World War I Draft Parade, Livingston Michigan
The Draft Board of Livingston County called to Howell and sent away to the service about 460 men (“Honor Roll of Livingston County 1917-1918”) during World War I. Most of these men were sent to Camp Custer in Battle Creek. The first quota of approximately forty men was sent to Camp Custer mid September 1917. On the home front in Livingston County, each group of draftees had a send off parade in Howell, Livingston, Michigan.
The Livingston Republican provided the details of these parades which were similar in participants, attendees, and onlookers. The first parade took place on September 27, 1917. The parades usually had three bands, the Howell City Band, Ayre’s Martial Band, and the Conway Cornet Band, a contingent of G.A.R. veterans, pupils from Howell city schools, local businessmen, automobiles, and members of the Knights Templar post. In 1918, the Red Cross Ladies joined the parade. The purpose of the parades was to show support for the draftees and the U.S. effort in the war.
The World War I Draft Parade usually formed in North Division Street, marched north to Higgins Street, east to Court Street, south to Grand River Avenue, west to Chestnut St., then countermarched on Grand River Avenue to Division Street, turning south to Brooks Street, east to Fleming Street, then south to the Pere Marquette station. There appears to have been at least five parades, as documented in newspapers.com. The Parades took place in the morning as the Draftees needed to arrive for a 8:57AM departure from the station for Lansing and Fort Custer in Battle Creek.
The Photographs featured are labeled World War I Draft Parade.