Addie Gable In World War I

Veterans of Marshall County,
written by the students of Mr. Gary Rider,
John Marshall High School, Glen Dale, WV.

By Keely Oelschlager, Jay Strope & Matt Montes

In 1996, Addie Gable will be 100 years old. He has survived a century of American conflicts and wars, and he has witnessed firsthand the history most can only read about. He vividly remembers the building of the B&O Railroad, the Golden Spike at Roseby's Rock, and the work of the local glass corporation in the Ohio Valley.

Addie began work in the Fostoria Glass Factory in Moundsville at the age of nine. Because of his height, a special stool had to be constructed in order for him to reach his work. After quitting school at thirteen, he continued to work at the glass house until he turned sixteen and abruptly ran off to join the Army. Worried he would not be accepted into the military in this area, Addie caught a train to Fairmont on June 12, 1912. There, a drunk major informed him he was too "light" for service and would need to fatten up by eating all that he could. A few hours later, Addie was accepted into the service weighing 116 pounds.

Many of the captains in the military at this time were veterans of the Spanish-American War with respected military experience. Addie's own grandfather, an immigrant from Germany, had fought during the Mexican War. All of Addie's brothers also served in WWI and two were involved in WVII.

Addie's main duties in the Army involved guard duty and often resulted in funny experiences. One rainy night, he was assigned to Post Thirteen guard duty in a graveyard. Hearing a noise on the bridge, he became immediately alerted and threatened to shoot whomever was there. Just as he took the safety off the gun he heard a cough and realized it was only a wandering cow. Another of Addie's responsibilities was as a "dogdropper"--a boy who worked in the kitchen and took responsibility for the flag. He used this experience to attend a cooking school for an hour or two at night.

In August of 1912, Addie was sent to the South and spent the rest of his service time there. He was part of Company C who relieved the Mississippi troops in what was considered wild rattlesnake country. Many of the men in his outfit wore live spotted chameleons around on their hats. On the weekends, Addie enjoyed spending time fishing and swimming along the river. He was then sent to Louisiana, Company D, machine gun battalion, and joined some good old 'Kentucky Boys'. Addie earned the respect as an expert rifleman and thoroughly enjoyed his time in the military.

In 1918, a few months before the war was over, Addie's father wrote to the military asking for his son to be allowed to return home. All five of Addie's brothers were serving in the war and he was needed to help operate his father's farm in Cameron. Upon returning home, Addie was forced to wear his hot wool uniform for a month while tending to the farm. Thinking he would not be coming back, he had given all of his clothes to his brother-in-law when he enlisted.

Addie always carried his Class A card with him and, although willing, was never called to fight in WII. He feels very patriotic toward his country and "would fight in a minute if I could." His love and knowledge of history also continues. He remembers vividly the $6,500,000 transcontinental railroad project that met at Rosby's Rock. Addie looked for, but never found, the golden spike driven into the ground where the east met the west. The two contractors for this project were Swann and Cameron. A man by the name of McConohay wanted the railroad to come through his town. He propositioned one of the contractors by offering to name the town after him. Thus, today the town that Addie continues to reside in is known as Cameron.


Submitted by T. Vernon Anderson, with the permission of Gary Rider.


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