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
March 20, 1918 – August 6, 1919
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
March 20, 1918 – November 1918
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

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

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

Comments are closed.