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Mid-Jan 1919: Veterans returning home

In mid-January 1919, the influenza pandemic still raged. With World War I barely two months in the past, a few of the soldiers who served at home and "over there" were coming home; Woodrow Wilson began his seventh year as President; and on January 16th, the Eighteenth Amendment -- more commonly known simply as Prohibition -- went into effect.

But meanwhile, back in The Shire...

By Jim

A fair amount of war related news still graced the pages of the January 22, 1919 paper. Noel Thomas, "who was several times wounded on the Hindenburg Line" in late September, finally had arrived home in Adair County after a lengthy hospital stay. His worst injuries came about ten minutes after he saw fellow Adair Countian Deed Smith fall just a few feet away.

Robert J. Bailey of the Craycraft section, late of the 676 Aero Squardon of the US Army, also recently back home, and Miss Minnie Richards revealed they had become husband and wife during his furlough home some two months earlier.

A "perfect likeness" (photograph) of Bryan Royse, mortally wounded in France just a month before the Armistice, graced the front page over a brief biographical sketch and tribute to the fallen hero.

David "Jack" Murrell also recently separated out, was back in the county as well, while a lengthy but undated letter from Walter Tarter to his father, A.W. Tarter, stated he had departed Hoboken, N.J., bound for Europe on July 26, 1918, and arrived at a French Port on August 6. After that, he wrote, "Things were pretty hot for us during Sept. and Oct., but the war is over now and we can rest at ease." He went on to say, "I have tried 8 years of army life and now I will try married life and see which I like best." True to his word, he and Miss Alva Williams were wed in late 1921.

A letter from Adair native V.M. Epperson, then a resident of Chenoa, Ill., reported his son Leslie Epperson, who was in the first group of draftees to leave Adair County for military service, had engaged in three of the biggest battles of the war "and never got a scratch." (Leslie Epperson, Company B, 9th Machine Gun Battalion served from September 1917 until August, 1919.)

With so many young men returning home in a matrimonial frame of mind, no doubt Columbia jeweler L.E. Young had a banner year in 1919.

This story was posted on 2019-01-20 11:48:42
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L.E. Young, Jeweler ad from 1919

2019-01-20 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy Jim.
"Dimond Rings, Platinum Settings, Wrist Watches" and more from an ad in the mid-January 1919 edition of the Adair County News.

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