Seneca Primley (1871-1966) Spanish-American War Vet Dies After Parade

Seneca and Mabel Primley, circa 1910

Seneca and Mabel Primley, circa 1910. From the book “The Early Years in Taylor Rapids”.

Seneca Primley (1871-1966) was the brother of Emma Beatrice Primley who married James Knapp Jr.. We know very little about the Primley family so far. We know they also had a brother, Seeley (Sealy) Primley (1884-1967) who married Dora Stibbe. Other brothers and sisters were Myrtle, Schyler, Sherman, Arthur, and Ella, all born in Indiana or Wisconsin, all children of Robert and Kathryn (Smith) Primley.

In Wayne Knapp’s book, “The Early Years in Taylor Rapids”, he mentions Seneca Primley as his “Cousin Sink”, the nickname for Seneca.

My cousins, Seneca (Sink) Primley, and his wife, Mabel. Seneca was an ordained minster in the Church of God in Indiana, who moved to Tayor Rapids and often held services in our old school house.

According to the following newspaper article, Seneca was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and a long time minister.

Spanish-American War Vet Dies After Parade – Program

from the Warsaw Times-Union, Warsaw, Indiana, May 31, 1966

“An ungrateful nation that fails to remember and acknowledge those who sacrificed their lives to preserve that nation is headed for oblivion,” said speaker Joe Ettinger at the annual Memorial Day observance Monday at Oakwood Cemetery.

Seneca Primley obituary and newspaper article from the Warsaw Times“We’ll never repay that boy who stopped a bullet or grenade or who crashed in a plane or drowned at sea or met death in any one of a thousand other ways for his country – our country. That boy may be buried out here in this beautiful place under one of these little flags you see today. That boy was just as keen to live as you and I, but when his country needed him to go on guard he took his turn in the front line of defense,” said Ettinger.

“Gave His All”

“Lincoln expressed it in these very simple words, ‘He gave his all that this nation might live.’ How can a nation or people be so callous as to ignore such a sacrifice?” he asked.

In concluding his address, Ettinger stated, “This is my prayer for this day and all days for my country – may we be worthy of the blessings of the Omnipotent God who has made and preserved us as a nation.”

Primley Dies Later

Two of the county’s three remaining Spanish-American War veterans were guests of honor at the speaker’s stand – George Ward and Seneca Primley. Walter Long, of Pierceton is the other living veteran of that war. However, by 6 p.m. Monday, there remained only two living Spanish-American War veterans, for Mr. Primley, 94, of Winona Lake, at 6 p.m. Monday, while talking with relatives at his home, said, “I feel very tired.” He sat down and quietly breathed his last. (See obituary on page two). Friends remarked that taking part in the parade and attending the Memorial day services made his last day a happy one.

Sponsored by American Legion Post 49, a parade preceded the ceremonies at the cemetery, with the Warsaw High School and, Legionnaires, Boy Scouts, and city officials taking part.

Music at the cemetery services was provided by the high school band, directed by Bazil O’Reilley, and the American Legion Auxiliary Chorus.

Caption: Honored Guest Hears Last Talk
Two honored guests on the speaker’s platform at Memorial Day Services at Oakwood cemetery listened intently as Joe Ettinger, World War II veteran delivered a moving memorial address. They were George Ward, 88, 924 East Sheridan St., and Seneca Primley, 94, Spanish War veterans. Mr. Primley died of a heart attack at 6 p.m. at his Winona Lake home while talking with relatives.

Obituary: Retired Pastor Veteran Dies of Heart Attack

Rev. Seneca Primley, 94, retired Church of God minister and Spanish-American War veteran, of 708 Chestnut St., Winona Lake, was dead on arrival at Murphy Medical Center at 6:20 p.m. Monday after suffering a heart attack in his home.

He had been in failing health for the past year. Rev. Primley had attended the Memorial Day services here Monday afternoon.

He was a member of the Warsaw Church of God and of the American Legion here. Born in Green Bay, Wis., on October 29, 1871, he had resided in the Winona Lake and Leesburg communities since 1934.

On August 2, 1903 he married Mabel Funk, who died in 1961.

Surviving is one daughter, Mrs. Shelby (Gladys) Thomas, of Knox.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Warsaw Church of God at 2 p.m. Thursday with Rev. Herman Smith officiating. Burial will be in the Leesburg cemetery where the American Legion will conduct a military graveside service.

Friends may call at the McHatton Funeral Home after 2 p.m. Wednesday until 11 a.m. Thursday and then at the church until the hour of the service.

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Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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5 Responses to Seneca Primley (1871-1966) Spanish-American War Vet Dies After Parade

  1. Pingback: Family History » Seeley Primley (1884-1967) Obituary

  2. Charles K Connon says:

    I have a copy of the Seneca Primley obit. He was my grandfather’s cousin. His mother and my grandfather’s father were brother and sister. My brother used to visit Seneca at Winona Lake. My brother was a student at the seminary there. Senesa and his family lived in Marshall County, Indiana when he and grandpa wre kids. Senesa (Sink to my grandfater – me too) was part Indian. The Primley side was Irish by way of Ohio as I remember. Why didn’t I ask questions when I was a kid? I will dig more into what I have. Thank you for what you have here!

  3. Pingback: Reverend Seneca Primley (1871-1966) | Family History

  4. J Hoover says:

    Do you have information on Connon family history? Saw earlier posts about Noah Smith, John Smith… Am related. Thanks.

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