World War I Draft Registration
Bernhard was living and working on his cousin Hilbert Skree's farm in eastern Clay County when he registered for the draft in World War I. He listed his permanent residence as his father's farm in Polk County.
Each county was given a quota of soldiers to provide for the war effort, and immediately after President Wilson declared war, a rush of students from both Moorhead State and Concordia enlisted. As a result, far fewer young men were actually drafted in Clay County. It is impossible to know if Bernhard would have been drafted in Clay County, but it should be noted that, had he registered as a resident of Clay County, the odds of his being drafted would have been at least slightly diminished.
Bernhard was transferred from the 88th Division to the 30th Division while still in training. He certainly could never have imagined seeing the places and meeting the people to which his service introduced him. Unfortunately, he never returned to share the stories of the 'experience of a lifetime' with his friends and family back home.
Larger Image - Registration page 1
Larger Image - Registration page 2
Blank Draft Form (pdf)