Draft Card records available to view at Historical Society

Nov. 5—FAIRMONT — The Marion County Historical Society Museum is gearing up for Veterans Day.

On display in one of the upstairs rooms is a collection of draft cards from prior to 1976. The enlistment records are alphabetized and include residents of Marion County and members of the military that registered in Marion County. The idea is that members of the community that had a family member serve in the military can potentially find their ancestors' draft card, with help from museum employees.

"When people come for tours and they find out we have those (draft cards) they want to look up their grandfather or their dad, so we use white cotton gloves that we can give them to put on so the oils from their fingers don't get on them," Museum Coordinator Susan Cook said.

The draft cards were almost thrown away in the late 1970's, however, according to Dora Grubb, president of the Marion County Historical Society. Grubb said that in the late 1970's, old papers and other items that seemed useless at the time were thrown away. Luckily, someone in town noticed and thought they were important, so they made sure they made their way back to the museum.

"It just goes to show you what's one person's trash is another person's treasure,"Grubb said.

Cook agreed that the draft cards are a resource they believe more people should know about.

"It's part of history, genealogy and sometimes people just want to see it. Maybe, they already know what's on there, but they just want to see it. But, I think it's important that we honor our veterans because I think that all of the rights that we have today in the United States, we owe to those who sacrificed and served," Cook said.

Veteran David Tucker, of Fairmont, agreed and added that veterans give a great deal to serve.

"All veterans give something, but some have to give everything," Tucker said.

There is also a variety of military memorabilia specific to Marion County on display in the museum. Some items are dedicated to several people who have served in the military, including Asa Davision, an African-American Fairmont native who served in World War II. There are also a variety of books for sale in the museum including, "The Canteen," by Eric Groce, a children's book that tells the story of the small town of North Platte, Nebraska and how it played a large role in World War II.

In December, the museum will host a "trash to treasure" workshop, where participants will get to create a Christmas decoration out of recycled, old or donated materials. To register for the workshop or for more information, call the Marion County Historical Society at 304-367-5398.

Reach me at sshriver@timeswv.com or 304-367-2549.