Henry Davis was born in Manistique on January 8, 1900. He attended school here and was always very fond of history. Prior to his enlistment, he was employed with the Soo Line Railroad in the baggage department. He joined the army in April of 1917 at age 17, having received special consent from his parents. Davis was one of the volunteers who left Manistique on May 6, 1917, having joined the 33rd Michigan Infantry, a National Guard unit. This unit was later federalized and become part of the 125th Infantry. Davis arrived overseas in February of 1918 and was initially placed with the Railway Transportation Office. When he last wrote to his parents, he stated that the 125th would “soon be going into the thick of the fighting” and that maybe some of the boys would be hurt but they would “put the Germans of the run.” Henry Davis was killed in action in France on July 31, 1918.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The above picture shows early Memorial Day parades in Manistique. The parades featured not only veterans from foreign wars but also the Civil War. Several bands were part of the parades along with the Woman’s Relief Corps, Red Cross, Catholic Benevolent Association, and Daughters of Veterans. Schoolchildren marched in formation with their teachers along with the 200-member Garden Club.