Travis County and World War I
The Austin Veterans Day Parade organizers and committee are proud to partner with the Travis County Historical Commission to highlight this area's contributions to World War I. Texas' contributions to World War I were important and Travis County sent many troops and welcomed them home after.
After 9 months of research, Save Austin Cemeteries launched the website with lists of over 2,100 WWI veteran gravesites located in Travis County! The updated Travis County WWI events document is at the top of the web page and will be maintained there - it changes frequently. Link: https://www.sachome.org/events/TravisWWI-100.html
The majority of WWI veterans don't have VA headstones making it difficult to find them using genealogical search techniques. Our Travis WWI List will grow more, and we'll eventually combine it to one list for display at upcoming events.
How can you help?
- Spread the word about the Travis County WWI events by sharing this page and letting people know about the WWI lists so they can help us identify missing soldiers and nurses
- Help place USA flags 11/3-11/7 timeframe and help recruit a larger group (Scouts?) to adopt part of a cemetery. Send email to TravisWW1@sachome.org
and get on the volunteer list.
OCTOBER: The Travis County WWI Centennial Committee’s exhibit of WWI artifacts is now on public display at the Capitol Visitors Center, in the old General Land Office building (on E. 11th St., in the SE corner of the Capitol grounds) now thru early January 2019. Hours are M-F 9-5, Sun 12-5
Here are a few of the items - photos courtesy Kevin McKenzie:
Other events in Travis County - see the latest at: https://www.sachome.org/events/WWI/Travis%20County%20WW1%20Centennial%20Events.pdf
WWI Monuments in Travis County
Austin High School – Memorial honoring students and alumni who died during WWI
University of Texas at Austin:
- Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium (originally named “War Memorial Stadium” in 1924 to honor those who died in WWI)
- Frank Denius Veterans Plaza, northwest corner of stadium, with statues and plaques honoring over 5,000 Texans who died while serving during the war and a tablet for University of Texas students, graduates, and staff who sacrificed their lives during WWIState of Texas Capitol Grounds:
- Veterans of the 36th Infantry, Texas National Guard Monument (west side of grounds)
- WWI Memorial (north side of the grounds near the TX Supreme Court)
Compiled by the Travis County WWI Centennial Committee.
Please send edits to TravisWW1@sachome.org
For the latest WWI Events listing with online links, online research resources, and WWI Veteran Burials, visit (after 10/1/18)TravisWW1.sachome.org
Point your smart phone camera at this QR code to be directed to the website.
Other Texas displays of the centennial are at:
The Texas World War I Centennial Commemoration
The Texas Historical Commission
The Handbook of Texas Online
Virtual Cemetery online
Terri Hoover Mirka put together a "virtual cemetery" on findagrave.com of all identified soldiers and nurses who died in service during WWI to help anyone doing projects that would feature some of our local heroes . The list includes people born in, resided in, or buried in Travis County. Some were easy to identify but many required extensive research to locate.
Some highlights and new findings of WWI-enlistees with Travis County ties:
- 1st First Travis County to die was David Hudlin 6/17/1917 from pneumonia, an African-American soldier, buried at Bethany Cemetery.
- 2nd was Calvin Clarke, an Austin High School student who was in the junior naval reserve in Connecticut, died 6/26/1917 at age 16 from meningitis, buried at Oakwood.
- 3rd was Earl Crawford, died 9/17/1917 in accident aboard a ship, buried at Oakwood. This is who was previously stated as the first WWI death in Austin newspapers - I assume before they recognized people who died of disease as a WWI death or perhaps they didn't know about the first two, who were difficult to even identify now!
- 3 Nurses who died in service (Mary Cardwell, Alma Furr, Mamie Jones - all were Travis residents at enlistment, not buried here)
- Over 30% of soldiers died from disease in WWI but our numbers are 56% from disease
Places / Organizations Named for (I'm still uncovering these...let me know others you've found)
- Eugene Doak Penn, died in accident 5/20/1918 - Penn Field, Austin; buried at Oakwood
- Edwin Hutchings, KIA (killed in Action) 10/9/1918- Austin VFW Post, buried at Oakwood; awarded French Croix de Guerre with palm; son of Brig. General
- Frank Murchison Moore, KIA 9/2/1918 - airfield near Mission ,TX, buried at Oakwood Annex; awarded French Croix de Guerre with palm and Silver Star
- Cyrus Graham - American Legion Post Bryan, TX
- Travis Snow - American Legion Post in Wyoming
Others to mention (died after WWI)
- Lee Burgess (1890-1964), Harlem Hellfighter buried in Evergreen Cemetery
- Wallis James Moore (1882- 1929), awarded prestigious Distinguished Service Cross (135 in Texas), buried at Oakwood Cemetery
- Minnie Harris (1884-1929) Nurse buried in Oakwood Annex)
Link to Virtual Cemetery on FindaGrave
, a website run by volunteers who post burials, bio info, and photos. I have added photos of people I could locate, of cleaned gravesites, and submitted requested bio updates to the memorial owners to help complete. If helpful, I could also add articles as I find them. I will add cleaned gravestone pictures later today.
For all Texas WWI deaths
, visit this site compiled by Danny Jones. I've submitted many who were missing for Travis County
On the poppy
Backroads featured a nice article on Texas poppies this time last year:
Poppies are sprouting up again as Texans observe the centennial of “The War to End All Wars,” as it was called back then. According to the Georgetown Texas Red Poppy Festival held annually in late April, seeds from wild poppies in Europe were sent to Georgetown right after World War I.
Read the whole article on the Temple Daily Telegram site.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
From Wikipedia: The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, and represents a common or field poppy, Papaver rhoeas. Inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", and promoted by Moina Michael, they were first adopted by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers killed in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in parts of the British Empire.