Clarence Ruffus Felton (1893-1933)

by Jada Gaskins

Clarence Ruffus Felton was born January 16, 1893 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Rosie and John Felton. He attended public schools as his education.

When he registered for the draft in June 1917, Clarence Felton lived in Newbury, West Virginia and worked as a rail road truck laborer for the B&O Railroad Company, Cumberland division. Before he enlisted, he lived at 832 Landing Street in Norfolk and worked as a cook at Porter Brothers. He enlisted on September 20, 1918. He was not a citizen and could not vote at this time, but Clarence was a Baptist.
Clarence wrote that he enlisted  “To fight for my country and to keep away the enemy from this country 
and to keep them from harming any of my people” as his reasoning for serving his country. He served as part of the 155 Brigade artillery. He was discharged from the army on January 14, 1919.

Felton married Emily F. Winston of Blackwater, Virginia on December 20, 1925. The couple lived at 914 Lancaster Street in Norfolk. Clarence was working as a Load Carrier at the Grana Factory and Emily worked as a potato fryer at the potato chip factory in 1930. Clarence was murdered October 26, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried at Philadelphia National Cemetery. Emily Felton died March 26, 1984 and is buried at Riverside Memorial Park, Norfolk.

Clarence R Felton (1893-1933) – find a grave… Find a Grave. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from 

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 August 2022), Emily W Felton, ; Burial, Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, United States of America, Riverside Memorial Park; citing record ID 53828491, Find a Grave,

“United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 December 2022), Emily Felton in household of Clarence Felton, Norfolk, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 2, sheet 25A, line 45, family , NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2469; FHL microfilm 2,342,203.

“United States, Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940,” database, FamilySearch( : 3 September 2021), Clarence Ruffus Felton, 14 Jan 1919; citing Military Service, NARA microfilm publication 76193916 (St. Louis: National Archives and Records Administration, 1985), various roll numbers.

“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch( : 24 December 2021), Clarence Felton, 1917-1918.

“Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940”, database, FamilySearch ( : 29 January 2020), Clarence R. Felton, 1925.

World War I History Commission questionnaires. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from