Arthur Lee Davis and Eva Mae Loving- The Fifth Generation - Page 1
My Grandfather and Grandmother
I never got to meet my mothers parents, Arthur and Eva. From my research into their lives they must have been strong-willed and very enterprising, but had an obviously hard-scrabble life. My grandfather and grandmother went on to have a total of 13 children; 4 daughters and 7 sons. I'm still missing a lot of information on my uncles but hope to reach out to them and fill in those gaps. I've met most of my uncles but I was lucky to get to know my mother's sisters very well. I have very found memories of my aunts. Only my Aunt Arline and my mom are is still living of the Davis girls; and Arline is quite a wonderful and feisty lady. More on all of them later in the story.
So lets take a journey with Arthur and Eva through their livesbelow is a map of where they were born, lived and died.
Arthur Lee Davis
Arthur was born September 24, 1896 in Dean, a small communitylocated in Appanoose County, Iowa, close to the border of Missouri.
He was the sixth of eight children born to John Henry Davis and Lucretia Eleanor Carpenter.
1910 Wells Township
In 1910 he was 14 years old, and living with his parents in Wells Township, another small farming community in Iowa. Arthur's aunt, Theresa Ann Davis, was married to James Washington Wells--Wells Township was named after his father. At home there are also siblings Charles, George, and Alice. Lucretia's father, William A. Carpenter is also living with them. There was also another brother, Benjamin Franklin, who died at birth.
1917 World War I Draft
On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, authorizing the President to temporarily increase the size of the military. Over 24 million American men registered for the draft which included all men residing in the USwhether native born, naturalized, or alien between the ages of 18 and 45.
June 5, 1917 was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31
June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918 for those becoming 21 after June 5, 1918
September 12, 1918 was the third and final registration for men aged 18 through 45.
Its now June 5, 1917, the date of the first registration for the WWI draft. Arthur, 22 years old, is living in Packwood, Jefferson County, Iowa, and employed by Harry Mitchell as a farmer. He is described as medium height and build, with brown eyes and brown hair. Above is his registration card which you can click on to read. Packwood is about 68 miles from Wells Township where Arthur had been living in 1910. Looking at a satellite photo of Packwood today shows it to be a very small town still surrounded by farms.
In many areas, the draft registration was an event. Some cities held parades and closed businesses for the day. Other cities announced the start of registration by blowing whistles, ringing church bells and firing canons. Only a small percentage of these men who registered were actually called up for military service.
May 24, 1918- Welcome To the Army!
As it turns out for Arthur (pictured left in his uniform),
he did go into Military service. On May 24, 1918 he was inducted into
the Army as a Private,Serial Number 3.221.175, in Fairfield, Iowa.
His organization (unit) was the MG (Military Government) Company, 351st
As most men of the Midwest, Arthur wentto basic training
at Ft. Dodge in Iowa, just outside of Des Moines.
Ft. Dodge had previously been a camp and training grounds for the Iowa National Guard located 10 miles north of Des Moines. Within four months after we declared war on Germany, infrastructure, buildings, and water systems were built with great precision to accommodate more than 40,000 troops training at Camp Dodge. Below is a post card from the time showing "rookies" arriving at camp for basic training. There are some nice websites on Camp Dodge. Click here to see some incredible shots of hundreds of soldiers formed to represent the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and more. These were staged and shot as a war-bonds promotion in 1918. It could be that Arthur was in there somewhere. Another great website with the history of Camp Dodge is here with lots of photos and story about the Spanish Influenza that ravaged the camp in October 1918.
The 88th Division (his unit, the 351st Infantry) was organized at Camp Dodge and went to fight on the battlefields in France before the war ended in November of 1918. Arthur went overseas from August 13, 1918 to March 11, 1919 where his unit campaigned in Alsace, France. He was honorably discharged on March 26, 1919. He was stationed and discharged back to Camp Dodge, Iowa.
Click here to continue--Arthur comes back stateside and gets married.