wwi & the men from carson city


November 11, 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the first world war. In Carson City, Nevada, the community will join others across the country as the Bells of Peace will ring at 11 am local time on Sunday November 11th to honor those that served and died in World War I. The Nevada State Museum will host a special exhibit on the war on Saturday, November 10th, and then on Sunday the Bells of Peace ceremony. World War I had a global impact, affecting local communities throughout the world, the United States, and the state of Nevada. We wanted to take a look back and see how World War I came to Carson City, a community of between 1,600 and 2,500 people from 1910 to 1920. 


On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went to the U.S. Congress requesting a declaration of war against Germany, after multiple sinkings of U.S. ships by the Germans. When the volunteer army in the United States was considered insufficient for the war effort, the Select Service Act of 1917 was enacted on May 18, 1917, thereby creating a national army and conscription or draft was implemented. Initially, the Act required men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for potential military service. The first day of registration for these young men was June 5, 1917.

In Carson City on June 5th, ninety-seven men appeared at the registration booths. According to the Carson City Daily Appeal article on this date, there were fifty-three men from the First Ward, thirty from the Second Ward, and fourteen from the Third Ward. It was noted that twenty men from the First Ward were from the Indian school. All the men who registered were listed in the paper along with their age. There ultimately would be 150 men from Carson City who were eligible for the draft in 1917. It appears that Arthur Todd was the first man to register and Clarence Theodore Sadler was the last to sign up on June 5th in Carson City. (Carson City Daily Appeal, July 20, 1917) 

On July 20, 1917, in Washington D.C., the first round of men were drawn and thereby selected for consideration of military service. Ernest Gilman Folsom, age 30, was the first young man drawn from Carson City. Twenty-three other men were selected that day to report for physical exams. The quota for Ormsby County for the number of men that were required to serve was sixteen, as of 1917. Over the course of the next month, three separate groups of men from the list of eligible men were drawn for the draft and went through their physical examinations and review of requested exemptions were heard. According to an August 7, 1917 Carson City Daily Appeal article, many of the men did not meet the standard requirements for service set by the government. In addition, there were exemption requests that had been approved, but it was felt that the quota would be met.


On August 23, 1917, the paper listed the sixteen men from Carson City that had been selected and would soon leave for training camps, thereby meeting the quota for the county. The men serving from Carson City were Thomas Vincent O'Hara (age 21), John Edward Newman (age 23), Paul Francis Glanzmann (age 25), Lawrence Peter Foged (age 26), David William Stevenson , Dan Arratabel, Baxter Otis Whittaker (age 28), Arthur Todd (age 28), Guido Quilici, Frank Smith Emmett (age 23), Ono Williams Whittaker (age 27), James Morris Hammond (age 25), John Clark Smith (age 27), Vincent C. Nevin (age 24), Frederick C. Chappell (age 29), and August Andrew Glanzmann. 

In the same August 23, 1917 Carson City Daily Appeal article, the mobilization of the men was indicated as being set over the course of four different dates, the first being September 5, 1917 then September 19th, October 9th, and the final date to be announced. The first date was to be a legal holiday as proclaimed by Nevada Governor Emmet D. Boyle and quoted in the paper to read as follows;

"On Wednesday, September 5, 1917, every community in this state and nation will observe and share in the most remarkable mobilization of all history." " On that day the civil authorities in  each country will send forth the first of four contingents to the army cantonments, to pay the debt of service imposed by the blessings of liberty. From the sixteen counties of Nevada the patriotic exodus will proceed and thenceforth the communities that have sent their very flower of youth as friends and relatives, will follow their far-flung fortunes under the Flag as soldiers of the world's greatest and most perfect Democracy. In these circumstances, I, Emmet D. Boyle, governor of the state of Nevada, by authority in me vested, have appointed and do hereby designate and proclaim Wednesday, September 5, 1917, as a legal holiday and I do urge all public and private organizations to make it one of patriotic demonstration, of inspiration and acknowledgement alike, in honor of those we send to fight for us. I do further urgently request that all saloons be kept closed during all of said day."

The first five men from Carson City to leave for camp were Thomas Vincent O'Hara, John Edward Newman, Paul Francis Glanzmann, Lawrence Peter Foged, and David William Stevenson.

The various departures of the four groups of men for camp in 1917 were each a community send off as citizens offered their good-byes and well wishes. On each occasion, a parade of civic and fraternal organizations assembled at the Capitol grounds and led the procession to the Virginia & Truckee Train Depot. At the departure of the third group on October 5, 1917, the farewell address was given by Judge Ben W. Colmena of the Supreme Court. Those departing, James Morris Hammond, Dan Aratabel, Lawrence Peter Foged, and Matt Renfro, we seen off by waving family, friends, and community members as the train left the depot. Joining the men from Carson City on the train to Reno were also the men from Douglas and Storey counties. At the Reno station other men from throughout the state met up as they all heading to training camps in California and Washington. (Carson City Daily Appeal, Oct. 3, Oct. 5, and Oct. 6, 1917)


Periodically, news from the men would be received via a letter or postcard as to their location. In November 1917, letters were received from the men at the American Lake training camp in California. David Stevenson was driving the private car of his commanding officer. Frank Emmett was working with horses at the remount station. Dan Arratabel and Lawrence Foged were in artillery.  John Newman and Tommie O'Hara had not been seen at the camp, although locating them among 50,000 troops was difficult it was pointed out in the Carson City Daily Appeal article of November 15, 1917.  The Carson City Daily Appeal did post a thank you from John Newman in December 1917 though when he sent a postcard from camp and thanked the community for the Thanksgiving wish he had received. A photo of Lawrence Foged was apparently sent to his mother in March 1918 where on the back was written “To my loving Mother, A little something to keep me close at hand until I return from Over There. Your Loving Son Lawrence March 18”. (Per the Pvt. Lawrence P. Foged Find-A-Grave profile)


In May 1918, the government called on more men to register for potential service. On June 5, 1918, those men who turned 21 years of age after June 5, 1917 and on or before June 5, 1918 had to register.  Military Registration Day was set for September 12, 1918 and per changes in the eligible age, now men 18 to 45 were required to register for potential service. According to a Report of the Adjutant General in 1921, the state of Nevada had 3,211 men accepted at training camps. Ormsby County had a total of 439 who registered and 51 were accepted into the camps.  A full list of the fifty-one men has not yet been located. A list of the initial 136 that registered in 1917 was reported in a July 28, 1917 Carson City Daily Appeal article.  A copy of the article can be viewed at this link;  https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86076241/1917-07-30/ed-1/seq-4/  Presumably, many of the fifty-one may have been from this list of men.  The other men from Nevada that were accepted at camps were represented as follows; Churchill 133, Clark 209, Douglas 66, Elko 446, Esmeralda 120, Eureka 49, Humboldt 306, Lander 80, Lincoln 97, Lyon 201, Mineral 92, Nye 213, Storey 53, Washoe 612, and White Pin 483. 


On November 11, 1918 the Armistice was signed ending the war. Regrettably though, news of casualties did reach Carson City just prior to the armistice. Of the initial quota of sixteen men from Carson City, three died either of wounds received in battle or during action. John Newman died of wounds received in battle in September 1918. The notice from the War Department was received by his mother Mrs. Georgia Newman on November 8, 1918. And just four days later on November 12, 1918, news of Thomas "Tommie" O'Hara's death was received. Tommie's aunt Miss B. Smith received the notice. According to the November 12, 1918, Carson City Daily Appeal article, Miss Smith had raised Tommie after his parent's death. The third soldier to pass away was Lawrence Foged, who was killed in action on October 8, 1918. Notice of his death wasn't received by the family however until January 13, 1919. The article announcing his death indicated that Lawrence had a milk delivery route in Carson City prior to his service. (Carson City Daily Appeal, January 14, 1919) Unfortunately, the Foged family suffered other family losses when their son Henry, who was not selected for service due to a disability, passed away in mid-November 1918 from influenza. (Carson City Daily Appeal, November 12, 1918) Notice of Lawrence’s death comes in January 1919, and in October 1919, Mrs. Foged, the mother, was tragically found drowned on the family ranch according to a Carson City Daily Appeal article on October 14, 1919.

Military records indicate that both John Edward Newman and Thomas Vincent O'Hara served in Company L, 362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Infantry Division. Both achieved the rank of Corporal in the United States Army. They both were wounded in the Argonne offensive in September 1918 and died of their wounds. There are grave crosses for both at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France (see photos below). John Newman indicated on his registration card that he was a bar tender in Carson City and lived on W. King Street. John was also married to Georgia Edith Sherman, having wed on January 20, 1916. Tommie O'Hara indicated on his card that he was a ranch hand employed by a Mr. Bath in Carson City and lived on North Carson Street.

Lawrence Peter Foged was a Private in Company I of the 16th Infantry, 1st Division. Here was killed in action on October 9, 1918 near Fleville, France. Lawrence is buried in the Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City, Nevada. Members of the public have created a Find-A-Grave profile for Lawrence Foged which includes the photos below as well as a newspaper article announcing his death and funeral services in Carson City. On Lawrence's registration card he indicated he was a farmer in Carson City. The Foged family farm was located on the prison road east of town according to a Carson City Daily Appeal article of October 4, 1919.

Military records indicate that four other men from Carson City who served died, although not in battle or due to wounds received. Karl W. Chartz died in October 1918 at Fort Logan in Colorado of influenza. William Joseph McCabe died in September 1918 in Reno, of heart failure. Philip Malo died in November 1920 in Carson City after contracting tuberculosis while in service. Clarence Gordon Rosenbrock died in July 1918 in Carson City of an unspecified disease. 

Overall, some 4.7 million men from the United States served in World War I. More than 116,000 men from the United States died in service to their country. The number of men who lost their lives from Nevada was approximately 195, based on the listing in the Report of the Adjutant General from 1921.

When the Bells of Peace ring on November 11, 2018 at 11 am, remember the men from Carson City who served and those that lost their lives on the battle field, John, Lawrence, and Tommie, as well as Karl, William, Philip, and Clarence.

* The History of the 362nd Infantry,
This is book, published in 1920 and found on the Internet Library, tells of the training and actions of the 362nd Infantry, which was the unit that John Newman and Thomas O'Hara were soldiers in.  On page 66, there are  specific references to Soldier Newman's and Soldier O'Hara's battlefield actions when killed.

Note: The Carson City Community Archive welcomes additional information about the men who served from Ormsby County. Family members with photographs, letters, and other items are invited to contact us if you  would like to share their stories and family history about these men from our community.  Email: ccca@griffindevelopmentservices.com

Carson City Daily Appeal https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86076241/1917-06-05/ed-1/seq-1/

Carson City Daily Appeal https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86076241/1917-06-05/ed-1/seq-1/