Wyoming and Colorado · March 2004

War memorial

Closely watched trains north and west of Laramie

Snowmelt at sunset, near the Colorado-Wyoming border

On the tracks in Medicine  


World War I [ Back to other US memorials of World WarI ]
The War in Encampment, Wyoming

Encampment, Wyoming, is about 2 hours north of Denver. Within view of these wooden barns, on a hill overlooking them, is the town's cemetary.

The center of the burial ground is the plot of the Parr family.

At the back, in the right-hand corner, is the grave of Russell Parr, 1894-1918, killed in action in World War I. The inscription at the bottom reads, "Soldier rest, thy work is done."

The medallion says "America over the top," and, between the Liberty torch on the left and an inverted sword on the right, shows a soldier running. "Liberty" is written between two stars. The flowers suggest that family members still live in Encampment and decorate the grave.

The 1920 Wyoming Census lists the entire family, which was very large. Russell was the 11th of 12 children, the 7th of 8 sons born to his parents (both of whom were English). Does the strong connection to England explain Russell's enlistment? Encampment, called Grand Encampment in the last century, has an interesting history but a rather depressing profile at the moment.

Later that day, in Fort Collins, CO, I found volume 3 of Heroes of the Great War (published in 1920). This book lists all the American servicemen and women who died in the Great War. Volume 3 covers Oklahoma to Wyoming. Russell Parr is not listed in the main Wyoming entry, but in the supplement is a small, blurred picture of Parr, k.a. (killed in action), 1918.

Unlike some of the men pictured (Devins, Warner, top row; Miller, Cardwell, bottom row), Parr is not shown in uniform; he appears to be wearing a shirt and tie.
Pvt. Russel. Parr, Encampment, Wyoming, 1894-1918,
Pvt. Co. E, 59th Infantry Battalion

According to the US government web site, Parr is buried at the American cemetery in Belleau, France (Aisne-Marne Cemetery). The citation reads:
Russell Parr, Private, U.S. Army
59th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Entered the Service from: Wyoming
Died: July 19, 1918
Buried at: Plot A Row 4 Grave 32
Aisne-Marne American Cemetery
Belleau, France

March 29, 2004