Monthly Archives: July 2019

WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profile: Bertha Jost 1891-1943

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
Bertha H. Jost
Perth-Amboy, NJ
Army Nurse Corps
2nd Lieutenant (assumed)

Served:
March 21, 1918 – November 11, 1922
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
March 21, 1918 – March 20, 1919

Bertha H. Jost was born in Germany on September 29, 1891, according to her WWI VA Index. (The middle initial was listed on the 1915 NJ Census and 1915 Elizabeth City Directory, excerpt shown below.)

Her mother had three children, Leana (Adelaide), Bernhardt, and Bertha, the youngest. Her mother Katrina (1867-1892) passed away within a year of Bertha’s birth, according to sources, but records were unavailable to confirm.

Her father Gustav married Menne Dettmer [Source of name: Gustav’s death certificate] around 1894 in Germany [Source: 1910 US Census]. Their only child, Margaret/Gretchen, was born the following year, in 1895 [Source: 1905 NJ Census].

The family immigrated to America around 1901. No documents were found to confirm the exact date.

  • The 1905 NJ Census shows the family immigrated together in 1900,
  • the 1910 US Census shows Gustav arrived in 1900 and the family joined him in 1901,
  • and the 1915 NJ Census shows Gustav arrived in 1899 and the family in 1901.

They settled around Perth Amboy, NJ, a small community across the bay from Staten Island. The first occurrence of Gustav Jost, Bertha’s father, was found in the 1903 Perth Amboy City Directory, listing his home as Maurer, NJ. [Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA]

The 1905 NJ Census shows that Gustav was a house carpenter, a trade he pursued throughout his life.

On December 21, 1909, the Perth Amboy evening news published an announcement on page 4 for Adelaide Jost’s marriage to E. [Edward] Krebs of Brooklyn on December 24th.

By 1910, Bernhardt had joined his father as a carpenter, and Bertha had presumably left home to pursue nursing. She was not found in the 1910 US Census.

However, in 1915, she was listed in the 1915 NJ Census as a nurse at Elizabeth General Hospital. The 1915 Elizabeth City Directory also included her, as shown. [Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA]

Her family remained in Perth Amboy, as seen in the 1915 NJ Census.

Nurse Bertha Jost joined the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) in March 1918, serving at Fort Caswell. She remained in the ANC through 1922, although few details are found.

The table below lists her service, based on several records and yet still incomplete.

03/21/1918 Fort Caswell, NC
03/20/1919 Oteen US General Hospital, Asheville, NC
07/1922 Fort Totten, Queens, NYC
11/11/1922 Discharge

 

Nurse Jost, along with Nurses Bell, Dennis, and Trollinger, began serving at Fort Caswell around March 20, 1918.
[Source: The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 18, No. 6 (May, 1918), pp. 734]

On June 27, 1918, The Wilmington Dispatch marked her arrival at the Wilmington Hotel on page 7.

On January 4, 1919, her brother-in-law Edward Krebs was struck by a trolley car. He died two days later, on January 6, 1919.

Auto Rams Trolley; Man is Killed

Rahway, Jan. 7. – Edward Krebs, of 210 Manor place, Cranford, died about 2:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon in Army General Hospital No. 3, Colonia, from injuries received Saturday afternoon when his automobile ran into a car of the Trenton fast line trolley system of the Public Service Corporation on the St. George avenue grade crossing in Woodbridge.

At the time of the accident Krebs was driving toward Perth Amboy and the trolley was headed toward Elizabeth. It was a two-car train and Krebs’ auto struck the rear car. He was hurled from his seat and his skull was fractured. The injury was in the shape of a cross, each section being about eight inches in length. The auto, a large Studebaker, was demolished.

Mr. Krebs was a contractor, and was 28 years old. He came to Cranford from Chrome some time ago. He was an Elk and a member of the fire department. He is survived by a widow and three sons, Edward, Lester and Rudolph.

A brief obituary and burial notice were also published in the Perth Amboy evening news. Edward Krebs was laid to rest in Rosedale Cemetery. Bertha’s sister Lena/Adelaide would not join him until 1971. She never remarried.

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

On June 30, 1919, the Perth Amboy evening news published an article on page 2 about the local women who served in the Nurse Corps. It included Nurse Jost as one who went overseas, although from records, she spent the war in service at Fort Caswell, followed by Oteen Hospital in Asheville.

On the week of July 12, 1919, the Oteen weekly newsletter listed Nurse Jost as an incoming patient. Oteen began treating nurses several weeks earlier. Nearly 20 nurses were admitted as patients that week.

In 1920, Nurse Jost continued serving in Asheville, NC, at US General Hospital No. 19 (Oteen). There were over 100 nurses listed and about 650 patients.

Around January 7, 1922, Bertha’s stepmother Menne Dettmer Jost passed away. Very brief notices were published in Perth Amboy evening news here and here.

In 1922, Nurse Jost was transferred to Station Hospital, Fort Totten, NY.
[Source: The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Oct., 1922), pp. 214, (at bottom of the excerpt shown)]

She was discharged from the Army Nurse Corps on November 11, 1922. Nurses had achieved ranks by then, so the assumption is she had earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

The 1925 NYC Census shows her working as a trained nurse in NYC.

Bertha was not located in the 1930 US Census.

In 1940 Bertha was lodging in Manhattan at the Central Club for Nurses, a charter member of the Metropolitan YWCA, located on 132 East 45th St. She reported that she hadn’t worked for 50 weeks and had no income. It’s likely that she was ill at this time, possibly with tuberculosis, given that she served at Oteen Hospital in Asheville, and her obituary indicated that she had a long illness.

Her family, including her father, sister Leana/Adelaide Krebs, brother Bernhardt, and half sister Margaret/Gretchen, continued living in Woodbridge on Rahway Ave, as seen in the 1940 US Census.

Bertha Jost passed away on September 30, 1943. Her obituary is shown below. There are no photos of her gravesite so military honors cannot be confirmed.

World War I Nurse Dies; Rites Tomorrow
Woodbridge – Miss Bertha Jost, who served with the army as a nurse in World War I, died early yesterday in her home, 727 Rahway Avenue, after a long illness.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Greiner Funeral Home, 44 Green Street. Burial will be in the family plot in Alpine Cemetery, Perth Amboy.

Miss Jost is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Lena Krebs and Miss Gretchen Jost and one brother, Bernhardt Jost, all of Woodbridge.
Independent-Leader (Woodbridge, NJ), 1 Oct 1943, p. 1.

On September 30, 1950, her father passed away after three days at the National Elks Home in Bedford, VA. He was laid to rest in the family plot. Bertha’s brother Bernhardt was located there, and it is assumed her stepmother Menne who passed away in 1922 was also laid to rest there. The obituary below contains the last known reference to Bertha’s half sister Gretchen/Margaret.

Gustav Jost
Woodbridge – Funeral services for Gustav Jost, 727 Rahway Avenue, were held Tuesday at the Greiner Funeral Home. Fev. Earl H. Devanny, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church officiated. Burial was in the Alpine Cemetery. Elks services were held Monday night with Exalted Ruler William Holman in charge.

The bearers, all members of the Elks, were: Jeppe Jorgensen, Paul Layden, Daniel Dwyer, Charles Simmen, Stephen Fodor, and Joseph F. Maloney.

Mr. Jost, a retired carpenter and builder died Saturday at the National Elks Home, Bedford, Va. He was 87 years old. Born in Germany, Mr. Jost was a resident of Woodbridge for 25 years. He was a carpenter and builder for 5 years before retiring. He built the Elks clubhouse in Perth Amboy and was a member of Perth Amboy Lodge, BPO Elks.

He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Leana Krebs and Miss Gretchen Jost; one son Bernhardt, all of Woodbridge. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Raritan Township and Fords Beacon (Fords, NJ), 50 Oct 1950, p. 2.

If you would like to help us honor Bertha Jost 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: Elizabeth A. Ford 1883-1954

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: “Mrs. Elizabeth Shope is Reelected to Office of Historian.” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), 23 June 1943, p. 14.
Annie Elizabeth Ford
Asheville, NC
Army Nurse Corps

Served:
March 21, 1918 – April 22, 1919
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
March 21, 1918 – October 8, 1918

Annie Elizabeth Ford was born in Citra, Florida, in 1883. Her family was from Tennessee, living in Florida for only a few years, and most continued to live in Tennessee until their deaths. Her family tree is located in FamilySearch.

By 1900, only the three youngest children were living at home in Montgomery County, TN, which is about 50 miles NNW of Nashville, near the Kentucky border. The census lists that her mother had eight children, five living.

Her mother passed away in 1907. Elizabeth moved to Asheville, NC, in 1909, where she remained the rest of her life [Source: obituary].

The 1910 Census shows her living as a boarder with her widowed sister, Lelia Robinson, both working as trained nurses.

Lelia’s obituary [Asheville Citizen-Times, 18 Oct. 1947; p. 2.] states that she was a graduate of Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore. The 1900 Census lists her as a trained nurse at that hospital.

This clipping from 1915 shows that Elizabeth was a graduate nurse in 1915.

Source: Asheville Citizen-Times, 5 May 1915; p. 9

On March 21, 1918, Elizabeth joined the Army Nurse Corps. The following was published in the Asheville Citizen-Times, 22 March 1918; p. 6.

Miss Elizabeth A. Ford, a well known trained nurse of this city, leaves today for Fort Caswell, where she has enlisted in the government service.

Nurse Elizabeth A. Ford was assigned to the US Army Post Hospital at Fort Caswell, Brunswick County, NC. On October 8, 1918, she was transferred to Camp Jackson, SC, until her discharge on April 22, 1919. Recall from previous posts that the 30th “Old Hickory” Division, returned to Camp Jackson at discharge. Nurse Elizabeth Ford likely processed them then. Her NC WWI Service Card is shown here.

Her sister Leila joined two months later on May 16, 1918, and was sent to the Base Hospital at Camp Gordon, Georgia, until her discharge on December 25, 1918. Her NC WWI Service Card is also shown.

Both Elizabeth and Lelia are listed as NC WWI Nurses on the Appalachian State University NC Nursing History page.

About a week after being discharged from WWI service, on May 1, 1919, Elizabeth married William E. “Jack” Shope of Asheville, a police officer and volunteer fire fighter from Asheville. All later census records show that her sister Lelia continued her nursing duties (in 1920, Nurse Robinson was working at the United States Marine Hospital in Detroit), and from the 1930 census record forward, all three lived together.

An article in the Asheville Citizen-Times of July 6, 1941, announces a meeting called by Elizabeth, serving as chairman of the Red Cross nursing committee. The meeting was to make plans for a refresher course for all Red Cross ex-service and inactive nurses. In 1943, Elizabeth was reelected as the historian for the North Carolina American Legion. The photo of her at the top of the profile was taken from that story. Her obituary, printed below, lists the many years devoted to the veteran community.

Her sister Lelia passed away in 1947. She was laid to rest in the same cemetery as Elizabeth and husband Jack. Neither sister had children.

Annie Elizabeth Ford Shope passed away on June 9, 1954, in Asheville. She was 70 years old. The cause of death was mesenteric thrombosis, a blood clot formed where blood is drained from the small intestine, which caused gangrene of her small intestine.

Mrs. Shope Dies In City

Mrs. W.E. (Jack) Shope of 61 Center Ave., died in an Asheville hospital yesterday following a brief illness.

She was the former Miss Annie Elizabeth Ford, daughter of Jesse Manley and Sarah Anderson Ford.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the chapel of Morris-Lineberry-Black Funeral Home.

The Rev. H.B. Dendy, pastor of the Weaverville Presbyterian Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Lewis Memorial Park.

Mrs. Shope had resided in Asheville since 1909 and served in World War I as an Army nurse.

For seven years, Mrs. Shope was an officer in the North Carolina Department of the American Legion. She served for 10 years as historian of the Kiffin Rockwell (now Rockwell-Ballew) Post of the American Legion.

Mrs. Shope was married in May, 1919, to W.E. Shope.

Surviving are the husband; two brothers, Samuel T. Ford of Nashville, Tenn., and Gilbert T. Ford, of Oneco, Fla.
“Mrs. Shope Dies in City.” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), 10 June 1954, p. 3.

 

She was laid to rest in Lewis Memorial Park in Asheville with her sister Lelia. Her husband Jack was laid to rest there the following year. Elizabeth and her sister Lelia were eligible for a military headstone or flat marker. No application was found. There are no photographs to verify.

If you would like to help us honor Annie Elizabeth Ford Shope 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
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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
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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
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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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