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100 Years Ago Today

April 6, 1917, two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorsed the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally entered World War I. 

More than 20 young men from frankford died in the war or as a result of the flu epidemic that began during that time.  It was called the War to End All Wars but it lead to World War 2 and even more carnage.

These are a few of their stories below.

Joseph Alexander Coyle

Joseph Alexander Coyle was born on January 6, 1892 and lived at 1325 sellers. He was a shipping clerk at S.W. Evans and Son on Paul Street when he was inducted into the army on May 25, 1918. He was serving with Company K of the 315th Infantry, 79th Division when he was wounded on August 28, 1918 and died of pneumonia October 28, 1918. He is buried in St. Joachim Cemetery in Frankford.

Walter Carroll Brinton was born on January 2, 1894 and lived at 4540 Adams Ave.  His father was a surveyor for the city and his mother was Elizabeth Smedley, sister of Franklin Smedley.  He worked as a clerk for the Mitter Lock Company on Tacony Street in Frankford when he registered for the draft, however he claimed exemption as a Quaker.  Even though he was a Conscientious Objector, He applied for a passport in September of 1917 to travel to France for a 2 year period to work for the American Friends Reconstruction.  He died December 8, 1918 at “Sermaize-les-Bains, Departement de la Marne, Champagne-Ardenne”, France and is buried in the Friends Ground Cemetery in Frankford.

Elmer J. Needham

Elmer J. Needham was born March 18, 1886 in Philadelphia.  His family lived at 1314 Unity Street.  He was a clerk/salesman.  On May 5, 1918 he applied for a passport to go to France in the American Red Cross, He was a 2nd lieutenant when he died on October 10, 1918.  He is buried in France.

Charles Harold Redman was born on  May 5, 1891 and baptized at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.  He lived at 4629 Tackawanna Street.  He was a meat cutter, married with a wife and child. He was inducted into the Army on April 25, 1918 and served in Company E, 146th Infantry  He was killed in action on September 27, 1918. He is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

There will be more stories coming out in a book to be published next month.