Ann C. Rose Petrus/Parkhill

Ann was born December 15, 1890, (prayer card lists birth year as1889) in Alexandria, Louisiana. Her parents were Ferdinand Petrus and Laura Treadway.

Ann graduated from the Santa Rosa Infirmary Training School for Nurses in San Antonio, Texas, on June 19, 1913 at the age of 22. She received certification as a Registered Nurse (No. 1398) by the Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners on October 23rd, 1917 and on July 23rd, 1918 was appointed as an American Red Cross Nurse.

Ann Petrus/Parkhill in nurses uniform.

"Mr. Parkhill At Work?" - Artist unknown.

Ann married Orville Glenn Parkhill on May 31, 1922 in Bexar County, Texas. She was 31 years old at the time.

Orville was born in Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, circa 1883. He graduated from the Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, High School on April 12th, 1900. Orville enlisted in the Army in 1918, at the age of 35, served in the Quartermasters Corps, and was honorably discharged September 24, 1919.

Honorable Discharge from The United States Army.
(items in bold were hand-written on form)

To all whom it may concern: This is to certify that Orville G. Parkhill #2534151, Sergeant 1/c Quartermaster Corps. The United States Army, as a Testimonial of Honest and Faithful Service, is hereby Honorably Discharged from the military service of the United States by reason of Expiration Term of Service per letter(???) 8/25/19. Said Orville G. Parkhill was born in Vanderbilt, in the State of Pennsylvania. When enlisted he was 35 years of age and by occupation a Bookkeeper. He had Blue eyes, Dk Brown hair, Fair complexion, and was Five feet Six inches in height. Given under my hand at Fort Sam Houston, Texas this 24th day of September, on thousand nine hundred and Nineteen. Alonzo Gray, Colonel of Cavalry. Commanding (stamped Fort Sam Houston Sep 25 1919 Paid in Full 203.48. Capt. Adolph H. Schneider, Q.M. Corps)

Enlistment Record
(reverse of above document)

Name: Orville G. Parkhill #2534151. Grade: Sergeant 1/c. Enlisted , or Inducted April 27th(?), 1918, at W. Reid Gen Hosp. Wash. DC. Serving in First enlistment period at date of discharge. Prior service: None. Noncommissioned officer: Sgt 10/27/18 Sgt 1/c 3/7/19. Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating: None. Horsemanship: None. Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: None. Knowledge of any vocation: Bookkeeper. Wounds received in service: None. Physical condition when discharged: Good. Typhoid prophylaxis completed (blank). Paratyphoid prophylaxis completed May 20, 1918. Married or single: Single. Character: Excellent. Remarks: No AWOL. No Absence under G.O. 31/12 and 45/14. Soldier entitled to Travel pay to Washington D.C. Served in Q.M.C. November 15th 1918 to date of Discharge. Signature of soldier: Orville G. Parkhill. (signed) ?ugh ?tersen??, 2nd Lieutenant QMC Commanding Detachment. (stamped "Voted 2nd Day of November, A.D. 1920")

Orville and Ann lived in San Antonio. One mystery that remains to be solved is the relationship between the Parkhills and a young man from San Antonio named Sam Turner. Sam was elected mayor of Father Flanagan's "Boys Town" in 1939 and must have been helped in some way by Ann and Orville. Among Ann's belongings was a scrapbook of promotional stills for the movie "Boys Town" starring Spencer Tracy, and a promotional brochure signed by Sam.


The inside cover of the brochure is signed by Sam Turner and reads "Dear Ann & Parkhill. The best of wishes from Boys Town. From your son, Sam Turner, Mayor. Lot's of luck with your flowers."

San Antonio Boy Elected Mayor of Boys Town
(newspaper clipping circa 1939)
Add to the list of home town boys who made good the name of "Happy Sam" Turner. He left San Antonio unheralded and unsung three years ago, and today he is a mayor. "Happy Sam" has been elected mayor of that little community of great fame - Boys Town, the haven for homeless boys founded in Nebraska by Father Flanagan. As mayor for the first six months of 1939, "Happy Sam" is the first citizen of Boys Town to arise in the morning, and the last to retire at night. He and his six commissioners administer the affairs of their city government just as does any other city commission. There are 200 constituents in his City of Little Men. Father Flanagan's community for the rehabilitation of homeless boys has gained world-wide notice since the recent release of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture, "Boys' Town," based on the history of the real town of that name.

"With love to Ann & Parkhill, "Sam" Bob J. Mcfarland, 7/11/43"

A photo of Sam Turner was among Ann's belongings. It was signed "Bob J. McFarland." When I inquired about Sam Turner to the Boys Town Hall of History, I learned that he had changed his name to "McFarland" upon leaving Boys Town and then back to "Turner" again later in life. I also learned that he served in the military (Navy as indicated by the photo below). Sam Turner died in 1991. -- I will post more information when available.


Texan Mayor of Boys Town
(newspaper clipping, Jan, 2, 1939)
OMAHA, Neb., Jan. 2. - (INS) - A 17-year old boy who campaigned under the banner, "a straight shooter from Texas," today was the new mayor of Father Flanagan's famous Boys Town. He is Sam Turner, top-notch bass of the Boys Town choir, and leader of a successful progressive ticket which also voted three commissioners into office. Sam, who has a soft Texas drawl and a reputation for being a square shooter, succeeds Jack Farrald, retiring mayor. Both he and the new city council will serve for six months.

Orville Parkhill died at the age of 63 (circa 1946). His obituary was recorded in at least three newspapers.

O.G. Parkhill Dies
Skidmore, Jan. 28. -- O.G. Parkhill died at his home in San Antonio on Saturday of last week. Mrs. Parkhill is the former Ann Petrus of Skidmore. They were well and favorably known here, and many acquaintances are sorry to hear of this sad news. J.F. Petrus was in San Antonio Monday and Tuesday to be with his sister, Mrs. Petrus being unable to go on account of illness.
Orville Parkhill Burial Tuesday
Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday at 2 p.m. for Orville Parkhill, 63, who died at his home at 626 Ashby St. Sunday night. A veteran of World War I, he had lived in San Antonio 25 years. Survivors are his widow, Mrs. Ann Parkhill, San Antonio; two sisters, Mrs. H.B. Moore and Mrs. Elizabeth Frazer, Dawson, Pa. Internment will be in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
Orville Parkhill, age 63 years, of 626 E. Ashby, died at his home Sunday night. He is survived by wife, Mrs. Ann Parkhill; sisters, Mrs. H.B. Moore and Mrs. Elizabeth Frazer. Services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Post Chapel at Fort Sam Houston. Internment will be in Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. Arrangements by Porter Loring, mortician.

On June 1, 1965, Ann applied for a social security number. She was 74 years old at the time.

Obituary clipping provided by Anne Moseley.

Ann died of lung cancer on January 2l, l972 at the age of 81.

Special thanks to Margie Petrus and Anne Moseley, who provided photos and memorabilia belonging to Ann Petrus/Parkhill.


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