Arriving Home

I love gossipy newspapers! The Dodge City newspapers not only provide information about recruitment and service in France, but also the discharge of brothers, Leon and Marion Crawford.

The 20 Mar 1919 issue of The Dodge City Daily Globe begins telling their story.

Leon Crawford has been sent over from France for final discharge according to word received here by his parents. He is now at Camp Stuart, Virginia.

“Local News,” The Dodge City Kansas Journal (Dodge City, Kansas), 20 March 1919, page 5; digital image, ( : viewed online 16 August 2021).

Additional information about Leon Crawford is found in the 10 April 1919 issue.

Leon Crawford after over a year in overseas duty in the First Anti-Aircraft battalion, has received his final discharge and returned to his home in Dodge City. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford of 511 avenue G, and will remain in Dodge City. His brother, Marion Crawford is still in Germany, a member of the army of occupation. Leon Crawford was in several of the severe engagements on the western front but escaped without injury.

“Local News,” The Dodge City Kansas Journal (Dodge City, Kansas), 10 April 1919, page 4; digital image, ( : viewed online 16 August 2021).

Then the 14 August 1919 issue of the Globe details the arrival home of Marion Crawford.

Three More Boys Arrive

Marion Crawford, Homer, Sharp and Cecil Campbell, members of the Fourth division of the regular army, recently returned home after having been discharged from Camp Grant. They all enlisted in 1917 and have been overseas for several months. They served with the army of occupation in Germany, and previous to the signing of the armistice they saw much hard fighting in some of the severest engagements of the war. Mr. Campbell returned a day or two before the others, having returned as a casual.

“Three More Boys Arrive,” The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas), 14 August 1919, page 1; digital images, ( : viewed online 16 August 2021).

Letters Home

Have you used online newspapers to try and locate letters soldiers wrote to their families? I’ve recently being doing such a research for my grandfather, Leon Crawford, and his brother, Marion who served during World War I.

I found letters in the 16 Sept 1918 issue of The Dodge City Daily Globe.

Explains Anti-Aircraft Work

In explaining the work of the anti-aircraft battalion is, Leon Crawford, who is enlisted in Battery D, 1st Anti-Aircraft battalion, France, in a letter to his mother, Mrs. J. F. Crawford, says in part:

“The anti-aircraft is a separate division of its own and was originated since war was declared, but we are in the First Army, which consists of about 5 divisions, I think. We can surely make it hot for the Huns when they come over us now, as we are on the largest guns that are used in the anti-aircraft service.

“We were on some of the French ’75’s, which are claimed to have had a great part in saving France early in the war, as they are easily loaded and can be fired very rapidly. We helped dismount a German plane with two of them.”

“Explains Anti-Aircraft Work,” The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas), 16 September 1918, page 1; digital images, ( : viewed online 16 August 2021).

In the same paper was a letter from Leon’s brother, Marion.

Had Been at Front 14 Days

Marion Crawford, also a son of Mrs. J. F. Crawford here, writes under date of August 14 that he is in good health and feeling fine. Private Crawford is a member of Battery D, 13th Field Artillery, France. Among other things, he says:

“Cecil Campbell came back to the battery a few days ago but I don’t think his folks know where he is, so if you see any of them you can tell them. How is everyone at home? I have seen several anti-aircraft battalion men around here recently, but I haven’t had a chance to talk to any of them so I don’t know whether Leon is near here or not.”

Private Crawford goes on to say that letter writing is done under difficulties in his camp — a mess kit was his desk, he says. Letters also must be finished before dark, as no lights are allowed.

“Our battery so far has been successful in dodging shells,” he writes, “but were often exposed while hauling shells to the guns. We have been on the front since August 1 and haven’t lost a man yet, but I guess we are lucky, although some batteries have been here four months without losing a man.”

“Had Been at Front 14 Days,” The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas), 16 September 1918, page 1; digital images, ( : viewed online 16 August 2021).

Ford County Soldiers

While looking for news of my grandfather, Leon Crawford, during World War I, I came across the following article identifying the Ford county men serving during World War I.

Where Soldiers of Ford County Are

C. E. Smith Has Helped to Revise List of Ford County Men in Military Service

What is perhaps the most complete list of Ford county soldiers that has been made here, has just been prepared by Clyde E. Smith. Mr. Smith was asked by the local chapter of the Red Cross to mail to all of the Ford county soldiers some printed information that was available regarding the insurance which the government is offering to the men in the army. It was not known which of the Ford county men had taken advantage of the government insurance, so in order to get one of the letters to every man that could be reached Mr. Smith made a special effort to get as complete a mailing list as possible.

The letters urging the boys to take advantage of the government insurance were forwarded to the following soldiers:

Truck Company No. 3, 42nd Division, 117th Ammunition Train, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York:
Captain E. C. Theller
Clark Bruington
Otto Falkner
Sgt. Noble T. Foster
Jack Hale
Sgt. Clarence Hoyt
Leonard Hill
Lee E. Josephson
Calvin H. Lambert
Horace Pettijohn
Charles Russell
Sgt. H. L. Schall
Earl L. Woodward
Ed Horn

Corp. Jackson Schall, Hdq. 42nd Division, 117th Ammunition Train, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.

Corp. Roy Bainbridge, Caisson Co. 2, 42nd Division, 117th Ammunition Train, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.

Wagon Train, 42nd Division, 117th Ammunition Train, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.
John P. Little
Lyle K. Samples
Louis E. Skililngton
Thos. A. Underwood
Earl E. Vance

Company B, 110th Military Police, Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla.
Captain J.R. Gary
Lieut. Wm. T. Hale
Lemuel L. Anders
Phinas C. Anders
Frank E. Arrington
Bernard M. Askew
Wm. L. Bailey
Charley Brentlinger
Oscar Ditch
Claud D. Dowdy
McKinley Downing
William L. Dye
Robert E. Engan
Earl D. Evans
Cress B. Evans
Wm. J. Foster
Lloyd H. Gillian
Allen Hole
Martin Hole
Jess C. Holmes
Thurman O. Hudson
George W. Johnson
Howard L. Johnson
Fred A. Jones
Robert F. Judd
Charles F. Knowlton
Albert W. Kunz
Ira Mallonee
Walter W. Mapes
Jay J. Mason
Jes McDowell
John L. Miller
John E. Miller
Fred E. Miller
Fred H. MIller
Floyd P. Myers
Lee B. Otto
Herbert S. Page
Frank Parker
Elwood Pendleton
Jim W. Perry
Robert C. Reeves
Carl A. Robert
Alexander W. Robertson
Charles C. Rockstrom
Elzy Sibert
Guy W. Snyder
Addison D. Stafford
Austin L. Tuttle
Martin S. Rapp
Paul Wallace
Libe E. Watson

F. K. Baldridge, Sanitary Detachment, 110th Military Police, Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla.

Harold Balderston, Ft. Omaha, Neb.

Charles Bill, Co. A, 43rd Inf., Camp Pike, Ark.

Sgt. Frank R. Bogan, Q.M.E.R.C., American Expeditionary Forces, Somewhere in France

Lieut. Eugene J. Broderick, First Prov. Regt., Camp Gordon, Ga.

Btn. Sgt. Major Lloyd E. Brown, 6th Battery, Camp Stanley, Texas, care R.O.T.C.

Leon Crawford, 14th Co., Anti-Aircraft Bat. of San Francisco, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York

Marion Crawford, Bat. D, 14th F. A., Ft. Bliss, Texas

Adlai O. Cullen, 24th Aero squad, Kelly Field, South San Antonio, Tex.

Wm. A. Davies, U.S.S. Pittsburg, New York City, to Postmaster

Lee Elliott, Co. A, 5th Field Bat. S. C., Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Raymond A. English, 89th Division, Hdq. Troop, Camp Funston, Kas.

Howard Eash, Hdq. Co., 137th Inf. Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla.

Carl F. Etrick, M. O. T. C. 45th B.M., Ft, Riley, Kas.

Maj Gordon L. Finley, 362nd Inf. Camp Lewis, Wash.

Vernon Fleming, 3rd Co. Recruits, Ft. Baker, Calif.

Midshipman John Gingrich, U.S.A. Naval Academy, Annpolis, Md

George Gingrich, U.S.A. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

Sgt. George Gould, Co. C, 1st Bat., S.C., Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Theordore F. Hobbs, Ft. Omaha, Neb.

Ben Hobble, 9th Co. of Los Angeles, Reservation t. Ft. Mac Arthur, Calif.

Fred E. Enderson, S.Q.R.C.T.C., Student Camp No. 4, Camp Sam B. Morse, Leon Springs, Texas.

J.W. Hubbard, Co. F, 18th Engineers Railway, American Expeditionary Forces, France

Frank Harbet, 36th Anna St., san Francisco, Calif.

Leon Lantz, Batt. A, 18th F. A., Ft. Bliss, Texas

John Lighter, Co. D, 3rd Engineers, Ft. Shafter, Honolula, H. I.

Fred Lighter, 20th Inf., Ft. Douglas, Utah

Allen Myers, 49th Aero Squad, Mineola, L. I.

James Madison, Hdq. Co. 43rd Inf. Camp Pike, Ark.

Louis Miller, Co. C, 1st Field Bat., Little silver, N.J.

Sammie Neuman, Camp Harry J. Jones, Douglas, Ariz.

Ulin Nickerson, Co. A, 5th Field Bat. S.C., Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Ernest M. Olson, Hdq. Co., 137th Inf., Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla

Clyde Orebaugh, Co. E, 11th Inf., American Expeditionary Forces, Paris, France, via New York

Earl Orebaugh, U.S.S. Huntington, New York City to Postmaster

C. A. Peebles, Jefferson Barracks, Mo.

Ray M. Reeves, Medical Dept. U.S.A., Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Robert W. Ramsey, 7th Reg. 86th Co., U.S. Marine Corps, Guantanamo, Cuba

Dr. Claud R. Riney, 616 Napa St., Naval Hospital, Vallejo, Calif.

Lieut A. H. Riney, 23rd Engineers, Camp Meade, Md.

homer sharp, Bat D, 14th F. A., Ft. Bliss, Texas.

Charles W. Smith, Co. F, 13th Railway Engineers, American Expeditionary Forces in France, care Adj. Gen. Washington, D.C.

Clifford Stone, Co. D, 2nd Balloon Squad, Aviation Supply Depot Barracks No. 22, Garden City, L.I.

Harold E. Stone, Co. D, 2nd Balloon Squad, Aviation Supply Depot barracks No. 22, Garden City, L.I.

Austin Tuck, Ft. Joseph E. Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla.

Sgt. Carl Turner, 14th Co., 164th Depo Brigade, Camp Funston, Kas.

Charles W. Trubey, care Hospital, Ft. Logan, Colorado

Clifford Tester, Hdq. Co. 13th Inf., Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla.

“Bugs” Waltrs, Co. D, 2nd Balloon Squad, Aviation Supply Depo Barracks No. 22, Garden City, L.I.

James Warren, Co. B, 7th Reb., U.S. Engineers, Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Wendell Westley, Hdq Co. 137th Inf., Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla.

James Wright, 33rd Aero Squadron, American expeditionary Forces care Adj. Gen., Washington, D. C.

Don Yandell, Balloon Co. A, Aviation Field, Ft. Sill, Okla

Dale Young, Hdq. Co., 137th Inf., Camp Doniphan, Ft. Sill, Okla

Ralph G. Nevins, Co. No. 4, Q.M.C., Camp Joseph Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla.

Herchel Beals, Ft. Baker, Calif.

Block 27 E, 9th Receiving Co., Q.M.C., Camp Joseph E Johnston, Jacksonville, Fla.;
Ralph H. Burnett
Paul Russell

Camp Joseph E. Johnston, Receiving Co. S., Jacksonville, Fla:
Charles Eckles
John Jones
John Masterson
Cy Sprecker
Harry M. Starks

Camp Joseph E. Johnston, Jacksonville, Fla;
H. M. Christensen
Clarence Skillington
John Maholland
Frank Palmer
Richard Robinson

John W. Foley, Co. 16, Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo.

Ernest A. Burtner, 1st Co. Engineers Repairs, Troop Depot, Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

Roll of Honor

While searching the Dodge City newspapers for letters from my grandfather, Leon Crawford, I came across the following article where the Methodist Church honored their members serving in the military.


Methodists Honor Soldiers

Twenty-three Members of Methodist Class Have Gone to Colors

The Methodist Sunday School will pay a tribute tomorrow to the men who have gone from its ranks to the service of their country. Twenty-three Dodge City boys have joined the army or the national guards, all formerly members of the Sunday School. With one exception the men were in the class taught by E. C. Bill.

The honor roll will be unveiled tomorrow in connection with the children’s day program which will consist of flag drills and a patriotic service. Persons attending the services are requested to bring a bouquet of flowers to place upon the roll of volunteers.

The following members of the Sunday School have enrolled in the U. S. fighting service: Don Yandell, Raymond Walters, Force Hobble, Clifford Stone, Harold Stone, John Lighter, Ullin Nickerson, Thomas Neal, James Madison, Marion Crawford, Leon Crawford, Lee Elliot, Fred Bill, Earl Henderson, Austin Tuck, Charles W. Truby, Clyde Orebaugh, Frank Arrington, Cress Evans, Earl Evans, Robert Reeves, Elwood Pendleton and Harry Leatherwood.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 9 Jun 1917 page 1


Have you tried to find information about your ancestor who served in the U.S. Army during World War I? Knowing that many U.S. Army records for World Wars I and II were damaged or destroyed in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis,

I haven’t tried to obtain my grandfather’s world war I record. Instead, I’m looking to other means of documenting his military service. One of the sources that is proving to be of value is the Dodge City newspapers. Even though I’ve spent many hours reading back issues of those newspapers at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka, I wasn’t reading the issues during world war I. Since many of these newspapers are now on, I decided to see what I could find about the military service of my grandfather, Leon Crawford and his brother, Marion Crawford.

This search turned up articles about their recruitment.

Two Recruits a Day

Dodge City Office Has Sent 44 Men to Army Since April 1

The Dodge City recruiting office is maintaining an average of two recruits a day, and this morning it made up for several dull days by sending seven men to Ft Logan to be distributed to their respective departments in the army. John M. Lesch was assigned to the cavalry and the following joined the coast artillery: Cecil R. Campbell, Alfred B. Cramer, Joshia B. Owings, John J. Wiseman, Marion R. Crawford, Homer R. Sharp. Forty-four Men have enlisted at the Dodge City station since April 1.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas). 20 April 1917, page 1. available on

The headline of the next article is somewhat confusing. It implies that the article was about Hodgeman County residents. Leon Crawford’s parents lived in Dodge City at the time and this is the first piece of evidence that as a young man, he may have been working in Jetmore.

Hodgeman County Sends Recruits

County Clerk Rounds up Party for
Artillery Services — News of Cavalry
Infantry and Motorcycle Companies

County Clerk J. B. Eakin of Jetmore brought four men to the Dodge City recruiting station yesterday afternoon for enlistment in the regular army. Mr. Eakin told Corporal Scott Bryon in charge of the station, he had noticed heavy enlistments in other Kansas counties and seeing that Hodgeman county had no representatives, he went out on a recruiting trip. He began at home by enlisting his brother-in-law. The following men cam from Jetmore and enlisted in the coast artillery corps: George B. Orr, Allan w. Corner, Russell C. Horton and Leon Crawford.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas). 23 April 1917, page 1 available on

Another article names Leon R. Crawford as a recruit at the Dodge City office.

Three Recruits for Coast Artillery

Two army recruits were sent to Ft. Logan this morning and another enlisted for service at the Dodge City recruiting stations today. John H. Smith and Yale J. Thayer went to Ft. Logan and will be sent to the coastal artillery. Leon R. Crawford enlisted for artillery service and will go to Ft. Logan tomorrow. The three recruits make a total of forty-seven men enlisted at the Dodge City station since April 1.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 21 April 1917, page 1 available on

I’m thankful the papers recorded these enlistments!