, until, from a very promising outlook at the close of the school year, it appears Shurtleff is to have a manless class in place of one which had some very manly young men in it earlier in the year. Today was James Hill's last day in school at Shurtleff College. Mr. Hill is the last of the senior boys to go to the service of Uncle Sam, and after today the graduating class of the college will consist of eight girls, two whom have recently become soldiers' brides, but are still in school. Mr. Hill has completed his college course and will be given his diploma from Shurtleff at the regular commencement time. He will leave Monday for his home at Anna, and will go to the camp will the contingent form that town. Lee Dawson, another Shurtleff College student, will leave this evening for his home at Hettick to make a visit of a few days, but will return to Alton to go to camp with the next contingent. The young man was drafted at Alton and will go with the boys here. These two young men entering the service will put two more stars on the Shurtleff College service flag, making a total of 43 stars on the flag. Since the war commenced a year ago, the college has sent 20 of its graduates and 21 students that were in the college when the war started. The war has hit Shurtleff College a hard jolt, and especially the senior class. The graduating class would have been one of the school's largest classes if the war had not taken the men.
CONTINGENT TO REPORT TUESDAY MORNING
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 29, 1918
The contingent will report Tuesday morning at the Y.M.C.A., where they will be counted up and will proceed to the Big Four train, which will depart from Alton at 8 a.m. They will go by way of East Alton out over the Big Four, without going to East St. Louis. They will be thirty-three hours on the trip if their schedule is adhered to. The men will be provided with four meals en route to Camp Dix in New Jersey, where they will be trained. The men, eighty, will be given a sendoff Tuesday morning. Their names are as follows:
CONTINGENT OF 11 LEAVES FRIDAY - SUBSTITUTES SCARCE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 10, 1918
A contingent of 11 men will leave Alton tomorrow morning for Camp Shelby, Thomas, Ken., at 7:35 o'clock via the Big Four [railroad]. It was stated today at the exemption board that it had been found hard to find substitutes. Volunteers have been coming in to take the places of the men in this contingent, and it is doubtful that there will be any of them who will be able to get stays they had earnestly sought. Some of them wished to be sent off with the contingent leaving in the period beginning May 26, and two in particular, who had wives and had special reasons for wanting to be left at home for a short time at least, will possibly find it necessary to go with the contingent unless volunteers appear between now and tomorrow morning. The following is the list of names of those who will depart in the morning, the local board having overruled all objections; as there are no volunteers to take any of their places:
The White Hussars Band will give the men a send-off, and a large crowd is expected to see the men off for Camp Thomas. The men examined Wednesday afternoon, numbering 84, were the best men examined so far. There is an unusual number of young married men among them. Out of the 84, only nine of the failed the physical tests in so far as they were obliged to make the trip to East St. Louis to appear before the medical advisory board. Among the nine was Franklin W. Olin, son of F. W. Olin of the Western Cartridge Co. The young man gave up his job at the cartridge plant, took a course of treatment to remove a physical defect, and is making an earnest effort to get into the military service of the United States. He believed he was ready for service when he appeared before the examining board Wednesday, and was somewhat disappointed but was hopeful the medical advisory board would pass him. Five were disqualified. The following men were examined Wednesday:
FIVE LIMITED SERVICE MEN LEAVE - ALL ANXIOUS TO GO
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 31, 1918
Five limited servicemen left Alton this morning, and the Alton Exemption Board breathed a sigh of relief. "I don't know of any five men who wanted to get into the service so badly," said Chairman J. D. McAdams this morning. "All of them volunteered for service, and some of them have been volunteering so much that they have been in the way when we tried to work." Albert Federle, who finally was taken with the contingent this morning, has probably been rejected from the service more than any other Alton lad. Thirty times he has tried to enter. He has tried every branch of the army and navy. Five times he was rejected in an hour and a half in St. Louis one afternoon. Try as he might, defective sight kept him out of the service. For the past two months he did not miss a day visiting the exemption board so that in case there was a call for volunteers for any kind of limited service work, he might go. The story is told that Federle was called from his work by a telephone from home one day, saying a letter marked ordnance department had arrived. He ran all the way home to find that instead of being called, he had received a letter from a friend. Budde has tried to get into several different branches of the service and has failed. The same applies to Stillwell and the others. The party left Alton this morning at 11:40 over the Chicago and Alton railroad. They will go to St. Louis and thence to Syracuse, N. Y., where they are to take up a special course in training to prepare them for firefighters at ports of embarkation. The party was put in charge of Albert Fedferle. In putting him in charge, Chairman McAdams said he gave the honor to the lad who had been more persistent than any other in Alton in trying to get into the service. There was a fair-sized crowd of relatives and friends at the Union Station this morning to see the party off. Those who went were Harold Stillwell, Walter Budde, Albert Federle, Sylvester Shoeberle and Stephen Riley.
ALTON SOLDIERS SINGING WAY TO KAISER
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 26, 1918
The Alton boys in the Eighty-fourth division are on their way to France, singing their way to the Kaiser, according to word received by Mayor William Sauvage from a Philadelphia woman. She had never heard of Alton before, but when she went through a troop train with the Alton boys aboard singing and jolly because they were going to get their chance at the Kaiser, she could not refrain from sending word back to the mayor of Alton. The boys from Camp Sherman are on their way to France. When last heard from them, they were at Paris Island. The letter received by the mayor is from Mrs. J. Frank Yealy, 2654 Ringgold street, Philadelphia, Pa. It was written several days ago when the Alton boys were going through her city on the way to the front. Some extracts from the letter follows: "Today, while I was waiting for my husband to pass through the B. and P. yards on a troop train, a train load of good fellows passed through. A number of Philadelphia people, including myself, boarded the train to shake their hands. One of the chaps asked me if I had a card to give him. To my sorrow I did not. But I offered to drop a line or two to anyone they wanted me. One good chap and a number of his comrades were pleased, and asked me to send you a card. They asked me to tell you that I saw Mike and the bunch from Alton, and they were on their way over to France to get the Kaiser. They were all as happy as could be, and looked fine. They left Philadelphia singing, and they were going to win the war by singing. I want to congratulate you, for the fine boys you are sending from Alton. America can feel proud of them and all of the rest of their troops. They are the finest there is."
Copyright Bev Bauser. All rights reserved.