I'd like to share info with anyone researching these families.
U. S. Army Private William C. Barlow was killed in action during World War I. Like so many of our troops then, he was buried in an American War Cemetery overseas. His final resting place is the Flanders Field cemetery in Waregem, Belgium, which is small as American War Cemeteries go. When I happened to find that Barlow was the only Alabama native buried at Flanders Field and that he was from Dothan as I am, I adopted him as a personal research project, even though I am of no relation to him.
I stumbled upon his parents and sister buried in the Dothan City Cemetery and through their obituaries as a first resource, followed by state archives records, newspaper articles, and other information, I pieced together a skeletal story of his family. Leroy H. and Russia Barlow married and raised their family of three children in Pike County, Alabama. The three children were Bryan A., William Cataloe, and Essie Dell. William was born there December 27, 1888. About 1911, Leroy moved his family to Dothan, Houston County, Alabama, where he was a merchant.
Sometime after the move to Dothan, William left his parents’ home and moved to Ashford, Houston County, Alabama to pursue farming. On June 5, 1917, William registered for the military draft during the first round of drafts for The Great War. On his draft card, he requested exemption due to dependent parents. On March 24, 1918 William wed, in Dothan, Miss Effie Palmer of Edison, Calhoun County, Georgia. On April 20, 1918, William was included in the call-up by the local draft board for Houston County. He reported to the board on April 25, and then shipped out the next day by train with other draftees headed for Columbia, South Carolina. After training, on May 17, 1918, William was assigned to Company F, 105th Engineering Battalion, 30th Infantry Division. He left with his unit May 27, 1918 onboard the Melita from Hoboken, New Jersey steaming for France. On August 27, 1918, William was killed in action, along with 2 others in his unit, by mustard gas on the Ypres Front, near Ypres, Belgium.
Since William and Effie were together as man and wife only one month and one day before he reported for military duty, I do not believe they had children. Effie did not immediately remarry, either. In 1929, when the federal government was locating mothers and widows of those WWI dead buried in Europe, she was again living in Edison, and was still a Barlow. Both Williams’ widow and mother were contacted about taking one of the Gold Star Pilgrimages at government expense to visit the site of their loved one’s grave. Effie requested a trip in 1930, while Russia wished to defer her visit sometime later.
Leroy, William’s father, died in his Dothan home in 1929. His obituary did not mention family members other than his wife. Russia, William’s mother, died in 1954. William’s sister, Essie, died in 1990 as an old maid, at the age of 100. Essie’s obituary mentioned both of her brothers. Bryan was listed as Dr. Bryan A. Barlow. The “Dr.” title coincides with the comment for Bryan on the 1910 Federal Census for Pike County, Alabama that he was “at college.”
The 1920 Federal Census for Calhoun County, Georgia shows Effie Barlow living in the household of Neomie (Naomi) Palmer, which is next door to the household of Amanda Palmer. Other occupants of Naomi’s household include her brothers Grover and Howell. Naomi is not old enough to be Effie’s mother, but Amanda is. The 1900 Calhoun County census shows the household of Elbert and Mandy (Amanda) Palmer including among the occupants Elgy (Elgin) who is listed in Amanda’s 1920 residence. The 1910 census lists both Noma (Naomi) and Howell as Amanda’s stepchildren. So I can only guess that the parents of Effie were Elbert and Amanda Palmer.
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