As a follow-up to the recent revision of Eliza Ann Graham’s article, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the 1918 draft card of Doctor Perry Watts, who was not a doctor.
Block 1 recorded his full name: Doctor Perry Watts. Most family sources refer to him as “Dock.” Should that be “Doc”?
Block 2, his permanent home address: Watts, Searcy, Arkansas. Watts was an unincorporated populated place (to put it in census terminology) located in Red River Township, Searcy County.
Block 3, age: 35 years. Block 4, birth date: 17 September 1883. Doc was actually 34, but since the draft card was filled out just five days before his 35th birthday, he rounded up.
Block 16 recorded his occupation: Farming. Block 17, his employer: Self. Block 18, place of employment: Watts, Searcy, Arkansas.
Block 19, name of nearest relative: Mrs. Callie Watts. That would be the former California Cassell, whom Doc married on 19 October 1902 in Searcy County. His marriage documents noted his name as D. P. Watts.
The signature block on the bottom of the card front has an “X” surrounded by the words “his mark.” This indicates that Doc could not sign his own name, and instead signed with just the “X”. The entire draft card was likely filled out by the draft registrar, P. A. Griffith, transcribing what Doc told him.
The back of the card noted a general physical description of Doc. Height: medium; build: medium; color of eyes: brown; color of hair: black.
Block 30 included the signature of the registrar, P. A. Griffith, and the date of registration, 12 September 1918. This was the third and final draft registration date, for men 18 through 45. Doc had been too old to register on the previous two dates, which required men between 18 and 31.
Well, this journal is named Graham Ancestry. I suppose I have to explain what this Watts is doing here. Doc doesn’t have an apparent blood relation to the Grahams of Searcy County, but is related by marriage. His sister, Callie Dona Watts, married Jessie Cornelius Graham in 1917. Jessie’s aunt, Eliza Ann Graham, married Doc’s cousin James Newton Siler Watts in 1886. When Elizabeth Watts, the eldest daughter of Siler and Eliza, married Pearl Wilkey in 1907, Doc signed as security on the marriage bond.
Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Name: Doctor Perry Watts; Registration State: Arkansas; Registration County: Searcy; Roll: 1530578. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
FamilySearch.org. Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957. Film Number: 1031120; Digital Folder Number: 4326242; Image Number: 00514; Page Number: 454; Names: D P Watts and Callie Cassell. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
“Selective Service Act of 1917.” (2013, September 16). In Wikipedia. Retrieved 29 September 2013. Permanent Link.