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The Marion Star, Issue of January 25, 1928, Front Page

 

REAR ADMIRAL VICTOR BLUE DEAD

 

Succumbed to Attack at Heart On North-Bound
Train, Monday Morning. Body Arrived in Marion
At Noon Tuesday, Met By Escort at Pee Dee.

Funeral Services at Church of Advent Tuesday Afternoon at Three-Thirty. Interment at Rose Hill. Noted Naval Officer Covered with Old Glory as Lowered into Grave. Illustrious Service in Two Wars : Won Spurs at Santiago in 1898 when He Located Cerveras Fleet. All Places Of Business Closed and Flags Hung At Half-Mast

Rear Admiral Victor Blue, retired, Marion’s most noted son, died early Monday morning, on a north-bound train as he was journeying to Washington DC for treatment. The end came suddenly, altho Admiral Blue’s retirement came ten years ago as a result of heart trouble, and necessarily, he and his family were constantly aware of the proximity of death, and only by the practice of the most prudent habits and exacting daily programs of diet and exercise allowed him any degree of bodily comfort for several years past.

Admiral Blue was accompanied from Charleston, on the fatal journey, by his son, Victor Blue, Jr., who is a student at Porter Military Academy, of Charleston. Mrs. Blue, formerly Eleanor Foote Stuart, of Morristown, N. J., was at her home at Fort George, Florida, when the sad death of her noted husband occurred, but she quickly got in touch with relatives in Marion, arranging details of funeral services and interment by wire. A son, Ensign John S. Blue, aboard the navy survey ship Nokomis, off Key West, was notified of the demise of his father, but was unable to reach Marion in time for the funeral yesterday. Surgeon General Rupert Blue, famous brother of Admiral Blue, is in Los Angeles, California and was unable to make the long journey home quickly enough to attempt doing so. All other members of his immediate family attended the funeral: Mesdames Effie Blue Wheeler, Sallie Blue John, of Marion, and Ben B. Nicholson, of Laurinburg NC, and Misses Kate Lilly and Henriette Blue, of Marion. A brother, the late William E. Blue, former sheriff of Marion County, died a few months ago, in this city.

The body of this illustrious son of Marion was met at Pee Dee Station by a party of citizens, including members of City Council, who escorted it to the Blue home on North Main Street. In the hall of the home he loved so well, the mortal remains of the hero of Santiago lay under the folds of his country’s flag, under which he served with distinction in two wars and for which he had offered his life time and time again, while his bier was banked with flowers in great profusion, as old friends of boyhood sorrowfully called to say good-bye.

The funeral services were conducted at the Church of the Advent at three-thirty o’clock Tuesday afternoon, by the Reverend W. Herbert Mayers, Rector, assisted by Dr. J. M. Holladay, of the Presbyterian Church. The auditorium of the church was filled to overflowing, despite the downpour of rain which had begun at noon and continued unabated until late in the afternoon. Immediately after the simple, but beautiful church service, the cortege moved toward Rose Hill Cemetery, where, as the heavens wept in unison with the relatives and friends of the deceased, the remains of him who had long been Marion’s outstanding hero were gently lowered into the tomb. During the funeral hour all business was suspended, and all flags were flown at half mast.

Gentle, brave, courtly Victor Blue is no more. In all of the years since he became a national figure Victor Blue has never been more or less to Marion than her own son―he was unostentatious among his home people, and never once did he wear the trappings of his high offices when “home” on visits. He loved Marion; it was at his own request that his body found a last resting place in the soil he loved so well. Altho born in Richmond County (now Scotland County,) North Carolina, Victor Blue’s father, the late Col. John G. Blue, removed to Marion when the former was mere a lad. It was here that he formed life’s early associations and formed habits which afterwards enabled him to stand out as an officer in the navy; it was here that he received a sound mental training, which enabled him to successfully battle his way through Annapolis, and it was here that his heart turned when ill, and when he contemplated "going home."

Admiral Blue’s life is a history now. American children will study, in future ages, of his daring venture at Santiago, when he volunteered to land on Cuban soil; (from the American fleet which was then searching off the coast of Cuba for the Spanish fleet of Admiral Cervera, in 1898) how he successfully passed the Spanish lines and finally, from the eminence of a hill overlooking Santiago Bay, spotted the Spanish fleet in the harbor; this information he took back to Admiral Sampson, in command of the American fleet. Victor Blue’s daring service was followed by Richmond Pearson Hobson’s bid for fame in sinking a ship across the mouth of the harbor, and by the destruction of the Spanish fleet as it attempted to steam out and escape. The quiet, capable, brave boy from South Carolina had then written his name in indelible letters upon the tablet of fame, and his later successes came quickly and easily. President Wilson, during the World War, made him Chief of Navigation; he was in command of the Battleship Texas at the surrender of the German fleet in the World War; he was signally honored by the War Department and by Congress for his splendid services--only to quickly fall a victim of heart trouble immediately after the close of the war. Since that time he has been on the retired list, living quietly with his family on Fort George Island, near Jacksonville, Fla. At that beautiful place, it is said that he created a development which did not explode when the Florida boom ceased to exist. On a vast acreage he created a community of naval officers, and interested only men who wanted winter homes and were able to own them and maintain them.

Within recent years he contemplated building a home in Marion, on the old Blue estate lands, but, presumably due to his precarious health, did not attempt to do so. He visited his family here in the fall, and altho frail, he was cheerful, interested in Marion and her people, and was the same sincere, plain and attractive man that old Mother Marion gave to the nation sixty-two years ago.


Victor Blue was the son of Anna Maria (Evans) Blue of Marion SC and the grandson of General William Evans and Sarah Ann (Godbold) Evans of Oak Hall.

Submitted by William Coxe, 19 May 2004


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