DAR Fort Dale Chapter look to dedicate WW1 Memorial

Published 10:46 am Thursday, May 31, 2018

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War memorials dedicated to those who served in the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam can be found throughout Greenville.

Those who fought in those wars and the ones who died from Butler County have been memorialized.

However, one group of soldiers killed in action from Butler County doesn’t have a memorial, but that’s about to change.

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On July 26, a memorial to those killed in action during World War I will be dedicated at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

The Butler County World War I Centennial Committee, along with the Fort Dale Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, are organizing the event in July.

Gerald Johnson and Nimrod Frazier head up the World War I Committee in Butler County.

“This whole project came about because we don’t have a memorial anywhere in the County to those who died in World War I,” Johnson said. “We have the monument at the Butler County Courthouse, but there needs to be something recognizing those who gave their lives.”

Johnson and Frazier, along with the help of the Greenville Historical and Genealogical Society, were able to compile a list of names of soldiers that were killed in action during World War I.

“We started out with 14 names of young men who were killed,” Johnson said. “Over the last year, we were able to find five more names increasing the number to 19 boys from Butler County who were killed.”

The following list shows the names of those killed in World War I and the town they are from:

  • CPL William Alexander, Georgiana
  • PVT Eugene T. Brooks, Georgiana
  • CPL Amos Bush, Greenville
  • PVT Claudie Caine, Georgiana
  • PVT Comer C. Caine, Georgiana
  • CPL William T. Cheatham, Greenville
  • CPL Burkley H. Cook, Georgiana
  • PVT George K. Ealum, McKenzie
  • PVT Edgar W. Hall, Chapman
  • CPL Rufus P. Hendrix, Greenville
  • PVT Charles Hoomes, Chapman
  • SGT Worth Lewis, Greenville
  • PVT Burie G. McCormick, Pigeon Creek
  • PVT Elbert L. “Lee” Milton, Oakey Streak
  • PVT Bryant Price, McKenzie
  • PVT Horace Rigsby, Georgiana
  • PFC James L. Sampley, Spring Hill
  • CPL Walter Wallace, Garland
  • PVT Will Frank Williams, Greenville

The Fort Dale DAR is looking for relatives of the fallen soldiers. These relatives will be recognized at the ceremony in July.

“It’s been 100 years, so it’s tough to find out exactly who may be relatives of these soldiers,” Johnson said. “People can register as family members when they come to the ceremony. They’ll be given a poppy seed pin to wear.”

Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tracy Salter said that Johnson came to her with the idea of holding the ceremony at the Chamber.

“We both felt that the train depot’s historical significance in Greenville makes it a perfect spot to hold this ceremony,” she said. “We don’t know where we’ll put the plaque exactly, but we know it’ll be on the front.”

Salter said they’re expecting between 100 and 150 people to attend.

“We will have tents and chairs set up for he ceremony,” she said. “We’re going to make sure everyone is comfortable for this sure to be wonderful event.”

Johnson said a metal plaque would be unveiled listing all 19 names. Frazier is slotted to speak to the crowd.

“The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce,” Johnson said. “The City of Greenville, Chamber of Commerce and everyone else involved have been so great in helping us put this together. We’re excited to finally honor these men who fought and died for our country.”

For more information about the ceremony or to inquire about possible relation to the soldiers, contact the Fort Dale DAR at (334) 376-9213.