John W. Brawford, 1896-1918
Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 1/24/2009 at 20:08:10
MEMORIAL SERVICES HELD SUN.
In Memory of Our Departed Member of the Navy on Board "Cyclops"
John W. Brawford
John W. Brawford was born in Castalia, Iowa, March 12, 1896 [to John S. and Mary Peck Brawford] and was lost with the Cyclops which left a port of the West Indies March 4th of this year  and has never been heard from or a single trace found. He was a graduate of the Estherville High School and took a business course in the Cedar Rapids Business College. He enlisted in the Navy, April 22, 1917. He was a Yeoman, second class. He united with the Methodist Episcopal church in Estherville, April 19, 1914. He was an active member of the Knights of King Arthur and greatly enjoyed the fellowship of that organization. He was also a member of our Epworth League and was prominent in the music of the League and church because of his ability to sing. He was a kind son and always full of cheer in the home circle. His last letter was written on the High Seas and the contents indicate that the place was the harbor of Rio-de-Janeiro. The letter was to his people and indicated that the ship was to sail in a few days. He was looking forward to his return to a home port and to the greetings with the home folk with a glad heart, but while his thoughts were of home and friends and while a fond mother prayed for the safe return of her sailor son, -- her head was bowed.
"His heavy-shotted hammock shroud, Drops in his vast and wandering grave."
A memorial service for him in the Methodist Episcopal church on Sabbath afternoon. It was very largely attended. The Rev. Catlin of the Baptist church read the Scripture lesson and the pastor of the Methodist church gave the Memorial address.
Contributed by: Ruth Hackett. Source: Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; July 3, 1918.
Note: The US Navy Cyclops was a collier (a ship for carrying coal). It had been loaded with 10,800 tons of manganese ore which was to be used for making war munitions. It left Barbados in the West Indies and was bound for Baltimore, MD. It had been lost since March 4, 1918. There was no SOS. No debris was ever found. No body was ever recovered. Officers, passengers and crew numbering 293 were lost with the ship.
The VFW Post 3388 in Estherville was chartered on October 17, 1935 and named for John W. Brawford who lost his life in World War I. At this writing in 2008, 90 years after the mysterious disappearance of the Cyclops, no new information has been found about the ill-fated ship.
Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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