Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995 Page: 120
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Visiting with other mothers' sons who had been with their own children near the end
of their lives in far away places must have provided some comfort to the grieving families.
Touchstone related that he and Stapleton had stood watch together on the night before
Stapleton had been killed.19
Stapleton's family received the Purple Heart on his behalf in 1944. In March
1948, William Stapleton's body, which had first been buried on a small island about
twenty miles from Guadacanal, was returned to Eagle Lake for burial. In the interim, the
Eagle Lake Chapter of the VFW had been named for him. Eagle Lake paid its belated
tribute to Stapleton. Albert Brown, pastor of the First Baptist Church, of which Stapleton
had been a member, officiated. Stapleton was buried in the front center section of
Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake beside his parents, beneath a stone that fully documents
his war service. His name was also inscribed on the Eagle Lake High School plaque.20
Pvt. Early Earnestine Jarmon
1920 - December 28, 1942
One other Colorado County man died while in the military during 1942. Early
Earnestine Jarmon, one of at least four Colorado County black men died in the war, was
born in Glidden in 1920. He was the eighth child of George and Ida Walker Jarmon. His
father was a railroad employee. Nothing is known of the circumstances of his death,
except that the War Department classified it as a non-battle death. His gravestone, in
Shepard Memorial Cemetery west of Glidden, like that of William David Austin, bears the
ironic epitaph "gone but not forgotten." Jarmon's grave, like so many others in small,
rural cemeteries, appears to be untended, and often goes unmarked with a flag on
Memorial and Veterans Day. Jarmon's name did make it onto the courthouse plaque,
though his first name is misspelled "Erlie."21
As 1943 dawned, the first anniversary of Pearl Harbor had come and gone.
Though Kearby Watson was known to have been captured by the Japanese in the
Philippines, Columbus had been spared the death of a local man in the war. In addition,
all of the deaths of servicemen from the Weimar area had been non-combat-related.22
This situation would quickly change. At least two factors caused a great
increase in the number of combat deaths over the next few months of the war. First, the
injection of American troops into North Africa and Italy placed American soldiers in
dangerous combat against the Nazis for the first time. Secondly, in the Pacific, Admiral
19 Eagle Lake Headlight, April 30, 1943.
20 Eagle Lake Headlight, March 31, 1944, February 20, 1948, March 5, 1948, March 12, 1948.
The Eagle Lake High School plaque is now in the Prairie Edge Museum. It should be noted that although the
public generally believes that the Purple Heart was awarded to every man wounded in action, it was also
awarded to every man killed in action.
21 Colorado County Birth Records, vol. 11, p. 187. Since local newspapers relied on family sources
to bring news of war deaths for publication, and since events in the black and Hispanic communities were
seldom covered by any of the three local newspapers in the 1940s, it seems likely to conclude that blacks
and Hispanics were less likely to report deaths to them and that therefore there might be a marked
underreporting of black and Hispanic deaths.
22 Colorado County Citizen, May 28, 1942.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, September, 1995, periodical, September 1995; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151395/m1/12/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.