Most of us have had family members enlist in service of our country’s defense. But how many families have had three sons enlist at the same time? The W. W. Washburn family of Crawfordsville did. In July of 1917, it was reported in the Crawfordsville Journal that George, Gould, and J. Beard had already left for training at Fort Harrison, in Lawrence Township, Marion County, Indiana. George and J. Beard were both in the machine gun company of the National Guard but had previously been students at Wabash College.
George, a second lieutenant, would go on to marry Ruth Clark, daughter of Raleigh Clark, in 1918, and then leave immediately to return to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where he was posted with the Indiana Guard. After the war, he returned to town to work at the Citizens National Bank, the post office, and then Crawfordsville Electric Light and Power. He passed away in 1964 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, here in the city.
Gould was a graduate of Wabash College and Purdue University. He served with distinction as an officer in the war, and was located at Camp Taylor. He later moved to Oakland, California to work as a member of staff at the federal reserve bank in San Francisco. He died suddenly in 1926, leaving behind his wife and two daughters.
J. Beard attended Wabash, and continued on to a career in San Francisco, where he married Betty Gregg of New York. He is buried in Martin County, Florida.
For more pictures of the Washburn brothers, look in the image collection on our library database page.