Daniel Clarence McRae

Daniel Clarence McRae, third son of Joseph and Augusta Erickson McRae, was born 8 October 1898 in Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona.

He attended schools in Thatcher and spent most of his time after school hours helping his father on the farm.

At the age of eighteen, he decided to enter college at Flagstaff, Arizona to further his education, but as the World War I was going on, changed his plans and went into the Service.

He entered the Army enlisting in the 1st Arizona Infantry, Company B (Safford Outfit), on 23 April 1917. After a couple of weeks at Naco, Arizona, they were moved to Ajo, Arizona, where the Company did Border Patrol until September or October when they were moved to Camp Kearney, California. Their Company received the first citation of the War for their work in breaking up a cattle rustling and smuggling ring operating inside Mexico.

In July of 1918, they entrained for New York City from where they sailed for England on August 11th. They landed in London and were immediately moved to South Hampton where they were loaded on a cattle boat and shipped to France.

None of their outfit saw much action as they were given the job of handling boys who had been wounded, taking care of their wounds and needs, and getting them back into the fight. If the War had not ended when it did, the whole Company would have been sent up to the "Front" in another thirty days.

The Division was quartered down around Orleans when the War ended. The next day they were moved to a place about ten or fifteen miles from Paris. His Regiment was selected to do the honors of protecting President Wilson. Only non-commissioned officers were used. Daniel's job was an Orderly in the Hotel, twenty-four hours on and forty-eight hours off.

They remained in Paris about three weeks and Daniel enjoyed every minute of it. He got to talk with the President and his youngest daughter. All the 1st and 2nd lieutenants in and around Paris must have sent boxes of candy to her. Daniel carried so much candy up to her room that she had trouble finding space for it. Most of it was later given to the soldiers.

Daniel also had the privilege of hearing 'Madam Ernestine Schumann-Heink,' the great American dramatic contralto singer who was of Austrian birth, sing many times as her son was in their Company and when she came to pay him a visit, she would always sing for them.

The Regiment sailed for home on 6 April 1919, exactly two years to the day after the War was declared. He was discharged at Fort Bliss, Texas on May 5th.

Daniel returned to his home in Thatcher, Arizona, and was warmly welcomed by his family. He acquired a hammer, square and saw and started working as a carpenter which he continued for a year.

Upon learning that disabled veterans could draw compensation and attend school, he left his work and family and moved to Los Angeles to attend a commercial school.

It was here in Los Angeles that he met Dorothy MacKray, born 26 February 1910 at Sugar Loaf, Colorado, and they were married on 21 December 1927.

On 29 March 1926, Daniel went to work for the State Division of Highways at Sacramento, California, where he worked until he retired. He was promoted to responsible positions in the Division.

Daniel and Dorothy are now making their home in Redding, California, and are the parents of three children, namely: James Arlen; Sally Ann; and Carol Jean.