The Iowa Recorder reported that Gov. Harding and Adj. Gen. Logan and their party have returned from their official inspection of Camp Cody at Deming, New Mexico. The governor was very enthusiastic about Iowa’ troops and their advancement in their work.
Governor Harding said the soldiers from Iowa at Camp Cody work from 5:30 in the morning until 9 o’clock at night and understands the seriousness of the business they are entering into. He went on to say that the soldiers are well fed and most of them have proper clothing and bedding.
The governor had his meals with both the officers and the men. He found the kitchens at Camp Cody to be models of cleanliness. Harding said that the bathing facilities were entirely inadequate. The Camp Cody soldiers were working on providing hot water and hoped to have it within a few days. The hospital also need to work on providing more even heat during the cold desert nights.
The Deming Headlight newspaper this week back in 1918 was asking for ladies to volunteer to turn out surgical dressing for the Camp Cody hospital. Only about fifteen ladies a day were busy making abdominal binders, T bandages, triangular bandages, small and large compresses, chest binders and a large number of operating leggings.
There was also a great need from the Red Cross for clean white cloths to be cut up into handkerchief for the men at Camp Cody. All of the surgical dressing that could be made at the Deming Armory enabled the Red Cross to divert other medical supplies to the soldiers fighting at the front in Europe in greater quantities.
Mrs. Alice Smith was on a campaign to raise money so that the soldiers at Camp Cody would be provided with good, live, wholesome amusement at low prices. Alice Smith was the “County Superintendent of Schools” in Deming, New Mexico back in February of 1918. Alice was asking all the Deming residents to donate one dollar so that the Camp Cody soldiers could purchase a “Smileage Book”.
Military personnel used the coupons in the Smileage books all across the United States. Each Smileage coupon was worth five cents and there were twenty to a book. Camp Cody, like most World War One army camps, had a large tent were the soldiers would go to exchange these Smileage coupons for admission into an entertaining live show.
The Smileage Books were printed for the War Department by the Globe Ticket Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were “Good for the duration of the war.” Our Camp Cody soldiers were among two million American boys to use these coupons to brighten their military days.
Things were really happening for the Camp Cody soldiers back in February 1918. The hot spot in Deming was the Cody Theater. There were “Six Big Acts” for “Six Big Days”. At the top of the billing was the Comedy Duo of “Hoey & Bellew”. Songs and Dances from Hawaii by “Princess Lani and her Royal Hawaiian Serenaders”. Also featured was “The Roller Skating Bear” and the comedy act of “Sam and May Laurel”.
The Cody Theater was advertised as “Deming’s Prettiest Theater”. Cost for the Camp Cody soldiers to get in to see the show was 50 cents for General Admission and 75 cents for a Reserved Seat. – Advertisement was in the Deming Headlight Newspaper 90 years ago this week.
I replace the pictures of Camp Cody in the “NEW” area of my main web site on the first of each and every month. You can click the link on the right of this page to get to my “main camp cody site”. Then scroll down until you find the area labeled “NEW pictures.
These pictures will remain there for one month and then be replaced with some never seen before Camp Cody pictures that I have received in the last month or so. Your donated scans of Camp Cody or of any soldier who served there are always welcome. Please fell free to send me an email, address on web site, or leave a comment on this Blog.
Michael Kromeke, Webmaster of the Camp Cody web site.