In Memory of Those Who Fell During World War I
Compiled by Lisa C. Childs
A total of 30 men and one woman from the U of A sacrificed their lives during World War I. Twenty-nine of them are memorialized on the Roll of Honor plaque, which now resides in the lobby of Vol Walker Hall.
Otto Paul Benecke of Fairmont, Oklahoma, died from the Spanish flu at Camp Pike, Arkansas, Oct. 19, 1918.
Beverly Ann Bird
Beverly Ann Bird of Waldron is the only woman listed on the Roll of Honor, and the last of the U of A's former students and alumni to die during service. Ann had attended nursing school at the U of A until 1917. She was teaching in the Waldron public schools when she answered the American Red Cross' call for nurses to help with the influenza epidemic. She was at Camp Meade, Maryland, when she fell victim to the disease Feb. 5, 1919. She was buried with full military honors for her sacrifice.
William Boykin Boone
William Boykin Boone of Lonoke was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Xi chapter, and in the Student Army Training Corps. He died from complications of appendicitis at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, in 1918.
Ted B. Cobbs, a student in the Student Army Training Corps, died of influenza on campus Oct. 17, 1918. The American Legion Post in Wynne was named in his honor.
Luke Cooperrider enlisted in June 1917 and was a private in the 32nd Division, 125th Infantry Regiment. He died July 31, 1918, in France, where he is interred.
Roscoe Elwin Cress
Roscoe Elwin Cress of Prescott enlisted in the Student Army Training Corps in September 1918, and contracted the Spanish flu soon after arriving at the U of A. He passed away from influenza Oct. 21.
William Keith Dyer of Fort Smith also enlisted in September 1918, and contracted the Spanish flu soon after arriving at the U of A. He died Oct. 14, 1918.
Roy Jason Fish
1st Lt. Roy Jason Fish of Garnett died in an airplane accident in France Oct. 3, 1918. The American Legion post in Star City, Arkansas, is named for him.
James Kelley Gage registered for the draft at Horatio in September 1918 and came to the U of A to enter the Student Army Training Corps. He was stricken with the flu soon after arriving and passed away Oct. 18, 1918.
Clifford Spurgeon Garner of Saline County, a radio instructor for the Student Army Training Corps, died of Spanish flu in the U of A infirmary Oct. 18, 1918.
Sgt. Leonard C. Hamby of Prescott was a member of Sigma Nu, Gamma Upsilon Chapter. He died in Chicago on Oct. 14, 1918, of influenza and pneumonia.
Arthur Carl Jackson of Wagoner, Oklahoma, registered for the draft in June 1918, and died of influenza and pneumonia at Gray Hall on campus Oct. 23, 1918.
Herbert B. Martin (BA'11) of Warren was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and graduated from the U of A with a degree in chemistry. He was killed in action in France Aug. 5, 1918. The American Legion post in Warren, Arkansas (now the Bradley County Veterans' Museum), was named for him.
Lt. Ray Martin (BSA'18) was from Austin in Lonoke County. The circumstances of Ray's death were confusing: his family had been told Ray was wounded in September 1918. It wasn't until March 1919 that he was reported as dead. Then, the following month, the Fayetteville Democrat reported that he was in fact "alive and fully recovered." However, two months later, his name appeared on a casualty list as having died from an accident. His memorial at the cemetery in France where he is interred gives the date of his death as Sept. 28, 1918.
Harry Musgrove, a student from McCrory or Grays in Woodruff County, was the first U of A boy to die from the influenza epidemic. He had registered for the draft in September, only to die Oct. 9, 1918. He is buried in Fakes Cemetery at McCrory in Woodruff County, next to his mother, who also died from the influenza that same October.
Milton "Willis" Odell of Stuttgart had just graduated from Stuttgart High School that June before coming to the U of A and enlisting in the Student Army Training Corps. He died of influenza Oct. 11, 1918.
James "Bud Ladd" Rainwater of Fayetteville was killed in action in France Oct. 12, 1918, and he is buried at Evergreen Cemetery near the U of A campus.
Adolph "Henry" Robeoltmann of Noble County, Oklahoma, registered for the draft in June 1918, and succumbed to influenza at the University Infirmary Oct. 19, 1918.
Thomas C. Rogers of Prairie Grove was killed in an airplane collision while training at Memphis Feb. 12, 1918.
Archie Yell Sellers of Westville, Oklahoma, died at the base hospital in Camp Dix, New Jersey, Oct. 2, 1918, just 10 days before his unit was to ship out to Europe.
Martin Lynn Shelton of Fayetteville volunteered in October 1917. While in France, he was cited for bravery for leaving the trenches during heavy bombardment to recover the bodies of three fallen comrades. He died May 28, 1918. Fayetteville's American Legion post was named after him.
Robert Earle Shipley
Robert Earle Shipley B.C.E.'11 of Booneville was a member of Phi Kappa Alpha and 1st sergeant in Company B in the campus military unit. He was at First Engineers' Training School in Virginia when he died of influenza Oct. 11, 1918.
Claude Sims of Brinkley died of disease in France Sept. 25, 1918. He was a private in the 78th Field Artillery. He is buried in France.
John Michael Toomey, 18, was the youngest of the U of A boys to die. He was from Rogers and enlisted in September 1918 while a student, then died of influenza and pneumonia Oct. 11, 1918.
Edwin Clair Tovey
Lt. Edwin Clair Tovey B.C.E.'11 of Pine Bluff was listed as assistant artist for the 1910 yearbook as well as the secretary and first bass of the Glee Club. He was in the U of A's Company E in 1909 and a corporal in Company D in 1910. He volunteered in June 1917 and died overseas Oct. 17, 1918.
William Victor Walther registered for the draft in Stigler, Oklahoma, along with two brothers. He died in Fayetteville Oct. 13, 1918, of influenza and pneumonia.
Fay Powell Washington M.D.'17 of Clarendon died in France Dec. 11, 1918 - a month after hostilities had ceased.
John "Joseph" D. Watts, who was from Rison and attended the university as late as 1907, died of illness at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, Feb. 21, 1918.
Leonard T. White of Malvern registered for the draft Sept. 10, 1018, and died of influenza in the university barracks exactly one month later.
Two more men are on the university's 1919 Gold Star List, but not on the Roll of Honor plaque:
William Y. Ellis B.E.E.'02 at age 36 was the oldest U of A alumnus to die in World War I. He died in Camp A.A. Humphreys, Virginia, of influenza Nov. 21, 1918 - 10 days after hostilities ceased.
Donald D. Wilson B.A.'16 of Fayetteville died of malarial leptomeningitis in the Hot Springs army hospital Dec. 13, 1916 — four months before the U.S. entered the war.
The Kappa Sigma fraternity on campus more recently identified one of their early pledges as a student who also died during the war:
Baxter Paul Ware of Hot Springs pledged Kappa Sigma in 1897. Nearly 20 years later, he was living in Memphis, Tennessee. He enlisted and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the 56th Infantry, 7th Division. He died Nov. 9, 1918, from wounds suffered in combat and is buried at St. Mihiel American Cemetery on the western edge of Thiaucourt, France.
Charlie Alison, executive editor
The Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History was able to digitize the material thanks to a gift from the Tyson Family Foundation.
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