Friday, December 3, 2010

A Home for Soldiers and Sailors

In the late 19th century there were two homes established in Nebraska where soldiers and sailors could live, receive care and support. The Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home, aka Burkett, at Grand Island was established in 1888 and is still currently in use. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Milford was established in 1895 and existed until 1939. The Milford home is now the location of the Southeast Community College.

Veterans were eligible for admittance if they were honorably discharged. They also had to be disabled and without support or unable to earn a living. Veterans had to have served in the regular, volunteer or militia forces mustered into federal service. After World War II most homes were converted to veteran hospitals. Many also provided assistance and housing for widows and orphans.

The Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society of Grand Island, Nebraska has included the cemetery records for the Grand Island Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery in Volume 2 of their published cemetery records. The book is available at various Nebraska and also in book form and on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The NEGenWeb project for Hall Co., Nebraska also has a listing of burials in the cemetery. In 1915 Vantine's 1915 Directory of Grand Island included a listing of those in the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home. This also is found at the Hall County NEGenWeb site. The Index of Milford Cemeteries is useful in locating veterans who lived in the home at Milford and are buried there.

It is a good idea to extend your research of veterans to these areas. Some veterans remained in the homes until their death and others were removed to other areas.

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