Veteran Sounds Taps at Soldiers’ Home Memorial
and Then Expires
John Humphrey, a veteran at the Soldiers’
home, died at 11:30 o’clock this forenoon after living for twenty-four
hours with apparently no other strength than that gained from his
own will and his determination to live until after participating
in the memorial service in honor of President McKinley. The circumstances
surrounding the veteran’s last illness are dramatic.
The story of Humphrey’s demise, vouched
for by officers at the home, is that he was apparently aware on
Wednesday that his end was near, but that he was determined to live
another day and share with his comrades in paying the last formal
tribute to his country’s chief. He had for some time been afflicted
with heart trouble, and on Wednesday he came to Capt. Nathaniel
Pierce of the home Company E, saying that he was very sick, but
when he was instructed to go to the hospital, he refused, and he
likewise refused to receive any attention from a physician when
friends tried to prevail upon him to do so.
“I must live another day,” he said,
but refused any other assistance.
This morning he arose and fell into
line promptly at the call of assembly. Proceeding with the parade
to the memorial service, he remained until it was all over, and
at the conclusion sounded “taps.” He then went to his room, and
was there found dead about 11:30 o’clock.
Humphrey came to the home from Appleton.
He was a veteran of Company H, Ninth Wisconsin infantry.