Friday, August 31, 2012
His Occupation was "Playing Baby"
While I was looking up my House ancestors who lived in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio, in the 1870 Census, I ran into an interesting listing for the neighbors of my Great Great Grandmother Marion House Parker. Grandma Marian lived close to a Methodist minister, Elvero Persons. Elvero's wife was Gertrude, and they had a son whose name was listed as Berton. Berton was one year old in 1870, and his occupation was listed as "playing baby." By the time of the 1880 Census, the Persons family had moved to Ashland, Ohio, and Berton's name was listed as Elbert. He was age 10 in the 1880 Census. I was anxious to learn more about young Elbert Persons. By 1900, Elbert E. Persons was in the Armed Forces, and he was stationed in the Philippines.
When I entered the name Elbert E. Persons in the search engine at Newspaper Archives, I learned that Elbert E. Persons was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and Northwestern University. He was appointed First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps in 1900, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1919. During World War One, Elbert Persons received the emergency rank of Colonel, and he reorganized the U.S. Ambulance Unit at Camp Crane in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Later in the war, Colonel Persons served in Italy, and was in charge of twenty units of the ambulance service. Colonel Elbert E. Persons died on July 8, 1924 at the Walter Reed Hospital, after a long illness. He was buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. An obituary for Elbert E. Persons appeared in the July 11, 1924 issue of the Washington Post.
Just by doing a bit of online searching, I was able to learn a great deal about my Great Great Grandma Marian's neighbor, and his exciting miltary career. It was a fun adventure on my afternoon off!