Thanksgiving, November 29, 1917

On Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1917,  World War I was raging in Europe. U.S. troops were serving in France or undergoing training here at home in preparation for duty overseas. On Thanksgiving Day, despite the War, soldiers and civilians alike still sat down for the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie.

Soldiers of the 322nd Field Artillery, comprised of  men from Montgomery and Preble Counties, would spend Thanksgiving at Camp Sherman near Chillicothe, Ohio. According to the History of the 322d Field Artillery, the Thanksgiving menu for Battery F included: celery, radishes, pickles, wafers, roast turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, giblet gravy, scalloped oysters, mashed potatoes, candied sweets, creamed peas, pumpkin pie, mince pie, ice cream, vanilla cake, coffee, oranges, apples, mints, cigars and cigarettes (p. 24-25). The meal, as the author wrote, proved “army food is worthwhile occasionally.”

“Morn mess on hike from the Range to Camp Sherman. 3rd OTC Mar’ 18” (ms100_02_21_01)

Here in the Miami Valley the Dayton Weather Bureau reported a cloudy day with climbing temperatures from a low of 36 in the early morning hours to a high of 50 degrees at 8 p.m. Sunset on November 29, 1917, was 4:13p.m. In the notes section of the Bureau report the following description was written:

“The sun shone dimly through the clouds and breaks in clouds for more than an hour about noon, and from 11 to 12 noon there were 9/10 clouds.”

Daytonian Joseph Graham Crane Schenck, Sr., would start the cool, cloudy morning with, what many of us traveling over the holidays fear the most, car trouble. He then described his afternoon meal as simply “turkey, pumpkin pie, etc.”

Diary entry for November 29, 1917 (MS-284, box 1, file 5)

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Thanksgiving Break Hours

Special Collections & Archives will be closed Wednesday, November 22-Sunday, November 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will be open Monday, November 20, and Tuesday, November 21, from 8:30am-5pm and then back again for normal hours on Monday, November 27, at 8:30am.

Don’t forget: even during closings, our web site (including collection guides), blogs, and digital collections on CORE Scholar are available 24/7/365.

We apologize for any inconvenience and wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

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The Genealogy of Edward Cullin: Naturalization Records at SC&A

Any Twilight fans out there? This week, while searching for a naturalization record in the Montgomery County Clerk of Court records, I stumbled on an entry for an Edward Cullin, a native of Ireland, becoming a U.S. citizen right here in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 1856. I know, the “real” Edward Cullen was not born in the Twilight world until 1901, but the name still caught my eye. Do you have ancestors that immigrated to the United States and settled here in the Miami Valley? If so, they may appear in our naturalization records.

Special Collections & Archives is a member of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers and, as a member, we collect and maintain the local government records for 11 counties in central southwestern Ohio. The counties includes Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby. The records typically include material from Auditor, Clerk of Courts, County Home/Infirmary, Probate Court, township, and city/town. Naturalization records, located in the Clerk of Courts or Probate Court or both, span from the early 1800s-through the mid-1900s depending on the county.

SC&A has created an online index for the naturalization records that are available. Researchers can search by surname, browse by last name, or browse a specific county. The index provides the individual’s name, location of record (i.e. Clerk of Courts, Probate Court, etc.), and page number(s) of the entry. The record can then be viewed by visiting our reading room or requested via email or telephone.

Take some time to search the naturalization indexes and, hopefully, you’ll find a record or two for a Miami Valley ancestor!

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