On June 5 all men between the ages of 21 and 31 were required to register for the war effort. Approximately 183 men from Olio and Cruger townships registered. Each man was assigned a number and on July 20, 1917, a nationwide drawing of numbers was held. The numbers were telephoned to the Woodford County Journal office and posted on the windows. Men and their families crowded the windows all day to see whose numbers were drawn. The numbers and names were published in the newspaper the following week. Woodford County was expected to fill a quota of 171 men, and in mid-August the County Exemption Board started examining the first 350 men whose numbers were called. By early September the full quota of 171 men was filled after a second round of examinations.
Benjamin F. “Bink” Haecker was born on July 11, 1898, in Eureka to Carl Haecker and Lena Metz. His father died in 1912. He attended Eureka High School until his sophomore year, and then he worked for E. Dierkes and Arthur Elkin as a clerk. Benjamin was one of the first young men from Woodford County to enlist—just nine days after war was declared on April 6, 1917. He initially trained in Peoria and did attend the Daughters of Veterans celebration in Eureka on May 11. He was sent to Camp Logan, Texas, in September for training. In May of 1918 he was shipped overseas. A letter he wrote to his parents in June was printed in the July 18 issue of the Woodford County Journal. He wrote that he was glad he volunteered and was looking forward to the war being over and coming home. At that time he was a wagoner in Company A, 108th Ammunition Train, 33rd Division.
“Our young soldier has given all, and we would keep nothing back in the cause for which he died. The government that called our Harold to the colors calls every one of us to the standard of liberty and righteousness. This is a solemn and inspiring moment for ‘Our Lord is marching on.’” ~ Rev. D. S. McCaslin, Presbyterian Church pastor during funeral service (Woodford County Journal, 19 September 1918).
On October 17, 1918, the Woodford County Journal reported the death of Claude Sharpe at Camp Hancock, Georgia. Sharpe had left Eureka for Camp Grant in Rockford in September. Camp Grant was one of the military camps suffering from a Spanish Influenza outbreak at the time. After a short stay, he was transferred to Camp Hancock where he developed symptoms and passed away. Sharpe is buried in Olio Cemetery.