Title: Army Sergeant, World War I, police officer
Birthdate: July 26, 1899
Death Date: December 6, 1926
Plot Location: Section 109, Lot C
George had three sisters and three brothers to grow up with in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia next to East Fairmount Park. They were raised by their mother Maria and their Irish-born father William, the proprietor of a livery and a driver.
Registering for the draft on September 12, 1918, George stated what city birth records confirmed, that his year of birth was 1899, although 1900 is used on his death certificate and gravestone. Which year is correct is a guess. He also stated that he was a clerk for Emergency Fleet Corporation and the family address was now in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood, north of Mount Moriah.
The exact dates of his service in the Army are missing, but since he registered less than two months before the Armistice took effect on November 11, he almost missed the war entirely. As his gravestone indicates, however, he joined Battery E of the 108th Field Artillery which was in France at the start of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive but was sent north to Belgium until early 1919.
His record indicates he was later with the 604th Engineers Headquarters Company. That may have been when his rank changed to sergeant. After his discharge, in early 1920 he was counted in the census as living on his own but he didn’t state his occupation. Later that year he married Anna McClellan. Their daughter Marie was born in 1924.
The death certificate for George says his occupation in 1926 was a police officer. An inquest led to a coroner’s statement that he died of gas poisoning. According to this newspaper account, a gas line ruptured and asphyxiated George and two other men at 2nd and Wyoming Avenue in the Olney section of the city. The story refers to Millbourne, a tiny (0.1 square mile) borough between Market Street and Cobbs Creek east of 69th Street, which explains why it only needed to employ one law enforcement officer.
Sharing his plot and his stone is his younger sister Elsa. His parents are in the same lot, his grandparents are in section 208, lot 208, and siblings Jesse and Marie are also here.
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