Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Sgt. Alvin C. York's Personal and Spiritual Life

Marker ID:  
Location: on the NW border of the Wolf River Cemetery near the Alvin C. York memorial and grave site, Pall Mall, TN
County: Fentress
Coordinates: N 36° 32.883    W 084° 57.25
  36.54805    -84.95416666
Waymark: None


Sgt. Alvin C. York's Personal and Spiritual Life·

The home where Sgt. York was born no longer stands, except for a portion of the north chimney. A large nearby spring supplied water for the William York family and later served Alvin's family too. It was on a hill above the spring that Sgt. York married his beloved Gracie in a ceremony conducted by Tennessee Governor A.H. Roberts of Overton County.

Sgt. York's conversion brought him in contact with Gracie Loretta Williams, who would be his wife on June 7, 1919; before a large crowd of friends and admirers.

Before he was drafted, Sgt. York helped his widowed mother by hunting, fishing, and working to support his younger brothers and sisters. Later she lived with him, his wife and his children in their home.

An illustration in Liberty Magazine depicted Sgt. York praying for God's guidance about his military service at the Yellow Doors (visible to the east of the cemetery).

Sgt. York experienced a religious conversion in 1915 when he attended a revival at Wolf River Methodist Church conducted by H.H. Russell of the Church of Christ in Christian Union. He convinced one of his best friends, Rosier Pile, to join as well. Blessed with a melodious singing voice, York became the song leader and a Sunday School teacher at the local church. Rosier Pile, who owned the community store, went on to become the church's pastor.

Standing at right, Alvin Cullum York was born on Dec. 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tenn., to Mary and William York, parents of eight boys and three girls.

The Wolf River Methodist Church is where the York family attended church for many years. it was here during a revival held by the Church of Christ in Christian Union that York became a Christian in 1915.

Sgt. York's Funeral was attended friends, admirers, dignitaries and military personnel from across the U.S. and abroad. The 82nd Division Color Guard presented the flag from his coffin to his family.

Tennessee State Parks - Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park


Explore more:
Wikipedia: Alvin C. York
Dr. Michael Birdwell: Sergeant Alvin York
History dot com: U.S. soldier Alvin York displays heroics at Argonne
Wikipedia: Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Wikipedia: Forest of Argonne
Wikipedia: World War I