The is a snapshot of one of my four great-grandfathers in 1917-1918. I wrote it upon my discovery online of their WWI draft registration cards.
The others, in order of Father’s Father’s Father to Mother’s Mother’s Father, are:
- Post-368: Great Grandfather No.1 [FFF] before draft board, 1917
- Post-369: Great Grandfather No.2 [FMF] before draft board, 1917
- Post-370: Great Grandfather No.3 [MFF] before draft board, 1917
- Post-371: Great Grandfather No.4 [MMF] before draft board, 1917 (this post)
Below I transcribe the draft registration card, provide a picture of the man, some comments on how the war period turned out for each man, and most ambitiously I try to re-create how they would have likely stood on the war. While I never knew any of these men, I did now their children in their old age (my grandparents).
Born in Connecticut; of Colonial New England stock. Had lifelong ties to New Britain, Connecticut, often by residence, often by employment, and until his death for family/social reasons. He did not have to appear before the draft board in 1917 because he was still 19. Having turned 20, he was registered in June 1918 and was conscripted into the US Army:
1. Name in Full: Earle Hazen
2. Home Address: 69 Church St., New Britain, Conn.
3. Date of Birth: April 13, 1897
4. Where were you born? East Berlin, Conn., USA
5. I am: A native of the United States. (Crossed out options are: ‘Naturalized Citizen’; ‘Alien’; ‘I have declared my intention [to naturalize]’; a Noncitizen or Citizen [American-]Indian’)
6. If not a citizen, of what nation are you a citizen or subject? [blank]
7. Father’s Birthplace: North Hero, Vt.
8[a]. Name of Employer: Landers, Frary, & Clark
8[b]. Place of Employment: New Britain, Conn.
9[a]. Name of nearest relative: M.H. [Mahlon] Hazen (father)
9[b]. Address of nearest relative: East Berlin, Conn.
10. Race: White (crossed out options are: ‘Negro,’ ‘Indian,’ or ‘Oriental’)
“I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.”
[Signed,] Earle Hazen
1[a]. [Height:] Medium
1[b]. [Build:] Slender
2[a]. Color of eyes: Blue
2[b]. Color of hair: Dark
3. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he palpably physically disqualified (specify)? None
[Signed by the Registrar of the City of New Britain, Connecticut]
Date of Registration: June 5, 1918
Why was Earle not registered in 1917? Why was he drafted in 1918? What was going on in his life in the 1910s? What would have been his position on intervention in the 1914-1918 war?