Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Pelham Marches Into World War I in 1917

This year marks the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War I on April 6, 1917.  That day, the United States entered the fight with its allies, Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, and Japan.  With the Centennial of that historic date approaching, it is time to document the role Pelham and its citizens played during World War I.  The task, however, has proven exceedingly difficult since no copies of the local newspaper, The Pelham Sun, exist for that period.

Pelham men lost their lives in the war.  Pelham men were wounded in the war.  Pelham developed a sophisticated home defense program.  Pelham founded the Pelham Comfort Society and the Junior Comfort Society to assist Pelham soldiers.  Pelham created its famed Pelham Service Flag.  Pelham participated in the Liberty Loan Program.  It participated in the United War Work Program.  The Pelham Red Cross Society Program supported the war effort.  Young war recruits were quartered in Pelham homes before they shipped out.  Pelhamites grew Victory Gardens in support of the War effort.  Native Pelhamite James Montgomery Flagg created the famous "I Want You" Uncle Sam recruiting poster.  Pelham men and women drove ambulances at the front.  Pelham residents even won the French Croix de Guerre for their service during World War I.

Over the course of the year, the Historic Pelham Blog will include a series of articles intended to document Pelham's role in World War I.  Today's is the first such article.

Despite years of effort by President Woodrow Wilson to keep the United States neutral and, thus, out of World War I, those efforts ended in 1917.  In the beginning of that year, with the war raging in Europe, Germany decided to resume attacks on every commercial ship en route to Great Britain.  Though Germany knew that, as a consequence, America likely would enter the war, its submarines began sinking American ships in the North Atlantic.  On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany.  Months later, on December 7, 1917, the United States also declared war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  

Within days of the nation's entry into the war, the Westchester County Commission of General Safety's "Committee on Enrollment for Military Service" began calling for local men to enter into the service "for Liberty, Democracy, Honor."  Westchester County was assigned a quota to provide half a million men for the war effort, as indicated in the advertisement that appeared in a local newspaper below.

Local Newspaper Advertisement Published on May 9, 1917
Seeking First 3,500 "Loyal Stalwart Men" to Begin Fulfillment
of Westchester County's Quota of Half a Million Men to Fight
[Advertisement], The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], May
9, 1917, p. 9, cols. 1-8.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

The full text of the advertisement that appear above is transcribed immediately below to facilitate search.

"'The supreme test of the nation has come.  We must all speak, act and serve together'

Service for Liberty, Democracy, Honor
To Bring Up To Full Fighting Strength, the REGULAR ARMY, the MARINE CORPS, and the NATIONAL GUARD is
Young Men of Westchester Volunteer To Serve NOW.  Don't Wait:  Apply To Your Local Recruiting Committee.


At about the same time, Congress enacted and the President signed into law the Selective Service Act, Pub. L. 65-12, 40 Stat. 76 (enacted May 18, 1917).  The Act provided for a compulsory draft that, unlike the draft during the Civil War, did not permit those drafted to send substitutes in their stead.  The Act required all males aged 21 to 30 to register for the draft.  The law was amended more than a year later to expand the age range to include all men 18 to 45.  The men aged 21 to 30 who were registered for the draft became known as the "First Call Men."

The first National Registration Day for the draft was held on June 5, 1917 for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.  Within about a month, on July 20, 1917, local authorities held the requisite draft lottery.  The local draft lottery encompassed young men in Pelham, Bronxville, and Tuckahoe.  More than one hundred Pelham men received the news that their numbers had come up  (See the list of draft lottery numbers with names and addresses of the men from Pelham below.)  

Even before exemption boards began considering appeals from First Call Men who sought exemption from the draft, young men in Pelham began volunteering before they were formally drafted into the service.  In July and early August, 1917 it seems that there were two military units that accepted Pelham volunteers.  One was "Mount Vernon division" of naval militia that was formed when officers of the U.S.S. Granite State visited the City of Mount Vernon "to see if enough young men were willing to enlist so that a division, to be a part of the new fifth battalion, could be formed."  Continue Recruiting For Naval Militia DivisionThe Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 26, 1917, p. 1, col. 1.

Once again, Pelham and its young men were marching off to war.

*          *          *          *          *

Below are the names of the young men of Pelham who were among the "First Call Men" whose numbers were selected in the early draft during July, 1917.

2         Murel H. Consorty  (52 Young Avenue, Pelham)
3        Gong. Chang          (300 Fifth Avenue, Pelham)
5         Salvatore Cortaino (River Place, Pelham)
7         Thos. F. Carraher  (221 4th Avenue, Pelham)
12       Thos. A. Cornwall  (318 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
21       Geo. M. Clegg       (8 2nd Avenue, Pelham)
22       John Costello        (412 Fifth Avenue, Pelham)
24       Leslie S. Clark       (314 Seventh Avenue, Pelham)
26       Louis F. Edinger    (222 5th Avenue, Pelham)
28       Joseph Enright      (444 5th Avenue, Pelham)
30       Marno Barr            (19 Linden Avenue, Pelham)
34       Albert Brennley      (18 Storer Avenue, Pelham)
35       Luciano DeFillippi  (580 Sixth Avenue, Pelham)
39       Joe De Guglielmo  (582 Seventh Avenue, Pelham)
42       Wm. Daull              (520 River Avenue, Pelham)
44       Leon E. Leighton   (146 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
45       Martin J. Lowery    (21 5th Avenue, Pelham)
47       Edward Lambert    (56 Fourth Avenue, Pelham)
53       Allen Ferguson      (719 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham)
55       Thos. F. Flanagan (423 1st Avenue, Pelham)
57       Jesse A. Miller       (224 Fourth Avenue, Pelham)
60       Valentine Miller     (15 Linden Avenue, Pelham)
66       George Merz, Jr.   (534 River Avenue, Pelham)
68       James W. McGovern (65 Harmon Avenue, Pelham)
70       Angelo Gianico      ([Illegible] 5th Avenue, Pelham)
73       John Godfrey         (345 7th Avenue, Pelham)
74       John Godfrey         (345 7th Avenue, Pelham - same as above)
78       Salvatore Giordano (522 6th Avenue, Pelham)
80       Marno Barr (19 Linden Avenue, Pelham)
82       Fred W. Broege     (113 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
86       Joseph E. Bolding (34 5th Street, Pelham)
97       Geo. Kurtze           (226 5th Avenue, Pelham)
98       Gordon Kann         (222 1st Avenue, Pelham)
101     Angelo Tesero       (618 5th Avenue, Pelham)
110     William C. Penny   (31 Linden Avenue, Pelham)
106     Dominic Tardio      (439 7th Avenue, Pelham)
108     Edwin Pickhardt    (46 6th Avenue, Pelham)
110     William C. Penny   (31 Linden Avenue, Pelham)
111     Charles M. Pickhardt  (43 Sixth Street, Pelham)
116     Sabato Pesano     (439 7th Avenue, Pelham)
123     Francis J. Walker, Jr.  (24 Clifford Avenue, Pelham)
132     Geo. W. Saul         (137 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
134     Nicholas F. Spor    (30 1st Street, Pelham)
135     Frank Sattarelle     (133 6th Street, Pelham)
137     Peter F. Satterale  (138 6th Avenue, Pelham) (also listed as 138 6th St.)
139     Dominick C. Smith (65 Harmon Avenue, Pelham)
141     Ralph Renouf        (101 Fifth Avenue, Pelham)
143     Edwin W. Rottach  (413 First Avenue, Pelham)
145     James E. Reilly      (454 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
149     Jos. P. Ryan          (510 River Avenue, Pelham)
152     Albert C. Rice        (214 3rd Avenue, Pelham)
155     Sidney W. Tuttle    (50 Boulevard, Pelham)
159     Joseph P. Ryan     (510 [illegible] Avenue, Pelham)
162     R. D. Kenee           (489 Willard Avenue, Pelham)
165     John Asfendiancs  (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
166     Carracos Ciriacos  (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
167     James Akostulu     (Travers Island, Pelham)
170     Wilson Austin         (525 Willard Avenue, Pelham)
171     Samuel Abernathy (464 Siwanoy Place, Pelham)
172     Arthur Augur          (516 Fowler Avenue, Pelham)
173     Jas. H. Archer       (4745 Boston Post Road)
176     Albert J. Lambert   (Bolton Priory, Pelham)
177     Edward B. W. Luce (919 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham)
178     S. Lowy                  (Travers Island, Pelham)
179     Jas. R. Lawler        (283 Corlies Avenue, Pelham)
182     Guiseppe Clerice   (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
184     John F. Connolly   (139 Reed Avenue, Pelham)
186     Thos. Bahan          (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
188     F. S. Babcock        (Pelham)
192     Barclay Beaver      (132 Manor Circle, Pelham)
195     Edward F. N. Beck (207 Carona Avenue, Pelham)
196     Henry T. Boland    (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
197     Edward H. Bragg   (Loring Avenue, Pelham)
198     Robert D. Brooks   (211 Secor Lane, Pelham)
200     Joseph A. Brown   (245 Corona Avenue, Pelham)
201     Clarence McGuire  (Monterey Avenue, Pelham)
203     Joseph Meribelli    (105 Wolfes [sic] Lane, Pelham)
204     Robert J. Miller, Jr. (Witherbee Avenue, Pelham)
208     John J. Miner        (Travers Island, Pelham)
215     Lyall Dean             (Willard Avenue, Pelham)
217     Walter M. Dotts      (248 Monterey Avenue, Pelham)
219     John Dickerson      (562 Monterey Avenue, Pelham)
226     James Sagules      (Travers Island, Pelham) [See below]
226     James Siagules     (Travers Island, Pelham)
227     John Simohojlon    (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
232     W. V. K. Gillett        (Pelham)
233     Frederick Gaeng   (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
234     William G. Graham (165 Boulevard, Pelham)
235     Estonestas Gilagaran (155 Corona Avenue, Pelham)
238     Roy H. Gardener   (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
239     William Geist          (Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham)
242     Christos Papacostintinoce (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
243     Alfonse Paggano   (100 Wolfe [sic] Lane, Pelham)
252     Henry Tilford          (109 Hunter Avenue, Pelham; see also 253)
253     Henry Tilford          (109 Hunter Avenue, Pelham)
259     Imari Heino             (71 Witherbee Avenue, Pelham)
261     Frank L. Harrington (211 Secor Lane, Pelham)
263    Allen S. Hubbard     (James Street, Pelham)
264    Lenox Harve           (262 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham)
266     Chas. Ronccare     (New York Athletic Club, Pelham)
273    Cozo Thara             (Pelham Manor Road, Pelham)
276    Nelson H. Jewett     (444 Pelham Manor Road, Pelham)
277     Stephen Thomas Jones (1022 Pelhamdale Avenue, Pelham)
281     Charles A. Voight   (541 Rochelle Place, Pelham)
286     Wallace White        (177 Nyac Avenue, Pelham)
289     Shawbut C. Walz    (200 Elderwood Avenue, Pelham)
290     Edgar Walz            (200 Elderwood Avenue, Pelham)
293     Henry C. Wolffenstein (226 Highbrook Avenue, Pelham)
295     Edward F. N. Beck  (207 Corona Avenue, Pelham)
316     Northrop Dawson    (400 Pelham Manor Road, Pelham)

Source:  MEN OF VICINITY CALLED TO COLORS, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jul. 25, 1917, p. 3, cols. 1-4.

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