On this page we will look back at life in the city during the war years. Here we will provide the visitor with the stories making the news, what was happening in sports and entertainment, city politics, the social scene and the prominent people at the time. So, check back often for new editions. To share your family or neighborhood stories, please email PhillyWWIyears@gmail.com
TODAY IN PHILADELPHIA – MONDAY AUGUST 19, 1918
Today will bring bright sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. The high will be near 74° with tonight’s low about 62°. The Philopatrian Catholic Literary Institute at 1411 Arch Street has announced it will begin making building alterations to provide sleeping quarters for 50 army and navy officers and enlisted men. The construction is to begin immediately. In the interim a dozen temporary beds have been installed.
An unspeakable horror has occurred across the river in Pittman Grove, New Jersey. Mrs. Gertrude Powell has killed three of her four children and fled into the woods surrounding her farm. This morning, before other occupants of the house were awake, Mrs. Powell drowned her 4 month old twin boys Samuel and Augustus in a vat of water. After the deed was done she placed the infants in a baby carriage. Then she woke her 2 year old son Stewart and took him outside to a shed where she stabbed him in the stomach and then shot him with a shotgun. She then carried his body back into the house and placed it on the couch before fleeing. Jacob Powell, the woman’s husband was in Philadelphia buying produce during the murders. The children’s’ grandfather, Plummer Powell, found the bodies.
In sports news, Eddie Collins, 2nd baseman of the champion Chicago White Sox, has joined the United States Marines. Collins marched himself into the Marine recruiting office today at 1409 Arch Street and offered his services. He was examined, passed and signed in at 3:00pm (shown below is Collins being congratulated by Sergeant Richards after enlisting). Collins is fondly remembered here playing for Mr. Mack’s Athletics. He began his major league career with the A’s in 1906 and played here until 1914 (shown below Collins during his time with the A’s). Also in 1914 he won the Chalmers Award which recognizes the league’s most valuable player. In 1915 his contract was sold to the White Sox. Today Eddie proudly gave up his $15,000.00 per year job for a $30.00 per month check from Uncle Sam. But no price can be put on the honor and glory of becoming a “Devil Dog” and wearing the uniform of the United States Marines.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Eddie Collins is considered one of the finest infielders of all time as well as an outstanding hitter. He would return to baseball with the White Sox in 1919. He finished his playing career with the A’s from 1927 to 1930. He then coached for 2 years under Connie Mack before taking the general manager position with the Boston Red Sox. Eddie Collins was one of the original 13 players inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.]
Today the War Department announced that Haverford College would be one of the Pennsylvania institutions designated as a training center for the Student Army Training Corps. Other Pennsylvania schools also named today were Muhlenberg college, Allegheny College and Pennsylvania State College.
Today’s combined casualty list of the Army and Marines contains 391 names. The Army report lists 369 including 35 killed in action, 21 dead of wounds or accident, 3 dead from disease, 148 wounded and 162 missing. The Marine report lists 6 killed in action, 6 dead from wounds, 1 dead from disease and 9 wounded. Ten of the dead are from Philadelphia and will be remembered in our Sunday special edition.
GET YOUR COPY BY CLICKING HERE: PHILADELPHIA: THE WORLD WAR I YEARS