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Photo courtesy of the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: Local World War I soldier

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 27, 2017


When the United States entered what would become known as World War I in April 1917, the nation’s military was fairly small. By the end of the war on Nov. 11, 1918, about 4 million men would have served in the U.S. armed forces. Among the men who served was Charles Martin Green.

Charles was born in Lake Township (now St. Clair Shores), Michigan, on Dec. 9, 1888, to John Green and Ernestine Selinsky Green. He was one of six children when he registered for the military on June 8, 1917. Charles listed his occupation as “auto truck driver” for Berry Bros. in Detroit. He was single, 28 years old, and had no prior military service.

In this photo, probably taken while he was on leave around the Christmas holidays in 1917, Charles is pictured in his Army uniform on the family farm at 11 Mile and Grant roads. The family log home was moved decades later and is now the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum, a state-registered historical site.

After the war, Charles returned to Michigan, where he married Hortense Commyn on Oct. 7, 1924, in Grosse Pointe and worked as a trucker. He died on Aug. 2, 1929, and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit.

To view this image and other historical photographs, please visit the digital media archive at

 — Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library