11 October 1917, World War I, Comanche County, Kansas Hosted by RootsWeb, 
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World War I, Comanche County, Kansas

The Western Star, October 11, 1918.


During the past week four Comanche-co. young men have been buried. That is a much larger number than has ever been recorded in history of the county within the same length of time. Two of the young men were members of the great National Army and were doing their part willingly and courageously as good soldiers. Many hearts are now sorely tried, and a profound solemnity pervades almost the entire country during these days when so many of our boys and others are on beds of sickness at their homes or in some of the army camps.

John Rowan Crawford.
On last Sunday afternoon the people of this community were shocked to learn of the death at 9:30 a.m. on that day, October 6, 1918, of one of our best known young men, John Crawford, at a hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. Only three weeks ago he was on our streets in the prime of health and youthful vigor. Being within the draft age, he expressed a desire to begin at once preparations for actual service for the cause for which his country is now contending. Accordingly he went to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he enrolled (only about two weeks ago) as a member of the Student's Army Training Corps, connected with the University of Michigan. He had only fairly entered upon the work of drilling and of study when he became a victim of the prevalent disease, Spanish influenza. He was apparently recovering from that disease, however, when he took a back set and a short time bronchial pneumonia developed. His father started on Thursday of last week for Ann Arbor and reached there on Saturday morning. He found that John had been placed in a hospital and was receiving every possible care. No special alarm was felt as to his condition until Sunday morning when a sudden turn for the worse was evident, and death ensued in a short time. With the body in charge Dr. Crawford returned to this city on Tuesday and burial was made yesterday (Thursday) afternoon in the Coldwater cemetery. Funeral services were conducted from the M. E. church and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. L. F. Abernathy. The large number of friends present at the funeral attested to the esteem in which the deceased was held by all our people.

John Rowan Crawford was born near Caldwell, Summer-co., Kans., on May 4, 1899. At the time of his death his age was 19 years, 5 months and 2 days. He came with his parents to this city about 15 years ago and had since lived here. His education was received on our city schools. He was always an apt and obedient pupil and was well liked by all his classmates. He graduated with the class of 1918. Last year he was captain of the Military Training class in our schools and there showed special fitness not only for military service, but for all that pertains to the development of mind and body. Everybody was John's friend and hence his untimely death brings a feeling of almost universal sorrow among those who had known him. But there cannot but come to all the conviction, the consolation, that he gave his life in a great cause, the supreme sacrifice for one's country and for humanity. It is indeed a high honor to be classed among the Nation's heroes and to be buried under the protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes and with every recognition by the government of our country that one's whole duty has been performed, and performed well.

John was a young man of more than ordinary promise. He had long been active in Sunday school work, was a member of the Methodist church, always took an active part in the social events among the young people and was ambitious in his educational career. His passing away in the prime of his early manhood only serves as another proof that, "in life we are in the midst of death." To the family who are now so sorely bereft the heartfelt sympathy of all is extended.

Guy A. Shrock.
Guy A. Schrock died at 10:40 a.m. on last Friday, October 4, 1918, at Camp Sherman, Ohio, after a brief illness, the result of an attack of the prevailing epidemic, Spanish influenza, with complications. His wife was with him at the time of his death, having gone to Camp Sherman on Wednesday. The body was brought to this city on Tuesday and burial was made in the Coldwater cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. Funeral services were conducted from the Christian church at 2:30 p.m., by Rev. J. B. Handy of the M. E. church. It was a very impressive service and attended by a large number of our people.

Deceased was born in Tyro, Montgomery-co., Kans., on March 31, 1894. His age at the time of death was, therefore, 24 years, 6 months and 4 days. About 16 years ago he came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eph Schrock, to the vicinity of Coy, south of here, and there the family continued to live except for a few years when they made their home in this city. Guy was well known in this county and had, by his strict integrity and uprightness of character, won many friends. On December 31, 1917, in Alva, Okla., he was united in marriage with Miss Mildred Hadley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Hadley. Guy and his wife made their home on the Schrock farm near Coy until about ten weeks ago, when he answered the call of his country and was sent to Camp Greenleaf, in the state of Georgia, going from Alva, Okla. It was found that his physical condition would not permit of his making long marches, hence he was transferred from the Infantry to the medical corps and soon afterwards, or about four weeks ago, was s sent to Camp Sherman, Ohio. Soon after he arrived there he took sick and his wife was sent for. For a time he appeared to be getting better, but took a back set and died within a few days.

Guy willingly answered the call for defenders of our flag, and to him, as to hundreds of others, it seems to have been decreed that they should give their lives while in their country's service. Although he did not get to cross the waters, his devotion to his country was just as loyal and his sacrifice just as noble. His country and every one who knew him will not fail to recognize his sacrifice.

Deceased had been a member of the Christian church since he was 12 years of age, and he had lived consistently, always exemplifying in a quiet, but effective way the best traits of a christian character. His mother died in this city about 18 months ago. Mrs. Bernard Stark, formerly Miss Bernice Schrock, is his sister.

Warren Bratcher.
After less than a week's illness, Warren Bratcher, died in Protection at 8:30 a., on last Monday. He took sick the first of last week with what appeared to be some form of bowel trouble. On Wednesday he went to his home in Valley-tp. to Protection to fill out his Questionnaire and, incidentally, to consult a doctor. While in town that day he took worse and went to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Johnson. A high fever set in and he grew rapidly worse. The best medical skill and loving friends could do was not sufficient to stop the ravages of the disease. One very sad feature of his sickness and death was that, owing to sickness herself, his wife was unable to be present. His death was a surprise to his numerous friends all over the western half of the county, as many did not know that he was even dangerously ill. When the news of his death was sent out many could scarcely believe it, and to all there came a keen sense of sorrow because of the untimely passing of a good friend.

Mr. Bratcher was about 33 years of age. He was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Bratcher and was an industrious and honorable young man. About ten years ago he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Johnson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Johnson of Protection. Two children a son and a daughter, were born to the union. They, with their mother, also the parents of the deceased and a brother, Oscar, survive, and to them the sincere sympathy of the entire community goes out in their hour of sad affliction.

Ernest Fox.
A telegram was received by the Odd Fellows lodge in this city on Tuesday stating that Ernest Fox had just died at his home in Pueblo, Colo., and would be buried in that city. Ernest formerly lived in this city and was well known here. A little over a year ago he and his wife moved from Coldwater to Colorado, and there continued to make their home. Mrs. Fox died at Pueblo about four months ago. Ernest was a young man of sterling worth, always doing his utmost for the furtherance of every good cause. We are so far without any particulars of his sickness and death.

Obituary: Warren Bratcher: The Protection Post, October 10, 1918.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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