The Washington Historical Society and Museum, besides being a fountain of historical facts, is also a delivery source for providing acts of mercy for people.
We have a letter to the editor on the next page by Marc Houseman, the museum’s director, who relates how the historical society and museum helped to identify a deceased military veteran with ties to Franklin County. The veteran, who home-cared for his mentally disabled brother, died and the brother was unable to contact anybody. The body was discovered weeks after his death. The St. Louis City Morgue, learning of his ties to Franklin County, contacted Houseman, who, after considerable research, identified the man as Sgt. James E. Helton, whose parents once lived in the Luebbering area. Other than his handicapped brother, no other relatives are known.
The historical society arranged for the man’s cremation, funeral service and burial. It also has planned a service at the Wildey Odd Fellows Cemetery in Washington Saturday followed by a procession to the graveside internment service at Luebbering Citizens Community Cemetery, where his parents are buried. Pastor Troy Merseal of First United Methodist Church in Washington will conduct the graveside services.
Most of the required services are being volunteered in respect for his military service in Vietnam. Sgt. Helton’s cremated remains are temporarily in the Odd Fellows Columbarium for unclaimed Missourians.
The services provided by the historical society and Houseman are above and beyond the ordinary, and they are to be commended for their concern and charitable actions.