Trailblazing Byron nurse to be honored again on Memorial Day, 125 years after death

The memorial to Ellen May Tower is seen in Byron Cemetery.

BYRON — Ellen May Tower, of Byron, was just 30 years old on Dec. 9, 1898, when she succumbed to typhoid fever while serving the U.S. Army as a nurse in Puerto Rico — not yet ceded by Spain — in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish-American War.

Her life story may have been cut tragically short, but her death received plenty of ink.

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