Photos of WWI veterans sought

Staff Report

The 29 names inscribed on the Victory Shaft in downtown Mount Gilead.

The 29 names inscribed on the Victory Shaft in downtown Mount Gilead.

Courtesy photo

MOUNT GILEAD — A project that originated during the very early planning stages for the 2019 centennial of the Victory Shaft Dedication has proven to be more difficult to complete than Donna Carver expected.

“The idea was to put together a pamphlet about the 29 men who died during World War I whose names are inscribed on the Victory Shaft, including a photo of each man, and have it available for the event. Starting in 2017 I thought that I would be able to complete it in time for the big day. Finding information was relatively easy but locating a photo well, I had no idea how daunting the task would actually be,” Carver said.

When it became apparent that it would not be completed in time the project was put aside. The idea was rekindled by words spoken by Patrick Drouhard at the Memorial Day rededication of the Civil War monument at Glendale Cemetery in Cardington.

“He said, and I am paraphrasing, a person dies twice, the first time is the physical death and the second is when their name is spoken for the last time. Those words resonated with me and I decided to complete the project that I started, no matter how long it takes.”

Being an amateur historian, Carver used as many resources that she could find including spending many hours at the Ohio History Connection and reaching out to all the local groups such as the Morrow County Historical and Genealogical Societies as well as others across the state.

Carver has used online resources. Sharing the project on Facebook, some have stepped up to either supply a photo or a lead to where a photo might be found.

“At this point I am hoping that someone may have a photo of one of these young men in a box somewhere and would be able to share it for this project.”

Still needed are photos of the following men:

1. Vernon Aldrich attended West Canaan School 1911-1912. The hope is that someone may have a photo of that one-room schoolhouse class. There is also a newspaper clipping with a photo of young men getting ready to leave for Camp Sherman that he is in. It was originally shared by Virgil Garverick and Ralph Beckley who were in the group of men. The other men in the photo include Cecil Byrd, Franklin Tischer, Charles Beckley, Dr. Charles Sabo Jackson. Carl Wayne Craven, William Baker, Lester C. Carter, Cecil Bricker, Vernon Aldrich, Lloyd Koon, Raymond Virtue, and Frank Myers. If any descendants of any of the men listed have an original copy of this photo, a copy would be greatly appreciated.

2. Arthur B. Harris was born in Lorain, Ohio but entered the service from Edison. His father was H. C. Harris, who lived in Mount Gilead when Arthur left for Camp Taylor, Kentucky.

3. Ray Dewey Helt was born in Chesterville but when his mother died he went to live with William Franklin “Frank” Keller and his wife Ida Riblet Keller in Sparta. Ray moved to Mount Vernon after completing school and left for the service with Battery E from Mount Vernon.

4. Emmett Hinderlong was in the Cardington sophomore class of 1913 with Frank Myers and Myron Caris. He was working as a brakeman for the Pennsylvania Railroad and was living in Pennsylvania at the time he entered the service.

5. George D Hutton was born in Meigs County, but enlisted from Edison. He is buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France.

6. Harker Haldane Miller joined in Cardington. He left with the last group of men to go to Camp Taylor.

7. Herman H Morrison was age 27 when he was killed in France. He was born in Waldo and worked as a fireman for Trumbull Public Service in Warren, Ohio, and later worked for Marion Steam Shovel.

8. Harry Virgil Williams was born in Centerburg. He was age 30 when he died. He entered from Mount Gilead and worked for the Morrow County Commissioners.

There are 6 others that she does have photos of. The photos are from a newspaper or other source that are very grainy.

• Clarence Booher, she has a class photo from newspaper provided by John Byrd many years ago. McMillan School 1911-1912. Clarence’s father Ray later became mayor of Mount Gilead in the 1940’s.

• Lester C. Carter from a newspaper story as he was the first Mount Gilead man to die on foreign soil.

• Ralph Cyphers from a group photo but it is grainy when enlarged.

• Edwin Jacob Kreis, from a newspaper provided by Iva Barton many years ago from the 1906 Weston School. Harry Curl is also in this photo and served during WWI but did not perish during the war.

• Lawrence Philbrook’s photo is from the Soldiers and Sailors of the Great War book but is grainy.

• Leslie Somerlott, age 29-30. A grainy group photo from a MCHS calendar; his features are not really distinguishable.

The goal is to have a pamphlet or booklet with a photo of each man. Once completed the booklets will be shared with the historical society, genealogical society, the local libraries, the Veteran Services office and any descendants.

Having a face to go with the names makes their stories come alive. “I want these men to be more than just names written in stone,” Carver said.

If anyone has photos of any of the men listed and you are willing to share contact Carver at 419-560-8100 or email [email protected]

She has a portable scanner and can meet those who are willing to share a photo somewhere that is convenient.

The 29 names inscribed on the Victory Shaft in downtown Mount Gilead. 29 names inscribed on the Victory Shaft in downtown Mount Gilead. Courtesy photo

Staff Report