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Profiles from the Archives: Luther A. Denning

Matthew M. Peek, Military Collection Archivist

Luther Allen Denning was born on November 13, 1895, in Bentonville, N.C., to John W. and Minnie Denning. By 1900, the family had moved to the town of Grantham in Wayne County, N.C., where Luther’s father was a farmer. At the time of his draft registration for World War I in 1917, Luther Denning was working as a farmer. Denning enlisted during World War I for military service in the U.S. Army on May 26, 1918, at Goldsboro, N.C., with the rank of private.

Denning served in the 156th Depot Brigade until June 21, 1918, after which time he was transferred into Company C, 323rd Infantry, 81st Division (“Wildcat Division”), U.S. Army. Denning sailed with his unit for France on July 31, 1918. He reportedly served in the mountains on the Vosges Front in France, remaining on the French line for 23 days around October 1918. Denning was noted as a good soldier of excellent character by his superiors. He returned from France on March 24, 1919, and was discharged on April 19, 1919.

After the war, Luther Denning returned to his parents’ home in Grantham, N.C., though it is unknown what he did for a living. On June 1, 1924, Denning married Kiver Batten at the Selma Baptist Church in Selma, N.C. The couple would give birth to a daughter Helen around 1925. By 1930, the couple had moved to Goldsboro, N.C., where Luther worked as an agent for the Goldsboro Insurance & Realty Company. Luther A. Denning died on January 23, 1972, in Goldsboro, and was buried in Willow Dale Cemetery in the same city.

To learn more about Luther Denning’s WWI service, check out the Luther A. Denning Papers (WWI 20) in the WWI Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of N.C. in Raleigh, N.C.

This blog post is part of the State Archives of N.C.’s World War I Social Media Project, an effort to bring original WWI archival materials to the public through the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (NCDNCR) various social media platforms, in order to increase access to the items during the WWI centennial celebration by the state of N.C.

Between February 2017 and June 2019, the State Archives of N.C. will be posting blog articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter posts, featuring WWI archival materials which are posted on the exact 100th anniversary of their creation during the war. Blog posts will feature interpretations of the content of WWI documents, photographs, diary entries, posters, and other records, including scans of the original archival materials, held by the State Archives of N.C., and will be featured in NCDNCR’s WWI centennial blog.

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