Yates County Records
From the first draft contingent to the last, approximately eighteen hundred young men between the ages of 18 and 45, left their homes in peaceful Yates County for training at one of the various camps before being sent abroad to fight in the Great War. Beginning on September 9, 1917, these men said their final goodbyes to the life they once had and left from Penn Yan with no guarantee of ever seeing their loved ones again.
The War efforts did not stop with our county’s servicemen. Previous to the entrance of the United States into the War, the women of the Bellona community of the Township of Benton sent a large shipment of old linen and cotton cloth for hospital use to the Salvation Army head-quarters in New York City. In the winter of 1917, the Women’s Civic Club of Bellona made and sent a box of surgical supplies, bed-slippers, and old linen to the Surgical Dressing Association of New York City. Women in other parts of the town were also doing their part in the war efforts with similar work.
Upon the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918, Yates County set to work to provide a suitable memorial to its men who participated in the World War. On February 8, 1919, the county organized “The Soldier’s and Sailor’s Memorial Hospital of Yates County”. The Hospital grounds still stand in the village of Pen Yan which lies in the town of Benton.
Emma H. Scoon, Benton Local Historian, 1923, New York State Education Dept. Division of Archives and History World War I Veterans' Service Data and Photographs, 1917-1939. NYSA_A0412-78.
Yates County in the World War, 1917-1918 by Emmett De Villo Harrison