A Look Back in Time: 50 Lewis County Selected Service Members Drafted in State’s Third World War II Draft Lottery


The draft lottery number 441, which belonged to Marvin Wayne Blue of the Centralia district and George Nelson of the Chehalis district, was the first number drawn in a statewide World War II draft lottery that correlated with residents of Lewis County.

As the War in the Pacific ramped up, Washington state held draft lotteries where all the members of the selected service in the state could be called upon to ship off to war if their number was drawn.

During World War II, each member of Lewis County selected service was assigned a number to be used in the lotteries. Multiple men across the state were assigned to each serial number.

It just so happened that Blue and Nelson had been given the same number.

Blue and Nelson were deemed by The Chronicle as “firsters” because their number was the first number drawn by the state that applied to men from Lewis County.

Serial number 441 was the fourth number drawn by the state in this third lottery.

The Centralia district’s Harry Huno Anderson’s serial number 1103 was the 21st number drawn by the state, which made Anderson the third Lewis County man drafted into war during the lottery.

The Chehalis district’s Nathaniel Oscar Dahlin had serial number 176, which became the 26th number drawn in the lottery. Dahlin was the fourth Lewis County Resident picked.

Eugene H. Arnold’s serial number 606, George Dewey Kain’s serial number 359 and Arno Hiskias Bay’s serial number 1584 were the next three Lewis County-correlated numbers drawn.

Lewis County selected service members represented at least 50 lottery numbers drawn statewide in this third draft lottery.

March 19, 1932:

• The Centralia Chamber of Commerce planned to host hundreds of children for an Easter egg hunt scheduled for March 26, 1932. “It will be a great day for the Easter Bunny and his friends, the kiddies,” reported The Chronicle.

• The Col. John H. Wholly camp of the United Spanish War Veterans and its auxiliary held a tribute to the nation’s first president for the Washington Bicentennial at the Union Hall. Rev. Frederick Luke, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal church, gave an address to honor George Washington’s life. During his speech, Luke stressed that Washington’s farewell address was as immortal as President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. “It would do well for the American people of today to read carefully the sentiments so beautifully expressed in that address,” Luke said at the time.

• Nels Nelson, then 75, a resident of Centralia for 29 years, died at his Route 3 home on March 18, 1932. Nelson was survived by a brother, a niece and two nephews — all Centralia residents. His wife had died three months prior to his death.

• Centralia Junior College presented a three-act comedy play, “Polly with a Past,” on March 18, 1932. “A medium-sized crowd witnessed one of the finest dramatic productions ever seen in the Centralia High School auditorium last evening,” reported The Chronicle.

• An unnamed U.S. senator and former mayor of Seattle found himself in the midst of controversy following the serial embezzlement of funds from the recently defunct financial institutions of the Puget Sound and Home Savings and Loans associations in Seattle during 1932. Robert M. Burgunder was set to prosecute a case against the man, hoping to add to four successful prosecutions against former officials of the institutions.

• Centralia’s Campfire Girls groups celebrated their 20th anniversary on March 18, 1932 at Centralia’s First Presbyterian Church. “A potluck dinner was served at 6:30 o’clock from large tables prettily appointed in the spring motif and centered with large bouquets of mixed spring flowers,” reported The Chronicle.

• Washington state received less gas tax revenue in January and February of 1932 than it had during the same timeframe in 1931. The five-cent gas tax for January-February in 1931 yielded about $1.7 million, while the same months in 1932 yielded about $1.6 million. “Either Washington motorists are traveling less this year than last year, or gasoline is being ‘bootlegged’ to evade the state tax in sufficient quantities to be noticeable,” reported The Chronicle.

March 19, 1942:

• As Strawberry season neared, E.L. Coleman, operation manager of the Grand Mound Barreling Plant, said the season was expected to see a heavy run for the fruit. The barreling plant was due to open its third year of harvesting in 1942.

• Jennie M. Curtis, then 73, a half-century pioneer of Centralia, died in March 1942 at her Route 1 home. She was born in Waupaca, Wisconsin on October 16, 1868. She’d settled in the city 51 years prior to her death.

• A Chehalis community bond initiative to purchase an Army pursuit plane for the United States for use in the ongoing conflicts surrounding World War II yielded more than $4,000 more toward the goal after the sales of $4,177.93 in victory bonds and stamps. The sales brought the community’s total to $31,753.25 in the first three days of the campaign. The cost of the vessel in question, a Curtis P-40, was $55,000.

• Hervey E. Williams, then 76, a 16-year resident of Tenino, died in March 1942 following a brief illness. He’d settled in Washington 36 years prior to his death and had lived in South Prairie before his time in Tenino.

• The Centralia draft board announced the registration of 22 more selected service members. Arthur Mack Seehafer, Fred David Upton, William Edward Fabry and Lawrence Albert Ward were among the registrants.

• More than 400 people were expected to attend Rochester’s annual strawberry festival.

• Elmer J. White, a former resident of Centralia, was reported missing following the sinking of the U.S.S. Houston cruiser which was felled during a naval battle off of Java. White had attended Centralia schools before moving to Olympia with parents “Mr. and Mrs. James H. White,” reported The Chronicle.

• A five-room modern house was listed for sale in The Chronicle classifieds for $1,000 and a four-room modern house was listed for $1,400.

March 19, 1952:

• Lumberman Fred Frese stood accused of removing nearly half a million feet of green timber from a 328-acre tract of state timberland in eastern Lewis County. During the third day of his trial, prosecutor Alfred McBee sought to discredit Frese’s material witnesses by asking them of their knowledge of a 1950 trespass case, which had been brought against Frese at that time.

• A string of motor-vehicle-related thefts was reported by the Centralia Police Department. Richard Adkins, of 112 Yew Street, claimed that gasoline had been siphoned from his car as it was parked in front of his home; Phil Cristen’s spare tire was reported stolen from his vehicle as it was parked in downtown Centralia; and Robert Brill reported that a hubcap and wheel ring had been taken from his automobile while it had been parked in front of his 703 East St. residence.

• A Washington state Superior Court judge ruled that the state’s Legislative Crime Investigating Committee could not investigate crimes which could have been committed in city or town jurisdictions.

• An ordinance creating a local improvement district, which was set to provide the financing for the sewer system in Centralia's Logan District, was passed by the Centralia City Council.

• The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit charging radio station KPOA with violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay employees overtime. J. Elroy McCaw, of Centralia, and radio station co-operator John D. Keating were the persons named in the complaint.

• A rally to elect General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the presidency of the United States was scheduled for late March 1952 in the Lewis County Courthouse. Sen. Don Eastvold was the scheduled speaker at the event and was to be introduced by state Sen. Virgil Lee, R-Chehalis.