Monthly Archives: July 2019

WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profile: Jean P. Dennis 1892-1925

To view this or another nurse profile at any time, click the “WWI Profile” link beside the nurse’s name on Fort Caswell WWI Nurses, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Source of photo: “Jean Dennis Heyen Dead.” The Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), 9 Mar. 1925, p. 27.
Jean Priscilla Dennis Heyen
Ashley, PA
Army Nurse Corps
Served:
March 20, 1918 – August 6, 1919
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
March 20, 1918 – November 1918
Overseas:
November 15, 1918 – July 6, 1919

Jean Priscilla Dennis was born and raised in Ashley, PA, a town one mile from Wilkes-Barre and about 60 miles NNW from Allentown, PA. There is a family tree in FamilySearch. Her middle name was never specified, but was eventually found on the WWI VA Index.

The 1900 Census shows “Jennie” age 8, the oldest of two, the other a son. Her father was an engineer for the railroad. Both children were attending school.

In 1910, Jennie, age 18, was a dressmaker in a shop. The next year, the 1911 Ashley City Directory listed her as a student, presumably at Wilkes-Barre Business College [Source: obituary]. Her younger brother and father are also listed.

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

The following clipping from The Wilkes-Barre Record (Wilkes-Barre, PA), Sep 30, 1914, p. 16, shows her training was at Riverside Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. This can also be confirmed by her obituary. In addition, she trained at Woman’s Hospital Nurses’ Training School in NYC, and worked at Siam Hospital in Cleveland.

On March 20, 1918, she joined the Army Nurse Corps. Details of her US Army service may be found on her WWI PA Service Card, which is shown here. Her service is also listed below in table form for easier reading. Her brother William Malcolm Dennis also served in WWI in the 669th Aero Squadron.

03/20/1918 – 11/1918 Fort Caswell, NC
11/1918 – 01/1919 Base Hospital No. 113 (France)
01/1919 – 7/06/1919 Base Hospital No. 88 (France)
07/06/1919 – 08/06/1919 Demobilization Station, NYC

She served overseas, returning home in July 1919, and discharged in August. The 1920 Census shows she returned home to her parents and continued working as a nurse.

In 1922, she married Herman F. Heyen, an engineer from NYC. They lived in Brooklyn for less than two years and then returned to Ashley, probably for her health. A year later tuberculosis took her life. She was 33 years old.

Jean Dennis Heyen Dead

Shortly after 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon, the grim reaper removed from this earthly life Mrs. Jean Dennis Heyen, prominent and popular young woman of this valley, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Willian Dennis, of Hartford street, following an illness of complications. Mrs. Heyen had been a resident of Ashley her entire life and was prominent in chuch, fraternal and social circles. She was a veteran of the World War, in which she served her country for seventeen months as an army nurse, and upon returning from overseas duty, she took up residence in Ashley, and in October 1922, was united in marriage to Herman F. Heyen, of Brooklyn, N.Y., following which took up residence in Brooklyn, but a year ago returned with her husband to the home of her parents here, where they have since resided.

Mrs. Heyen was a member of Bius Ridge Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Memorial Day Association, Methodist Episcopal Church and Sunday school and of the Nurses’ Alumni Association of Riverside Hospital, Wilkes-Barre.

Mrs. Heyen before marriage was Miss Jean Dennis, and a graduate of Ashley high school, Wilkes-Barre Business College, Riverside Hospital Nurses’ Training School, Woman’s Hospital Nurses’ Training School, New York City, and served some time as professional nurse in Siam Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio.

She was talented and had exceptional qualities of personality, which won for her a wide circle of friends, and had a promising future. When the war came upon this country, Miss Dennis responded with her training as a professional nurse and was enlisted in the Sixth Army Nurses Corps. She was sent to Fort Caswell, S.C. [NC], from where she was sent overseas, serving in France and Germany during the great strife. She returned to the United States and was given an honorable discharge in July, 1919.

She leaves her husband, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Dennis, of Hartford street, and one brother, Malcom Dennis, of Timpson street.

The funeral will be held to-morrow afternoon from the Dennis residence at 2:30 and the services will be private. Interment will be in Oaklawn Cemetery. The family announce that the remains may be viewed by friends this evening between 7 and 9 o’clock. Rev. W.H. Crawford, pastor of the Methodist Church, and Rev. Robert Graham, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, will officiate at the services on Tuesday afternoon.
“Jean Dennis Heyen Dead.” The Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), 9 Mar. 1925, p. 27.

Her brother William Malcolm Dennis passed away in 1945 at age 52 from complications due to diabetes. Their parents outlived them both.

From their death certificates, the family was buried in Oaklawn Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre. No photos are available.

If you would like to help us honor Jean Priscilla Dennis Heyen or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profile: Nellie E. Davis 1884-1962

To view this or another nurse profile at any time, click the “WWI Profile” link beside the nurse’s name on Fort Caswell WWI Nurses, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Source: Findagrave
Nellie Eaton Davis
Denver, CO
Army Nurse Corps
1st Lieutenant, Chief Nurse

Served:
August 18, 1916 – After 1931
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital (Chief Nurse):
March 16, 1918 – March 20, 1919

Nellie Eaton Davis was born and raised in the Denver area of Colorado. There is a family tree in FamilySearch.

The 1900 Census lists her father (in real estate), her mother, and two daughters. The record shows that three children were born, with two living. (Nellie’s little brother died several years earlier when he was two years old.) Nellie, age 16, was the oldest. Both were attending school.

The 1910 Census is almost identical, except Nellie was listed as a nurse.

Much of the information about Nellie’s training and military service shown below was found on the last page of Nellie’s World War I Veteran’s Compensation Fund Application Records from the state of Washington from 1924. On the list of service, it shows she graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver on January 21, 1907, classifying her as a graduate nurse.

The Denver City Directory of 1907 [Source: Ancestry] lists over six columns of nurses.

Nellie joined the Army Nurse Corps from Portage, Washington in 1916. It is unclear why she was in Portage. The US had not yet entered the Great War and the influenza pandemic had not yet created a desperate plea for nurses, so it is not clear what motivated her to join. She is the only nurse who served at Fort Caswell during WWI who had enlisted before the US joined the war. She was one of a very select group. At the time she enlisted, a mere 200-400 nurses were serving in the Army Nurse Corps. It’s likely why she was chosen as chief nurse at Fort Caswell.

Her WWI Service Card from Colorado had only the following.

Name: Nellie E. Davis
Rank: Chief Nurse
Branch: U. S. Army
Military Place: Denver, Denver [County], Colorado
Roster of Men and Women Who Served in The World War From Colorado 1917-1918 Denver County

Therefore, her military service had to be pieced together from multiple sources, although mostly from the record mentioned above. Some gaps still remain and no final discharge date was found. (Additional sources: Military Registry excerpt shown further below, and the WWI VA Index.)

Chief Nurse Nellie E. Davis was mentioned in As You Were, a booklet about the hospital at Camp Jackson, SC, printed in 1919 by the Library of Congress (excerpt shown).


On March 29, 1919, after WWI, the Oteen weekly newsletter from Asheville, NC, welcomed Nurse Davis and Nurse Jost to their new assignments from Fort Caswell.

08/20/1916 Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco
10/03/1917 Fort McPherson, GA
10/13/1917 Camp Jackson, SC (as Chief Nurse)
03/16/1918 Fort Caswell, NC (as Chief Nurse)
03/20/1919 General Hospital #19, Oteen, NC
04/11/1919 Ellington Field, Houston, TX
05/11/1919 Walter Reed Hospital, DC (for treatment)
12/17/1919 Mitchel Field, NY
03/05/1922 Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, Denver (as 2nd Lt)
07/22/1924 Fort Riley, KS (as 2nd Lt)
07/28/1928 Discharge
1931 San Diego (Chief Nurse; 1st Lt)
Unknown Discharge

The 1929 San Diego City Directory [Source: Ancestry] lists Nellie and her parents living at 3914 Falcon St. The home is in the Historic Mission Hills District and was built in 1928. An internet search will show the gorgeous craftsman home both inside and out.

Her mother passed away in 1929. The 1930 Census shows Nellie and her father living in the same home. From the 1931 Army Register, 1st Lt Nellie Davis was serving as Chief Nurse in San Diego.
[Source: Oregon State Library; Ancestry.com. U.S., Select Military Registers, 1862-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA]

Her father passed away four years later in 1934. Nellie lived in the same home until 1942, according to the 1940 census and San Diego City Directories. In the census, she is listed as age 56, employed as a RN at a rest home.

From 1943 until 1948, Nellie cannot be found in online historical records. She is found in 1948 in the San Diego City Directory with a different address, 1838 30th St. Could she have served in WWII? From her previous military service, it seems possible that she would accept a role somewhere during WWII.

From 1948 until 1956, she remained in the San Diego City Directory.

Source of headline: “Burns Prove Fatal to Woman.” The Los Angeles Times, 16 April 1962, p. 48.
On April 15, 1962, Nellie Eaton Davis passed away in Los Angeles. (Also recorded here.) She had a tragic ending to her life, succumbing to second and third degree burns over most of her body after suffering for four days, caused while trying to light a cigarette. The story below describes her final days.

L.B. Woman, 78, Dies of Burns in Bed
A 78-year old woman died Sunday apparently from burns suffered April 11 in Hillcrest Convalescent Hospital when her dressing gown ignited as she lit a cigarette.

Nellie Davis, of 3850 Chestnut Ave., died in Harriman-Jones Hospital about 4:45 p.m.

She had suffered second and third degree burns over most of her body.

According to the convalescent hospital at 3401 Cedar Ave., Mrs. Davis was sitting on the edge of her bed awaiting breakfast when she flipped the wheel of her cigarette lighter and the flame turned her gown into a torch. An attendant extinguished the blaze.
“L.B. Woman, 78, Dies of Burns in Bed.” Independent (Long Beach, CA), 16 April 1962, p. 1.

Source of death notice below: Independent (Long Beach, CA), 17 April 1962, p. 25.

Nellie Eaton Davis was laid to rest with her parents. No military honors are shown.

If you would like to help us honor Nellie Eaton Davis or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profile: Frances C. Boulware 1878-1941

To view this or another nurse profile at any time, click the “WWI Profile” link beside the nurse’s name on Fort Caswell WWI Nurses, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Source: Findagrave
Inscription: Frances Cordelia Boulware; November 25, 1879; September 1, 1941

Frances Cordelia Boulware
Laurens, SC
Army Nurse Corps

Served:
August 12, 1918 – March 23, 1919
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
August 12, 1918 – March 23, 1919

Frances Cordelia “Fannie” Boulware was born and raised in Laurens County, SC. There is a partial family tree in FamilySearch.

In the 1880 Census her father is listed as a farmer. There are two daughters and a son. Fannie, listed as three years old, is the second child and youngest daughter.

Her father passed away in 1895 [Source: Ancestry]. Several more children had been born. The 1900 Census shows a total of seven children were born, five (or six?) still living. Fannie is the oldest living at home, with three younger siblings.

Before her father died, the family was living on a large family farm in Cross Hill, SC, a rural community in Laurens County. The death of her father may have required a move into town. In 1900 they lived in the town of Laurens, SC, and her mother was a landlady. The 1900 Census shows seven people boarding with them. Fannie, age 22, and her 17 year old sister, Jane, were dressmakers.

This 1912 Laurens City Directory lists three of the Boulware women. Frances is listed as a nurse; Harriett, a milliner (maker of hats), and Mariah, their mother (she died later that year). [Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA]

There were only five trained nurses listed in the same City Directory of 1912 (excerpt below).

This excerpt from a 1915 article names Fannie Boulware as secretary of the Graduate Nurses’ Association of South Carolina.

“Graduate Nurses to Meet Here in April.” The Greenville News, 19 April 1915, p. 2.

On August 12, 1918, Nurse Boulware volunteered for WWI service.

Source: The Laurens Advertiser, 28 Aug. 1918, p. 5.

At nearly 40 years of age, Nurse Boulware did not meet the initial age requirements for US Army nurses, between 25-35 years. As the war continued, these requirements were modified to include 21-45 years of age, as mentioned in the initial Fort Caswell nurse post. The clipping above stated she was planning to serve overseas. Due to her late entry, her service overseas was probably no longer needed. Thus, she completed her service at Fort Caswell and was discharged. Her South Carolina WWI Service Card is listed below.

BOULWARE, FRANCES C. Residence: Laurens SC. Born: Cross Hill SC Nov 25/79. Nurse Aug 12/18 from Civilian life. Fort Caswell NC to discharge. Honorable discharge Mch 23/19.
Source: South Carolina, General Assembly. The official roster of South Carolina soldiers, sailors and marines in the World War, 1917-18, volume 1, part 1. South Carolina State Library, 1929.

The 1920 Census shows she was back in Laurens, living with her sister Jane and her family. By 1930, she was living in Greenville, employed as the Head Nurse at the Furman University Infirmary [Source: various articles from Greenville newspapers reporting illness data]. It appears she remained in Greenville even when she was no longer able to work, as the 1940 Census shows.

Frances Cordelia Boulware passed away a year later, on September 1, 1941. She had been in a VA invalid’s home for nurses for 45 days. Her death certificate shows she had a bleeding stomach ulcer with possible liver cancer. Her obituary is shown below.

Miss Frances Boulware
LAURENS, Sept 1 – Miss Frances Boulware, widely known professional nurse of Laurens and Greenville, died today at Veterans’ hospital for nurses in Milledgeville, GA, after several years of declining health.

She was the daughter of the late Joseph R. and Maria Anderson Boulware of Laurens. She received her education in schools here and graduated as a nurse at Roper hospital, Charleston. During recent years she had lived in Greenville. Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Fleming Smith and Mrs. Alva Weaver and a brother, David L. Boulware.

Funeral services will be at the Kennedy mortuary in Laurens at 11 a.m. Wednesday conducted by the Rev. L.P. McGee. Burial will be in Laurens cemetery.

Active pallbearers: W.R. and Jack Anderson, Lawrence Kennedy, L.C. Barksdale, E.O. Anderson, Everette Martin.

Honoary escort: R.E. and R.A. Babb, Dr. C.P. Vincent, Dr. T.L. Timmerman, H. Douglas Gray, L.G. Balle, M.L. Smith, Ralph Bobo, C.P. Roper, and Grover C. Peterson.
The Greenville News (Greenville, SC), 2 Sept. 1941, p. 6.

She was laid to rest in Laurens City Cemetery where her mother and later at least one sister were buried. No military service is shown.

If you would like to help us honor Frances Cordelia Boulware or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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