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In Memory: Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock World War I Casualty

Lawrence Peacock headstone

Lawrence S. Peacock came from a humble background. Born on July 5, 1891 in Spring Garden to parents Samuel D. and Martha (Daugharty) Peacock. Samuel was a farmer and the family lived in Precinct Four according to the 1900 United States Census. Lawrence was the fourth of five children; John, Thomas, Margaret, and Violet. The 1910 United States Census placed the Peacock family at 46 E. New York Avenue.

Young Lawrence appears to have been an industrious young man, not afraid of hard work. He was the owner of a vulcanizing company located in the downtown DeLand area. He regularly advertised in the local newspaper, “Tires and Tubes, All Work Guaranteed”.

Vulcanization is the process of using heat to help harden rubber, thus increasing its lifespan and strength. For more information on vulcanization check the Wikipedia page.

To learn more about the race to unlock the power and secrets of vulcanized rubber, read Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century.

 

 

 

A prime bachelor, Lawrence attracted the attentions of young Edith Baguley, “a talented musician and a popular young woman…” The two eligible DeLandites eloped on July 5, 1917. The service was performed by Reverend H. S. Rightmire at the Baptist church in Daytona Beach with only the reverend’s wife and Mrs. M. N. Baguley, Edith’s mother, in attendance.

The newly wed couple briefly honeymooned in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Pablo Beach, before returning to DeLand.

World events were closing in on young men around the world and Lawrence S. Peacock was no exception. In mid-1918 Peacock received notice that he had been drafted and would be called to active duty.

In preparation for leaving DeLand for an unknown period, Lawrence sold his business to Mr. A. C. Clark, a young man from Miami.

Lawrence was transported to Camp Greenleaf at Fort Oglethorpe, GA for two months of training. His skills and abilities earned him a promotion from Private to Wagoner in Evacuation Ambulance Company No. 19 during his training.

USS George Washington
USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, 10 May 1918. Photographed from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), which was then operating off western France.
US Navy photo # NH 53885 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.

On September 22, 1918, he was sent to Camp Upton on Long Island, NY before being transferred to the Transport S.S. George Washington in preparation for transport to France.

It was during this transport that Peacock contracted pneumonia and passed away onboard. His death on October 9, 1918 was one of only thousands caused as a result of the 1918 influenza outbreak. It is believed the pneumonia was the largest cause of death during the pandemic. 

 

 

 

 

The 1918 influenza outbreak is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of nearly 100 million people. Historian John M. Barry has written what may be the definitive look at this pandemic. The book is accessible and readable for those of us without a scientific background.

 

 

 

The remains of Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock were buried temporarily in Brest, France, a port city in Brittany, before being returned to DeLand in 1920.

After conclusion of hostilities, the Army returned the remains of Peacock, through New York City, where they were placed aboard a southbound train, with a single soldier accompanying.

Members of the DeLand American Legion Post met the train and carried the remains to an awaiting hearse that secured the body to Allen’s Undertaking Parlors in preparation for the funeral on July 15, 1920.

The funeral was a somber affair. At 2:00 p.m. the parade left Allen’s on their way to Oakdale Cemetery. A squad of uniformed men, followed by the pall bearers, a group of Legionnaires, the family, and finally friends of the deceased made their way through the streets of DeLand.

Once the procession arrived at the cemetery, the flag draped coffin was carried to the burial site with uniformed men at parade rest. Dr. C. L. Collins talked about the war and its impact and provided a biographical sketch of the young soldier. Reverend C. E. Wyatt offered prayer. The service ended with a three-round volley over the grave and the blowing of taps by bugler Feasel.

Lawrence Peacock headstone
The headstone for Wagoner Lawrence Peacock as seen in Oakdale Cemetery, DeLand, FL

In the years following the burial of her husband, Edith was to remarry. On February 11, 1922, she married Pharris M. Stribling, a newspaper printer who worked for the local paper. The 1930 United States Census shows her to already have divorced Stribling and working as a stenographer in North Carolina where she lived with her mother.

A brief search shows that Edith does not appear to have married again. When she passed away on March 4, 1982, Edith was living in San Bernadino, CA.

Edith Irene Baguley Stribling was buried in Henry Cemetery, in Henry, Illinois, the same cemetery as her parents.

 

 

 

 

 

Wagoner Lawrence S. Peacock is memorialized today at the DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum. This project was trumpeted in the local newspaper by DeLand Mayor S. A. Wood on February 19, 1919 and opened in 1920. DeLand Memorial Hospital would serve as the primary medical facility in DeLand until the opening of Fish Memorial Hospital in 1952. Today the building is home to City of DeLand offices and museum exhibits.

DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum
A full exterior view of the circa 1920 DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum building
World War I plaque at DeLand Memorial Hospital and Veterans Museum
A dedication plaque to West Volusia County soldiers who perished during World War I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original plaque on exterior of Hospital building
An originally placed plaque dedicating the hospital as a Memorial to our boys for service rendered and sacrifice supreme

 

To view other posts related to Oakdale Cemetery, many of them military related, please click here.

Sources:

Multiple issues of the DeLand News were used to compile this article.

www.floridamemory.com

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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Osteen, Florida World War I Monument

Osteen, Florida World War I monument
Panel at I. Walter Hawkins Park in Osteen, Florida
Interpretive panel located at I. Walter Hawkins Veterans Memorial Park in Osteen, Florida

Located off busy State Road 415, north of the pedestrian bridge which is a part of the East Central Regional Rail Trail, is a marble monument dedicated to Osteen residents who served, and in some case died, during World War I.

Information contained in the Florida Master Site file states that the original date and location of this monument is not clearly known. Tax assessor records indicate the monument was erected in 1936. This date however seems highly unlikely for multiple reasons. The first being, why would local residents wait so long to commemorate local soldiers who fell in service of their country. While a delay of nearly twenty years is possible, raising funds was certainly not an easy task, it seems that the local residents would have wished to dedicate this monument sooner.

The Master Site File indicates that the original location may have been near the intersection of
Thompson and Carpenter Avenues. If so, the 1936 date above may indicate that the monument
was moved to allow for road construction. The site file record is not clear on the 1936 location or
if the monument was again moved, but by 1969 the monument was located near the newly
constructed post office. Today, the monument is located in I Walter Hawkins Veterans Memorial
Park.

In April 1957, Hawkins, a local attorney and World War I veteran himself, appeared before the
Board of County Commissioners requesting they donate property “as a site for a War Memorial.”
Commissioners duly approved the resolution in part reading,

That that portion of the County barn property in County Commissioner’s District No. 5 of
Volusia County, Florida, located in Section 7, Township 19, Range 32 East, Volusia
County, Florida, lying south of the Florida East Coast Railway Right of way and east of
the Sanford-New Smyrna Road as relocated and west of the original Sanford-New
Smyrna Road be and the same is hereby dedicated as a Memorial Park in honor of the
United States Veterans of all wars.

On May 28, 2016, the Volusia County Council proclaimed it I. Walter Hawkins Veterans
Memorial Park Day. Based upon this proclamation, it is believed that the land donated in 1957 is
the same as that which was renamed in Hawkins honor.

Today, the park sits near the much busier State Road 415, in the rapidly growing area near
Deltona. The park contains an interpretive panel in addition to the monument. The monument
itself is made of marble and is approximately seven feet tall. The monument has a triangular top,
inscribed with “World War I, 1914-1918 on one side and a United States flag on the other. This
sits upon two columns and a three-stepped base. According to an interview conducted with local
resident Albert Pell on October 7, 2014, by Tom Baskett, Jr., County of Volusia Public
Historian, a marble sphere that was located on the top of the triangle is now missing from the
monument.

Osteen, Florida World War I monument
Osteeen,, FL monument honoring two locals who perished while in service during World War I.

On the second step is the phrase, “Erected by the citizens of Osteen in memory of her heroes of the World War.” Above this are the names of Charley (listed in some records as Charlie) C. Leonardy and W. McKinley Pell, two residents who both perished while in the service of the United States. Both Leonardy and Pell were from prominent local families.

Charley Leonardy enlisted in DeLand in October 1917 and served overseas for less than two months before losing his life. He is buried in Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France. William McKinley Pell enlisted in DeLand in August 1918 and died of complications from pneumonia in October while serving at Camp Jackson, South Carolina.

On the reverse side of the monument are the names of other Osteen residents who served in
wartime. These individuals include (alphabetically) William C. (this should be O. as his middle
name was Ora) Carpenter, James A. (his middle initial may be C.) Hardy, Louis W. Hardy,
Philip (possibly Phillip) A. Leonardy, Harry A. Osteen, C. LeRoy Pell (his headstone and
enlistment record show his name as Calvin R. Pell, his father’s name was Calvin LeRoy Pell),
and Robert H. Williams.

Osteen, Florida World War I monument
Osteen, Florida monument honoring multiple local residents who served during World War I. Absent are the names of African Americn soldiers who served.

Mr. Baskett has pointed out a troubling aspect of this monument. He has questioned the selection process, as to whose names were included. He correctly points out that not all local residents who served are recorded. However, as he points out, some of these could be transplants who had no familial ties to the city when they registered. However, Mr. Baskett points out two names that should be included. Unfortunately, both of these men were African American, an “oversight” that cannot be imagined or accepted today.

Hershell McClenan enlisted in February 1918 and died later that year while still in the service
from pneumonia and influenza. James Radford enlisted in August 1918 and received an
honorable discharge in December. Born in Osteen but living in DeLand at the time of his
enlistment was African American soldier Morris Smith, Jr. Smith served from September 1918
through his discharge in July 1919.

The park and monument are open during daylight hours. There is no parking directly at the park but there are spaces close by.

Sources:

Baskett, Jr., Tom. “Osteen’s World War I Monument”. Typescript in possession of author.

Commissioners of Volusia County. Resolution passed April 18, 1957. Record Book 33, page
330.

County of Volusia. I. Walter Hawkins Veterans Memorial Park Day proclamation. May 28,
2016.

Findagrave

Florida Master Site File. World War I Monument. Site 8VO4929.

Florida Memory. World War I Service Cards.

If you are interested in veterans memorials in Volusia County, be sure to take a look at my post about the veterans park in Edgewater, FL. This small park is located on the Indian River and is a nice reflective area that you might not find if you aren’t looking for it.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small
commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided
are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.