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Jesse & James Gibbs – Haviland Cemetery, Haviland, Kiowa County, Kansas

In the summer of 1917, James and Jesse Gibbs enlisted together in Co. F 137th Infantry of the 35th division. After enlisting they were sent to Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma.

The Haviland Onlooker newspaper of March 7, 1918, recounts Jesse’s story. “. . . He was sent to the Hospital Dec 12th with the measles, after three weeks of sickness he returned to his Co. then on the 14th day of January was sent back to the Hospital with pneumonia fever and after several weeks of illness passed quietly away Feb. 25 . . .” Jesse was 23 years old.

James sent sail for France in April 1918. He joined the frontline at Argonne Forest, France. James and another soldier were wounded. They spent 36 hours in a shell-hole before being taken to a hospital. James died on October 6, 1918. He was 21 years old. James’ body was shipped to Haviland and his funeral took place on August 21, 1921.

Jesse and James were two of six sons born to John and Rosa Gibbs. They were both born in Partridge, Reno, Kansas, and grew up in Kiowa County, Kansas. Rosa died in 1912 and is buried with her two sons. Three of their brothers are buried in Fairmount Cemetery in Hodgeman County, Kansas.

Note: The Battle of Argonne Forest was fought from September 1918 to November 11, 1918. It was the last Allied offensive of World War I. Casualties for the Americans numbered 192,000 including 26,277 killed.

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