Lance Corporal Elmer Graham McCracken, son of Thomas H. McCracken and Maude S. Graham, was born 20 March 1889 in St. Louis, Missouri, and lived in the St. Louis area his entire life until his death Sept 20, 1983 while living in Shrewsbury, Missouri. He is buried in the cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis; however, his wife, Ruby Dapper, is buried in Litchfield, Montgomery Co., Illinois, and his name is also carved on her stone. Sadly, Elmer and Ruby had no children of their own.

Elmer worked most of his life as a hotel clerk. His first entry in the St. Louis City Directory shows him as a clerk at the Hotel Berlin in 1909 when he was twenty. He did not marry until he was about forty-one. He married Ruby A. Dapper, daughter of Katie Dapper who was a widow in Litchfield, Montgomery County, Illinois in the 1900 census. Ruby was born October 1889.

Elmer’s WWI draft card shows him a resident at 5601 Delmar which is the address of the Windemere Hotel, where he was a desk clerk. The 1910 city directory shows that he resided at the hotel also. He was living and working at that hotel until 1917 when he registered for the draft. Interestingly, his draft registration says that he previously served a Corporal in the Infantry for six years.

He inducted on 18 September 1917 in St. Louis, and served in Company F, 314th Engineers, 89th Infantry Division for the entire length of his service. He was appointed Corporal from Lance Corporal on June 3, 1917 and was wounded by an auto truck on 31 October 1918 leaving him with 20% disability. He left the Army on 6 March 1919.

His Wound Certificate was rescued from eBay.

His medal and certificate were donated to the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in St. Louis, MO.