Sergeant Alva F. Eaton


The Humeston New Era
Humeston, Iowa, Wednesday, March 13, 1918
(Wayne County)



Word Received Sunday of The Death of Humeston's First Soldier Boy.


Meets Supreme Test of Courage in Battle With The Hun Somewhere in France.

"Somewhere in France" Sergeant Alva F. Eaton, a Humeston boy, has joined Merle Hay in eternal sleep, and has made the supreme sacrifice for his country in the great war of democracy.

Sergeant Eaton, aged twenty, member of Co. D, 168th Infantry, of Humeston was killed on Tuesday, March 5, 1918, fighting on the western front. No particulars are known.

Sergeant Eaton is the first Wayne county boy to lose his life in action in the present world war.

Death of the local national guardsman was revealed in the first expurgated casualty list issued by the War Department, given out at Washington at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

The announcement listed sixteen men killed and forty wounded. It was the largest casualty list so far announced. D company suffered severely. The casualty list indicates that two companies, B of Des
Moines and D of Centerville, of the 168th Infantry have been in violent action.

Word of the young man's death was received in a telegram from the War Department at noon Sunday.

Sergeant Eaton was a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Eaton of Humeston. He was born Jan. 21, 1898, and is survived by his parents and a sister, Mrs. Floyd Garrett, and twin brothers, Willie and Willard. He comes from fighting stock as some of his grandparents were in the civil war and made a good record. He joined Co. D of the Third Iowa on March 29, 1916, and answered President Wilson's call in June of that year and did service for six months on the Mexican border. Later the Third Iowa was transferred to the 168th Infantry, which landed in France about the first of the year. The Iowa boys were among
the "pick" of the Rainbow Division.

Alva was one of the best liked boys of the town. He was a good athlete and while in high school he was on practically every athletic team ever turned out by the local school. He was always considered a star, especially in football. He piloted the team for two years and was directly responsible for the success that they had.

He was a young man of good habits and industrious. He was bright, kind hearted and had many friends.

Sergeant Eaton was killed presumably March 5. Spirited contests have been waged all along the line the past week in which American troops have participated, and this is the first casualty list to be
received from the Iowa regiment. An A. P. dispatch on Sunday tells of an attack on the night of March 4 on the latest Americans to enter the trenches and this may have been the engagement.

The action in which our boy was killed will in all probability not be known until letters are received describing the fight.

The body of young Eaton lies buried in a little cemetery back of the American lines, and was laid to rest while the big German guns still were bombarding the positions held by the American troops.

This brave Humeston lad died for the sake of honor and duty.

* * *
The Telegram.

W. C. Eaton received Sunday the following telegram:

Washington, D.C.,
6:35p.m., March 9

Deeply regret to inform you that Sergeant Alva F. Eaton, infantry, is officially reported as killed in action March 5.

McCain, Adjt. General

* * *
$10,000 Insurance.

He had government insurance to the amount of $10,000. Half of this amount was made payable to his mother and half to his father.

* * *
Memorial Services.

Memorial services for Sergeant Eaton will be held at the Princess at 2:30 this afternoon. The Rev. Orr Campbell will conduct the services.


~transcribed by Polly Eckles <>