Monday, August 11, 2014

Military Monday - WWI Monument Dedication in Centreville, Maryland, October 1918

The Maryland State Archives has digitized copies of many pages of old Maryland newspapers available on its site. The dates are hit and miss since many pages no longer exist, but it's a great resource if you have Maryland ancestors.

The page shown below was published in The Centreville Observer on October 5, 1918. Centreville is in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and was the home to many of my ancestors.

The newspaper must have been in pretty bad shape as the scan isn't too good, but I was able to make out some references to my Councill family. Most of the articles on the front page were about World War One.

One article detailed a dedication ceremony for a monument and flag honoring the soldiers of Queen Anne's County. The ceremony included an address by Senator Harper of Centreville where he mentioned the soldiers that had lost their lives during the war, including my great-uncle Julius Councill.

He very feelingly spoke of the three boys who had already made the supreme sacrifice-- Jeff Davis, Jr. of Centreville, and J. Edgar Potts and Julius K. Council, of Baltimore, but natives of Queen Anne's county.

Another section of the articled talked about a procession of War Mothers where they wore arm bands with a star representing each of their children that were serving in the war. This must have been a very moving part of the ceremony. My great-grandmother Ariana Councill was one of two mothers that had three children in the military and had only learned of the loss of her son Julius a few weeks before the ceremony.

In the War Mothers' procession were nearly a hundred mothers of Soldiers and Sailors, two in the number, Mrs. Councill and Mrs. Joseph Fesnaper?, who have three from their families in the service, led the procession, wearing arm bands with three stars. There were any number who wore two stars and one star, and in most every instance it meant all that a mother had to give.

Liberty Loan Ad from The Centreville Observer, Oct. 5, 1918
The ceremony concluded with a mention of the upcoming Liberty Loan event intended to raise more money for the war efforts. According to the article, $100,650 was already subscribed during the afternoon of the dedication ceremony. Only a few pages were available in the digital collection for The Centreville Observer for October 1918, so I was fortunate that they included the information on the dedication ceremony and the connections to my Councill family.

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