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Barton Gordon Dayton Core

Portrait courtesy Bradford Parker, great nephew of Barton G. D. Core

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Barton Gordon Dayton Core

"At eleven o'clock this morning came to an end the cruellest and most terrible War that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came to an end all wars."

David Lloyd George

Barton Gordon Dayton Core was born on November 14, 1894, in Cassville, Monongalia County, West Virginia. According to the 1900 Federal Census, his parents, Charles and Laura Core, were living in the Cass Magisterial District with Barton and his siblings, Rebecca, Addison, Earl, William, and Rose. In 1910, the census taker noted another daughter, named Jessie. Addison Core was not recorded as part of the household. Mr. Core and Barton, Earl, and William were farmers on the family farm. A descendent of Rose, Bradford Parker, wrote about the Charlie Core family farm: "He owned the land as far as the eye could see" in a hollow in Cassville.

Cassville Grade School, Monongalia County, ca. 1906

Cassville Grade School, Monongalia County, ca. 1906. First Row, left to right: Virginia Sanders Yost, White Pinafore, Nora Henderson Kennedy, Lenna Core Dent, Cora Henderson Simpson, Mamie Cole Mehlinger, Esther Cole, Rose Core Parker Cole. Second Row, left to right: Abbie Sanders Hoffman, Emma Henderson Cordray, Jesse Fox, Wyland Tucker, Lentz Berry, Eldon Tucker, William Core. Third Row, left to right: Effie Henderson Hess, Izora Huffman, Bessie Chemey, Mildred Barnhart, Mary Tucker, Grace Ramsey, Edna Barnhart, Ray Henderson, Barton Core, Earl Core, Addison Core, Glenn Fleming, Mr. Coss (teacher) Courtesy West Virginia and Regional History Center

Barton Core attended Cassville School at the same time as many of his siblings. Photos in the collections of the West Virginia and Regional History Center show the students gathered for school group photos in 1906 and in the 1908-1909 school years. The photos provide a glimpse into lives of children in the early twentieth century, but they are also exceptional in that the individual children are identified by name.
Cassville Grade School, Monongalia County, 1908-1909

Cassville Grade School, Monongalia County, 1908-1909. First Row, left to right: Blanch Cole, Virginia Sanders, Esther Cole, Mary Cordray. Second Row, left to right: Earl Tucker, Gladys Barnhart, Emma Henderson, Winnie Cordray, Lenna Core, Cecil Riley, Jessie Core, Rose Core, Mamie Cole, Nora Henderson. Third Row, left to right: Blanch Ramsey, Greek Riley (teacher), Mamie Cordray, Ezora Hoffman, Jesse Fox, Bill Core, Harold Berry, Ralph Berry. Fourth Row, left to right: Earl Core, Eldon Tucker, Bart Core, Wyland Tucker, Lorentz Berry. Courtesy West Virginia and Regional History Center

Barton Core joined the West Virginia National Guard, but a World War I draft registration was not found. The Clarksburg Exponent, on August 23, 1916, carried an article announcing the names of a team of West Virginia National Guardsmen who would be in charge of recruitment in 26 of the southern West Virginia Counties. Corporal Barton Core was among them.

In 1917, America entered World War I. National Guard units were tasked with homeland defense, and the trained soldiers were also deployed to fill in gaps in other army units overseas. (Holli Nelson, "West Virginia National Guard Reflects on World War I Centennial," West Virginia National Guard, 28 September 2018, accessed 1 February 2020, Barton Core served in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as part of a homeland defense unit, possibly keeping watch over bridges or navigable rivers, where the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers are prominent features of the city. By this time, Barton Core had been attending West Virginia University and had joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. An acknowledgment of Barton Core's service is found in the Sigma Chi newsletter. A collection of the newsletters appears in Byron D. Stokes's classic reprint The Sigma Chi Quarterly, 1916-1917, Vol. 36: A Journal of College and Fraternity Life and Literature [Forgotten Books, 2018]. Barton Core is listed as a member of the Mu Mu chapter at West Virginia University, as a member of the class of 1919. The journal notes that he is serving with the 1st West Virginia Infantry and is a recruiting officer in Charleston. In an updated summary of fraternity status, dated April 1917, the writer for the Mu Mu chapter references the war and wonders whether the cadet corps will be able to finish the school year: "One that has been taken from our number already is B. D. Core, a member of Company 'L', First West Virginia Infantry, [who] is now in Pittsburgh with that company doing guard duty. The corps here is a branch of the reserves officers' training corps, and if called out will take all the active chapter of Sigma Chi except one."

Three months later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announced in its July 18, 1917, edition that a guardsman had died. The article "Funeral of Guardsman Held" states that Barton Core died in a Pittsburgh hospital the Saturday before from pneumonia. Bradford Parker, great nephew of Barton G. D. Core corrected the information, noting that the family knew it to be influenza that preceded the pneumonia.

Forty members of Company L attended the funeral in Cassville, near Morgantown. The announcement notes that he was a graduate of Morgantown High School and a student at West Virginia University.

World War I deaths by disease are commonly associated with the pandemic of 1918, during which an influenza, to which there was not widespread immunity, struck the world and decreased its human population by 50 to 100 million persons. The pandemic flu of 1918 had its greatest impact in 1918, and deaths occurred due to the flu, but also due to cohort illnesses, such as pneumonia. There was a steep rise in pneumonia death rates in 1918 in Pittsburgh, tracking the presence of the influenza, but not in 1917. (Ewald Tomanek and Edwin B. Wilson, "Pneumonia in Pittsburgh," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 63[1924]: 279-316.) Seasonal influenza kills thousands of people in the United States every year, and, due to the date of Barton Core's death, it's not likely that this illness in 1917 was an occurrence of the pandemic influenza that would kill millions around the world in the two years after its occurrence in 1918.

The years after Barton Core's death were not happy ones for the Core family. Several family members died, including Mr. Core, who died of a farm accident. Barton Wayne Core, a nephew of Barton Gordon Dayton Core, was born the year after his uncle died and was killed during World War II.

Many of the Core family served in the military, including Earl. An obituary for Rose Core Parker noted that she was honored by the U. S. Department of the Treasury for patriotic service during World War II. Bradford Parker added that three of his family were known to have served in the Civil War, as well.
Grave marker for Barton D. Core, Beverly Hills Memorial Park. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Grave marker for Barton D. Core, Beverly Hills Memorial Park. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

Most members of Charles and Laura's family are interred in Beverly Hills Memorial Park, Cassville, near Morgantown, West Virginia.

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens, who gratefully acknowledges the input of a member of the Core family, Bradford Parker
February 2020


Barton Gordon Dayton Core

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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