Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Edward C. Scheel's WWI Registration

Charles E. Scheel registered for the WWI draft at the same time his father, Edward Scheel, did. Again, thanks to, I was able to find his draft card and post it above. The front of the card is on the left and back on the right.

Front of Card:

Serial Number: 6127 (upper left corner)
Order Number: *298 (upper right corner; * is unreadable number)
Name: Edward Christian Scheel
Address: 2619 North Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara (County), NY
Age in Years: 43
Date of Birth: December 15th, 1874
Race: White (box checked)
US Citizen: Native Born (box checked)
Present Occupation: Warehouse Manager
Employer's Name: Measurements (?? -- my guess)
Place of Employment: 349 3rd St, Niagara Falls, Niagara, NY
Nearest Relative: Name: William & Caroline Scheel
Address: Baltimore, MD
Signature affirming above answers: Edward Christian Scheel

Back of Card:

Height: Tall (box checked)
Build: Slender (box checked)
Color of Eyes: Blue
Color of Hair: (unreadable)
Obvious Physical Impairment: No
Signature of Registrar: John C.... (last name unreadable)
Date of Registration: Sept. 12th, 1918

The historical background of the draft cards helps to put all this information in context. This excerpt is from Warren Blatt's excellent web page at

On May 18, 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, authorizing the President to temporarily increase the military establishment of the United States. The Selective Service System was responsible for the process of selecting men for induction into the military service, from the initial registration to the actual delivery of men to military training camps.

Under the office of the Provost Marshal General, the Selective Service System was made up of 52 state offices (one for each of the 48 states; the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; and the District of Columbia), 155 district boards, and 4648 local boards... The average district board had jurisdiction over approximately 30 local boards, each with an average registration of 5000 men. Local boards were established for each county or similar subdivision in each state, and for each 30,000 persons (approximately) in each city or county with a population over 30,000.

During World War I there were three registrations:

The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.

The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. (A supplemental registration was held on August 24, 1918 for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918. This was included in the second registration.)

The third registration was held on September 12, 1918 for men aged 18 through 45.

Using the historical background above, I can see that Edward and Charles registered for the draft during this third registration period. This would make sense because they were not age-eligible in the other two registration period with Edward being to old and Charles too young.

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