John Henry Andres, Jr.
Bloomsburg, Columbia County

April 3, 1887 - October 5, 1917


     Harry Andres was born in Jersey City, the son of John Henry and Elizabeth Andres.  They moved to Bloomsburg while Harry was young, and he graduated from Bloomsburg High School in 1904.  That fall he entered the Normal School in the College Preparatory program with a concentration in medicine. Harry was not alone there, since his sisters Daisy, Helen and Martha were also students.  He graduated on June 27, 1906, and went on to earn a degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1911.  He interned for a year at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, before moving to Duluth, Minnesota.  He had a successful practice there, and was on the medical staff of the Duluth public school system.

     Dr. Andres went into military service in 1916 as a commissioned officer and surgeon with the 3rd Minnesota Medical Corps, attached to the 125th Field Artillery Regiment.  He was initially stationed at the Mexican border during the time when bandits such as Pancho Villa were crossing over into the United States and killing American citizens.  In September of 1917 he returned there with the field artillery regiment and was based at Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico.  On October 4, Lieutenant Andres went on a short trip to El Paso, Texas with another officer, Lieutenant Charles Ramshaw, a chaplain for the regiment.  They saw a moving picture show and had supper that night, but before it was over, early in the morning of October 5, Lt. Andres was found dead in his hotel room.  

     The El Paso coroner and military decided he had committed suicide during a period of temporary insanity.  The field artillery regiment's commanding officer, Colonel Eva, reported that Lt. Andres had been brooding and melancholy for some weeks prior to the incident.  His family, however, insisted that he had been in good health and was enjoying his work, and could not possibly have taken his own life.

     Members of the regiment were shocked and saddened to hear of his death.  The officers praised Dr. Andres highly for his soldierly qualities, while the enlisted men remembered his kindness and consideration.  He had been one of the most popular officers in the Minnesota regiments.

     Harry Andres returned to Bloomsburg one final time on October 9, 1917, accompanied by a military escort.  Funeral services with full military honors were held in El Paso before the trip back home.  A second service was held on the 10th at his parent's home, and he was buried nearby in New Rosemont Cemetery.  He left behind his grieving parents and seven sisters, who had lost their only son and brother.  They could not accept the account of what had happened to him, nor could a friend of his from Duluth, Ted Jones, who had served for six months in the military with Dr. Andres.  He stated that he knew Harry very well, and his high opinion of life and the place in the world he hoped to fill.  Mr. Jones could not believe that Harry could have taken his own life.  The founders of the Memorial Pinery did not believe what had happened either, and Harry Andres is proudly memorialized with the rest of the students of the Bloomsburg State Normal School, for having lost his life in service to his country.

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Updated 7/23/03