Muscatine County in World War I
A Collection of News Articles

The following articles were submitted by Eleanor B. McCleary on April 21, 2001 and are taken from old Muscatine Journal issues found at the Musser Public Library in Muscatine.

Submitted by Eleanor B. McCleary on April 17

                       Muscatine Journal & News Tribune

                              16 Nov 1918

            Special section dedicated to Muscatine’s County’s Sons in Service

            Nearly Thousand Inducted Into Service By Local Draft Board

Between 900 - 1,000 Muscatine county young men have been made a part of Uncle Sam’s army
through the operations of the selective draft, according to an estimate made by E.C. Nichols, chairman
of the local exemption board. Those who have been voluntarily inducted into the various branches of
the army, and into the navy, have not been included in the total of nine hundred.

These men, drawn from civilian life, have been sent to more than a score of camps in all-sections of the
country. The largest number of men have received their training at the cantonment at Des Moines, while
more than three hundred were sent to Camp Pike, Arkansas, for training many were transferred to
Camp Travis, San Antonio. Other contingents were sent to Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, Mo., and
others to Camp Forrest Lytle, Georgia. Others have been sent to New Mexico, Texas and Florida
camps for training.

Of the nine hundred called, it is believed that at least three-fourths of that number are in France. The
majority called to service before June of the present year had seen service on the different battlefields
before the armistice had been signed. Others, including those sent to camp Pike on July 23rd, and the
contingent sent to Camp Forrest Lytle, Georgia, on July 29th, are now is rest camps in France and
England. One of the men called with the contingent of 314 was killed in action overseas.

Muscatine bade a feeling “God Speed” to each of the draft contingents called. Big patriotic
demonstration, preceded by banquets for the drafted men, tendered by the Association of Commerce,
featured the departure of each delegation.

One of the biggest celebrations ever held in the city during the entire war, was staged here on the
evening of July 23rd, when the largest number of men ever called from Muscatine left this city for Camp
Pike, Arkansas. Citizens from all the surrounding towns including West Liberty, Wilton, Nichols,
Atalissa and the nearby country, turned out by the hundreds to witness the departure of the 314. Band
organizations from all the neighboring districts, aided in the demonstration.

The first men called by the selective draft left, here in September one year ago. The

first contingent was comprised of but five men, the calls averaging in number from twenty to fifty.

More than seventy men were contributed to the army of men called to build airplanes for the warriors in
France. Approximately fifty were voluntarily inducted into the Spruce Division of February 19th, and
sent to Vancouver, Washington, while those later volunteering in this branch of service raised that
number to seventy.

                          How the Draft Worked

How the men that have been drawn from all branches of civilian life have been absorbed in the gigantic
military machine, and made a part of the United States fighting forces, has been told in letters received
here from the local warriors, who have taken an active part in the big game. Nothing but praise for the
treatment given the soldiers, the mess served their quarters, and general conditions in camp are
contained in those messages written home. The effectiveness of the draft has been thoroughly tested in
the county and the morals of the men have proven exceptionally high.

Muscatine Journal & News Tribune
16 Nov 1918
Special Section on Muscatine County Sons in Service in WW I

Three Score and Ten Muscatine County Men Hold Commissions

At least sixty-eight Muscatine County soldiers are wearing should straps. Of this number the majority hold the rank of first and second lieutenant, several are captains, a few are majors, and two Muscatine men, J.T. Davidson and A.A. King, have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The third Muscatine County man to hold that rank, Lieutenant Colonel Clarkson Elliott of West Liberty, was killed in action, with his men, some time during the latter part of July or the early part of August, while fighting in the front line trenches with an infantry brigade. The only commissioned navy man included in the honor roll is Ensign James Reuling, who is serving as a doctor in one of the navel units.

At least two Muscatine majors have seen active service in France. Major J.C. King, a graduate of West Point, has been in France since September, while Major Fred McDougall, with a telephone battalion, was one of the first local men to go overseas. He had been in active service for almost a year. The others, Major Otto Mull, former captain of Battery C, and Major Wilbur Wilson, are still in training camps in this country.

Fourteen Win Captaincies.

Fourteen of the Muscatine county men hold the rank of captain. The last of the number to receive his commission, Captain Michael Cronin, was graduated from an officers’ training school but a few weeks ago. One of the number, Captain W.S. Norton, received his honorable discharge shortly after the beginning of the war. The other captains include several from Wilton with the local men, Captain R. O. Byrrum, with a veterinarian corps; Captain H.J. Carson, with engineering company; Captain Walter Curtis, constructive quartermasters’ corps; Captain Michael, Cronin, artillery; Captain E.B. Fulliam, Jr., medical corps; Captain Clifford Hakes, infantry; Captain Ralph Harding, Captain Arnold Jacobson, marines; Captain Frank Kincaid, sanitary train; Captain Elliott King, medical unit; Captain Edward Roach, artillery; Captain C.R. Stafford and Captain H.B. Strong, infantry.

A considerable number of the local men who have been granted the rank of Lieutenant were former members of Battery C, Muscatine’s military organization. Lieutenants Raymond Bloom, De Wayne Brown, Harry Bomke, Henry Eschelman, Raymond Giesler, Raymond Grimm, Harry McGaughery, Morrell MacKenzie, Stewart Narvis, John Nill, Herbert Rininsland, Charles Salisbury, Sherwood Samuels, Harold Suman, and Matt Van Tryfe were all former C members, while several are still connected with that organization.

Other local warriors who have been given the Lieutenancy rank are Ben Butler, Dr. Austin Clifford Davis, Ralph Cockshoot, Vernon Gibson, George Holmes, W.A. Hinchman, Wayne Nichols, Clarence Hahn, Charles Heezen, L.C. How, Dr. Owen Howell, Dr. W.H. Johnston, Harold Kemble, Roy Lulow, Franklin McCullough, Ray Michaels, Paul Milnor, John Shuger, F.L. Streiter, Dr. J.W. Stiers, Clark Mosher, Louis Ticktin, Robert Tillie, Edgar Watters, Sherman Watson, and David Wilson.

In the ranks of Muscatine’s officers the names of John Farnsworth is included. The young man was commissioned second lieutenant at the Officers Training school for Artillerymen at Camp Zachery Taylor, just a few days before his death. Joe R. Hanley, well known evangelist, is serving as a Chaplain in France, with the rank of Lieutenant. Dr. W.W. Daut who enlisted in a Medical Corps during the summer, was honorably discharged a few weeks ago, because of physical disability. He had been commissioned as a second lieutenant. Muscatine also claims lieutenant James Elliott, with the Marine Forces in France on the local roll of honor. Elliott lived here for a number of years before moving to Bloomington. He was given the rank of Lieutenant a few weeks ago for deeds of extraordinary heroism on the battle field.

At least six more local warriors are attending Officers Training schools at present. Herman Zeug and J. Harold
Barnard, two of the men who left with the draft contingent of 314 for Camp Pike, Arkansas, on July 25, were chosen to attend an officers school there, while Austin Hoopes, Joe Carlisle, Walter Lane and Alfred Ribbink were chosen from the Student army Training Corps For special training.

 How Peace Came to Muscatine

Muscatine County soldiers in service only missed only one real event in Muscatine during their absence. that was the peace celebration.

For twenty-four hours after the word of the signing of the armistice was received the lid was off and Muscatine went wild. For five minutes after word was received by the Journal and News-Tribune, all factory whistles, church bells and school bells in the city were sounded.

By 2:30 a.m. last Monday morning crowds had already started to gather in the downtown district. One old mother with a boy in service was among the first to hear the alarm. She grabbed a revolver, rushed down stairs into Second street, and fire it five times.

After three o’clock, a celebration resembling the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving and a wild night in a strange town, was in full swing.

Automobiles by the hundreds with klaxons sounding, pans and extra rims clanging, on the pavement speeded
through the streets with the occupants yelling, shooting firearms, and generally giving vent to their enthusiasm.

For more than two hours the three fire trucks with every noise making device working to its limit, raced through all parts of the city.

The old cannon from the court house was taken to the river front and barked until those firing it were afraid to again  load the piece. The guns of the firing squad of the high school cadet corps were used in firing volley after volley.

Daylight brought even more noise and more people. The celebration lasted throughout the day and was concluded Monday night with a big parade, fireworks and a monstrous bonfire on the river and a street dance in the downtown district.

Thousands of persons with every know noise making device to be used after they had shouted until hoarse,
thronged the streets from the time word was received until late Monday night.

After the first enthusiasm of the celebration was over this is the question that was asked by everyone: “ How soon will the boys be home?”