Life in the US during WW1

Fannie L. Cunningham, Army Nurse, Delaware County, Indiana

Stationed at Camp Merritt, New Jersey "I shall never forget seeing those thousands of fine boys marching day and night to the boats for service at the front and knowing that many would never return. After the Armistice, Camp Merritt became a debarkation point. Such a lot of those poor boys, maimed for life, passed through camp, and the influenza epidemic made thing much worse.  Hundreds died in camp.  To me, war is awful, and I did not see the worst as I was not overseas."

Women filling in jobs for the absentee men.



Learning the Automobile Trade
National Archives Photo Courtesy of Indiana War Memorial Archives

Women stepped up on the home front to fill in for the working men fighting overseas.

Agnes Darmody, US Signal Corps, Marion County, Indiana

US Signal Corps, Motor Transport & Bureau of Aeronautics. Classed as a production expert and had charge of War Department Motor & Aviation, Washington, DC. Was scheduled to sail for France just as the Armistice was signed. "The was was never finished. If we had gone into Germany and whipped her, we would not have conditions as they are today."


Roy P. Beery, PFC, Allen County, Indiana, US Guards, 17th Btn.

Was on guard duty at the Morgan and Gillespie shipping plant at Morgan, New Jersey at the time, the place blew up. Morgan works explosion cost more than a hundred lives, and millions of dollars to United States. Magazines continue to blow up for nearly two days and shells of all kinds fell like hail.


James Insley Osborne, 1 st Lt, Military Intelligence Division, Montgomery County, Indiana

Attached To American Commission to Negotiate Peace, December 1918.


Sarah M. Geist, Huntington County, Indiana

"Mud, rain, fog. Much suffering. Bad food. Also some very pleasant memories of leaves in Paris, London, French Riviera. Our boat, the SS St. Paul, was fired on by German submarines on Good Friday morning, 1918 off the coast of Ireland.

Women Railroad Conductors During World War One

Railroad Conductors
National Archives Photo, courtesy of the Indiana War Memorial



Women Munitions Workers During World War One
Munitions Workers
National Archives Photo, courtesy of the Indiana War Memorial

WW1 Women working the fields

American Girls Learning to Use Farm Tractors.

Getting ready to be efficient workers for an increase in the country’s food supply.   Freedom’s Triumph, Photo courtesy of Indiana War Memorial Archives

Margaret Daniel, Nurse, Decatur County, Indiana

Stationed at Fort Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana: “The lack of sufficient numbers of trained and efficient men and women to carry on such a great task as caring for sick and wounded, mentally, morally and physically… The great courage loyalty and willingness to serve, and above all the beautiful spirit of ‘thinking of the other fellow first’ which the majority of the forces showed; especially the ones in the lowest ranks.  In those serious and strenuous times there naturally would be more of pathos and tragedy than of amusement, but the tireless efforts of everyone to give us pleasure, without which we would not have survived cannot go unacknowledged. Every mother son (and daughter) will be forever grateful.”


Owens B. Cook, Grant County, Indiana Private, Quartermaster Corps

“I wish to state here in, that on or about August 15, 1918, our local recruiting station had been authorized to enlisted (50) fifty men between the ages of 35 to 50 years.

But only one answered the call,”

Indianapolis Star featuring Hoosiers on the front lines


Indianapolis Star's War Magazine, Featuring "Hoosier Son's on the French Battle Line"

Sent by family of 1st Sgt. Alonzo Davis Wright,

 Alonzo D. Wright (far right column, third from top)

Battery A, 150th Field Artillery, served overseas Oct. 18, 1917 through April 20, 1919

Alonzo Wright headstone

Donald Leroy Stone, Marion County, Professor, Princeton University

Cited by general Pershing for for meritorious work as chief of press censorship Department AEF.  Certificate of citation data general headquarters AEF, June 15, 1919

“Was chief press censor AEF stationed in Paris France from July 11, 1917 to October 30, 1918.  Was first a civilian employee and received commissioned as Captain, June 24, 1918 after a year's work.  Removed to general Pershing's headquarters as officer in general charge of mail and press censorship, A. E. F. shortly before armistice and continued on duty until headquarters at Chaumont was broken up, June 15, 1919.  Was discharged in France.


The following information is from "Son's of Men", Evansville's war record. Compiled by Heiman Blatt, 1930:

"The Evansville Red Cross chapter is the product of a united community effort manifested on numerous occasions during the war.

The following statistics are given here to show the work performed by the Evansville chapter since organization:

  1. Surgical Dressings made and shipped, total                                                                             304,979

  2. Hospital Supplies and Garments made in shipped totaling                                                          51,333

  3. Housewives made and given away                                                                                              7,000

  4. Garments, Reclamation Department distributed among soldiers, wives, mothers and children           755

  5. Used Clothing Drive, Garments collected and shipped                                                               15,530

  6. Knitting Department, Garments Knitted                                                                                     15,872

  7. Junior Red Cross Members                                                                                                       13,779

  8. Articles Made                                                                                                                             1,050

  9. Scrapbooks                                                                                                                                3,000

  10. Fruit Pits and Shells Collected, pounds*                                                                                      45,000

  11.  Linen Shower for Hospitals, citizens collected and gave                                                               4,035

  12. Marine Hospital, garments given                                                                                                     301

  13. Canteen Kitchen

    1. Men Served                                 103,851

    2. Gallons of Coffee                             2,651

    3. Sandwiches served                        57,934

*Peach pits were collected during the war to process for charcoal.  They would first be soaked in urine and the resulting charcoal was used as a filter for the gas masks.


Theodore Roosevelt Gardner, Pvt., Quartermaster Corps, Grant County, Indiana

James Handy, a Frenchman, the great, great grandfather of Theodore Gardner, fought with Francis Marion (the old Swamp Fox) in the war for American independence.

John Handy, the great grandfather of Theodore, served in the war of 1812.

William H. Handy, Peters grandfather, was a soldier of the late Civil War and after the surrender served several months in the Northwest guarding the Indians.

Theodore has one brother in the U.S. Navy and one brother in the Marine's.


William Carl Cook, Sergeant, 99th Regiment, Canadian Volunteers, British Army, Grant County, Indiana

“I wish to state here that I was married on the 23rd day of October, 1918 to Miss Ruth Tomsett, living at #3 Franklin Road, Brighton, England.  Both came home together and settled in Huntington, Indiana.  A son was born to us, Raymond Nelson Cook, on February 19, 1919 at Huntington County hospital.  Mrs. Ruth Cook died of scarlet fever on March 15, 1919, and interred at I. O. O. F. Cemetery, Marion, Indiana March 18th.  My son is living and doing fine at my parent’s home, 2320 W. 7th St., Marion, Indiana.”


Bessie M. Fisher, Yeoman 1st Class

Served as Yeoman, 1st Cl., in cost accounting department, Ford Motor Co., Detroit Michigan, with 25 enlisted men and seven other girls.  Guards on constant lookout against bombs and other danger to building.

All posters from Indiana War Memorial Archives WW1 Food shortage Poster

Liberty Bond Poster

WW1 War Stamps Poster

Fulton County, Indiana in The World War:

461 served in WWI

21 Died, listed in Indiana Gold Star Book, 6 KIA

  • One Distinguished Service Cross
  • One Distinguished Service Citation
  • Five Silver Stars
  • One Croix de Guerre, France
  • One Brigade Citation
  • One Meritorious Service Citation
  • One Silver Life Saving Medal

245 Served overseas

421 served in the Army, 26 served in the Navy, 5 served in the Marine Corps, 3 served in the Red Cross, 2 served in the Indiana National Guard, 1 served in the Canadian Army,

1 served in the French Army and 1 served in the YMCA.

Army rankings:

  1. 1 Lt. Colonel
  2. 2 Majors
  3. 6 Captains
  4. 29 Lieutenants, 13 First, 16 Second
  5. 4 Sergeant Major
  6. 56 Corporals
  7. 1 Radio operator
  8. 59 Sergeants
  9. 1 Mess Sergeant
  10. 1 Master Signal Electrician
  11. 1 Ward Master
  12. 1 Master Engineer
  13. 1 Mechanic
  14. 17 Wagoners
  15. 2 Radio Operators
  16. 1 Saddler
  17. 2 Chauffeurs
  18. 1 Cadet
  19. 2 Clerks
  20. 4 Cooks
  21. 1 Baker
  22. 4 Nurses
  23. 4 Musicians
  24. 215 Privates

Navy Rankings:

  1. 4 Ensigns
  2. 4 Quartermasters
  3. 1 Machinist Mate
  4. 3 Fireman
  5. 1 Boatswains Mate
  6. 1 Coxswain
  7. 1 Landsman
  8. 1 Cook
  9. 5 Seaman
  10. 1 Apprentice Seaman


Indiana War Memorials