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Inscription: Frances Cordelia Boulware; November 25, 1879; September 1, 1941
Frances Cordelia Boulware
Army Nurse Corps
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.
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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