“World War Photos Wanted”

Carroll County Times article for 26 September 1993

By Jay A. Graybeal

It was 75 years ago that American doughboys went “over there” to “kick the Kaiser” and ‘make the world safe for democracy.” On November 11 the Historical Society will open an special exhibition entitled “Carroll County and the Great War For Civilization.” The exhibit will explore the experiences of both civilian and military personnel during this era in county history.

One section of the exhibition will be devoted to portrait photographs of local servicemen and women. Most images were 5 3/8″ x 3 3/8″ postcards, the most popular type of portrait photo taken during the war. Postcards were inexpensive, could be mailed and later mounted in albums.

While researching for the exhibition an exciting document surfaced regarding the postcard photograph. An undated press release from the local draft board appealed to the citizens for photographs:

In order that future generations may know whose lives were offered in freedom’s cause, and may be able to recognize their forebears who fought in order that the world might be free, the local board wishes to collect the photographs of each man who has gone into service from Carroll County.In order to accomplish this it is requested that when the next letter is written by parents or friends to camp, ship or overseas, or station, that each man will be asked to have a postcard picture taken in uniform showing his head and shoulders and that these photos have the name of the soldier and his rank written upon the back and sent to the local board as soon as possible.

By this means a portrait gallery of Carroll’s gallant sons will be assembled which will constitute an honor roll to be keep sacredly intact and which will be a reminder that the blessings of democracy are won and preserved only by a willingness to cheerfully accept service in its defense whenever its institutions are threatened.

Likely at least some photographs were collected but their whereabouts are unknown to the writer. If anyone has information about these images please call the Historical Society at 848-6494. We would also like to hear from anyone with a photograph, or other artifacts, of a local World War I serviceman or woman for display in the upcoming exhibition. If a significant number of images can be found this part of the exhibit will approach the “portrait gallery of Carroll’s gallant sons” and daughters envisioned by the Draft Board 75 years ago.
Photo Caption: Postcard photograph of an unidentified U.S. Army World War I soldier whose last name may have been Field or Fields. Does anyone recognize him? Historical Society of Carroll Collection. Gift of Mrs. Lola Crawford, 1993.