Local History: One woman honored on World War I monument in Williams Park

Aug 3, 2012


On Memorial Day I took a minute to read the names on the World War I monument in Williams Park.



My assumption was, these where the names of people killed in combat, so when two, possibly three, names looked like the names of women, I was curious as to who they were.



I contacted Susan Conklin, Genesee County historian and records management officer, to see if she knew anything about the monument. She asked me to get the names, which I finally got around to doing for her earlier this week.



Here are the three names that got my attention:



Elva Springer, Florence Carney and Cecelia Cochran.



It turns about both Springer and Carney were men who served in the Marine Corps and Army.



The first name of Springer, a resident of 12 Fisher Park, is also spelled Alva. He was wounded in action some time prior to May 1, 1918. His death as a result of his wounds was reported locally Nov. 22, 1918.



According to a newspaper article from May 1, 1918, Springer was the son of John Springer, who by that time had moved to New York City. John Springer worked for the Batavia Rubber Company. His son had worked for him prior to enlistment.The article says "he was well known among young people here."



Carney, middle name Vincent, was among the first men drafted on Feb. 7, 1918.  He lived at 26 Russell Place. His death was reported Oct. 15, 1918 from pneumonia at Camp Aberdeen.



Miss Cecelia Josephine Cochran, the lone woman listed on the monument, was the daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Elliott P. Cochran of 17 Vernon Ave., Batavia. She had been a nurse in Rochester. She left Batavia Sept. 30, 1918 as a volunteer nurse for the United States Public Health Service. The family was notified Oct. 14, 1918 that she was quite ill with pneumonia at Army Hospital in Huntsville, Ala.



The family held a private funeral Oct. 21, 1918, at home followed by a service at St. Joseph's officiated by Father Gilhooley of East Pembroke.



Cochran was buried with military honors at the Catholic Cemetery in Le Roy.