Carl F. Miller WWI Draft Classification

I often find the best things when I am going through and organizing things. Yesterday I was going through some old Miller papers that we found while cleaning out my dad’s garage last summer. Some of the papers are old, barely readable land deeds that I probably would have archived instead of storing in a damp garage. I’m just saying…

Among the papers were two old postcards from the War Department, addressed to my grandfather, Carl F. Miller. The postcards were his Notice of Classification from his World War I draft registration in Mercer County, Ohio. What great historical family items to have!

Carl F. Miller, WWI Notice of Draft Classification, Jan 1918, Mercer County, Ohio.

Carl F. Miller, WWI Notice of Draft Classification, Jan 1918, Mercer County, Ohio.

There were three draft registrations during World War I. The first was on 5 June 1917 that registered men between 21-31 years of age. Carl turned 21 in February of 1917 so he would have registered in June 1917.

The first of the two postcards is dated 28 January 1918 and postmarked 1918 from Celina. Although someone wrote 1916 on the card in pen, the 1916 date looks suspiciously like my dad’s handwriting, written on the card years later. Carl’s Order No. was 1672, Serial No. 12 and the card was signed by Thos. R. Roop, member of the Local Board. Carl was classified as I-A.

Carl F. Miller, WWI Draft Classification, Mercer County, Ohio, Jan 1918.

Carl F. Miller, WWI Draft Classification as I-A, Mercer County, Ohio, Jan 1918.

There were five draft classifications during WWI and all registrants were initially placed in Class I. Their classification was changed if and when they were granted a deferment. Men were placed in deferred classes according to dependency, vocation, necessary agricultural and industrial work, family support needs, number of children, when married or moral disqualification.

Necessary agricultural and industrial workers were classified according to the degree of their skill and the relative necessity and importance of their enterprise. A registrant was placed in Class II if found by his district board to be a necessary skilled farm laborer in a necessary agricultural enterprise…among other things.

That would explain the second postcard sent to my grandfather. That postcard was dated March 1918 [again my dad later wrote 1916 on it] and Carl was given a classification of II-C. This card was signed by Dr. J.C. Hattery. So Carl was probably given an agricultural deferment because he farmed the Miller farm.

Carl F. Miller WWI Draft Classification as II-C, Mercer County, Ohio, Mar 1918.

Carl F. Miller WWI Draft Classification as II-C, Mercer County, Ohio, Mar 1918.

My grandfather Carl did not serve in World War I. Jacob Miller, Carl’s father, was not in good health the last few years before his death on 15 June 1918. Carl would have been the last male on the Miller farm and the only one left to work the farm. That was why he received the draft deferment.

Carl F. Miller WWI Draft Registration card, 5 Jun 1917.

Carl F. Miller WWI Draft Registration card, 5 Jun 1917. [1]

Information from Carl Miller’s WWI Draft Registration Card A:

No. 1672; 12


  1. Name in full: Carl F. Miller          Age: 21
  2. Home address: Willshire, O.
  3. Date of birth: Feb 20, 1896
  4. Are you (1) natural-born citizen, (2) naturalized, (3) alien, (4) have you declared your intention? ————–
  5. Where were you born? Chattanooga, O.    USA
  6. If not a citizen, of what nation are you a citizen or subject? ——–
  7. What is your present trade, occupation or office? Farmer
  8. By whom employed: By Father            Where employed: on farm
  9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support (specify which)? No
  10. Married or single?  Single           Race?  Caucasian
  11. What military service have you had?  ———   Rank  ———–   Branch ——–
  12. Do you claim exemption from draft?   —————–

I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.
Carl F. Miller (Signature or Mark)


  1. Tall, medium or short?   Tall           Slender, medium, or stout?  Medium
  2. Color eyes:  Blue              Color of hair: Light Brown             Bald  ——-
  3. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, eye, or both eyes or is he otherwise disabled? ——

John E. Pifer (Signature of Registrar)
Precinct: Blackcreek
City or County: Mercer
State: Ohio
Date: June 5, 1917

Much of the above draft information is from the article, World War I Draft Registration, written by U.S. National Archivist Jean Nudd, and published on-line a few years ago by Dick Eastman. You can read the whole article at .


[1]  “U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918,” digital images, ( : accessed 31 January 2013), card for Carl F. Miller, no. 1672, Mercer County, Ohio; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918, National Archives microfilm publication M1509, imaged from Family History Library film roll 1832519.




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  1. Great post. Happy blogiversary!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! Congrats on your new blog series, too!

  2. Did your Grandfather also have a son named Carl?

    1. Yes, Carl LaVerne is my uncle’s given name, but everyone calls him Vernie.

    • Charles Ellard on July 13, 2020 at 4:01 pm
    • Reply

    Karen: I am trying to interpret information on one of my ancestors Frank Montano(DOB Feb 3,1888, Arrival in U.S.Jul 28, 1903 Born Guardia Perticara, Italy, Lived in Hartford, CT) I have numerous documents regarding his registration for draft WW1 and his progress toward Naturalization. My question relates to the possible interaction between his draft classification and his attempt to become a citizen.He registered for draft Jun 5, 1917 at the Hartford CT Board. At that time he claimed to be an Alien. He made a Declaration intention for citizenship November 28,1917. He made a Petition for Naturalization Nov 21, 1924. There is a Document headed Oath of Allegiance dated April 22, 1925. It looks like this was some kind of hearing before a National Examiner.. The Documents key passage states “Order of Court dismissing petition upon consideration of the petition of Frank Montano.. Allan F. Church esq. National Examiner for the United States 22 April 1925 it appearing that petitioner claimed exemption from the draft(class 5-F) The said petition is hereby Dismissed.” Eventually Frank was Naturalized. My question: What is the meaning of the classification 5-F and was that an impediment to his application for Citizenship? Any thing you can say to interpret this would be appreciated.Charles Ellard

    1. You ask a very interesting question. The Class V [5] WWI Draft Classification you mention is from the 1917 Selective Service Act and is described as “Exempted or Ineligible for induction into military service.” The last item in the list of about eight 5-F categories is Enemy aliens and Resident aliens. A Resident Alien is described as: “In law, an alien is a person who is not a citizen or national of a given country, though definitions and terminology differ to some degree depending on the continent or region of the world. The term alien is synonymous to foreign national.”

      So, since all males between a certain age were required to register for the 1917 draft, your ancestor registered, but was exempt from the draft because he was an alien, Class 5-F.

      I doubt his draft classification hindered his citizenship process a few years later. In 1917 he accurately reported his alien status and, when he applied for citizenship a few years later, he may have shown his draft document as a proof of his identity.

      I wish you continued success with your research.

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