The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

November 12, 2012

Descendants of World War I soldier sought

From Staff Reports

— On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting in World War I came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.

Sometime during the Great War, a young man from Harvey named William J. Stevens fought with United States forces, and Michael Shultz wants to discover if the soldier has any surviving relatives.

“When my father passed recently, I inherited some old photographs that came back from World War I with my grandfather, John William Shultz,” Shultz wrote to The Tribune this fall.

“Included in these photos was a 3x5 photo of a man in a U.S. military uniform. Written in longhand on the reverse is ‘William J. Stevens; Harvey (Haney)? Wva.’

“This was at first puzzling because my family did not move to, or have any connection with West Virginia until at least 50 years after this picture was taken.  I therefore assume that this must be a picture of one of my grandfather’s wartime servicemates,” Shultz surmised.

To that end, Shultz is hoping to locate relatives of the Fayette County soldier so that the picture may be returned to the family.

“My only interest in this is to return this photograph to someone who may never have seen a picture of a grandfather, great-grandfather etc. If someone, through your newspaper, could prove through genealogical records that this is their ancestor, I would like to give them this picture,” he wrote.

Any descendant of William J. Stevens is invited to contact Shultz at to communicate with him regarding the photograph.