This photo belonged to my grandfather Cornelius Schumm. The photo was taken by D.E. Agler on the west side of the Van Wert Courthouse on 22 July 1918. In the photo are 139 young Van Wert County men before leaving for basic training at Camp Sherman, to ultimately serve with the Allied Forces in Europe during WWI.
Several thousand people were assembled in Van Wert that day to honor these soldiers and in recognition of the soldiers who had gone before. According to newspaper accounts, the Van Wert County Service Flag was dedicated during this ceremony. The young service men were given comfort kits prepared by the Daughters of the American Revolution, white ribbon badges and carnations from the Womens’ Christian Temperance Union, and small flags and shoe laces from the James Clark Shoe Co.
If you look closely you can see the men are wearing the white ribbons.
The squad of young men was under the charge of Guy Simpson, assisted by Donald H. Smith, Lewis Walborn, W. McBride, and George Huffine. Rev. George Arthur Frantz, of the Presbyterian Church, gave the address.
Afterward the Van Wert squad was escorted to the Cincinnati Northern depot, the procession lead by the Scott Band, under the leadership of Prof. L.E. Needler. Public officials, Boy Scouts, and a long line of citizens accompanied the procession. The young men occupied three coaches that were attached to a special train that transported other squads from area counties. The train stopped at Greenville and the men were served a noon meal. The train was scheduled to reach Camp Sherman early in the evening.
There were eleven changes in the original list of registrants called to report for duty. Lewis Euler, Harold German, Jesse Johnson, Donald Holland, Nathan Lifshitz, Hoer Smith, Leon Talboon, Noble Thomas, Pryse Tumbers, Julius Verbauch and Carl Kreischer were removed from the original list and the vacancies were filled by Geo A. Adams, Noble Noell, James Johnson, Humbert Da Prato, Wm. R. Evans, Carl Reidenbach, Wm. Dunlap, Wm. Kidney, John Hey, Harry Roberts, Delbert Runnion.
The newspaper has an alphabetical list of the young men in the photo who left for service that day. I transcribed the list of men the best I could, but the newspaper copy is difficult to read and I probably misspelled some names. Plus, the end of the list is illegible. Having said all that, the squad was made up as follows.
William Agler, John Adam, William August.
Ora Bair, Herman Becker, Titus Bell, Paul Becker, Logan Baer, Glenn Brubaker, Joseph Beekman, Oscar Bauer, George Bollenbaugh, Edson Beckwith, John Butcher, Harold Burnett, Edwin Bauer, Perry Bruckhart, Henry Bell, Virgil Baker.
John Clay, Glenn Crawford, Lawrence, Custer, John Coil, Wm. Campbell, Zeda Coombs, Chauncey Crogan, Hiram Cooper, Albert Case, Arnold Carmean, Frank Carder.
William Douglas, Wm. Dunlap, Humbert DaPrato.
Ernest Etzler, Wm. R. Evans, James Eady.
Arthur Frericks, Martin Feldner, Homer Ferris, Robert Fugate, Benjamin Feasby.
Howard Goodwin, Emil Germann, Fred Gerdeman, Walter Gehres, Lawrence Gehres.
Russel Hudman, Adolph Hotman, Floyd Hoaglin, Harry Hansell, Henry Hofman, Roland Hensel, Herbert Hagerman, Gale Hullinger, Evan Hughes, Oscar Harmon, Geo. Hofman, James Heath, John Hey.
Evan Jones, Bryse Johnson, Edward Jones, James Johnson.
Benjamin Kundert, Charles Knoll, Richard Klein, Elmer Kreischer, Lawrence Kreischer, Wm. Konkle, John Klausing, John Klein, Carey Kruch, Wm. Kidney.
Karl Leathers, Perry Levick, Edward Lybarger, John Letter.
Homer McClure, Harry McCarty, Woodie McBride, Lawrence McCarty, Price McClure.
Dall Miller, Russel Miller, Robert Morris, Hobart Mark, Lewis Merkle, Allen Mohler, Frank Mohr.
Jacob Neal, Noble Noell, Orley Neely.
Unfortunately, the rest of the list is illegible.
A little about the WWI draft registration: During World War I there were three registrations. The first, on 5 June 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31. The second, on 5 June 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after 5 June 1917. (A supplemental registration, included in the second registration, was held 24 August 1918, for those becoming 21 after 5 June 1918.) The third registration was held 12 September 1918, for men age 18 through 45. So this group of men was probably from the second registration.
I am not sure why my grandfather Cornelius Schumm had this photo. Did he know some men in the photo? Was he a relative or close friend of someone in the photo? Since the surnames after the Os are not legible, I can’t know for sure.
However, while looking through newspapers for information about this photo, I read some information about my grandfather Cornelius Schumm, information that I did not know about. More about that next week.
Source: Soldiers Depart, Van Wert Daily Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, Newspaperarchive.com.