As The Great War raged on in Europe, the United States Government was recruiting more men between the ages of 21 an 31 to go and fight “over there”. Those listed in Classes 2 and 4 were being required to be drafted. An article on the front page of the May 25, 1918 issue of The Havre Plaindealer said, in part:
“CLASS TWO AND FOR MEN NOW FACE DRAFT
“Plan Approved by President to Weed Out Non-Essentials
“…It is estimated by the provost marshal general’s office that there are several hundred thousand men in classes 2 and 4 who are not engaged in useful war work. Included in the list are bartenders, gamblers, idlers of various sorts, stock salesmen, brewery and distillery workers and many other classes of workers whose employment is not regarded by the war department has having a tendency to promote the prosecution of the war.
“It is proposed that the local boards shall call up these men and say to them:
“We do not like the kind of work you are doing. Get a job that will help win the war or we will put you in the army.”
“If the name refuses to do as instructed within a reasonable time, he would be called again by the board, placed in class 1 and certified for service. This action would be taken on the ground that the drafting of the man in question would not disturb the economic condition of the country…
“…Class 3 of the draft would not be disturbed by the proposed action because of the fact that only skilled workers and men employed in necessary war work are listed in class 3.
“Class 1 of the draft is divided into four groups. Into the first group go those who are physically fit. In the second group go those who have some slight defect which might be remedied in a hospital or by a minor operation. These men are called the remedial group ad there are about 50,000 of them in the United States.
“In the third group are those who are capable only of limited military service. There are about 200,000 of these men and they are the kind that have a glass eye, a thumb off or bad vision, bad hearing or any kind of a physical defect that would prevent them from being fighting men but which does not totally incapacitate them. These men have not been disposed of yet, but it is proposed to let them do the work of non-combatants which many fighting men are now doing…
“The plan is to use these men immediately.
“…The fourth group is composed of those who are physically incapacitated. They cannot be used in the army nor can they be used in useful war work, so the provost marshal general proposes to dismiss these men from consideration at once.”
To make the point more succinct, the following article was printed just under the above:
“RECRUITING PARTY TO VISIT HAVRE.
“Postmaster Pepin Received Official Notice.
“On Thursday Postmaster Pepin received the following official notice from Paul H. Lynch at Lewiston, Montana, asking that he give it as much publicity as possible:
“”Recruiting party of U. S. army will be in your city for five days beginning May 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Men from 18 to 21 and ones who have become 21 since registration and those from 31 to 41 can enlist at that time. All branches of the army are open for enlistments.”
In other national war news, Congress was appropriating another $11 billion toward the war effort, “American Guns Are Biggest In War”, a proposal was being drafted by the Secretary of the Interior to give certain agricultural lands to returning soldiers at the war’s end, a proposal by Representative Emerson would heavily punish those contractors defrauding the United States government shall be guilty of profiteering and after conviction, be “treated as a traitor to his country and shall be punished by death”, and of course a large advertisement at the top center of the page on “Official Food Rules”.
Even students were not immune from the affects of war. An article ran in the Plaindealer about the amount of money Havre students in various public schools had in Liberty bonds and thrift stamps. It was estimated the students had about $10,000 in total savings, with $9,250 in Liberty bonds and the remainder in thrift stamps.
In other local war news, we find in the Society column:
“Red Cross Evening
“Mrs. L. J. Christler entertained at the rectory on Wednesday evening in honor of Miss Caroline Covey of Auburn, New York. The function took the form of a “Red Cross Evening”. Knitting, sewing and cards, followed by an “a la Hoover” luncheon occupied the hours until midnight. The invited guests were: Mesdames F. A. Buttrey, H. E. Loranger, O. L. Whitlock, Melvina J. Sherry, N. E. Gourley, C. B. Koepke, Leslie Shane and the Misses Mary C. MacKenzie, Lucy Patterson, Very MacKenzie and Covey. The receipts of the evening were given to the Red Cross.”
In the “Of Local Interest” social pages, we find:
“E. C. Carruth was called to Helena the first of the week to attend a meeting of the food administrators of Montana, called by Alfred Atkinson of Bozeman.
“James Holland, Sr., and F. F. Runkle, county director and chairman of the Hill county war savings committee, were Great Falls visitors Sunday, called there to attend a meeting of the directors from other counties in the state.
“Lieutenant Bob Patterson, who has been enjoying a furlough in this city with his parents, left Sunday for Dallas, Texas, where he is stationed in the aviation camp. His wife will remain in Havre for the present, as Bob expects to leave for France in the near future.”