My journey through Caddo’s history often teaches me about subjects I had no prior knowledge of and has resulted in some fascinating discoveries. Today’s post is a prime example. I know very little about WWI. Like many people I’ve always had more interest in the Civil War. I had never heard of the Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimage. Never knew anyone from Caddo had made the journey. Read about Mrs. McCulley and then click on the link that follows and read more about the pilgrimages.
Note: I don’t have a lot of information about the McCulley family’s time in Caddo. They are listed as Denton residents in 1900, but this is from the 1902-03 Polk business directory for Caddo:
Booker, W.P. & Co. (W.P. and F. L. Booker, W.C. McCulley), grocers and harness
From 1910 until death they are listed in Dallas, TX along with their other son, Duke. As an interesting note, George is listed in the census as their “adopted” son. I understand that during the time period of his birth adoptions were most often made through other family members.
And BTW, W. C. McCulley was a Civil War veteran and served in the Tennessee Cavalry. He died in 1926.
The Caddo Herald
August 28, 1931
Caddo Gold Star Mother
Visits Grave of Son
Mrs. Mary E. McCulley, widow of W. C. McCulley and for many years a resident of Caddo, has recently returned from France where she went on the government’s Gold Star Mother’s Pilgrimage to visit the grave of her son George T. McCulley, who lost his life in the World War.
Mrs. McCulley celebrated her 80th birthday aboard the S. S. President Roosevelt, going to France and was complimented by a special dinner and program by the ship’s officers.
Honors were conferred on Mrs. McCulley in France when she was chosen to respond to the greetings of the French General and his staff. Again when she represented her party of 113 mothers by laying the wreath on the grave of the unknown French soldier.
Mrs. McCulley was ill and spent six days in the American hospital in Paris, and as a consequence missed some of the sightseeing trips but recovered in time to visit the grave of her son, two days where the peaceful and perfect care of the cemetery with its hundreds of duplicate marble crosses comforted her sorrow.
Mrs. McCulley returned to her home in Dallas in about her usual health. Her sons, George and Duke were in the 42nd Division during the war. Duke lives in Dallas with his wife and one son, Donald. Mr. Finley Booker of Caddo is a nephew of this venerable lady.
Many residents will remember the McCulley family, Mr. McCulley, having been in business in Caddo while the sons grew up here. Another nephew, Herschel Booker, also resides in Dallas.
(Mary died in Dallas two years later.)
George T. McCulley
Private, US Army
117th Supply Trains
42 Infantry Division
WWI Honor Roll
Died April 12, 1919
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery
Plot D, Row 26, Grave 32
Read more about the Gold Star Mother's Pilgrimage.