Back in December of 1918 the local businessmen in Deming, New Mexico worked hard to get the hospital at Camp Cody named as a convalescent camp. With the closing of Camp Cody at the end of World War One, Deming was losing lots of jobs that had been generated by all the soldiers that came to town on their time off. The town officials were looking for anyway to keep some Army personnel in town.
A considerable number of soldiers were returning from France at the end of World War One to recuperate from their wounds. The U.S. Government wanted to send these returning soldiers within 300 miles of the home of their nearest relatives. As the soldiers recovered from their wounds the Camp Cody Hospital eventually closed down and on May 12, 1923 was sold to the Sisters of the Holy Cross and dedicated as the Holy Cross Sanatorium.
It is snowing in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. Well believe it or not, it snowed at Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico back in 1918. Yes, the soldiers had snow on and off during the week of January 12, 1918.
It was too late for a white Christmas but the soldiers enjoyed the change from the 100 plus degree temperature of the previous summer. Many had their pictures taken outside in the snow to send to the folk’s back home.
The Camp Cody Hospital was the most permanent construction on the camp. The hospital was of frame construction with a bed capacity of 1,289. The 16 buildings were left in place after the camp was closed at the end of World War One.
The hospital sat unused until the Deming Chamber of Commerce sold the abandoned building to the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1923. The Sisters turned it into the Holy Cross Sanatorium for tuberculosis patients.
The number of patients was starting to decrease in 1938. Then on a windy day in March of 1939 the administration building caught fire and all of the building burnt to the ground.
The soldiers at Camp Cody saw lots of sunshine. On average, Deming had 308 days of sunshine a year. That was more than any other army camp in the United States. Out of those sunny days, Deming also had 255 days where there was not a cloud at all in the sky.
The soldiers also enjoyed an annual mean temperature of fifty-nine degrees. The extreme temperature swings were a low of nine degrees above zero to a high of 110 degrees. You know what they always say out here in the desert, “It was a dry heat”.
The World War One U.S. Army training camp in Deming, New Mexico was named after the famous buffalo hunter, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). The Camp was active from July 1916 until the end of December 1918. More then 30,000 soldier were stationed at Camp Cody.
This site is for anyone who wants to share the story of a friend or relative who served at Camp Cody. Leaving ‘Comments” will allow you to communicate with others who are interested this WW1 Army Training Camp.
Elmer H. Titus was born on April 5th 1891 at Midnight in Hancock County, Iowa. My youngest brother was 11 when he died! Yes, my dad was a busy man, he was 58 when I was born and I couldn’t have asked for a better dad.
Elmer left Iowa in 1920, to homestead in Wisconsin with his first wife, Sylvia Collison. He built one of the first propeller driven snowmobiles. He owned the Midway Garage in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He was a hunting and fishing guide, deputy sheriff for ten years, deputy game warden and deputy fire warden for the Cassian Township. He aided the F.B.I. when they tried to capture John Dillinger at “Little Bohemia.” He leased a gold mining down in New Mexico.
Elmer left Wisconsin to participate in the early beginnings of the oil industry in Venezuela. There he met, Ana Allen Perez, his second wife. I am a child of that marriage. He attended Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa. He had six kids and always told us stories about his horses during his time at Camp Cody. After the First World War he became a chiropractor and he died in 1971 at the age of 80.
Written by Mariana Titus.