Horton from Denison University drafted for World War I


Philip Gerald Horton was born in Newton Township on March 26, 1894, the youngest son of James and Allie Horton. He graduated from Newark High School in 1913 and enrolled at Denison University. During his studies there, he was vice president of the Chemical Society for four years, active in the Geological Society and assistant in the chemistry department for four years.

On April 6, 1917, World War I broke out for the United States. Philips wrote in his memoir that in preparation for military service, “Denison students were conducting exercises under the direction of Coach Livingston on the football field below town with improvised weapons from a piece. board and a broomstick. ” In June, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. Beside his senior photo in the Denison Adytum yearbook was the following: “Phil is one of those industrious guys who wants an education even if that means getting on the Granville-Newark car line every morning. . Not everyone could do this. After graduating on June 5, Philip entered the draft. On his draft card, the 23-year-old indicated his profession as a chemist and added that he had just graduated. On the next line that his employer asked, he wrote the following. “Not employed, having applied to the US government for a chemist position and being asked to provide a brief on what is being done.” Finally, for line number 12 which asked: “Are you requesting an exemption from the project? He wrote: “No, but I want to serve as a chemist.”

Philip did his best to enlist. In his memoir he writes: “I like a lot of others, I went to Columbus and was screened for admission to the Fort Officer Training School. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. The chief examiner told me that my credentials were great but that I was too light, I weighed about 125 pounds. then. ”Since he couldn’t enlist, he found a job in Massillon, Ohio, teaching chemistry in high school. In May 1918, with only two weeks left until the end of the school year, Uncle Sam decided he ultimately wanted Phillip and wrote it up.

On May 29, 1918, Private Phillip Horton was inducted into the Army. He went from Columbus Barracks to Camp Gordon, Ga. For six weeks of basic training. He was then assigned to the Third Infantry Company of the July Automatic Replacement Draft. Once their basic training was completed, they proceeded to New York Harbor. Here they were loaded onto the British transport ship, the SS Canopic, and set sail for France on July 23, 1918. Horton recalls: “The food was terrible. Our ship was part of a large convoy and took 14 days to get to Liverpool, bypassing Ireland past Scotland dodging the submarines. From Liverpool, we went to Winchester, then to Southampton where we crossed the Channel to Le Havre. Private Horton had now arrived in France where his experience of World War I was just beginning.

Doug Stout is the Veterans Project Coordinator for the Licking County Library. You can contact him at 740-349-5571 or [email protected] His book “Never Forgotten: The Stories of Licking County Veterans” is available for purchase at the library or online at bookbaby.com.

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