Doddridge County Roots

A West Virginia Genealogy

Wayne Claudius ADAMS

Male 1889 - 1918  (29 years)


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  • Name Wayne Claudius ADAMS 
    Born 22 May 1889  Big Isaac, Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Census 1900, 1910  Greenbrier District, Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1910  [4
    farm laborer on home farm 
    Occupation 1917  [5
    oiler at gas compressing station for Hope Natural Gas Co. 
    Residence Miletus (Salem), Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Military From 27 May 1918 to 7 Oct 1918  [6
    Cpl, US Army, Co A, 110th Inf, World War I (killed in action) 
    Died 7 Oct 1918  Argonne Forest, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Buried Big Isaac Cemetery, Big Isaac, Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 7
    • Headstone inscription:
      "Killed in Argonne Forest, France, Oct 7, 1918. Gave his life for his country's sake. At rest."
    Notes 
    • Wayne Claudius Adams (1889-1918)
      The story of Wayne C. Adams closely parallels that of Joe Kimball. Wayne also came from a large family, one of ten children of Michael Adams (1853-1937) and Sarah Catherine Richards (1852-1913) of Greenbrier District. He was born at Big Isaac on May 22, 1889. In the 1910 Census, single and still living at home, he gave his occupation as farm laborer on the home farm.

      By the time he registered for the draft in June 1917, Wayne was still single but had found regular employment as an oiler at a gas compressor station for the Hope Natural Gas Co. His home address was "Miletus R #1, W.Va," and he indicated that his widowed father was partly dependent on him for support. His reply to the question "Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?" was a cryptic "Yes, on Physical Disability."

      I don’t know what Wayne’s physical disability might have been, but he either didn’t pursue the exemption, or it was denied if he did. Nearly a year later, on May 27, 1918, Wayne joined Joe Kimball and the 63 other recruits who departed the West Union depot for training at Camp Lee. But on the occasion of his 29th birthday, his family saw fit to host a combination birthday and farewell party for him just before he left. The Doddridge County Republican of June 6, 1918, which listed by name some fifty guests, described the event this way:

      BIRTHDAY FAREWELL
      "On Tuesday night, May the 21st, at the home of Michael Adams on Bonnett Fork of Middle Island, quite an interesting birthday party was held in honor of their son Wayne, who was called to the colors on May the 26th. ...

      "Excellent music was rendered, Mrs. Anderson Hinkle presiding at the piano, and Mr. Anderson Hinkle played the violin.

      "Dainty refreshments were served, pleasant games were played, and all report a good time."

      Writes from Boot Camp
      Any disability that Wayne may have had apparently didn’t slow him down in boot camp. By the time he finished, he had been promoted to the rank of Corporal, an unusually rapid advancement to a leadership position.

      Shortly after his arrival at Camp Lee, Wayne found time to write a letter to the editor of one of the three West Union newspapers, the Doddridge County Republican, fondly referred to by many as "The Bugle." In the issue of June 6, 1918 was an article listing several Doddridge soldiers who had written to the editor, one of whom was Wayne:

      "Wayne C. Adams, 58th Prov. Rec. Bn, Barracks A, Camp Lee, writes for the Bugle to be mailed to himself, Guy F. Casey and Asa A. Bennett at the above address. We also have the same address for Paul M. Broadwater."

      On July 18, 1918, Cpl Wayne C. Adams was yet another of the many soldiers departing for France from Newport News aboard the transport ship Wilhelmina. His name appeared on the same passenger list as Joe Kimball and Omer Davis, but on a different page. Other Doddridge soldiers on that page were John W. Guthrie of Morgansville, Harvey C. Davis of Blandville, Asa A. Bennett of Big Isaac, and Walter D. Reed of Oxford, as well as several others from nearby Ritchie and Calhoun counties. Sadly, it will be necessary for one of the other Doddridge soldiers on that page to be the subject of a future article in this series.

      Delay in Reporting Death
      I have not found an account of the specific circumstances of Wayne's death, other than that he was either killed in action or died of wounds on October 7, 1918. I'm assuming that he was categorized as missing for a few months, since it took that long for his death to be announced. Military records at the National Archives (fold3) include a cablegram from AEF Headquarters to the War Department dated April 21, 1919, which appears to be clarifying another cable from two days before:

      "Subparagraph A, Reference P 2390. Corporal Wayne C. Adams, Company A, 110 Infantry, died date and cause of death to be determined reported in Casualty 458. For your information Casualty 484 subparagraph 15 reports killed in action October 7."

      Oddly, the military cablegram of April 1919 expressed uncertainty about a death that they determined had occurred in October 1918. But a month before, on March 13, 1919, Wayne’s obituary had appeared in the Doddridge County Republican:

      CORP. WAYNE C. ADAMS WINS GOLDEN STAR
      “Corp. Wayne C. Adams, son of Michael Adams and Sarah Richards Adams, deceased, member of Co. A, 110th Inft, 28th Division, has been officially reported in the list of those who died of wounds. His father, who resides near Big Isaac, received the official notice in a telegram containing the sad news last Tuesday.

      “Prior to this, his captain had written that he was slightly wounded by Machine Gun fire in the Argonne Forest about 4:30 a.m., Oct 1st, that he had been taken to a S.O.S. hospital on the same day, and had been dropped from the Company Roll on the 9th.

      “Besides the aged father are four brothers, Hiram, who resides out West; Ora of Kincheloe; Homer of Clarksburg; and Carl G., who is in the service at Base Hosp. No. 11, Cape May, N.J., but who at this writing is at home on a short furlough; also two sisters, Misses Etta Adams and Bertha Adams, at home.

      “Wayne entrained here with the "65" on May 27th for Camp Lee, Va., where he trained with the 58th Co, 15th Prov. Rec. Bn. Of this number, he is perhaps the seventh to have won the Golden Star. Those who preceded him were Linden L. Gain, Omer Davis, Wm. Guy Heflin, Lee Roy Smith, Benj. Howard Ash and Joe Kimball.

      “He was a noble young man, lived a noble life, and died in a noble cause."

      Wayne C. Adams’ grave at Big Isaac Cemetery is marked by an upright civilian-style headstone that leaves no doubt about his military service and the great sacrifice that he made. Engraved with an emblem of crossed rifles, it makes no mention of the rank that he earned, but it does include his military unit, “Co A, 110 Inf,” and the following simple inscription: "Killed in Argonne Forest, France, Oct 7, 1918. Gave his life for his country's sake. At rest."

      (c) Jennifer Wilt. Originally published in "The Doddridge Independent" of 14 Sep 2018.
    Person ID I75987  Doddridge County Roots
    Last Modified 27 Apr 2019 

    Father Michael ADAMS,   b. 15 Apr 1853, Lewis Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1937, Miletus (Salem), Doddridge Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Sarah Catherine RICHARDS,   b. Sep 1852, Harrison Co, (W)VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1913  (Age ~ 60 years) 
    Married 2 Oct 1872  Harrison Co, WV Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F18354  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 22 May 1889 - Big Isaac, Doddridge Co, WV Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Miletus (Salem), Doddridge Co, WV Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Big Isaac Cemetery, Big Isaac, Doddridge Co, WV Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_17Aug1918_CroppedTight.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_17Aug1918_CroppedTight.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_17Aug1918_Cropped.jpg
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    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_17Aug1918.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_17Aug1918.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_21Aug1918_Back.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One_21Aug1918_Back.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One.jpg
    75987_Wayne-Claudius-Adams_US-Army_WW-One.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneC_1889-1918_BigIsaacCem_DoddridgeCoWV.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneC_1889-1918_BigIsaacCem_DoddridgeCoWV.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneC_1889-1918_BigIsaacCem_DoddridgeCoWV_closeup.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneC_1889-1918_BigIsaacCem_DoddridgeCoWV_closeup.jpg

    Documents
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_1889-1918_Wins-Golden-Star.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_1889-1918_Wins-Golden-Star.jpg
    999999_Letters-From-Soldiers_DoddridgeCoRepublican_6Jun1918.jpg
    999999_Letters-From-Soldiers_DoddridgeCoRepublican_6Jun1918.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_WW-One_DraftRegistration_5Jun1917.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_WW-One_DraftRegistration_5Jun1917.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_Birthday-Farewell-Party_21May1918.jpg
    75987_ADAMS_WayneClaudius_Birthday-Farewell-Party_21May1918.jpg
    999999_Recruits-Leave-WestUnion-for-Camp-Lee-Va_27May1918.jpg
    999999_Recruits-Leave-WestUnion-for-Camp-Lee-Va_27May1918.jpg

  • Sources 
    1. [S2569] West Virginia Births Index, 1853-1969 [database on-line], (Ancestry.com).

    2. [S2582] West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database, (http://www.wvculture.org/history/wvmemory/wvvetmem.html).

    3. [S638] Headstone (year only).

    4. [S1813] 1910 Census.

    5. [S1875] World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives and Records Administration, (Ancestry.com online database).

    6. [S5] Headstone.

    7. [S2550] Doddridge County Cemeteries, Vol. I, Donald Edward Ramage (1934-2016), (4117 Almaville Rd, Smyna TN 37167 (1988, rev. 1999)).