Title: Army Private, World War I
Birthdate: September 8, 1889
Death Date: April 14, 1943
Plot Location: Section 140, Lot 13

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William’s surname rhymes with “rough.” But even though he was a young boy when his father died, he served overseas in World War I, and he died at age 53, he probably wouldn’t say his life was rough. He survived the war, had a wife and two children, and was steadily employed throughout the Depression.

His parents, Adolph and Catherine, were both German-born, meeting and marrying in Philadelphia around 1883. She had just been through the death of her first husband in 1881 and the birth of her second child, George Carr, in 1882. He and his brother, Samuel, became half-brothers to Lucy Hough in 1887 and William in 1889.

Adolph’s date of death isn’t certain but it was before the 1900 census. At that point the Carr boys were out on their own and Catherine was taking in laundry to support her two younger children. William would soon leave school to work as a cutter in a shoe factory. George returned home after a few years and both men had clerk jobs before World War I. Both worked for the Clyde Steamship Company, which ran a passenger transportation service up and down the east coast. 

The Selective Service Act was passed in May of 1917, requiring men 21-30 years old to register for possible draft into military service. William did so in June and was called to join the Army on February 26, 1918. He was assigned to the 11th Company, 14th Grande Division of the Railway Transportation Corps. It was part of the Services of Supply (SOS), the support chain of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He was probably in one of the rail regiments that moved both troops and supplies for the AEF and for the allies from the seaports to the front.

William came home in July, 1919 and returned to his clerk’s job at Clyde. In 1925 he married a woman his same age and also with German roots, Magdalena “Lena” Steigelman. William Jr. arrived the following spring and his sister, Ruth, was born in 1928. They lived at 107 Vodges Street in the Haddington section, where Lena remained until her death some 40 years later. Catherine lived with them until she died in 1937 and was the first in the family to be buried at Mount Moriah.

By 1940 George had moved in, now a mail carrier for the Post Office, and William was still at his desk at Clyde. Unfortunately, his high blood pressure wasn’t under control and his heart stopped in 1943. He joined his mother in the family plot, as did George in 1960 and Lena in 1970. William Jr. paid tribute to his father’s legacy by serving in two wars, and his Notable life story can be found here.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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