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War Activities of Robertson County 1917-1919

Submitted By Seldon Bain Graham Jr. whose father wrote, War Activities of Robertson County, Texas 1917 - 1919, in June 1933 as his Master's thesis in history at the University of Texas.


These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format by other organizations or individuals. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material must obtain the written consent of Seldon Bain Graham Jr.

Volunteer Jo Ella Snider Parker re-typed this work for online display.



Some Interesting Newspaper References
To Robertson County Boys In The World War 

The Hearne Democrat, July 6, 1917

Hearne Section Makes Fine Showing:  We believe that no town or county with an equal number of white inhabitants will make a finer showing in its offering of young men for service wherever Uncle Sam needs them than our own community.  From the Hearne section they have enlisted as follows: 

Waco Light Artillery:  Roger Hays, Joe Wenck, Robert Snell, Jack Whitehurst, Arna Ely, Lynn Oliver, William Snell, Ed Luke, Talmadge Simmons, L. T. Whitlow, Raymond Boswell, Blaine Davis, Edgar Clanton, George Clanton, Pete Ferguson, Norman Boswell, Jack Dotson, John Mayo, Lonnie Suggs, Harrison Whitehead, Bennie Whitehead, Bartle Grenan, M. B. Campbell, John Guenzel, Roy Ely, Bill Kirby, Tom Ireland, Joe Pierce, Charles McWilliams and Oliver Williams, All of Hearne; Dewey Lambkin, Fred Lambkin, Robert Suggs and Emery Nunley of Black Jack; Frank and Howell Peel of Port Sullivan; Robert Wilson and Charlie Ramsey of Elliott; Pat McMordie and Fount May of Calvert; Claud Moss, Sutton; Arthur and S. D. Killough, Wheelock. 

Company F, Third Texas Infantry:  Will Mitchell and Earl Smythe. 

Eugene Mathews, Light Battery Artillery, Florida National Guard. 

Robert Moss, Great Lakes Training Camp, Illinois. 

Signal Corps, Texas National Guard:  Jerry Snell, Ted Terry and Eli Ayers.  A Mumford boy, Roy Jackson, who married a Hearne girl, Miss Willie Terry, is captain. 

Meredith Larkin and Will Gentry, in the regular army.  Holt McWilliams in the United States Navy, and J. R. McWilliams in English army in France. 

Mack Hardy, Will Morris, Arthur Timmons and Leonard Timmons, in the United States Navy. 

Roy Harris, Robertson County Ambulance Corps. 

A. R. Weeks, in Navy as telegraph operator. 

J. R. Bartlett, Harry A. Rosenstein, E. L. Williams and Charlie Robb made application to enter the second officers’ training camp at Camp Funston. 

Alpheus Harlan, Jr., of Port Sullivan, is in the United States Marine Corps and is now stationed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  His brother, Edward Everitt Harlan, is in the Seventy-Third Regiment of Light Artillery, now stationed at San Antonio. 

The Central Texan, August 3, 1917

First Called:

Holden Anderson Hearne Oscar Jackson Wootan Wells
Selso Balle Mumford George Clark Killough Wheelock
Ollie Bowen Calvert Robert Earl Maris Franklin
Jodie Edgar Brooks Kosse Walter McConley Hearne
Roman L. Bumpurs Oletha Thomas Morrow Franklin
L. D. Caeada Hearne Charley Mosley, Jr. Mumford
Bob Campbell Franklin C. F. Norfleet Calvert
Jesse Cobb Hearne John Otwell Bremond
Felix W. Crisp Bald Prairie Eli Parnell Mumford
 Bruno Cwik Bremond James W. Philio Calvert
George Estes Davis Franklin James Rose Hearne
Jas. Garfield Day Benchley Luther T. Self Hearne
Willie Dunn Hearne Henry Lee Shamos Franklin
Willie Figures Mumford Jack Shaw Hearne
Walter Flanagan Franklin Fred Luster Smith Oletha
Davis Ford Hearne Jerry Jay Snell Hearne
Sullie Giddings Calvert Dewitt Sweatt Easterly
Jesse Gordan Hearne Gus E. Turman Bald Prairie
Henry Guyes Franklin Kurt Theodore Ullrich Franklin
Henry S. Haltom Benchley Anacleto Valera Calvert
Phearthur Harlins Calvert Frank White Bremond
Arthur Harris Franklin John Williams Mumford
Sambo Harris Mumford Willie W. Wilson Hearne
Leslie Lee Heath Franklin Tenolar Woods  Calvert
Thomas Holbrooks Franklin    

The Franklin Texan, April 26, 1918

Our Soldier Boys:  Private Ernest Goodman of Franklin, now in Company B., 345 Machine Gun Battalion, has been making quite an envious record on the machine gun range at Camp Bullis.  He made one of the highest scores made on the range, and besides added several dollars a month to his pay. 

Private Roy A. Loomis, of Battery E. 343rd Field Artillery, Camp Travis, is spending a few day at home on a furlough.  Private Loomis has been a faithful worker and is deserving of a little recreation.

Corporal Rufus B. Hickman, Company C, 360th Infantry, says he remembers well when he first arrived in Camp, and that he intends to see that the new men get just as much exercise as he was given the first few weeks.  Burleigh takes the soldiers’ hardships with a smile.  This is partly due to the frequent letters he receives from home, for there’s always someone left behind. 

Private Edwin R. Vaughn, who is now with Company 51, 165th Depot Brigade, has recently been detailed as clerk at Ninetieth Division headquarters.  

The Hearne Democrat, May 17, 1918

Hearne Boys join Caldwell Cavalry Company:  Lieutenant J,. W. Gray of Caldwell, was in the city Thursday completing the enlistment of the Hearne boys who have joined the Caldwell company of the Southern Division of Caldwell company of the Southern division of cavalry, being organized by Major General Wolters of Houston. 

Messrs. John H. Wilson, Jr., Tommie Reynolds, Paul Poteet, Dan Davis, Clarence Mathis, William E. Holliday, Hershel O. Whitehurst and Robert Haining enlisted and successfully stood their medical examinations.  Mr. Jim Clanton enlisted and was very anxious to go but was turned down on account of a defective eye.  The examinations were made by Dr. S. J. Alexander.  This is a fine branch of the service and our community has furnished some excellent young men.  The Democrat predicts that all of them will make good. 

The Hearne Democrat, August 2, 1918

Archie B. Scott Dies in England;  News has been received here of the death in England of Private Archie B. Scott.  Private Scott, who was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. John Scott who reside in the Elliott community, volunteered soon after America’s entrance into the war, and sailed a few weeks ago for overseas duty.  His death was due to an attack of pneumonia.

He is the first Robertson county boy to give up his life for his country in foreign fields, and his parents have the sympathy of many friends and acquaintances.    

The Hearne Democrat, September 27, 1918

Our Boys:  Mrs. Ed Jett is in receipt of letters from her husband “Over There”, which tell of a well pleased corps of band boys, the 131st Field Artillery, of which he is a member, who are faithfully practicing our lively American tunes expecting soon to play for the wounded French soldiers.  Mr. Jett reports cool weather, but says the boys still take advantage of a nearby canal for swimming purposes. 

Meredith Larkin, “Somewhere in France”, writes his sister, Mrs. Ansell Boswell, that he is fast recovering from that feeling of homesickness, and expects soon to be on the firing line.  Meredith mentioned in his first letter home of having crossed with Reuben Mathews, and how the one familiar face cured him of an awful case of “blues”. 

Clarence Easterwood’s battalion, Battalion D, has been pronounced one of the best ever reviewed in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.  Clarence is anticipating the pleasure of participating in the parade on Liberty day in Los Angeles. 

Oren Williams will soon complete his radio course in the Seattle, Washington University, where he has been for some time. 

Waite McWilliams, U.S.N., home on furlough, is well pleased with his branch of Uncle Sam’s service, and says he considers his work as offering great opportunities for a young soldier. 

Isaac Kirksey is a recent addition to our boys at Camp Travis. 

Jack Whitehurst, Camp Mills, New York, is able to be in a wheel chair and expects soon to be on crutches, and later to the field of action. 

Friends of Sheppard Kirksey, a former Hearne resident, will be interested in the news that he is now a first Lieutenant in a medical corps of Uncle Sam’s great army.  Sheppard graduated from the Galveston Medical School in 1917, served as internship in the Sealy hospital for one year and is now in Washington, D.C. for final instruction preparatory to his overseas duties.  Mrs. Kirksey and infant son joined Dr. Kirksey in Washington recently. 

Ely Ayers writes regularly from overseas and speaks of the satisfied feeling of all the boys in his company.  His last letter contained a description of a wonderful orchard that made the reader “plum” hungry. 

The Central Texan, October 11, 1918

Our Dead:  The sad intelligence reached here Monday of the death of Private John Baxter, at Ft. Bliss, where he was stationed in answer to his country’s call.  He has made the supreme sacrifice, and has passed over the river to rest under the shade of the trees.   The interment will take place in the Owensville cemetery, notice of which will be given later. 

The Hearne Democrat, October 11, 1918

Robertson County‘s Contribution of Nation‘s Manpower: 

Perhaps all of Robertson county’s contribution toward winning the war will never be written.  In various lines of activity for “the stay at homes” Robertson county has done here part nobly and well.  All can not go to the front, but recognizing that this is a nation at war those who have been denied the thrills and at the same time spared the dangers of actual conflict have each in their own way done what was of them required, and we believe our county comes as near being 100 per cent American and devoid of slackers as any equal number of people to be found anywhere.         

But in addition to the civilian army, so essential to the support of the boys at the front, Robertson county has furnished its full quota and more of men for all the lines of actual service.  Beside the boys mentioned in the two other articles in this issue, referring especially to the boys of the 36th and 90th Divisions, we have many other Robertson county boys in various branches of the service.  Hearne boys whose names occurred to us, now in other branches than said 90th and 36th Divisions are:

Branch Of Service Name
Navy Willie Morris, Waite McWilliams
Marine Corps Will Batley, John Biggs, Charles Easterwood, Tony Ferguson
Coast Guard C. V. Easterwood, DeWitt Waltmon
Arsenal Service,
Washington, DC
Lieutenant Fletcher Moreland
Border Service Lieutenant John C. Lewis
Field Laboratory,
New Haven, CT
Dr. Sheppard Kirksey
Fort Crockett Albert Lockett
Camp Bowie Talmadge Simmons
Camp Travis J. E. Terry, Edwin Vaughan, Willie Gentry, Ike Kirksey, Sam Rosenstein,
Phil Rosenstein, Ed Brady, Charlie McWilliams
Fort Sam Houston Blaine Davis
Railroad Service,
Indianapolis, IN
Jerry Snell, Arthur Carson
Honorable Discharged
Because Of Wounds
Russell McWilliams (now in Australia)

The Hearne Democrat, December 13, 1918

Our Boys Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice:  So far as we have learned the names of our Robertson county boys who have died of wounds or of disease while in the service of their country are as follows:

Name Town / Community Cause Of Death
Wyley Blair Bald Prairie Wounds
Mark O. Campbell Bremond Killed In Action
Fount May Calvert Accident
Forest E. McClure Bald Prairie Wounds
Emil J. Scasta Wheelock Killed In Action
Arthur Scott Elliott Pneumonia
Miles Scrivener Hearne Pneumonia
Mr. Webber Calvert Explosion
Jake Parker (colored) Hearne Influenza
Samuel Riley (colored) Hearne Influenza

We are sure that this list is not complete, but a complete list is being compiled and will be completed when the full casualty reports are in from the War Department, and will be placed on a separate roll of honor upon the county monument referred to elsewhere in our columns.  You should be proud of the opportunity referred to elsewhere to have a part in the erection of this monument. 

The Hearne Democrat, Dec. 20, 1918

Our Boys:  The first name of a Hearne boy to appear in a casualty list was that of Private Raymond E. Boswell, which was in the issues of Monday’s papers.  Private Boswell’s parents had letters from him some time ago telling of a slight hip wound which was keeping him in the hospital.  Later the letters said that he hoped soon to be at home and they have been assured that he has recovered before the official notice of his wound was received. 

Miss Pearl Dotson was officially notified Saturday that her brother, Grover Dotson, has been missing in action since some time in October.  Miss Dotson has had letters from her brother since the signing of the armistice and is sure that the message was one that had been delayed. 

Clarence Easterwood is keenly disappointed in not being able to get home for the holidays as he had hoped to do.  For some reason his discharge was delayed and it will be early in the new year before he is at home again. 

Much to the surprise and delight of his family and friends, Dewitt Waltmon arrived home Wednesday morning.  Dewitt will resume his studies at the State University after the holidays. 

Norman Boswell is presumably still “Somewhere in France”.  His parents received recently a letter from him written November 7, and are anxiously waiting later news. 

Captain Roy Jackson tells in one of his last letters of his first thrilling experience in the field of action.  He does not go very much into details of what happened, but one can imagine that the wreck of the whole back of the car in which he was riding, caused from exploding shells, was a little “ticklish”. 

Ely Terry’s friends will be glad to know that he is recovering from the effects of an operation undergone some time ago at the Camp Travis hospital, and will be at home as soon as he is quite well. 

Lieutenant W. K. Waltman says he has seen every phase of the terrible war, working up to the last battle in the field hospital.  “Since the signing of the armistice”, says the lieutenant, “I have had a smile on my face that will not come off”. 

Mrs. Ed Jett has just received a picture of the 131st Field Artillery band, “Somewhere in France”.  Familiar faces in the photograph are Ed Jett, Bill Kirby and John Guenzel.


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Page Modified: 02 September 2014



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