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


The weather for the city will bring increasing cloudiness throughout the day and evening with the chance of rain overnight and tomorrow. Today’s high will reach 79° with the low tonight near 63°.

Three Philadelphia policemen have been arrested and accused of highway robbery. Patrolman Thomas Bromily, 4280 Lackawanna Street and Edward Slavin of Race Street near Broad are being held without bail for the beating and robbery of James Murphy at Juniper & Race Street last night. The third policeman, James Pemberton, 5818 Cottage Street, has been charged with assisting the hold-up and receiving a share of the loot. Supposedly, Officer Bromily ordered Murphy out of a bar at 13th & Race Streets on the pretense of checking his draft registration card. Once outside Slavin joined Bromily and both men began beating Murphy as Pemberton looked on. Firemen at a nearby station saw the attack and called police who arrived while the robbers were still at the location. When arrested Bromily had $7.00 which he had taken from Murphy.

Lieutenant Henry Howard Houston of Druim Moir Chestnut Hill has been killed in battle. Lt. Houston was 23 years old and a 1916 graduate of the Wharton School. He first went to France in January of 1917 as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for extraordinary bravery under fire for continuing to carry out the wounded under continuous bombardment from German guns. After America entered the war he enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard. The Houston family is well known in Philadelphia. His grandfather was a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad and one of the founders of the American Line Steamship Company. Houston Hall at the University of Pennsylvania is named as a memorial for his uncle Henry Houston, Jr.

Lieutenant Henry Howard Houston

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Henry Houston was killed on August 18, 1918 near Arcis-le-Ponsart while directing operations between aerial observers and the 108th Field Artillery Regiment. When the war was over his parents went to France to visit his grave at the American Cemetery in Suresnes. They also visited the area where he was killed and were so overcome with the devastation that they financed much of the town’s reconstruction and provided clothes and money to the area’s children and elderly. In gratitude the town renamed its main thoroughfare “rue de Henry Howard Houston”.]

In sports, Connie Mack and his team played their final game of the season at Shibe Park today. The A’s gave their fans a fine goodbye by beating the Cleveland Indians 1 to 0. The loss may have deprived the Indians of the American League pennant. The Phillies were rained out in Pittsburgh. They return home tomorrow and open a 4 game series against the Boston Braves.

In boxing, the only real contender for the heavyweight championship, Jack Dempsey, has signed on to help build ships. Dempsey filled out the necessary paperwork today at the Sun Shipbuilding Company in Chester. Dempsey had previously worked for 3 years at a shipyard in Seattle so he knows his way around a yard. Dempsey however will not be actually working on ships. He will instead be employed to recruit men to work in yards mostly in the western states.