Edward Grinage

The following profile was researched and compiled by Candice L. Buchanan and Glenn J. R. T. Toothman III, for www.RainDayBoys.com.

Birth: 27 August 1891 Woodruff, Jackson Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Parents: Alpheus Grinage and Susan Davis

Residence at time of enlistment: Jackson Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Physical description: short, stout, brown eyes, black hair

Death: Influenza epidemic, 9 October 1918 U. S. Army Base Hospital, Camp Grant, Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois

Age at death: 27 years old

Last resting place: Valley Chapel Cemetery, Jackson Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Military rank: Serial No. 4043560. Private.

Provisional Co. 13, Colored Detachment, 160 Depot Brigade
Co. H, 803rd Pioneer Infantry
Co. A, 5th Development Battalion

Additional information:

On 3 February 1919, Susan Grinage submitted to the Pennsylvania War History Commission a form she had clipped from a Pennsylvania newspaper, along with a letter, and photograph, all regarding her son Edward. The "War Service Record" form was an initiative to collect data for every Pennsylvania soldier who had participated in the Great War. These forms and any complimentary submissions, like Susan's have been preserved by the Pennsylvania State Archives / Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in Harrisburg. Further collaboration with Ancestry.com has increased awareness and access to these amazing documents, marking a success for Susan's intention to remember her child through the striking image of him in uniform and the following account of his life and service:

“Edward Grinage, colored, reported to the local draft board for Greene County on August 4, 1918. He was a son of Alpheus Grinage, deceased, and Susan Grinage, of Rogersville, Greene County, R. D. #1.
He left Waynesburg in company with five other colored men on the morning following for Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan. He first was assigned to Provisional Co. 13, Colored Detachment, 160 Depot Brigade, Camp Custer, with which organization he served about three weeks. He was then transferred to Co. H, 803rd Pioneer Infantry, Camp Grant at Rockford, Ill. When this organization went over seas Private Grinage failed to meet the requirement of the physical examination and was assigned to Co. A, 5th Development Batallion, with which organization he served until the time of his death.
Private Grinage was admitted to the base hospital at Camp Grant about the first of October, 1918, at which place he died of pneumonia on October 9, 1918.
Private Grinage was born near Woodruff, Greene county, August 27, 1891, and was nearly twenty seven years of age when he entered the National army. He was a son of Alpheus Grinage, deceased, and Susan Grinage. He attended the public schools of the county and was unmarried at the time of his death. Practically his entire life was spent on the farm of his father in Greene county. He is survived by his mother, two brothers, William C. Grinage of Woodruff Pa., Thomas H. Grinage and one sister, Martha Grinage at home.”
Notice of Edward's death was delivered to his brother Thomas H. Grinage. Though the ultimate cause is attributed to pneumonia, this condition is generally the fatal progression that was common to the influenza epidemic that horrified the world right alongside the war in 1918-1919. October 1918 was one of the peak months for the disease. When Edward's obituary ran in the Democrat Messenger of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, on 18 October 1918, he was not alone among the flu's victims, which was hitting Greene County hard as well.
Edward was brought home to be buried with his family in Valley Chapel Cemetery.


  • Edward Grinnage obituary, Democrat Messenger, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, 18 October 1918.
  • "United States, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6482 : accessed 3 April 2018), Edward Grinage draft card, serial no. 1059, Local Draft Board, Jackson Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania; citing National Archives microfilm publication M1509, FHL roll 1892939.
  • Valley Chapel Cemetery (Jackson Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania), Edward Grinage tombstone; personally read and photographed by Candice Buchanan and Glenn Toothman, 2018.
  • "WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60884 : accessed 3 April 2018), Edward Grinage file (no application for compensation submitted, but military records, photograph, and family documents included); citing World War I Veterans Service and Compensation File, 1934–1948 (RG 19, Series 19.91), Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.