GEORGE EMMETT LILES
George "Emmett" LILES was born December 21, 1895, on a farm near Ellston in Ringgold County, Iowa, the son of
Lemuel M. LILES (1864-1948) and Anna B. LILES (1875-1969). He attended the Dickson Rural School [a.k.a. Mount Vernon School No. 2 of Union Township], passing his Eight Grade Examination with the highest honors in Ringgold County. Emmett attended Ellston High School and attended Sunday School and church at Oak Hill Chapel.
He was inducted into the U.S. Army
during World War I on February 24, 1918. Emmett was
Camp Dodge in Des Moines where he was assigned to Company D of the 117th Infantry. He received high honors in marksmanship on the rifle range.
Emmett was sent overseas.
After arriving in Europe, Emmett was sent to Belgium for action and was killed at Bellecourt, France on September
1918. He was reported missing in action at that time and actual verification of his death was not received
of 1919. His grave was located in a cemetery in France until 1921 when his parents had his body returned
to Ellston for
burial in the Pumptown Cemetery located north of Sun Valley Lake.
The Emmett LILES Unit 541
and the American
Legion Auxiliary were organized on September 12, 1921. Over the years they
have honored those who have, or are currently serving our country. They have sent boxes of food, clothing and other items
for those fighting the war and helped the families that are left behind. They have also donated to Red Cross, Salvation
Army, the Heart Fund, the Cancer Fund, and the Sister Kenny Fund. The Ellston Park and playground are in part from the
Legion. They give Military Rights at funeral services, present the Color Guard at parades, and hold Military Services at
the Oliver, Ellston, Pumptown, and Cromwell-Haight Cemeteries every Memorial Day. The Avenue of Flags was established in
May of 1995 with Memorial contributions from one of the legion members, Naomi CREVELING. There are now  63 flags that
decorate the Ellston Cemetery every Memorial Day and 66 flags at the veterans’ gravesides.
The unit raises money with poppy flower sales, bazaars, auctions, dinners, quilt raffles, and the list goes on.
SOURCE: WWI, WWII, & Korean War Casualty Listings, ancestry.com
Submission by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2009; updated September of 2009