News Stand



The Oelwein Register
Wednesday, April 1, 1936

Three Aged Iowa Veterans of World War Now at State Soldiers' Home

Marshalltown - Oldest world war veteran in Iowa? Fort Dodge, which recently entered a claim for that honor in behalf of William S. Norton, 68, can have no better than fourth place because the Iowa Soldiers' Home here has three veterans who top that mark.

One of them, who not only is the oldest world war veteran in Iowa, but who has a letter from Maj. Gen. Charles P. Summerall certifying that he was the oldest enlisted man in the A.E.F., is Frank "Kokomo" Jones, 75. The others are Jim Parker, and Albert Watson, both of whom are 69. All three are also veterans of the Spanish-American war.

Jones, or "Kokomo" as veterans of the 168th infantry known him, served in the Spanish-American war in Company K, 51st Iowa Infantry, enlisting May 30, 1898, and being discharged Oct. 26, 1898. In the world war he served as a cook in the same company in the same regiment, which was mustered into federal service as the 168th infantry. After enlisting on July 29, 1915, he served on the border and overseas and was discharged Jan. 28, 1919. "Kokomo" has a son in Council Bluffs who served in the same outfit in the world war. "Kokomo" was born May 3, 1860.

Frank "Kokomo" Jones

Silas and James Parker

Parker, 69, lives at the Iowa Soldiers' home as does his father, Silas Parker, 97. The elder Parker, served in Company D, 6th Iowa, in the war between the states. The son, Jim, served in Company E [or F], 50th Iowa, in the Spanish-American war and in the quartermaster corps in the world war. He too was overseas, being stationed in the ammunition base at Brest for fourteen months. He was born Oct. 12, 1866. Silas Parker has also two grandsons, Clarence S. Armentrout of Des Moines and Ray A. Parker of East St. Louis, Ill., who were in the army of occupation in Germany after the war ended. He was too young to get in service while the war was in progress.

Albert Watson was born Oct. 28, 1866. He served in the 6th Ohio regiment in the Spanish-American war and with the 34th division in the world war.



~ transcribed and contributed by Sharyl Ferrall Iowa Old Press