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Pvt. William B. Stringer: Company 'I', 339th Infantry

Pvt. William B. Stringer (Courtesy of James Columbia)

William B. Stringer was born October 14, 1893 in Eadsville, KY. His father, George, and mother, Ada ‘Addie’ worked a farm not far from that small Kentucky town. William was the oldest of four children, Oliver, Montie, and Ornie. They grew up on the farm, attended local schools, and eventually each went their own way. “Bill”, as he was called, stayed at home, helping his father, and by 1910, worked for cash on neighboring farms. His 1917 draft registration card has the 23-year-old still at home and listed as a farm laborer. He was described as of medium height, medium build, and with blue eyes and brown hair.[1]

William was ordered to report for military service in September 1917, and he, along with a continent of nearly one hundred Kentucky draftees was sent to Camp Custer, MI and placed within the 339th Infantry’s companies. Private Stringer was assigned to Company ‘I’, Cpt. Horatio Winslow’s unit. Stringer’s company traveled to England aboard the transport ship, the Harrisburg, and from there; was shipped to Northern Russia. He served with the company as it spent its time fighting for, and then defending the area near Obozerskaya. Private Stringer returned to the United States and was discharged in July 1919.

Bill returned to Eadsville, to his parents’ farm, and in 1920, still lived there.[2] Then, later that year, Bill married a young woman named Eva and the two established their own farmstead. Unfortunately the Depression wiped out their farming efforts, forcing them to move to the Cincinnati area, where Bill was fortunate enough to get a job as an unskilled laborer in one of Procter & Gamble’s soap making factories. Bill would remain with P & G for the remainder of his working career. He and Eva were able to purchase a house, and eventually raise two boys, William L., and Carl. The 1940 U.S. Census shows them living in Cincinnati, with Bill working for P & G as a soap machine maintenance technician, and earning $125.00 a month.[3] The Stringer couple lived on Salvador Street in Cincinnati, watching their boys grow up, and eventually move away. Bill retired from P & G, and passed away April 4, 1975. He was buried in Cincinnati’s famous Spring Grove Cemetery. Eva lived until 1984, and she was buried beside Bill.


[1] Stringer, William B., Draft Registration Card, 5 June 1917. [2] 1920 U. S. Census. [3] 1940 U. S. Census.

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