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Frank A. Ashworth
Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, May 2013
Frank A. Ashworth was the last surviving Spanish-American War veteran from Putnam County when he died at the age of 96 at the Veterans Hospital in Miami, Florida, in January 1980. He was born in Mattoon, Illinois on July 5, 1883 and from 1885 to 1889 he lived in Kansas where his father homesteaded.
He attempted to enlist in the army at age 15, but was rejected. In October 1901, he successfully enlisted and served until October 1904 in the Battery B, 6th Field Artillery. He was in Battery C, 5th Field Artillery in the Philippines. He enlisted in World War I and served as a second lieutenant COD 36th Battalion, U.S. Guards at Fort Sheridan and Camp Grand in Illinois.
After leaving the service, Frank was a letter carrier in Greencastle until 1931. Frank married Lottie E. Cox in 1910 and had one son, Forest. The Ashworths moved to Miami, Florida, in 1941. He died on January 12, 1980. His funeral was in Greencastle with burial at Forest Hill Cemetery.
Information Found within Collection
Tom Krasean, from the Indiana State Library, interviewed Frank Ashworth in Greencastle, Indiana, on September 4, 1968. Frank’s obituary is copied from the Greencastle Banner-Graphic newspaper dated January 14, 1980, and is placed on the first page of this bound volume. The article states that he died last Saturday, January 12, 1980.
In discussing his life in Kansas as a child, Frank mentioned blizzards, prairies, sod houses, and loneliness. The family lived five miles from Woodsdale (now called Wood) and seven miles from Heugerton, the county seat. His mother was not in Kansas with the family. At the age of seven, Frank moved back to Neptune, Illinois, which he thought “was heaven.”
Frank spoke about his military service, including locations, food, pay, and the people of the area. He was at forts in the western states from 1901 to 1908. In 1908, he was sent to the Philippines, where his duty involved artillery. He saw little action and his time was taken primarily with maneuvers.
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Oral History Transcript
Sept. 4, 1968 Interview by Tom Krasean
1972 Transcript (29 pages)
Size of Collection: 1 volume
Collection Dates: 1968
Provenance: Frank Ashworth, September 4, 1968
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
MA BA 7-3-2013