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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Gipe, Samuel E. (P1R, TBD)

gipe samuel e cropCaptain Samuel Edward Gipe, 39, of Owensboro, Daviess County, died of service connected illness on October 24, 1916 in the Owensboro City Hospital. Gipe had been serving as Commander of Company K of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry Regiment for many years.
Gipe enlisted in the Kentucky State Guard in June 1897 as a sixth corporal and remained with the unit being promoted to eventually command the unit as its captain.

Gipe served on federal active duty with his unit during the Spanish American War (1898-99). Conflicting newspaper accounts say that he served at Anniston Alabama while another says that he served in Cuba.

Gipe was Captain of Company K when the Guard was again called to active duty for service on the Mexican border. According to newspaper accounts, Gipe worked himself to a state of exhaustion getting the unit recruited to full strength and its equipment and soldiers ready for the deployment. The unit traveled to Fort Thomas for induction. He was confined to his cot due to “overwork” for a few days shortly after they arrived. He was one of eighty six members of his unit who were failed because of the medical exams.

Gipe was reportedly rejected and discharged due to a weak heart which was a cause of great sadness for him. Gipe returned home after his discharge on 22 July 1916. Gipe remained in ill health on his return home and was eventually diagnosed with Bright’s disease. Bright's disease is a classification of kidney diseases that would be described in modern medicine as acute or chronic nephritis.  It was characterized by swelling, the presence of albumin in the urine and was frequently accompanied by high blood pressure and heart disease. Gipe was eventually hospitalized as his condition steadily declined until he perished.

Gipe’s civilian occupation was a Rural Free Delivery (R.F.D.) Letter Carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Daviess County beginning in March 1907.

gipe samuel headstoneGipe is buried in the Rosehill Elmwood Cemetery in Owensboro.

Gipe was also the great uncle of Command Sergeant Major John D. Gipe. CSM Gipe retired militarily in 2013 concluding a highly distinguished military career serving as the State Command Sergeant Major of the Kentucky Army National Guard from 2002 – 2005; Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard (ARNG) from June, 2005 through July, 2009 and finally as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Newspaper articles about Gipe:

Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, KY), 06 July 1916, p. 1.
Because of overwork Captain Gipe has been confined to his cot for a few days, but he is now convalescent. …

The Owensboro Messenger, 15 July 1916, p. 1.
A weak heart is said to have caused the rejection of Capt. Gipe …

Slips Quietly Away
The Owensboro Messenger, 23 July 1916, p. 1.
Heart-broken because of his rejection, Capt. Samuel E. Gipe, slipped quietly out of camp this noon and left without telling his men goodbye, knowing he could not face them in farewell without breaking down. . .

samuel e gipe photo bwCapt. Gipe’s Condition is Not Satisfactory
The Twice-A-Week Messenger (Owensboro, KY), 30 August 1916, p. 4.
The condition of Captain Samuel E. Gipe, who is ill at his home at the corner of Twentieth Street and the Hartford Road, is reported unsatisfactory.  Captain Gipe has been ill ever since he was at Fort Thomas as commander of Company K, Third Regiment.  He was rejected by the United States Army medical corps on the grounds of physical unfitness.  Since his return home Captain Gipe has been growing steadily worse.  He is virtually confined to his home and finds difficulty in walking on account of the swollen condition of his lower limbs.

The Owensboro Messenger, 01 October 1916, p. 3.
The condition of Capt. Gipe, who has been critically ill for the past few days, shows very little improvement.

Capt. Gipe Very Ill
Condition Serious, Says Report From Hospital Today
Messenger-Inquirer, 04 October 1916, p. 1.
Capt. S. E. Gipe, for a number of years commander of Company K, Kentucky National Guards, who has been confined at the hospital for several weeks, was reported to be in a serious condition today.  Capt. Gipe returned from Fort Thomas about two months ago in bad health, and after confinement at his home for some time, was removed to the hospital.

Capt. Gipe Answers the Last Roll Call
Commander of Company K Passes Away After Three Months of Illness
Messenger-Inquirer, 24 October 1916, p. 2.
Samuel E. Gipe, until three months ago captain of Company K, Third Regiment, Kentucky National Guard, and a rural mail carrier of Owensboro, succumbed to Bright’s disease at 7:30 o’clock this morning at the city hospital.  Capt. Gipe had been afflicted with the disease for several months and when his condition became very serious a month ago, was removed to the hospital.  He was 39 years old and a native of Owensboro, having been born July 5, 1877.
Capt. Gipe was a member of the Masonic and Modern Woodmen lodges.  Surviving his are his wife, four children, one sister, Mrs. D. W. Sparks, and three brothers, J. W. Gipe, G. J. Gipe and C. E. Gipe.  Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 o’clock Wednesday afternoon at the First Christian Church and burial will be made in Elwood Cemetery.  The pall bearers will be the Spanish-American war veterans with whom Capt. Gipe served in the National Guard.
Capt. Gipe during the past 18 years was foremost among Owensboroans in military affairs and as a highly efficient soldier who commanded the respect of every man in Company K.  His onward march to military success was only halted by failing health which resulted in his rejection by army physicians at Fort Thomas a few months ago.  Capt. Gipe, with 89 members of the Owensboro Company, was turned down because of inability to meet the stringent requirements of the officials.
When pronounced unfit to act as captain, Gipe maintained that he would regain his health and resume his position at the head of the company, and made an appeal to higher authorities, but it availed nothing.  He returned home within two weeks after his rejection and after remaining at home for a few days was removed to the hospital, where physicians discovered that he had Bright’s disease.
Capt. Gipe was the only remaining member in Owensboro of Company H that went to Anniston, Ala., where the troops remained until the close of the Spanish-American War, during the administration of President William McKinley.  Capt. Gipe was then sixth corporal of Company H, and since that time has been promoted to each position of higher rank.

Taps Sounded For Capt. Gipe;
Twice Answered Nation's Call
Expressed Regret That He Could Not Bid Farewell to Members of Co. K
The Owensboro Messenger 25 Oct 1916, Wed Page 6
Taps sounded Tuesday morning at 7:30 o'clock for Captain Samuel E. Gipe, Kentucky National guard. The former guardsmen succumbed to a protracted illness of Bright's disease. He died at the city hospital, hospital, where he had been a patient for the past four weeks. His death was not unexpected, as he had been in a critical condition ever since his return from Fort Thomas mobilization camp several months ago.
Captain Gipe bore his sufferings with soldierly fortitude. When the final call came he answered as a soldier should, bravely and unflinchingly. His regret, expressed Sunday when he realized the nearness of the end, was that he could not bid farewell to his boys of Company K, Kentucky regiment, now on service on the 'Mexican border.
According to funeral arrangements announced last night Captain Gipe will be buried from the First Christian church this afternoon at 2 o'clock. The services at the church will be conducted by Rev. M. G. Buckner, pastor of the church, assisted by Rev. Sam P. Martin, pastor of the Third Baptist church. Interment will follow in Elmwood cemetery.
At the church the body will rest within a casket draped with the national colors. The same colors presented to Company K will' be used for the purpose. The pallbearers will be members of the Camp of Spanish War Veterans. They will be: Active — George Leibfried, Ward Pedley, Marvin May, Marvin Thornberry, Bishop Ward and James Meisner; Honorary — T. J. Harper, Elmo Ham, Owen Isaacs, John Holzknecht, Harry Cooper, Herschel Helm; Cecil Smith, trumpeter.
The body will be accompanied to the cemetery by an escort from the Spanish war veterans’ and an escort from former members of Company K. The escort will carry no arms. At the graveside a brief service will be held. As the body is lowered into the grave taps will be sounded.
Captain Gipe, for eighteen years past, had been active in local military matters. Twice in that time he responded to his country's call to the colors. The first time, in 1898, when he saw service in Cuba as a member of the local military company and served throughout the campaign: When President Wilson called for volunteers Captain Gipe, as commander of the local company, again volunteered his services. After recruiting his company to strength he was ordered to Fort Thomas. Upon undergoing the medical examination preliminary to being sworn in for service on the border, he was rejected as physically unfit. Many of his friends believe this hastened his death.
At the time of his death Captain Gipe was thirty-nine years of age. He was employed in the post office department as rural carrier, entering the service March 1, 1907. During his last illness his wife has been acting as substitute carrier. He was a member of the 'Masonic fraternity and of the Modern Woodmen of America. Surviving him are his wife and four children, Theresa. Samuel E., Jr., William Rufus and Logan. The family has requested that the membership of the Modern Woodmen attend at the church this afternoon.

Capt. Gipe Disabled
Hopkinsville Kentuckian. (Hopkinsville, Ky.) 1889-1918, August 08, 1916, Page 5
Captain Samuel E. Gipe, formerly commanding officer of company K. Third Regiment, K. N. G., is ill at his home on the Hartford road. Captain Gipe was recently rejected at the mobilization camp at Fort Thomas as physically unfit, and ordered home. Since his return he has been unable to leave the house and spends his time either in bed or reclining in a Morris chair. Captain Gipe’s feet and legs are so badly swollen as to render it painfully for him to stand. He is under the care of a physician.

Daily public Ledger, March 30, 1912, page 3
Company K. of the Third Regiment Kentucky National Guard, was sworn in at Owensboro with Samuel E, Gipe, Captain.

The Hartford Herald, July 19, 1916, Page 6, Page 6
Fort Thomas, KY., July 14. – United States army medical examiners to-day rejected Capt. Samuel E. Gipe, First Lieut. Harry Doan and eight-six men (66%) of Company K, of Owensboro. There were 131 men of the Owensboro company examined, and the medical examiners cut the company down to forty-five, which is below peace strength. The loss is the greatest in number and per cent of any company yet examined.
A weak heart is said to have caused the rejection of Capt. Gipe and Lieut. Doan was under weight.
The rejected men will be returned to Owensboro at the earlies possible date. Arrangements will be made to recruit the company up to at least peace strength of sixty-five men.

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273

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