Obituary Record

Leslie Wade (Infantry WW I) Downs
Died on 10/25/1918
Buried in Arlington Cemetery

(There is a photo of Leslie)

Arlington Review Herald

Leslie W. Downs Influenza Victim

Taken From Troop Train at Rock Island, Ill. Double Pneumonia Causes His Death

A man may be buoyed up by the effiation of his desires to brave any peril; but he cannot calmly see one he loves braving the same peril; simply because he cannot feel within him that which prompts another. He sees the danger, and feels the power that is to overcome it. - George Henry Lewis.

The remains of Leslie W. Downs was brought to Arlington and laid to rest in the family lot at the Arlington Cemetery last Sunday during a drizzling rain. Funeral services were conducted at the freight room of the depot and a large number of mourners were present. Rev. G. M. Couffer conducted the service. The Arlington Home Guards acted as escort to the cemetery and gave the young soldier the best military funeral possible under the weather conditions. A quartet composed of Mrs. Fred Weber, Mrs. Ed Ludwig, J. Q. Wallingford and Elmer Johnson sang appropriate selections for the occasion, “Lead Kindly Light” and “Go Bury Thy Sorrow”.

Leslie Wade Downs was born at Arlington December 16, 1891 and died October 25, 1918 at the Rock Island, Ill, Arsenal Hospital. He grew to manhood in Arlington, receiving his education in the Arlington Public School. He worked at the depot as helper for a number of years and then went to North Platte where he was employed by A. G. Ludwig. On leaving there he went to Monrovie, Calif. to be near his brother Merwin, and secured work in the Orange Groves. He enlisted in July 1918 to serve during the continuation of the World War and was placed in Co. G 8th Infantry at Camp Lewis, Washington. In August he was transferred to Camp Fremont near San Francisco. His regiment took the troop trains from there for Long Island, N.Y. and it was while on the train that he was taken sick with the Spanish Influenza. He was given immediate attention and was removed to the Arsenal Hospital at Rock Island, Ill., on Wednesday Oct. 23rd. The dreadful pneumonia which follows the Influenza claimed him on Friday morning at 3:30 a.m. Oct. 25th. Corporal Max O. Kipping of the Ordinance Department accompanied the body to Arlington.

He leaves to mourn his loss one brother, Charles Merwin, who is in the officer Training School at Fort Winfield Scott, San Francisco. He was unable to get a furlough to attend the funeral; two sisters, Mrs. C. T. Halldarson, of Chadron, and Miss Jennie Downe, of Omaha. Mrs. Halldarson, being sick, was unable to come to the funeral.

And thus one of our beloved home boys, a strong, healthy specimen of young manhood, quiet of demeanor, pleasant and accommodating, a friend of all, and one who always held himself aloof from the snares of life has given his life into the hands of his creator. He left his usual haunts and vocations and stepped forth his flag and the freedom of the world. By that act he bravely faced he unknown perils of the life of a soldier, and to one of these perils he fell a victim. What this young man has sacrificed can never be repaid. Though not fueled by victory to the field of battle, yet he died on the field of honor, and his gold ?? shall merge with the blue in the service flag of his nation and the community of his boyhood. He, to us, is gone forever, but we will quote the following words from William Jennings Bryan:

“If the Almighty Creator would dain to touch the heart of the buried acorn and cause it to burst forth into life, or stoop and bring forth the rose and cause it to bloom in all its beauty would he leave the bones of man to smoulder and decay in earth? No, I am as sure that there is life hereafter as I am that I am alive today.”

The heartfelt sympathy of the entire community is extended to the bereaved brother and sisters in this dark hour.

Card of Thanks

We desire to take this method of expressing our heartfelt thanks to our many friends who assisted us in the hour of our bereavement in the death of our beloved brother, Leslie W. Downs.

We especially wish to thank the minister for his kind words of condolence, the quartet, the Arlington Home Guards and the donors of the many beautiful flowers.

Mrs. C. T. Halldarson; C. M. Downs; Jennie Downs

Tribune 31 Oct 1918

Word has been received by friends in this community of the death of Leslie Downs at Camp Grand, near Rockford, Ill, which occurred last week. He was buried on Sunday. He was a son of Wm. Downs, deceased, and lived at Arlington. A sister, Miss Jennie Downs, formerly a clerk in the Arlington post office, is now a nurse in Omaha.

Enterprise 1 Nov 1918

The remains of Leslie Downs were brought here for burial, from Camp Grant, Ill., at which place his death occurred, from an attack of pneumonia. Short funeral services were held at the depot.

Note: He was in Co G 8 Inf 8 Div. He was born 16 Dec 1891; died 25 Oct 1918. Buried in Sec H Lot 1.

~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

Printed in the Tribune on 10/31/1918