Gilbert Vilas “Bert” Carpenter

Gilbert Vilas “Bert” Carpenter

Ishpeming, Marquette County, Michigan, USA
Death 2 Jun 1918 (aged 44)
Puerto Rico, USA
Burial Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 100062545 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Capt. Gilbert was the first man from Dickinson County to die in World War I. (Dickinson County, Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs.)

Iron Mountain Press, Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, Michigan, Volume 23, Number 4 [Thursday, June 13, 1918],
page 1, column 5
A Brief Sketch of the Life of the Late Gilbert V. Carpenter.
The war has come to Iron Mountain. It is no longer "three thousand miles away." The first victim of the treacherous, murderous Prussians is Gilbert V.Carpenter, then whom Iron Mountain had a no more highly esteemed citizen. It is known that Bert, as he was affectionately known, as a passenger on the steamship Carolina when she sailed from Porto [sic – Puerto] Rico. It is known that Bert was a member of the crew of the ill-fated launch that left the Carolina when that steamer was torpedoed by the unspeakable Huns.
Nearly all other inmates of the launch were terror-stricken Porto [Puerto] Ricoians [Ricans]. When the storm came and the launch water-logged and capsized, it was Bert that assumed command. Working like the hero that he was, Bert endeavored to restore confidence and induce the natives to assist in unwatering the boat. It is the supposition that Bert became exhausted at this work, and that, when the launch again capsized, and he had assisted the others into the little vessel, he was too weak to help himself – and he drifted away into eternity. He had met death in an endeavor to save the weaker – died a hero.
This had always been his endeavor in life – to assist the weaker over the rough places and to make the burdens lighter for his fellow men. Gilbert V. Carpenter was the oldest son of Mrs. Carolina Carpenter and the late Dr.
W.T. Carpenter. On June 7th, 1908, he was married to Leonora Crowell, second daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Crowell. This union was a very happy one and was blessed with two lovable children – Gilbert, aged eight years, and Lenora, aged five.
Surviving also are two brothers – William and James, of Washington, D.C., and one sister, Miss Mary, of this city, in charge of the city library.
Bert was forty-four years of age and was born at Ishpeming. After graduating from our high school and the high school at Ann Arbor, he engaged in the study of medicine and surgery at several universities. It was while he was attending a university at Philadelphia that war was declared upon Spain. Bert at once tendered his services to his country, and accompanied the Iron Mountain company to Cuba. He was connected with the hospital corps and in this capacity assumed a guardianship over "our boys" and was of great assistance in cases of sickness.
While in Cuba he was promoted from the ranks to a captaincy and assistant surgeon. He won the lasting affections of every member of the company in that campaign in the swamps of Cuba. Upon his return from the war, due to poor health, Bert decided to abandon the study of medicine. He engaged in road engineering work, and while he did not have the benefit of a college engineering course, by close application and hard study, he soon won the reputation of being one of the best – if not the best – all-round road
men in Michigan. He held the position of roads engineer in this county for ten or fifteen years and our splendid highways are monuments of his high efficiency.
When war was declared on Germany,Bert again tendered his services to the government and was sorely disappointed
when he was rejected, due to physical defects. At a later date, however, the government requested his services as a
road builder at cantonments. He was in charge of this work at Camp Grant, Rockford, Ill. His work there was so
satisfactory that, upon the completion of Camp Grant, the government requested him to take charge of similar work at a new cantonment at Porto [Puerto] Rico. He left Iron Mountain for Porto [Puerto] Rico about three months ago. Bert had expected to return to Iron Mountain more than six weeks ago and Mrs.Carpenter had gone to Washington to meet him.
While in Porto [Puerto] Rico, Mr. Carpenter was appointed road engineer for Houghton county and had planned to devote two-thirds of his time to that work. It was ruled otherwise, however. He became the victim of the murderous Huns just as he was entering upon the most notable period of his career. His grave may never be bedecked with lowers, but he will live long in the memory of his multitude of friends who will cherish him for his many
noble qualities. The Press in behalf of these friends extends condolences to the mourning relatives and assures them of the deep sympathy of the community which their hero honored as a citizen.

Ceremony at Twin Falls Will Be Held in Afternoon
The unveiling of the monument to Gilbert V. Carpenter. former county engineer, who lost his life during the war when the boat on which he was returning to the United States from Cuba was torpedoed by the Germans, will take place this afternoon. (May 25, 1923, Iron Mountain Press newspaper, Dickinson, Michigan.)
The complete article can be found at the Dickinson County Library, Iron Mountain, Michigan.[Courtesy of klh]

Family Members



DEC 20 1873 JUN 2 1918

Gravesite Details This memorial can be found along the road in northwest corner of Pontiac on Lot 8
  • Created by: klh
  • Added: 2 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100062545
  • Anonymous
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gilbert Vilas “Bert” Carpenter (20 Dec 1873–2 Jun 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100062545, citing Iron Mountain Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain, Dickinson County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by klh (contributor 47722765) .