I glanced at my watch. One minute to 11:00, thirty seconds, fifteen. And then it was 11:00 A.M., the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I was the only audience for the greatest show ever presented. On both sides of no-man’s land, the trenches erupted. Brown uniformed men poured out of the American trenches, gray-green uniforms out of the German. From my observer’s seat overhead, I watched them throw their helmets in the air, discard their guns, wave their hands. Then all up and down the front, the two groups of men began edging toward each other. Seconds before they had been willing to shoot each other; now they came forward…After four years of slaughter and hatred, they were not only hugging each other but kissing each other on both cheeks as well. Star shells, rockets, and flares began to go up, and I turned my ship toward the field. The war was over.
Above is Eddie Rickenbacker’s description at the moment of armistice from 500 feet above no-man’s land as he observed at Conflans, France on November 11, 1918. While fighting stopped with the armistice, a formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on June 28, 1919. In total, 116,708 Americans gave their life during “the war to end all wars;” twenty-five of those men were sons of Meigs County.
When the United States answered the call of our Allies in Europe and joined in the fight against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, The Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria, dozens of Meigs County men joined in the fight. Many of our Meigs County soldiers shared something in common with the opposing Germans – heritage. According to local historian Mike Gerlach, “The New Englanders were followed by waves of German immigrants. German furniture factories and businesses developed. German language newspapers were common, and store clerks had to be bi-lingual until World War I, when the County Commissioners made it illegal to speak German for propaganda purposes.”
When many of Meigs County’s soldiers marched off to war, they headed to Camp Sherman, near Chillicothe, Ohio. According to the Ohio History Connection, “When the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, the nation was not fully prepared for the war effort. As a result, the government scrambled to create a system for training troops. Camp Sherman, located near Chillicothe, Ohio, was one of the new training camps. Ultimately, Camp Sherman became the third largest camp in the nation during the war. The camp was named after famous Ohioan and Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman. Construction began in July 1917, and the first recruits arrived in September. Before World War I ended, more than forty thousand soldiers had received training at Camp Sherman. The camp was eventually home to four different divisions: the 83rd, the 84th, the 95th, and the 96th. The war actually ended before the 95th and 96th were ready to go overseas.”
The following people from Meigs County served this country in World War I.
Blanche Graves Abigail, George E. Ackley, Ralph W. Adams, Frank Alkire, Dale Allensworth, Chester A. Andrews, George W. Arnold, Frank Arnott, Clyde Ashworth, Thomas W. Autherson, Herschal Badgley, Forest A. Bailey, Glenn R. Bailey, Herman B. Bailey, Horace D. Bailey, James H Bailey, Russell G. Bailey, William Bailey, Winnie Bailey, Clarence Baker, Conrad A. Bartels, Frank E. Bartles, Ira S. Bartles, Fred Bartles Jr., James W. Batey, Charles V. Baumgardner, Gilbert Baumgardner, William G. Beal, Tracy D. Bearhs, John J. Becker, Harry H. Bennett, John Bennett, Harrison Bentley, Leo L. Bentz, Riley Bibber, Lawrence A. Bing, Waid O. Bing, Alvin B. Bingham, Clint Birch, John C. Birthissel, Everrett H. Bissell, Robert Blackwood. Delbert O. Blake, Earnest Blake, Elden R. Blake, Winfred Blake, Harry L. Bland, Stanley Wood Bobo, Harry Borham, Charles E. Boothe, Glen Boring, William Bowen, Earnest R. Boyd, Andrew C. Bradford, Otto W. Bradford, William Braley, William Branlage, Stanley D. Brechtel, Marvin Brickles, William Brickles, Hunter Bright, Harry U. Brinker, Harry A. Brooks, William D. Broughton, Elmer Brown, Huber Brown, Azra A. Bryant, Charles H. Bryson, Elza M. Buchanan, George Buffington, Cadie Busch.
William Caldwell, Dudley R. Cameron, Alva Campbell, Clarence Orro Canterbury, Louis Carl, Maurice R. Carl, Harley H. Carman, Raymond F. Carman, Eldo Carrier, Guy Carson, Marcus Chambers, Ellsworth M. Chapman, Joseph E. Chapman, Homer W. Cheatam, Oscar Cheatam, Dudley Chevalier, Charles Childs, George William Childs, John S. Childs, Walter H. Childs, Harold Christensen, Harry Christy, Ray B. Church, Archie Clark, Charles E. Clark, Claud Clark, Frank A. Clark, Henry A. Clark, Samuel E. Clark, William Clark, Raymond K. Clutter, William E. Coe, William E. Collins, Charles F. Congo, Earnest Conkle, George B. Cook. Thomas J. Cook, Cecil E. Cousins, George E. Cousins, William H. Cousins, Cecil C. Cozart, Dayton C. Crawford, Orville A. Crooks, George H. Cross, Joseph A. Cross, Thomas Crow, Frank Croy, Warner Cunningham, Roy Curtis, W. Leo Curtis, Manning S. Daniels, Earnest W. Davidson, Charles W. Davis, Claude E. Davis, Lodwic C. Davis, Donald C. Dawson, David N. Denney, Dayton Dennis, Leigh Dennis, Homer S. Dickerson, Victor D. Diehl, Louis I. Dischinger, Clyde Donahue, John S. Donahue, Thomas Donahue, Carl J. Duckworth, Millard W. Duckworth, Walter C. Duckworth, Thomas Duffey, Edward J. Duffy, Edward A. Durst, William W. Durst, Adolph Ebersbach, Arthur H. Ebersbach, Karl Ebersbach, Donnely Edwards, Virgil R. Edwards, Raymond E. Eiselstein, Jacob Elberfeld, William M. Elberfeld, Alfred M. Elberfield, Theodore R. Epple, Earnest J. Evans, William E. Evans, George H. Ewing, David S. Eynon.
Cornelius Feeney, Earl H. Feeney, Daniel C. Fischer, William B. Fish, Garton E. Foley, Homer H. Foley, William H. Foley, Raymond H. Follrod, Danny Folmer, Scott Folmer, Charles F. Foss, Roscoe O. Fowler, Charles E. Frank, Orville H. Freeman, Owen Frost, Jewell C. Frost, John E. Fry, William P. Fuller, William H. Gabbs, Russell M. Gaffney, Jesse Gainer, Donald B. Geary, Paul S. Genheimer, Clarence J. Genhimer, Charles Gephart, Raymond E. Gibbs, Herla Gilky, George D. Gilkey, Dallas Gillispie, Ralph C. Gilmore, Lawrence Ginn, Eddie Ginther, Albert A. Gloeckner, George L. Gloeckner, Louis F. Gloeckner, Carl F. Goeglein, Vern E. Greene, Everette Grimm, Frank X. Grueser, George Grueser, Grafton D. Grueser, Joseph Guess, Henry Hahne, Stanley Hale, Lawrence H. Haley, Chauncey V. Hollingshead, Otho Hamilton, Elmer G. Hamm, Harry G. Haning, Ralph Hannahs, John Hardman, James Harley, Albert Harper, Campbell Harper, Fred Harper, Werlin Harper, Grover Harris, Dale V. Hart, Earnest E. Hess, Ross Hawk, Earnest Hawkins, Homer Hawkins, Mack Hawkins, John L. Hawley, Leroy A. Hayes, Charles S. Hayman, Edwin E. Hayman, John Hedrick, Albert E. Heilman, Paul E Henderson, Samuel P. Hess, John A. Hetzer, John A. Hickman, Walter Hickman, Albert Higginbotham, Bernard R. Higley, Bliss E. Hilewick, Charles A. Hilewick, Marvin Hill, Marcus T. Hoback, Floyd C. Hoback, William R. Hoffman, Albert V. Hoffner, William H. Holmes, Hanson R. Holter, Asa A. Hoskins, Charles Houdashelt, Curtis W. Howell, Worley Howell, Thomas S. Hsyell, Carey H. Hysell, Eli Hysell, Emmett, Hysell, Ira R. Hysell, James A. Hysell, Leonard Hysell, Nathan C. Hysell, Pearl B. Hysell, Ralph B. Hysell, Ralph M. Hysell, Thomas S. Hysell.
Major F. Jaccaud, Douglas Jackson, Frank Jacobs, Theodore H. Jacobs, Vernon Jenkins, William H. Jenkins, William A. Jenkins, Arthur A. Johnson, Clyde Johnson, Emil F. Johnson, Glen G. Johnson, Paul D. Johnson, Dave O. Jones, Esther Viola Jones, Pearl Jones, Thomas H. Jones, George F. Justis, Mike F. Kabool, Wayne F. Kamp, Elmer Karman, Pearl Karr, Claude H. Keenam, Thurman Keiser, Forest G. Keller, Ellis F. Kennaw, William M. Kent, James E. Kesterson, Frank M. Kibble, Herman Kim, William A. King, Pearl Knapp, Cecil Knight, Harry L. Knopp, Christie Krautter, Frank Krautter, Otto B. Kreinbihl, Earnest W. Lallance, Richard A. Landaker, Joseph Lanning, Harry A. Lathem, Frank lathey, Curtis Laubner, Albert Laudermilk, Guss Legg, Hugh Leifheit, Norman J. Leifheit, Sidney G. Leifheit,George A. Lewis, Heritage Ralph Lweis, James G. Lewis, William W. Lowery, Hubert G. Mace, Blueford J. Malone, Earl Mankin, Charles Marcinko Jr., Oscar J. Marcum, Warden Marcum, George Markin, Carl H. Marshall, William H. Marshall, James L. Martin, Norman Martin, John H. Mayheigh, Lawrence J. McCarty, Dale McClure, Glen McClure, Ray McDade, Roy E. McDade, Charles W. McDaniel, Daniel J. McDonald, Charles H. McElheney, Thomas McGlothlin, Grover C. McKenzie, Charles M. McMaster, Jesseie M. Meeks, Floyd F. Mees, Clarence Middleton, Davis C. Middleton, Orville C. Midkiff, Lorando Might, Albert D. Miller, David H. Mills, Jesse C. Mineard, Raymond Mitch, Boney Mitchell, Carrie Mitchell, Frank mohler, Isaac N. Mohler, Charles N. Moore, John N. Morgan, William Morgan, Guy W. Morris, Joseph A. Morris, Marion Morrison, Willie Morrow, Perley C. Mosier, George C. Mumford, Edward R. Murphy, Wesley D. Musser, Alvin R. Myers.
Arthur V. Nease, Charles E. Nease, Harold A. Nease, Marion L. Nease, Orla J. Neeley, Russel E. neer, Albert C. Nelson, Thurman S. Nelson, Benjamin Neutzling, George W. Niemeyer, Herman V. Ohlinger, Lonnie W. Ohlinger, Spence W. Ohlinger, Walter E. Ohlinger, Homer Oliver, Allen P. Osborn, Win F. Osborn, Evan D. Owens, William C. Owens, Earl Parker, Elcherd L. Persons, Curtis Peterman, Rexford L. Peters, John F. Pickens, Harry Pierce, Harvy H. Pierce, Frank Potts, Clarence E. Powell, Clive Price, Dan Price, Harold J. Price, Herman H. Pryce, William F. Pyle, James O. Quillen, Otho H. Radford, Ambrose A. Raub, Norman M. Reed, William F. Reed, Herbert F. Reibel, Walter F. Reibel, Earl Renshaw, Edward H. Reuter, Walter V. Reuter, Cecil E. Rice, Don A. Rice, Wilmer A. Rice, Dalmer D. Ridenour, Ross A. Riethmiller, Harley Rife, Harry Riley, Lawrence K. Ritchie, Daniel S. Rizer, Elisha Rizer, Owen Roach, Alexander Roler, William H. Root, Harry E. Rose, Arthur F. Roush, Dallas A. Roush, David W. Roush, Earnest E. Roush, Hosmer L. Roush, Ira S Roush, Lloyd W. Roush, Marcus S. Roush, Wilbur J. Roush, Oscar A. Rowley, Alpha Russell, Brad H. Russell, Earnest Russell, Lincoln Russell, Norman A. Russell.
James F. Salyers, Joseph E. Samuels, Lewis Sauer, George W. Sauvage, Charles M. Sayre, Earnest P. Sayre, Harry G. Sayre, Raymond E. Sayre, William H. Sayre, Norman E. Schaeffer, Earl Schneider, Walter W. Schreiber, Gideon A. Serals, Charles P. Seidenable, Max W. Seyfried, Clyd Shields, Earl A. Sisson, Leo B. Sisson, Lewis A. Sisson, Joseph J. Skinner, John O. Slack, Edward C. Sloter, Ray Smalley, Arthur J. Smith, Clemence E. Smith, Dana H. Smith, Earthel G. Smith, Eddie A. Smith, Elmer W. Smith, Ralph, D. Smith, Sherwood E. Smith, Sidney Smith, Waid C. Smith, Eddie Snedden, Charles W. Snider, Stanley Southers, Dennis Spires, Walter Spires, Bliss Springer, Fritz Stahl, Harry Stahl, Peter J. Stark, Reid Steinbauer, Edwin B. Steiner, Charles L. Stewart, Finley H. Stiles, Howard B. Stitt, Arthur F. Stitt, John M. Stivers, Leo R. Story, William H. Swan, Robert Swyers, Florin C. Taylor, Lawrence W. Taylor, Dail Terrell, Lon Terrell, George S. Tewksbury, Webber D. Thoma, Lloyd E. Thomas, Carney H. Thompson, Roy Thompson, James S. Titus, Leon Torrence, Van O. Torrence, Ralph Tucker, Benjamin Turner, Jacob Turner, Walter L. Vaughn, Roy Vickers, Floyd Warner, Owen Watson, Rob Webster, Dana S. Welker, Jasper Whaley, Raymond E. Whaley, Seldon J. White, Jesse R. Wickham, Thomas G. Wilcoxen, William Wiley, Frank B. Will, Homer C. Willard, Morton H. Wilson, Roy Wilson, Merle Wise, Palmer G. Wolfe, Ernest E. Wolfe, Pearl Wolfe, Marion Wood, Herman E. Worner, Louis G. Young, Raymond A. Zeiher.
Ray Archer, Glenn Edmond Chase, Willis Sheridan Chevalier, Hattie Belle Collins, Robert Morris Cousins, Walter Dailey, Raymond Victor Ebersbach, Charles Bushnell Ewing, John William Fuller, Henry Clay Gardner, Charles Ross, Henderson, James Fredrick Henderson, William Lewis Hobart, Earl Ellsworth McNamel, Ivan Ernest Massar, Perry Nelson Mitchell, Ralph Wilkinson Mitchell, Guy O’Neil, William James Oppenheimer, Walter Clarence Phillips, Wilbur Vernon Quivey, William Robinson, Arthur Rosenbaum, Cyril George Simpson, Dudley Everet Smith, Frank Hallock Snyder, Edward Thomas Spencer, George Victor Sponagel, Lewis Edgar Stanley, Harold David Stanley, Harold David Stansbury, Ralph Oliver Stansbury, James Arthur Taylor, Charles Amos Thomas, Clyde Otho Wehrung, Wayne Oakley Wehrung, Milton Edison Wess, Fred White, William August Zahl.
William Sidney Bissell, Benjamin Franklin Buckley, Donnally Fay Cameron, Frank Lowery Colwell, Raymond Wesley Craig, Raymond Herman Harbrecht, Lewis Clarence Hines, Roy Holmes, Peter Russell Horner, Clarence Abraham Massar, Arthur Allen Mitch, Vernon Ashley Parker, Anthony John Schaeffer, Charles Augustus Smith, Kinney Thompson, Otis Leo White, Homer Bryan Young.
The following men gave their lives in “The Great War” as it was originally known. Listed below are their names, hometown, and date of death.
Frank Alkire – Harrisonville – October 19, 1918. Charles V. Bumgerdner – Pomeroy – October 20, 1918. John Bennett – Middleport – November 1, 1918. William Clouse – Pomeroy – October 19, 1918. Albert R. Dorst – Long Bottom – November 26, 1918. Cornelius Feeney – Middleport – November 9, 1918. Albert Harper – Pomeroy – October 25, 1918. Orla T. Hecox – Sumner – October 11, 1918. John A. Hetzer – Reedsville – October 7, 1918. Curtis V. Howell – Pomeroy – October 17, 1918. Ira R. Hysell – Middleport – October 20, 1918. William Karr – Racine – October 20, 1918. Samuel J. Matthews – Carpenter – February 11, 1918. Clive Price – Portland – February 28, 1919. Norman M. Reed – Long Bottom – October 11, 1918. Cideon A. Serals – Rutland – October 3, 1918. Eddie Snedden – Alfred – November 20, 1918. Luther D Suthers – Dexter – October 11, 1919. Allen Townsend – Carpenter – October 6, 1918. Drew S. Webster – Pomeroy – July 6, 1918. Jasper Whaley, Rutland – June 26, 1919.
William S. Bissell – Pomeroy – December 18, 1919. Frank L. Colwell – July 19, 1918. Kinney Thompson – Minersville – September 15, 1918. Otis L. White – Pomeroy – November 6, 1918.
100 years later we remember them.
As the old Ohio flows….
Jordan Pickens is a local historian and educator.