Category Archives: Honor a Veteran

Memorial Day 2020

We will not forget.

The 23 Brunswick County men who gave their lives in World War I

Killed in Action: Died of Disease:
PFC Walter S Brock PVT William F Brooks
PVT Harvey T Chadwick PFC John W Carlisle
PVT Jimmie Griffin PVT Carl J Danford
PFC Erastus Iredell Nelson Cook David L Dosher
PVT Harry Langdon Pigott Seaman James C Edwards
CPL Herbert B Ward SGT Robert G Farmer
PVT Manning Hall
Died of Wounds: PVT Claudie Hall McCall
PVT William Cross Hewett PVT Elijah Milliken
PVT Benjamin B Smith PVT Kendrick W Outlaw
PVT Cecil Smith Pierce
PVT Samuel C Swain
PVT Guy Ellis Watson
PVT David Williams
PVT Fred Wilson

 

Soldiers on our WWI Wall of Honor who gave their lives

Killed in Action: Died of Accident:
CPL Russell Kellogg Bourne PVT James Hemphill
SGT Richard J. Dennis
PFC Louis “Lolly” B. Doerr Died of Wounds:
Mech Dona J. Dugal PVT Edward Clarkson Bonnell
PFC Wilmer H. Eicke
PVT Ben W. O. Hildebrandt Died of Disease:
PFC Robert Anthony Strzempek PFC Vito Copola
PVT Carl F. Greene

 

The Brunswick County World War I Monument

“Dedicated to the men and women from Brunswick County, NC
who served their country during World War I
with Honor, Courage, and Commitment”

Center photo courtesy of Christine Urick

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WWI Snapshot: Augustine Watchman Rieger 1885-1933

NC WWI Service Card

Augustine “Gus” Watchman Rieger was born in Southport, NC, on August 6, 1885. At the time of the 1900 Census, he and his family were living in Town Creek. His father was a lawyer and owned a rice farm.

Gus was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1905, graduating in 1909. This photo was printed in the 1909 yearbook Lucky Bag on page 188.

During WWI, he served as a Lieutenant commander at the Naval Academy.

His retirement was listed in the September 4, 1931, issue of the Evening Star of Washington D.C. on page 16.

Augustine Watchman Rieger died suddenly on April 23, 1933, as detailed below.

COMDR. RIEGER DIES IN PARKED AUTO

Heart Attack Fatal to Retired Naval Officer While in Machine

A heart attack suffered as he drove his automobile along Connecticut avenue late Saturday night was fatal to Comdr. Augustine W. Rieger, U.S.N., retired, 47, who was found dead in his automobile early yesterday.

Lights Still Burning
The car apparently had been hastily parked in a restricted zone just north of Taft Bridge, and the lights still were burning when the body was discovered by Sergt. W.P. Barnes of the eighth precinct, cruising in a police car. Dr. O.C. Foote, 5112 Connecticut avenue, the retired officer’s physician and close friend, said Comdr. Rieger had been under his care since his retirement because of heart trouble in 1931. He said he believed the officer had been dead at least six hours when found. A certificate of death from natural causes was issued by Acting Coroner A. Magruder MacDonald.

Comdr. Rieger was last seen Saturday night by relatives and an elevator boy at the Dupont Apartments, 1717 Twentieth street, where he lived.

Funeral services will be held at St. Alban’s Church at 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Rev. Charles T. Warner officiating. Burial, with full military honors, will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Was Memphis Navigator
Comdr. Rieger’s last station was aboard the U.S.S. Memphis as navigator. Prior to that he had had an active sea career as well as of an executive ashore. During the World War he was stationed at the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1909. He was a North Carolina native.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Sarah T. Rieger; a sister, Miss Florence M. Rieger, both of the Twentieth street address, and another sister, Mrs. H.J. Stockum of Baltimore.
Source: Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) 24 April 1933, p. A-9

Source: Findagrave
Augustine Watchman Rieger was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. His headstone is shown here.

The family headstone may be found in Old Smithville Cemetery in Southport, where his parents and one sister were laid to rest.

His mother’s obituary in the Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) December 5, 1937, p. A-21, details the family’s history of military service. Click to enlarge.


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 Augustine Watchman Rieger 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 Snapshot: Albert Solon Russ 1895-1987

NC WWI Service Card

Albert Solon Russ was born in Makatoka, Brunswick County, NC, on August 23, 1895. He enlisted in the US Navy on March 30, 1915 in Charleston, SC.

Brothers Christopher Cleveland Russ and Burris Lee Russ also served in WWI.

Albert’s NC WWI Service Card shows he served on the USS Arizona during the war, reaching the rank of Electrician, First Class, before his honorable discharge on March 25, 1919.

On May 12, 1919, Albert requested a Seaman’s Certificate. This photo was included.

Albert’s wife, Retha Rose Russ, passed away in 1961. Her death certificate shows she was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery in Riverside, CA. No findagrave entry was found. It appears that Albert and Retha had no children.

Albert Solon Russ passed away on February 3, 1987, at age 91. His death certificate shows he was laid to rest in Montecito Memorial Park in Riverside, CA. No findagrave entry was found.


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 Albert Solon Russ 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 Snapshot: Vane Lester Davis 1889-1946

NC WWI Service Card

NY WWI Service Card

Vane Lester Davis was born in Southport, NC, on April 5, 1889. He registered for the WWI draft on June 5, 1917. At the time, he was a Stationary Engineer employed by Columbia University, living in Queens.

The NY WWI Service Card shows he was appointed Lieutenant, junior grade, in the US Navy on November 21, 1917. His residence was listed as Southport. He was never mobilized. The NC WWI Service Card shows he enlisted in the Coast Guard on December 4, 1917. He served at Coast Guard Station 193 (Cape Fear) until his honorable discharge on December 3, 1918.

On January 11, 1919, Lester Davis requested a Seaman’s Certificate. This photo was included.

Vane Lester Davis passed away at age 57 on May 16, 1946. The following obituary was published on the front page of The State Port Pilot on May 22, 1946.

Lester Davis Is Buried Monday

Native of Southport, But Death Occurred Last Week in Brooklyn, N.Y., Where He Was Making His Home

Funeral services for Lester Davis, of Southport who died in Brooklyn, N.Y., were held Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Southport. The Rev. Alexander Miller, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal church, Wilmington, officiated and burial followed in the family cemetery.

Born in Southport, he was the son of Mrs. Fannie G. Davis and the late Captain Dumbar [Dunbar] Davis of this city.

Surviving in addition to his mother are a daughter, Mrs. R. R. Shellhammer [Shellhamer], Louisville, Ky., and her son, Robert Wesley; two sisters, Mrs. Mattie E. Aspinwall, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Mrs. S.L. Brinkman, Southport; and two brothers, J.M. Davis 404 South 17th St., Wilmington; and W.D. Davis, Southport.

Members of the American Legion, Brunswick County Post 195 were the active pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers were E.R. Weeks, Price Furpless, J.L. Davis, J.P. Cranmer, P.I. Martz, W.G. Wells, C.A. Fox, J.T. Moore, B.J. Holden, F.G. Dosher, Harry Weeks, Clarence Onpon, C.E. Gause, A.C Sell.

Vane Lester Davis was laid to rest in Old Morse Cemetery in Brunswick County, NC. A military flat marker was requested by his mother on October 7, 1946, but is not shown in findagrave.


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 Vane Lester Davis 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 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.


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WWI Profile: Harry Churchhill Corlette, Jr 1898-1947

NC WWI Service Card
Harry Churchhill Corlette, Jr was born in Southport, son of Harry Churchhill Corlette, Sr, and Louise White Grissom. The 1900 Census, and 1910 Census shows the family remained in Southport. In 1910, they lived on Bay St. His father was a pilot of a fishing boat.

A previous post introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps.

Harry did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was a junior drug clerk at Watson Pharmacy Co. in Southport. He and his family resided in Southport, Brunswick County.

Harry Churchhill Corlette’s signature on his draft registration:

When the SATC became active in October 1918, Harry, along with Andrew Jackson Robbins, Jr, 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. Click image at right to enlarge.

The inauguration ceremony was held on October 1, 1918. On October 9, the front page of The Davidsonian included a photo of the SATC, along with the story below.

Memorable Ceremony Is Held at Formal Inauguration of the S.A.T.C. at Davidson

Messages From the President, Secretary of War and Others are Read.

A most impressive gathering was held at noon on the first day of October. It was indeed a historic ceremony and one that will long be remembered by its participants and those from the town who were present. It marked the formal inauguration of the Students’ Army Training Corps at Davidson College. The battalion was formed in the shape of a square around the foot of the flagpole and messages from the President and many other prominent men were read by the officers present.

The ceremony was begun with a prayer by Dr. C.M. Richards. Lieut. R.G. Dennard stated that at that very hour over one hundred and fifty thousand students in more than five hundred colleges were standing at attention in a ceremony similar to that one.

Messages from President Woodrow Wilson, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, Col. R.I. Rees and others were read by Lieutenants Candler, Dwyer and Doverspike.

The following message from the President was read: “The step you have taken is a most significant one. By it you have ceased to be merely individuals, each seeking to perfect himself to win his own place in the world, and have become comrades in the common cause of making the world a better place to live in. You have joined yourselves with the entire manhood of the country and pledged, as did your forefathers, ‘your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor’ to the freedom of humanity.

“The enterprise upon which you have embarked is a hazardous and difficult one. This is not a war of words; this is not a scholastic struggle. It is a war of ideals, yet fought with all the devices of science and with all the power of machines. To succeed, you must not only be inspired by the ideals for which this country stands but you must also be masters of the technique with which the battle is fought. You must not only be thrilled with zeal for the common welfare, but you must also be masters of the weapons of today.

“There can be no doubt of the issue. The spirit that is revealed and the manner in which America has responded to the call is indomitable. I have no doubt that you too will use your utmost strength to maintain that spirit and to carry it forward to the final victory that will certainly be ours.
“Woodrow Wilson.”

The flag was raised and the oath of allegiance was taken by the members of the S.A.T.C. Dr. Martin spoke on behalf of the college and stirred all present. The picture shown on page 1 was then made.

A yearbook for the 1918-1919 school year at Davidson College is not available. However, the Davidson Historical Society shares the following photos of the Davidson College SATC on their website.

Harry and Andrew Jackson Robbins were initiated into the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha, according to The Davidsonian, October 23, 1918, p.4.

The November 11 Armistice ended their training and the SATC was demobilized. Pvt Corlette was honorably discharged on December 10, 1918. It appears he did not return to college, as the 1940 Census shows his education was 4 years of high school.

In 1920, Harry was home, living with his parents in Southport. He had resumed working as a clerk for a drugstore.

The 1930 Census shows he and his wife, daughters, and parents living on Water St in Southport. Harry was a manager of a dry cleaning shop.

The 1940 Census shows his mother continued to live with him after the death of his father in 1930. He was working as a salesman for a retail grocery. His wife was working as an assistant cashier at a bank. His three daughters were living at home – his oldest in high school.

Harry Churchhill Corlette passed away from meningitis on June 27, 1947 at age 48. He was laid to rest in Old Smithville Cemetery in Southport. The following obituary was published on the front page of The State Port Pilot on July 2, 1947.

Harry Corlette Dies Suddenly

Popular Southport Citizen Died Early Friday Following Illness of Only A Few Hours Duration

Harry C. Corlette, former Southport City Alderman and business man, died here at Dosher Memorial hospital Friday morning after an illness of only eight hours.

Mr. Corlette, who was 48-years of age, was a lifelong resident of Southport and was in good health up until the time he was stricken at 8 o’clock Thursday night. Attending physicians prescribed the cause of his death to spinal meningitis.

The deceased, a highly esteemed resident of Southport, is survived by his widow, Mrs. Rachel Todd Corlette, assistant-cashier at the local branch of the Waccamaw Bank and Trust company, and by three daughters, Miss Doris Corlette, Miss Betty Todd Corlette and Miss Harriett Corlette, all of Southport.


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 Harry Churchhill Corlette, 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
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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Profile: William Asbury Rourk, Jr 1898-1948

Many records and photos were found for William Asbury Rourk and his family, along with unique details. As a result, this snapshot became lengthy. We hope that readers will also appreciate becoming acquainted with them and honoring their sacrifices and commitment to their communities.

NC WWI Service Card
William Asbury Rourk, Jr was born in Wilmington, son of William Asbury Rourk, Sr, and Sarah Helen Stone. The 1900 Census and 1910 Census shows the family remained in Wilmington. His father was described as a merchant of groceries.

According to The Wilmington Dispatch (1917, June 1; p. 6), William graduated from Wilmington High School on May 31, 1917. He was a freshman in the 1917-1918 year at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill (now known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), according to the 1918 yearbook, Yackety-Yack, p. 112. His residence was Wilmington and his area of study was science. A later yearbook referred to him as “Bill.”

During military training at Chapel Hill, Bill served in Company D, which is documented in the 1918 yearbook beginning on page 180. The photo below shows the university battalion. Recall that military training was offered at Chapel Hill before the Students’ Army Training Corps was created. See the previous post for more photos and information.

Previous posts introduced the Students’ Army Training Corps and his fellow corps member from Brunswick County, Commodore Clarence Chinnis.

Like Commodore, Bill did not become eligible for the draft until the registration of September 12, 1918. His draft registration shows he was a student at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill. He and his family resided in Shallotte, Brunswick County.

William Asbury Rourk’s signature on his draft registration:

When the SATC became active in October 1918, William and Commodore met the physical and educational admission requirements and volunteered. Both were accepted and ordered to report for duty on October 5, 1918, at the University of North Carolina, a Collegiate Section from NC. Read the previous posts linked above for details.

Photos of the SATC in Chapel Hill can be found in the 1919 yearbook. Pvt Rourk served in Company D.

The November 11 Armistice ended their training and the SATC was demobilized. Pvt Rourk was honorably discharged on December 10, 1918. Unlike Commodore Chinnis, Bill did remain in college.

In the 1919 yearbook for the school year of 1918-1919, Wilmington was listed as his residence. Presumably, this was his residence when he re-enrolled at Chapel Hill in the spring of 1918. But recall that when he registered for the draft in September 1918, his address was Shallotte.

He was a junior during the 1919-1920 school year. The yearbook shows his residence as Shallotte.

He played basketball his first three years of college. He was a starting guard at 5′ 8.5″. These photos were taken during his junior year. In the team photo from 1920, he is seated at the far right in the front row.

Bill entered Medical School his senior year, graduating a year later in 1922. He can be seen standing second from the left in the front line.


The description under his senior photo, shown here, includes his residence as Shallotte, followed by mention of Mecklenburg County, which is the county of Charlotte. Confusing these two cities is a common mistake found in historical records at the time, as mentioned in Harvey T. Chadwick’s WWI Profile.

At right, his photo is displayed in the 1922 yearbook when he graduated from Medical School. Below his photo, the following words are printed.

“He had the reputation of being the scrappiest basketball player on the floor last year, and we were disappointed when medicine intrigued his interest this year. There is nothing of the artificial about him, for his friendships and work are both genuine. Carolina is proud to own him whether on the courts, in the classroom, or in life.”

The 1930 Census shows he was married to Getrude, a woman from Pennsylvania. They had a son, William Jr, age 1. His wife’s mother was living with them. She had remarried and was widowed once more.

Curiosity about how he came to marry a woman from Pennsylvania led to some interesting information about her and her mother.

Gertrude Berg McDonell was born in York, Pennsylvania, on March 5, 1903, to Emory Clair McDonell and Gertrude Neal Fitzgerald McDonell. [Source: Baptism Record from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records in Ancestry; Marriage License]

In 1910, her father was a salesman for an electric vacuum cleaner company. He passed away in 1912 at age 40. [Source: Death Certificate in Ancestry; obituary: The York Dispatch, August 16, 1912, p.2]

According to The York Daily, October 6, 1915, p.3, her mother, Mrs. Gertrude McDonnell was appointed the new superintendent of the Christian Home and the House of Detention by a unanimous decision of the board of directors of the York Society to Protect Children and the Aged Persons. She would hold this position until April 1, 1921, as noted in The York Dispatch, March 2, 1921, p.10.

Daughter Gertrude (Bill’s future wife) is listed as a resident of the home with her mother Gertrude the Superintendent in the 1920 Census. Daughter Gertrude was 16 years old.

On August 30-31, 1921, according to The York Dispatch, p.13; and The Daily Record, p.5, a farewell party was held for Miss Gertrude McDonell, who was leaving for Philadelphia where she would enter training at the Philadelphia General Hospital to become a public health nurse.

Interestingly, Mr. William Asbury Rourk, Jr arrived in Philadelphia in 1922 to become an intern at Philadelphia General Hospital, according to his AMA Physician File records. Presumably, medical intern Bill met nurse trainee Gertrude and fell in love.

According to The Charlotte Observer, July 25, 1924, p.7, William Asbury Rourk, Jr, from Shallotte, was awarded a license to practice medicine in the state of North Carolina following examination.

On September 27, 1926, Gertrude McDonell and William Asbury Rourk, Jr, married, according to her flat marker in findagrave. Bill’s AMA files indicate that they remained in Shallotte for a time, then settled in Myrtle Beach, SC, where they remained until their deaths. He was reportedly the first physician to practice in Myrtle Beach, according to the articles shown below that were published near his death.

The 1940 Census is much like the 1930 Census, with the addition of another son, James Rodman Rourk.

On December 22, 1944, Dr. Rourk’s son, William Asbury Rourk, passed away from bilateral pulmonitis. He was 16 years old.

On May 3, 1948, Dr. Rourk suffered a heart attack. As a long time friend of the Myrtle Beach Air Base, which had since closed, the Air Force responded to an emergency call by flying in an oxygen tent and Air Force physician. They were unable to save him.

On May 19, 1948, Dr. William Asbury Rourk, age 50, passed away. He was laid to rest in Ocean Woods Memorial Cemetery in Myrtle Beach.

On March 6, 1964, his wife, who had since remarried, passed away.

Their only surviving son, James “Roddy” Rodman Rourk, was reportedly a teacher at Myrtle Beach High School from 1958 to 1966. He passed away at age 54 on December 24, 1984. Some amazing tributes can be read on this Myrtle Beach High School alumni page. According to comments, he was a math teacher, Scoutmaster, award winning coach, a leader in his community, and “a principled man providing positive leadership to everyone with whom he had contact.”

 


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 Asbury Rourk, 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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