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Arthur Thomas Hanline

Soldiers of the Great War

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial

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Arthur Thomas Hanline
1895-1918

"No commander was ever privileged to lead a finer force; no commander ever derived greater inspiration from the performance of his troops."

John J. Pershing

Arthur Thomas Hanline was born to Samantha Myers Hanline and Mr. Hanline on June 10, 1895. A death notice in the Preston County Journal (January 16, 1919) would later claim he was born in Barbour County, but his military records reflect a birth in Grafton, Taylor County, West Virginia. His father’s first name was not discovered during research for this biography. Mr. Hanline died when Arthur was only four years old, and, as a result, he is not named in any of the federal census records where he might be connected to Arthur and Samantha. No birth certificate for Arthur was found. Arthur may have been born Thomas Arthur since his name was recorded in the 1900 census as “Thomas A.” Perhaps due to his father’s absence, the name “Hanline” was spelled in various ways, such as “Hanaline” in the 1910 census and on his headstone and “Henline” on Find A Grave memorials to his mother and his sister. However, the 1900 census and Arthur’s military records show the name spelled Hanline. In 1900, Arthur and his mother, Samantha, were living with her parents, John and Margaret Myers, in Barbour County. With them were Arthur’s sister, then recorded as “Vernie H.,” but later known as “Hazel.” The Myers family was a farming family. Samantha’s brother, Jacob, was away at school. One of Arthur’s sisters, Lillie, was not present in the home.

Samantha Myers Hanline remarried on September 21, 1901, to Thomas E. Sigley. In 1910, according to the Federal Census of that year, the family was living in Preston County. The large, blended family included Thomas and Samantha, Thomas’ eight children, Samantha’s three children (by this time, one daughter was married), and Samantha’s father.


Hanline Draft Registration Card

World War I draft registration for Arthur Hanline. National Archives and Records Administration

Arthur Hanline’s World War I draft registration shows he was living in Akron, Ohio, where he was working at the Goodyear Rubber Company. His service record indicates he enlisted in the army on May 29, 1918, and was assigned as follows: 3rd Company, 1st Replacement Regiment, Camp Gordon, Georgia, to July 13, 1918; 3rd Company, July Auto. Replacement Draft, Camp Gordon, to August 13, 1918; 330th Infantry to September 10, 1918; and Company G, 60th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces, October 21, 1918, to death at St. Mihiel, Defensive Sector.

The website New River Notes details the movements of the 60th Infantry in the time frame during which Arthur Hanline was placed with them—during September 1918—as follows:

The division then moved by bus to the St. Die sector, and on the 23d of August, moved by bus and road to the St. Mihiel sector. In the St. Mihiel operation this division was a part of the 1st Army Corps and was placed in the line northeast of Regnieville-en-Haye with the 2nd Division on their left and the 90th Division on their right. The division continued in the St. Mihiel offensive until September 16th when it moved by road and bus to the Argonne front and went into the attack on October 12th east of Montfaucon. (“Order of Battle—American Forces—World War I,” New River Notes, accessed 7 August 2018, http://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_history_ww1_oob_american_forces.htm.)

According to Arthur Hanline’s service record and the inscription on his headstone, he died of wounds received in France on October 17, 1918. Research did not uncover the dates those wounds were received, but since the 60th moved from St. Mihiel on September 16, the wounds must have been received before then. The entry “American Expeditionary Forces, October 21, 1918, to death” is not explained, since his death is recorded as October 17.

On January 6, 1919, the Preston County Journal carried a death notice for Private Arthur T. Hanline (“Priv. Arthur T. Hanline of Tunnelton, W. VA., Killed in France”). The death notice was attributed by the newspaper to “a friend.” Because little other information was found about Arthur Hanline, it is quoted, in part, below:

Just before he left the states he wrote to his mother not to worry over him that what God seen fit would be best…[and] in the allies darkest hours…from the way things look now I’ll be a man when I get out of the army. [The author continues:] We glean from that although the poor boy never got out of the army, he fought with a vim and died a hero for which we should all feel proud.

Arthur was very fond of his home folks, also of children. Every one loved him. In the words of a neighbor who knew him from childhood, when told of Arthur’s death were: “They could not have killed a better boy.”

In the death notice, the “friend” quotes the following poem:

Send them home tenderly; guard them with care; eager eyes tearfully watch for them there.
Think how a mother and sisters hearts hourly hath bled; tenderly tenderly bear home our dead.

An internet search revealed that this quote is part of a longer poem that later became a song during the Civil War, credited to Harriet Gertrude Watres, who wrote under the name Stella of Lackawanna [Pennsylvania]. (Kristen Brown, ed., “Harriet Gertrude Watres, Poet, 1821-1886, Stella of Lackawanna,” Wallenpaupack Historical Society, July 2017, accessed 30 July 2018, http://www.wallenpaupackhistorical.org/Newsletter/2017-07.pdf.)

grave marker

Grave marker for Pvt. Arthur T. Hanline in Mount Israel Cemetery, Preston County. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Private Hanline was buried first in Europe, and his remains later shipped to the United States. According to a List of Military Personnel Returning to the United States, available on the site Fold3, Private Hanline’s remains were shipped from Antwerp aboard the USAT Wheaton on June 19, 1921, and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, on July 2, 1921. The Preston County Journal carried the news of his burial on August 4, 1921, in the Mount Israel Cemetery in the article, “Private Arthur T. Hanline Given Full Military Funeral” near Fellowsville, Preston County. He was said to have been survived by his mother and stepfather, his sisters, Hazel Hanline and Lillie Funk, and his half-brother, Burl Sigley.

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens.
July 2018

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Arthur Thomas Hanline

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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