Coatesville Baseball [Brief History of Coatesville, 1966, Note 2]: “Some 50 or 60 years ago

[i.e. circa 1906-1916] there was a ball team in Coatesville known as the ‘Coatesville Bluz’. Bill

[William Morton] McAninch was the manager. He secured games with all the town teams of note

for miles around . . . these games were fiercely contested by players and spectators alike. . . . 

Other good players were ‘Jug’ Stewart, a clever catcher, ‘Buck’ Phillips, Frank Davidson . . .

. . . Frank O'Neal was a pitcher and fielder and a scrapping player was ‘breaky’ McAninch.”


Of course, railroads were the industry of those times, and influenced Vern’s life in many ways.

Vern’s father, Daniel A. McAninch, was a bridge carpenter and track crew foreman on the

Terre Haute and Indianapolis Railroad (merged into the Vandalia Railroad in 1905), and it is

believed that some of his sons also worked with him for short periods. Vern’s oldest brother,

John Freeman McAninch (1871-1947), went to Chicago, worked as a brakeman, and became a

Conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad. And Fred Thomas McAninch (1888-1914), Vern’s

nearest older brother, became a telegraph operator, working in Colorado (although he died young).


The names, ages, and occupations given in the 1910 census corroborate the railroad connections:

McAninch, Daniel A., [age] 59 [occupation] Railroad, [industry] Fence Carpenter [sic] [Note 14]

Rhoda, wife, [age] 61 M1 [Married,1] 41 [years], 11 children, 7 living / [occupation] “None” [sic]

Maude, daughter, [age] 24 S[single] [occupation] Teacher, [industry] Public School 

William, son, [age] 22 S[single] [occupation] Fence Carpenter, [industry] Railroad

Vern, son, [age] 19 S[single] [occupation] "None" [industry] "Railroad" [sic, vs. U.S. Army (?)]


So, even though he was already in the Army, and was presumably in the Signal Corps enlisted

training course at Fort Omaha, Nebraska, Vern was still enumerated on the 15 April 1910 census

with his parents, in his home town of Coatesville, Indiana [Note 14].


Vern Joins The U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1909 


Vern was very interested in the signaling communications and telegraph technology of his day.

In December 1909, two months after his 19th birthday, Vern enlisted in the Army Signal Corps,

and received his reporting orders on Dec. 17th, in a Telegram from the Adjutant General’s Office 

[Note 15]. He was ‘Accepted For Enlistment’ on Dec. 18th, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and forwarded to

Columbus Barracks, Columbus, Ohio, where the official paperwork was completed on Dec. 20th.


The Enlistment records have original signatures of both Vern and his father, Daniel A. McAninch,

[since Vern was not yet 21, his father had to sign ‘Consent in Case of a Minor’; the consent for the

 enlistment was signed in Coatesville on Dec. 10th, witnessed by “P. J.[?] Shields, M.E., Pastor”].

Vern’s physical description on the Descriptive and Assignment Card in the Enlistment records is 

Eyes: Brown #1 [sic] / Hair: D[ark] Brown / Complexion: Fair / and Height: 5 feet 5 ½ inches. 




McAninch Family History NL v.XX n.3 / July 2012 / Frank McAninch, Editor / page 2012-20


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