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World War I

From the History of Calhoun County, by George W. Carpenter, and Jersey County Historical Society

A glance at the tables given in the chapter on population will show one that there were more people in the county who were of German descent than all of nationalities combined. But when the United States entered World War I, no more patriotic group of men and women were to be found in any part of the nation. All worked together regardless of nationality, religion, wealth, or position to encourage enlistment, aid in the sale of bonds and stamps and to get funds for the different relief organizations.

Calhoun has a record to which her citizens can point with pride.

First Lieutenant Avery Wilson
First Lieutenant Avery Wilson

First Lieutenant Avery Wilson
He was one of the first draftees from Calhoun County called to serve his country. Avery graduated from Jerseyville High School in 1914 and from the University of Illinois in 1918, as an engineer.

May 10, 1917 - The following men leave Kampsville to enlist in the army: Arthur Kamp, Claude Armstrong, Clyde Walston, Frank Vetter, John Ritter, Harry Schumann, Obie Powell, and A. D. Kaufman.

June 5 - First Registration Day. All Calhoun men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one years register in their home election precincts.

June 7 - Results of the registration show a total of 702 men. Point leads with 153 persons registering, Hamburg is second with 116, and Hardin third with 107.

June 14 - Victor Miller and Charles Pregaldin leave Hardin to enlist.

July 19 - Fred Laird, W. T. Jones, and Lee Emerick leave Hamburg to join the army.

July 26 - Draft begins. Ninety seven Calhoun men drawn into the army and were accepted by the County Board.

August 9 - dr. Z. D. Lumley offered his services to the army and was accepted. Myrtle Dierking, a trained nurse, offered her services to the Red Cross and was accepted.

September 13 - Three men, representing 5% of Calhoun's quota under the selective draft, left for the army. They were: Andy McDonald of Hardin, Glenn Nevius of Kampsville, and Henry C. Smith of Hamburg. They were sent to Camp Taylor, Kentucky.

Some of the first Hardin men to leave to join the army were:
Paul Aderton, Curtis Dixon, Herbert Rice
Homer Hunt left Hardin on the same day and enlisted in the navy.

According to the list given in the county papers, 323 drafted men left the county for camps. This is not accurate as some might not have been listed, and then were men who failed to pass the physical examination and returned to their homes. On September 12, all men between 18 and 45 registered.

Meuse - Argonne American Cemetery & Memorial
Meuse - Argonne American Cemetery & Memorial

There are no official records in the county that will show the names of the men who lost their lives. The list below was made after talking to ex-service men from different parts of the countyand after reading copies of the Calhoun Herald and the Calhoun News that were published in the period of the war.

This list will be even more incomplete because of the fact that so many of the Calhoun men failed to have their discharge papers recorded at the office of the Circuit Clerk. The county papers and the memory of some of the soldiers must be depended upon in making a list of the wounded.

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