The other day there came to the notice of a Western Star reporter an incident which will illustrate how strangely things sometime happen "come to pass" in the varying experiences of one's lifetime. Here is the incident in question:
Back in the 90's (1890's) Mr. and Mrs. Ed Willard lived in the Ridge Summit district, east and northeast of Wilmore. Their oldest son, Clo J. Willard, attended school in that district. For one or two terms his teacher was Miss Lottie Hollenback, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Hollenback, who then lived on what is now the Rice Price farm, 12 miles east of this city. Of course Clo became well acquainted with Miss Hollenback, and as long as she lived in this county there was between them that warm interest which usually exists between teacher and pupil. Several years ago the Hollenbacks moved away, and in course of time Clo grew to manhood and the memories of his early school days dimmed to forgetfulness.
When the World War broke out a few years ago, both Miss Hollenback and young Willard got into the service - the former as a trained nurse and the latter as a regular army attaché of the hospital service. Both were sent to Camp Funston and were stationed there, when the terrible flu epidemic raged during the winter of 1918-19. Young Willard's duties were in the sterilizing department of the hospital. He had noticed that not far from his room were the rooms of some of the nurses. Several of the nurses, as well as the soldier boys, succumbed to the severe test of strength and endurance which the disease put upon them. One day young Willard was called upon to help carry out a "rough box," as it was called, which contained the body of a young lady - one of the nurses, and as he neared the box he noticed thereon the name of the one whose boy was enclosed therein. The name which met Clo's eyes was that of his former teacher, "Miss Lottie Hollenback."
You can perhaps imagine Clo's surprise and sorrow. He was not aware that Miss Hollenback was one of the nurses in the camp, and for that reason had not been able to hunt her up and visit her while she was yet alive. Such are some of the tragedies of life.
Obituary: Lottie Hollenback
Obituary: Charlotte Hollenback, The Western Star, May 8, 1925.
Death List of Pioneer Settlers
WWI News Articles from Comanche County, Kansas
George W. Hollenback: A Few Reminiscences of Pioneer Life in Comanche-co.
The Western Star, March 31, 1922
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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