1899 : First Michigan Woman To Be Honored With Military Funeral

January 17, 2018 all-day

On January 17, 1899, the first military funeral for a woman in Michigan occurred when Ellen May Tower, a Byron native and a veteran of the Spanish-American War, received one. The daughter of a Civil War captain, Tower volunteered as an army nurse and cared for soldiers who returned from the war with injuries and disease. At one point, she was sent to Puerto Rico, where she died within three months. As was the case in 90 percent of American casualties in that war, Tower died of disease — typhoid fever.


Michigan Every Day

Ellen May Tower Michigan Historical Marker

Byron to Remember Ellen May Tower, Argus Press (Owosso, Michigan), April 4, 1989.

The village of Byron and its heroine, Ellen May Tower / Kathryn E. Seward and Jennifer D. Freese Walkling. 72pp. Library of Michigan 2N F574.B97 S4 1980z