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!