Indiana McCaslins


Wilbert Ashton CurtisAge: 93 years18781971

Wilbert Ashton Curtis
Birth January 27, 1878 18 19
Note: given as Rutland, Meigs, Ohio on his enlistment papers.
Birth of a brotherDelbert E Curtis
January 27, 1880 (Age 2 years)
Census 1900 (Age 21 years)
MarriageSylvia Blanch McCaslinView this family
February 15, 1906 (Age 28 years)
Note: applied for marriage license
Immigration June 14, 1918 (Age 40 years)
Note: on the ship Nippon Maru from Hong Kong
Census 1920 (Age 41 years)
Census 1930 (Age 51 years)
Census 1940 (Age 61 years)
Death of a wifeSylvia Blanch McCaslin
July 10, 1957 (Age 79 years)
Note: Certificate 38922
Burial of a wifeSylvia Blanch McCaslin
July 12, 1957 (Age 79 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Garden of Memories, Block 4 (Find A Grave Memorial# 123769898)
1920 superintendent of a manufacturing plant; 1930 Veterinarian

Death March 22, 1971 (Age 93 years)
Note: last zip code 78028
Burial after March 24, 1971 (2 days after death)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Garden of Memories, Block 4 (Find A Grave Memorial# 123769860)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: about 1877
13 months
2 years
younger brother
Family with Sylvia Blanch McCaslin - View this family
Marriage: February 15, 1906, Jackson, Missouri


given as Rutland, Meigs, Ohio on his enlistment papers.


applied for marriage license


on the ship Nippon Maru from Hong Kong


last zip code 78028


Garden of Memories, Block 4 (Find A Grave Memorial# 123769860)

Shared note

On 17 October 1899 at Ft Thomas, Kentucky, Wilbert A Curtis enlisted in the 48th US Volunteer Infantry as a muscian. His rank was that of Private. Celia J Curtis (his mother) was listed as next of kin. He allotted $12 a month for a year, with the allotment starting with his Decembers pay. He was promoted to Corporal on 1 June 1900. This is a segregated black regiment.

In the 1900 US Federal Census, 22-year-old unmarried Wilbert A Curtis is a Corporal, serving in the San Fernando, Phillippine Islands, Military and Naval Forces. His home town is Rutland, Ohio. There is no entry for his fathers birth place, but his mother was born in West Virginia. He can, read, write and speak English. Wilbert is listed as black as are all soldiers under the rank of first lieutenant.

Wilbert A Curtis was mustered out from the Presidio, San Francisco, California on 30 June 1901. The remarks section on the mustering out form said: Joined band by enlistment at Ft Thomas, Kentucky, Oct 17, 1899. Apptd Corpl from Pvt June 1 1900 per R.O.#73 same date sick in grs July 11 to 12-1900; Oct 20-1900. In mil. hosp.San Fernando Feb 10-21-1901, all dates inclusive, all in line of duty. Allotted $12 per month from Dec 1899 to Nov 1900. Discontinued by experation of allotment. All allot. paid. Character excellent. Physical condition good. Entitled to travel pay. Due soldier for clothing $34.04. Service honest and faithful.

On 15 Feb 1906, 28-year-old Wilbert A Curtis of Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri and 31-year-old Sylvia B McCaslin of Argentine, Wyandotte, Kansas apply for a marriage license in Jackson County, Missouri. They swear that they are both "single and unmarried and not first cousins". Sylvia has a witness, Dr. W V Lane who swears that he is acquainted with her and that she is "over the age of eighteen years, and may legally contract said marriage". They were married the same day by H G Fonkin, a Presbyterian Minister.

In the October 1910 American Veterinary Review, Vol 38, New Members, page 89, Wilbert A Curtis. D.V.S., is listed as working in San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippine Islands. He received his degree from Kansas City Veterinary College in 1909. His membership was put in for confirmation in the 1910 Proceedings of the American Veterinary Medical Association with G E Nesom and A R Ward vouching for him. In Volume 47 published the same year, Wilbert was listed as a member elected but yet to qualify.

On 8 Apr 1918, Wilbert Ashton Curtis (veteranarian, working for the Department of Agriculture) applies for a passport for himself and his wife, Mrs. Wilbert A Curtis (born 21 May 1874 in Chanute, Kansas), at the Court of First Instance, 9th Judicial District, Manila, Philippine Islands. Wilbert states that he was born 27 Jan 1878 at Columbus, Ohio, that his father, Lawrence Curtis, was born in the United States and lived there 50 years. Wilbert and Sylvia's permenent residence is Kansas City, Missouri. He needs the passport to visit Japan and Hong Kong, China en route to the US. They intend to leave the Philippine Islands from the port of Manila on 10 May 1918 on the SS Ecuador. His description is 40-years-old, 6 feet tall, with a high forehead, brown eyes, straight nose, medium mouth, firm chin, brown hair, dark complexion and an oval face. Stanton Yougberg of 1388 Calle Liveriza [?], Manila swears that he has known Wilbert for the past nine years and knows him to be a US citizen.

On 14 June 1918, when 40-year-old Wilbert A and 44-year-old Sylvia [McCaslin] Curtis arrive in San Francisco, California from Hong Kong on the Nippon Maru, they tell the customs agent that their address in the United States is 15 Western Ave, Chanute, Kansas. Wilbert was born 27 Jan 1878 in Columbus, Ohio and Sylvia was born 21 May 1874 in Chanute, Kansas.

In the 1920 US Federal Census for Kansas City Ward 13, Jackson, Missouri, 41-year-old Ohio-born Wilber [Wilbert] is living at 3824 NW Indiana in a house he owns (with mortgage), with his 43-year-old Kansas-born wife Silvia [Sylvia] and his 76-year-old Illinois-born widowed mother-in-law Carrie Sellers McCaslin. He is a superintendent of a manufacturing plant. Everyone can read, write and speak English. Wilberts parents were born in Virginia; Sylvia's father was born in Indiana and her mother in Illinois; Carrie's father was born in Kentucky and her mother in Tennessee. Everyone in the household is listed as white.

Wilbert A Curtis filed for a military invalid pension on 6 Aug 1926. He had served in the 48th Voluntary Infantry Band in the Spanish American War as a private, and as a Second Lieutenant in the Veterinary Corps in WWI.

Wilburt A Curtis is recorded as a member of A. V. M. A. [American Veterinary Medical Association] in Vol 57 of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, page 355. His address is 15 South Western Ave, Chanute, Kansas.

In the 1930 US Federal Census for Kerrville, Kerr, Texas, Wilbert, a 50-year-old veterinarian and veteran of the Spanish-American War, is living in a rented house ($32 a month) at 1504 Jefferson Street. with his 48-year-old [sic] Kansas-born wife, Sylvia B. They have been married for 24 years as he was 26 and she was 24 [sic he was 28 and she was 32] when they married. They dont have a radio. Wilbert owns his own business and has worked on the last regularly scheduled work day. He served in the Spanish-American War. Wilberts parents were born in Ohio [sic]; Sylvia's parents were born in Indiana [sic]. Both can read, write and speak English. Both are recorded as white.

In the 1940 US Federal Census for Kerrville, Kerr, Texas, 61-year-old, Ohio-born Wilbert A Curtis and his 58-year-old [sic], Kansas-born wife, Sylvia [McCaslin] Curtis are living in a house at 601 Circle Ave, which Curtis owns. It is worth $3,000. They were living in the same city in 1935. Wilbert is employed as a veterinarian by the US Department of Agriculture. He has worked 48 hours in the past week and 52 weeks in 1939, earning $2,800. He has another source of income. Sylva is a housewife who is not looking for work. She has no wages nor alternate source of income. Both are recorded as white.

On 27 Apr 1942, when 64-year-old Wilbert Ashton Curtis registers for the WWII draft, his residence is 601 West Water Street, Kerrville, Kerr, Texas. His mailing address is the same. His telephone number is 373. Wilbert was born 27 Jan 1878 in Meigs County, Ohio. The name of the person who will always know where he is is that of his wife, Mrs. Sylvia B Curtis. Wilbert is employed by the US Department of Agriculture in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas. His description is white, 6 feet, 170 pounds, with brown eyes, gray hair and a light complexion. One of his hips is higher than the other, making his left leg shorter than his right.

Wilbert applied for his Social Security Number in Texas in 1962.

Ninety-three-year-old Wilbert A Curtis, born 27 Jan 1878 in Ohio, died at 5:35 pm on 22 Mar 1971 in the Veterans Adminstration Hospital, Kerrville, Kerr, Texas of carcinonma of the transverse colon which he had had for one year. An autopsy was performed. The medical informant was Joshual Seidel MD, of the VA Hospital, Kerrville, Kerr, Texas, who had attended Wilbert from 21 Feb 1971 to 22 Mar 1971. Wilbert's usual residence was 208 Bob White, Kerrville, Kerr, Texas where he had lived for 42 years. He is recorded as male, white, widowed, and a US Citizen. He served in the Spanish American War, and WWI. He was a veterinarian. His mother's maiden name was Celia Bryant. His father's name was Lawrence Curtis. The informant was VA Hospital Records. The body was removed on 24 Mar 1971 for burial in Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, under the direction of Plummer-Fair Funeral Home, W A Plummer, funeral director. The burial place in Wilbert's death certificate may be incorrect as he shares a headstone with his wife, Sylvia [McCaslin] Curtis in the Garden of Memorie Cemetery, Block 4, Kerrville, Kerr, Texas. (Find A Grave Memorial# 123769860)

The Social Security Death Index gives his birthdate as 27 Jan 1878, and his death date as 22 March 1971 in Kerrville, Kerr, Texas 78028.

History July 1899 The War Department expressed some hesitation about using black troops to help suppress the Philippines Insurrection, because of lingering doubts about the willingness of African Americans to fire on other dark-skinned people. The need for manpower, however, resulted in the dispatch of black regulars of the 24th Infantry Regiment from the Presidio to the islands. Black troops from all four of the Armys segregated units, along with members of two black volunteer regiments (the 48th and 49th Volunteer Infantry), eventually served in the Philippines. In addition to fighting the insurgents led by Emilio Aguinaldo, African-American soldiers also helped to organize the civil government by supervising elections and providing security for civilians. 1901 After the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo in February 1901, the 48th and 49th Volunteer Infantry regiments returned to the United States, where they were disbanded. Unit members were either discharged or enlisted in the Regular Armys all-black regiments. Those black officers who remained in the Army had to do so as enlisted men.

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