Monthly Archives: April 2020

WWI Snapshot: William Barclay Smith 1880-1935

NC WWI Service Cards

William Barclay Smith was born in Brechin, Scotland, on February 16, 1880. According to his passport application, his family immigrated to the United States on January 4, 1888, when he was nearly 8 years old. He became a citizen of the United States on October 3, 1902.

The 1930 Census indicates he served in the Spanish-American War in 1898. Various enlistment registers in Ancestry indicate multiple enlistments in the early 1900s.

His NC WWI Service Records show he re-enlisted from the Regular Army at Fort Caswell on August 10, 1914, at age 34. His residence at the time was Southport, NC. He was initially a Sergeant First Class. Employment records from these years show he served in the Panama Canal Zone.

On September 6, 1918, he accepted a commission and was appointed as 1st Lt, serving at Newport News, VA. He was honorably discharged on December 5, 1918.

The 1920 Census lists him, his wife, and two children living in Panama as his passport application indicated. This photo is included in his passport application.

His wife’s parents were born in Norway. His children were born in Panama, and as the 1930 Census shows, an additional child was eventually born in Minnesota.

On July 7, 1935, William Barclay Smith passed away from pneumonia at age 55. He had been employed for two years as the assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling. The following obituaries were found.

Source: The Winona Daily News, 8 July 1935, p. 3.

Source: Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN], 8 July 1935, p. 7.
Captain W.B. Smith

Captain William B. Smith, 54, of 912 Thirtieth avenue north, assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling, died Sunday morning at the Fort Snelling hospital after a week’s illness. Captain Smith had been in the finance department of the CCC since the corps was originated more than two years ago.

Prior to that, he had been an accountant at the Minneapolis post office for 12 years. He came to Minneapolis shortly after the close of the war, in which he served as a lieutenant in the quartermaster corps. Captain Smith had been in the army, either in active service or in the reserves for 27 years.

He was born in Scotland, but came to this country with his parents when young. His boyhood was spent in Massachusetts. He was a member of Minnesota lodge, No. 224, A.F and A.M., the Minneapolis Consistory of the Scottish Rite Masons, and of Zuhrah temple of the Shrine.

Surviving are his wire, Mrs. Lillian Bye Smith; three children, William B. Jr., Dorothy Elizabeth, and Robert Allan; and a sister, Mrs. George Tarbell, Revere, Vt.

Military funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Snelling post chapel, following by Masonic services at the Lakewood chapel at 3.15 p.m. Burial will be in Lakewood cemetery.

According to his findagrave page, his ashes were scattered at the lake in the cemetery.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor William Barclay Smith or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: Francis Dillard Price 1894-1971

NC WWI Service Card
Francis Dillard “Dillard” Price was born in Southport, son of William Ayers “Willie” Price and Carrie Geanette (or Jeanette) Tharp. The 1900 Census, and 1910 Census shows the family continued to live in Southport. His father was a farmer. There were a total of 13 children.

Dillard’s nephew, Bill Price, shared the following information about the family, as well as these photos of Dillard and wife Evie, and Dillard’s parents, aunt, uncle, and grandparents.

“Dillard’s father, Willie Price, operated a large farm near what is now the Athletic Park.

“Dillard’s grandfather’s name is Francis Dawson Price, III. He enlisted in the Confederate Navy, serving as a landsman (novice seaman) on the ironclad sloop CSS North Carolina. He was injured in the Civil War. Dillard’s grandmother’s name was Julia Ann Swain Price.

“Dillard’s aunt and uncle were Edney V.”Lillian” Price Swain and McDermit D Price. His uncle worked on his father’s farm and she was a school teacher. The four of them are buried in the Price Family Cemetery located at the Athletic Park. Another aunt was Florence Catherine Price Swain.”

These two photos are Dillard and wife Evie. The remaining photos are identified by filename.

Dillard was eligible for the first draft on June 5, 1917. His draft registration shows that he was farming for his father.

Francis Dillard Price’s signature on his draft registration:

On July 13, 1918, Dillard was ordered to report for duty. His training began at Clemson, SC.
Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

The official documents for the Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC), shared in a previous post, seem to indicate that drafted soldiers may apply for the Corps. But what’s curious is that Pvt Price’s NC WWI Service Card at top shows he transferred from the SATC to the CAC (Coastal Artillery Corps) at Fort Moultrie on September 13, 1918. The SATC did not officially begin until October 1918.

His VA Index, shown here, indicates he served in the CAC, as well as the military marker at his grave which is shown below. Typically, both the index and marker show the last assignment during the war.

There’s no reason to doubt he served in the SATC for a time, but the sequence of events cannot be determined from the available documents. As his 1940 Census information shows, he had not completed high school, which is typically a condition of the Collegiate Section of the SATC. However, Clemson did have a Vocational Section and Dillard seemed qualified for it.

All of this is relevant only to determine whether to include Pvt Price in the SATC list. He served until his honorable discharge on December 6, 1918.

Dillard returned home to live with his parents, according to the 1920 Census. He married Evie Ann McDowell in 1926. The 1930 Census and 1940 Census show they continued living in Southport while farming and had one son.

Source: Findagrave
Francis Dillard Price passed away on October 10, 1971 at age 77. He was laid to rest in Northwood Cemetery in Southport.

His son, Dillard Hugh Price, served his country in the US Navy during WWII, then as a civil servant for 30 years. He passed away in 2015 and was also laid to rest in Northwood Cemetery. His obituary is printed on his findagrave page.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Francis Dillard Price or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: Joseph Clyde Knox 1897-1983

NC WWI Service Card
Joseph Clyde “Joe” Knox was born in Brunswick County, son of John Joseph Knox and Minnie Irene Drew. The 1900 Census, and 1910 Census shows the family lived in Town Creek. His father was a farmer.

Joe’s brother, George Edward Knox, also served in WWI. He was living in Waycross, Georgia, when he became a 1st Lt on August 5, 1917, by way of the National Guard. He served in the 106th Engineers, 31st Division, serving overseas until July 3, 1919.

Joe attended school at Trinity Park School in Durham. Perhaps this advertisement in The Wilmington Morning Star (1910 Jul 8; p4) motivated his parents to send Joe.

Trinity Park School operated from 1898 to 1922 to better prepare young people for undergraduate work at Trinity College and other institutions. In a prospectus prepared prior to the opening of the school on September 7, 1898, it explains, ‘Very many young men apply for entrance to Trinity and are found upon examination unprepared and hence are not admitted.’

“The Trinity Park High School, as it was then known, was located on the northwest corner of the present-day East Campus of Duke University, where the Mary Duke Biddle Music Building and the Branson Building now stand.

“Over time, the public school system improved in North Carolina. As these schools improved, fewer students attended Trinity Park School. In summer 1922, the Board of Trustees decided to close the School, and use the buildings and space for the growing undergraduate class.

“Although the school no longer exists, several buildings still stand as part of the East Campus of Duke University.”
[Source: Duke University Libraries, Guide to the Trinity Park School Collection]

Joe was an accomplished student at Trinity Park School.

In 1916, he was an honor student and recipient of a school scholarship, according to The Charlotte Observer (1916 June 7; p8).

In 1917, he was a manager for Commencement (The Wilmington Morning Star; 1917 June 01; p.6).

And at his graduation in 1918, which was held “earlier due to war conditions,” Joe was again recognized as an honor student, meeting the requirements of an average of 90 or more for the year. He also was the winner of a four year tuition scholarship to Trinity College (now known as Duke University).
[Sources: The Durham Morning Herald; 1918 May 4; p. 3. Greensboro Daily News; 1918 May 5; p.17.]

A previous post introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps.

Joe did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was a student and farmer, living with his parents in Leland. His description includes that he was medium height and stout. This may help identify him in the group photos below.

Joe Clyde Knox’s signature on his draft registration:

When the SATC became active in October 1918, Joe met the physical and educational admission requirements and volunteered. He was accepted and ordered to report for duty on October 28, 1918, at Trinity College (now known as Duke University), a Collegiate Section from NC. Click image at right to enlarge.

The November 11 Armistice ended their training and the SATC was demobilized. Pvt Knox was honorably discharged on December 11, 1918. He remained at Trinity/Duke College.

Joe completed his freshman year. The Chanticleer is the title of Trinity/Duke’s yearbook. Read more about the title here. However, that year (1919) the yearbook was named Victory “in celebration of the end of the war and to commemorate the twenty-one Trinity College students who lost their lives in World War I.”

The 1919 and 1920 yearbooks include many photos of Joe based on his activities, as well as class photos. The activities are listed in the 1920 yearbook, excerpt below. From that list, the corresponding photos were found and copied below. All yearbooks are also available online here in the NC Archives.

Notice that his high school is listed first. The Sandfiddler’s Club appears to be a club of those students from the coastal counties. There are quite a few clubs corresponding to the other counties, presumably where the students’ homes are located. Varsity Track and Class Track were his activities during his freshman year, Class Football was an activity during his sophomore year.

After completing two years at Trinity, Joe entered Medical School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Four years later, in 1924, he graduated.
[Source: 1924 University of Maryland, Baltimore Yearbook Terra Mariae, p25]

During the 1930 Census, Joe was a guest at the George Washington Hotel in Washington, PA.

Source of photo: The Greenville News (Greenville, SC) 5 July 1931, p7.
Joe and Martha Cox were married in Belton, SC on June 27, 1931. The Greenville News (Greenville, SC), covered the wedding the following day on page 14.

“The bride received her education at Greenville Woman’s college and has taught art in the schools of Winston-Salem for several years, also doing recreational work there and in New York.”

The 1935 Duke Alumni Register includes details of his life between 1924 and 1935.

In the August 11, 1935, issue of the News and Observer appears the photograph and an article about Dr. Joseph Clyde Knox, state epidemiologist, who has been in the spotlight of the state and nation since the outbreak of infantile paralysis. Quoting from the article: “. . . When nationally known experts arrived in the State to study means of controlling the malady they found his office prepared to offer them every assistance, particularly as to records, and they complimented the State Board of Health for having done everything possible during the emergency.

“Dr. Knox was trained largely to cope with ailments of children. After leaving his native heath in Brunswick County, he went to the University of Maryland and was graduated there in 1924. For the next four years he practiced in children’s hospitals, including one in New York, another in Baltimore, the University of Iowa’s children’s hospital and the University of Oregon children’s hospital. He majored in contagious diseases, and saw quite a bit of infantile paralysis. He spent a year at Harvard and got his master’s degree in public health.

“After practicing pediatrics in Goldsboro for awhile, Dr. Knox came to the State Board of Health in 1932 and has been there since in the division of epidemiology. He is married and has two children.”

The 1940 Census shows Joe continued his work at the State Board of Health, living with his wife and two children in a brick home on Clark Ave in Raleigh, which still exists today.

In 1941, Joe and his family moved to Wilmington, NC. The announcement shown here was printed in The Sunday Star-News (Wilmington, NC), on July 9, 1941, p4. The story included details of his education.

He was graduated from the medical school of the University of Maryland and interned at the Church home and infirmary, Baltimore, and the Children’s hospital of the University of Iowa. He served as resident physician at the Doernbecher Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., and instructor in pediatrics at the University of Oregon medical school. He also was resident physician at the Willard Parker hospital for contagious diseases in New York. Doctor Knox received his master’s degree in public health from Harvard university.
Source: Chronicling America

Dr. Joseph Clyde Knox passed away on September 27, 1983 at age 85. He was laid to rest in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington. His wife Martha had passed away just three months earlier. No military honors are shown.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Joseph Clyde Knox or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr 1897-1932

NC WWI Service Card
Andrew Jackson “Jack” Robbins, Jr was born in Southport, son of Andrew Jackson Robbins, Sr, and Ada Caroline Drew. The 1900 Census, and 1910 Census show the family remained in Southport. In 1910, they lived on Lord St.

The Southport Historical Society’s Susie Carson Research Room has a research file for his father on their website, which is the source for the following information. The file includes many fascinating details of his life.

Jack’s father, Andrew Jackson Robbins, Sr, was a building contractor in Southport from 1895 until 1922. He built many homes for prominent members of the community, as well as structures in the area such as the Brunswick County jail, post office, and bank.

In addition, he built the school house at Fort Caswell in 1899, and the brick bake-house there in 1913. More buildings at Fort Caswell have been reported as constructed by him.

It is said that he built cement bunkers at Fort Caswell for the government during WWI. Could he have built the bunker at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range? There’s no confirmation, but any information received in the future will be shared on the website.

Jack Robbins, Jr attended high school at Georgia Military Academy in College Park, GA. This was printed in his obituary, but also found in a sentence in the society news of The Wilmington Dispatch on March 26, 1916, p. 9.

Source of 1913 Postcard: http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/misc/military_academy.htm
Georgia Military Academy in College Park-Atlanta, now known as Woodward Academy, was a military boarding school for boys, founded in 1900. “By 1910, GMA had 14 teachers, a student body of 150 boys, two more buildings, and a football field. In these early years, teachers and their families lived with cadets in home-like buildings arranged around plazas, playgrounds, and courtyards.”

During the 1917-1918 school year, Jack attended NC State College of Agriculture and Engineering in Raleigh (now simply known as NC State) as a freshman, according to page 127 in the 1918 yearbook The Agromeck and in a sentence in the society news of The Wilmington Morning Star on October 21, 1917, p. 8. The yearbook page is shown below. His area of study is indicated as Mechanical Engineering. Click the pages below to enlarge.

The Infantry Unit at NC State College was compulsory for the first two years. Recall that the military training programs at colleges were separate from the SATC, which did not become active until October 1918.

Jack was a private in Company E, as seen on page 150 of the same yearbook, shown below. His battalion, the Second Battalion, is also shown below, which consists of Companies E, F, G, and H.

He was not found in the 1918-1919 yearbook, but we know he was at Davidson College for at least part of that school year, as explained below.

Previous posts introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps and his fellow corps member from Southport, Harry Churchhill Corlette, Jr. Like Harry, Jack did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was working at Fort Caswell.

Andrew Jackson Robbins’ signature on his draft registration:

When the SATC became active in October 1918, Jack and Harry met the physical and educational admission requirements and volunteered. Both were accepted and ordered to report for duty on October 2, 1918, at Davidson College, a Collegiate Section from NC. Read the previous posts linked above for details.

The November 11 Armistice ended their training and the SATC was demobilized. Pvt Robbins was honorably discharged on December 10, 1918.

Jack’s brother Benjamin Drew Robbins, also served in WWI. He enlisted in the US Navy on May 21, 1918, serving as a Machinist Mate, 2nd Class, on a Submarine Chaser until discharged on August 11, 1919.

In 1920, Jack was home, living with his parents in Southport. He had resumed working as a clerk for the US Government. This implies he had not returned to college, but there are no records to confirm.

According to the Southport Historical Society’s files, in 1922 his parents and siblings moved to Orlando due to his brother Ben’s serious illness. Jack and his wife joined them for a time, as seen in this excerpt from the 1922 Orlando City Directory.
[Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.]

Orlando newspapers show his father continued building at a rapid rate. The residence of his parents at 322 Agnes St appears to be built by his father. This is based on The Orlando Sentinel, which lists a permit requested by A.J. Robbins for a garage and residence at Agnes St in the April 17, 1921 issue. Photos of the home and garage in Orlando are shown below. Tax records show it was built in 1922.

Jack, Jr and Elizabeth are not listed in subsequent issues of the Orlando city directory. Their son was born in New Hanover County, NC, on November 8, 1922, which shows they had returned to NC that year. The 1924 Wilmington City Directory lists Jack as a foreman for the City Laundry Company, living on Wrightsville Sound. Subsequent directories show he had become a bookkeeper for the same company.

The 1930 Census shows he and his wife and their son were living on Wrightsville Road in Wilmington. Jack remained a bookkeeper for the City Laundry Co. His wife Elizabeth was a clerk for the steam railway. [Additional Source: Wilmington City Directory, 1930.]

Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr, passed away from pneumonia on October 8, 1932 at age 35. He was laid to rest in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington. The flat marker shown here is from Findagrave.

Obituaries were printed in newspapers in Orlando. The following clipping was printed in The Orland Sentinel on October 11, 1932, p3; while the obituary from The Orlando Evening Star on October 12, 1932, p.2 is copied below. Both mention that his parents were alive; however, his mother had passed away earlier in the year. The obituary also includes that he left college to enlist in WWI, but we know he actually entered the Students’ Army Training Corps at Davidson College.

Funeral of A.J. Robbins, jr., 35, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Robbins of 546 S. Lake St. Orlando was held Monday in Wilmington, N.C. The young man died at Wrightsville Sound, Saturday after a week’s illness. The wife, the parents, two sisters, Mrs. A.A. Starling and Miss Josephine Robbins, the last four of Orlando, and one brother, Ben D. Robbins, of Tampa survive.

Mr. Robbins was a bookkeeper employed in Wilmington at the time of his death and was educated at Georgia Military Academy and Davidson college. He left college to enlist in the U.S. forces in the World War and was a member of the American Legion and Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity.

Jack’s son, Dr. Jack Hinton Robbins, lived a long life, passing away at age 93. His obituary is printed in Findagrave and is copied below.

Jack Hinton Robbins, age 93, of Bradenton, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

He was a retired physician and colonel in the United States Air Force.

Born in Wilmington, NC on November 8, 1922, he is preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Branson, and father, Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr., who died when his son was just ten years of age, both from Wilmington, NC.

As a teenager, he traveled the world with his mother and missionary stepfather, William Branson, living several years in Africa, China and India. He attended Loma Linda Medical School and entered the Air Force in 1948, where he met and married his wife of 60 years, Lola Robbins.

During his 25 years of Service, he specialized in Aerospace Medicine, serving as a flight surgeon and assisting in the Mercury Space Program. He was later assigned to the Surgeon General’s office. He also completed his residency in radiology while serving in the Air Force.

He retired from the military and moved the family to Bradenton in 1973. Dr. Robbins practiced radiology in Bradenton for almost 15 years before retiring from the medical profession. He was an admired and respected physician, always demonstrating integrity and kindness to everyone he encountered.

After retirement, he traveled regularly with his wife and enjoyed countless hours fishing with his son.

He is survived by his wife, Lola Robbins, his five children and numerous grandchildren. Visitation 6-8PM Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016, at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel. Funeral Mass 2PM Thursday, March 17, 2016, at Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Southeastern Guide Dogs or the charity of your choice.

While his parents, siblings, and son were ultimately laid to rest in Florida, one brother, Robert Marion Robbins, who passed away at age 2, had been laid to rest in Old Smithville Cemetery in Southport in 1896. No records establish his parentage, he is not mentioned in obituaries, and the 1900 Census shows his mother Ada Robbins had given birth to two children with two surviving (Bennie D. and Andrew J.), rather than three children with two surviving. However, his headstone identifies him as the “Son of AJ and Ada D Robbins” so he is assumed to be their son.


To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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