Friday, October 19, 2018

James Daniel Rhinehart, a veteran of WWI

My great-grandmother Hattie (Rhinehart) Shields, an unknown
child, and her brother James Daniel Rhinehart
The 52 Ancestors theme this week is “conflict.”

After talking with a friend recently about having a Rhinehart branch in my tree, I realized that I hadn’t thought about or researched them in years. Then as I searched my tree for someone to write about for week 42, I discovered that one of my Rhinehart’s had served in the U.S. Army during World War I, described by Wikipedia as “… one of the deadliest conflicts in history.” That was news to me and since it fit with the theme this week I decided it was time to write his timeline.

James Daniel Rhinehart, son of William Dearnald Rhinehart and Roda Elizabeth (Bettie) Sneed, was born in Sevier County, Tennessee on March 16, 1890. He was the third child of five—Sarah Malonia Rhinehart, Ollie C. Rhinehart, James Daniel Rhinehart, Arlie Mack Rhinehart, and Hattie Jane Rhinehart. He went by Jim and was my great grand uncle.

On June 11, 1900, Jim and his family lived in Civil District 13 of Sevier County. At age 10, Jim was a farm laborer, most likely helping his father on their farm. Jim wasn’t attending school at the time which would probably explain why he was unable to read or write. His parents had been married for 14 years. His mother had given birth to five children, all of which were living. Before the end of the decade, life as the family knew it would change when Jim’s 44-year-old father died on April 19, 1908. They buried his father at Catons Chapel Cemetery in Sevierville. At 18 years of age, Jim was now the oldest male in the family and most likely felt the weight of that.

Rhinehart family - Jim is the boy
standing behind his mother (ca. 1905)
On April 29, 1910, the Rhinehart family still lived in Civil District 13 of Sevier County. Jim’s 16-year-old sister Hattie (my great-grandmother) and her husband James “Stewart” Shields were living in the Rhinehart home. Jim’s sister Malonia, now married to Ashley Sutton, lived next door with their one-year-old daughter Georgia. Everyone except Hattie and Malonia were farming, including Jim’s mother Bettie. Jim was now able to read and write. Six short years later, Malonia, just 29 years old, died on November 25, 1916. She left three small children behind. Malonia was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia.

The U.S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917. It didn’t take long—June 5—for Jim to register for the draft in Middle Creek, Sevier County, Tennessee. He lived in Sevierville at the time, less than five miles from Middle Creek. Jim was a single, self-employed farmer who described himself as being of medium height and build; with blue eyes and light-colored hair. Probably aware that he would soon be shipping off to war, Jim married Margaret Lou Roberts, daughter of James Roberts and Appie Ellen McCarter, on July 15, 1917 in Sevier County. Jim and Appie didn’t have much time together though. Although he had registered for the draft in June, it took several months before enlistment took place. After being ordered to report for service, Jim arrived at 4 p.m. on October 23, 1917. He headed to mobilization camp the next day and was accepted at camp on October 29. During his time in the Army, Jim served as a Wagoner in the Supply Company of the 318th Field Artillery. As a Wagoner, Jim would have been responsible for taking care of and driving the wagons used for transportation, as well as the complete care of the animals and equipment. That would include feeding and grooming the animals, cleaning their stables, repairing equipment and wagons, and harnessing the horses, among other things. I don’t know when, but Jim was sent overseas to perform these duties. The only record I found of his service was an Army Transport Service passenger list that showed Jim departing Brest, France on June 3, 1919 aboard the USS Siboney, arriving in Newport News, Virginia on June 11, 1919. Jim was released from service on June 19, 1919. Upon returning to the United States, Jim went home to Sevierville.

USS Siboney (ID # 2999), public domain
On January 20, 1920, Jim and Margaret rented a home in the 4th Civil District of Sevier County. He worked as a merchant in a general store. Jim and Margaret’s first child, a daughter they named Anna Ruth Rhinehart, was born on June 18, 1920.

On April 4, 1930, Jim, Margaret, and Anna lived on Emert Avenue in Sevierville. Jim was a laborer in a flower (flour?) mill. Margaret was pregnant at the time the census enumerator visited and on June 25, just over 10 years after the birth of daughter Anna, they were blessed with another child—daughter Jean Rhinehart, born on June 25, 1930. Four years later, Jim’s sister Ollie died in Sevierville from Pellagra of the bowels on July 24, 1934. She’d been sick for five days prior to her death. Pellagra, “now rare in developed countries” is a “disease due to a deficiency of niacin, a B-complex vitamin” according to MedicineNet. Jim was the informant on her death certificate.

On April 9, 1940, Jim and his family still lived in the Emert Avenue home in Sevierville. Jim was a carpenter for a lumber manufacturer. There were three lodgers living in the home with them—Hazel Whaley, Gladys Lafayette, and Ruth Loveday. All three of them worked at a hosiery mill. Jim’s mother Bettie suffered from breast cancer and died in Sevierville on July 23, 1945. Bettie was buried on July 25 at Catons Chapel Cemetery in Sevierville.

My Granny Daisy Shields, her mother Hattie Rhinehart Shields,
holding my youngest sister, and Jim Rhinehart

These photos would have been taken in the early 1960s

Jim died at the age of 80 in Sevier County on January 29, 1971. He was buried at Shiloh Memorial Cemetery in Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Tennessee.

Photo by Elizabeth Olmstead


  • Betty Rhinehart Certificate of Death, no. 15039, State of Tennessee.
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 19 October 2018), memorial page for James D. Rhinehart (16 Mar 1890–29 Jan 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 26112000, citing Shiloh Memorial Cemetery, Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Elizabeth Olmstead (contributor 46772820).
  • James Daniel Rhinehart Delayed Certificate of Birth, no. D-172249, State of Tennessee.
  • Medical Definition of Pellagra, MedicineNet;
  • Mrs. Ollie Matthews Certificate of Death, no. 16503, State of Tennessee.
  • Photo of USS Siboney (ID # 2999), public domain, Letterpress reproduction of an artwork by Musician Loren C. Holmberg, USN, printed on page 5 of “Historical Souvenir of the U.S.S. Siboney,” published by the ship's crew in 1919 as a momento of her service. Collection of Captain Clarence S. Williams, USN. Donated by Mrs. Clarence S. Williams, 1975.
  • U.S. Census, Civil District 13, Sevier, Tennessee, 1900.
  • U.S. Census, Civil District 13, Sevier, Tennessee, 1910.
  • U.S. Census, Civil District 4, Sevier, Tennessee, 1920.
  • U.S. Census, Sevier, Sevierville, District 5, Tennessee, 1930, 1940.
  • U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939.
  • U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.
  • U.S., Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918, Tennessee.
  • U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Anna Ruth Rhinehart.
  • U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration State: Tennessee; Registration County: Sevier; Roll: 1877690.
  • World War I;

No comments:

Post a Comment