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The Marion Star Marion SC April 22, 1954


Funeral For Miss Kate Lilly Blue

Yesterday At Presbyterian Church

Funeral services for Miss Kate Lilly Blue, who died Monday afternoon, were held at 2 p.m. yesterday at Marion Presbyterian Church.

Services were conducted by the Rev. B. F. Ormand, assisted by the Rev. T. M. Godbold and Rev. Dr. B. F. Allen. Burial followed in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Miss Blue was the daughter of the late Col. John Gilchrist Blue and Annie M. Evans Blue and a sister of the late Rear Adm. Victor Blue and Surgeon-Gen. Rupert Blue. She was a lifelong resident of Marion and was a member of the Marion Presbyterian Church, a charter member of the Marion Chapter, DAR, and American Legion Auxiliary. She engaged in literary composition, having authored several books. She was state historian for the DAR. Some years ago she contributed articles to The Marion Star and many daily papers throughout the state.

Survivors include one sister, Miss Henriet Blue of Marion; two nephews, Col. J. A. Wheeler of Picayune, Miss., and Victor Blue, Jr., of Jacksonville, Fla.; three great nieces, Mrs. F. N. Johnson of Texas, Miss Cherry Wheeler of Marion and Mrs. John Metzler of Mississippi, and two great-nephews, Robert E. Wheeler and John Wheeler, both of Washington, D. C.

Miss Blue’s brother, the late Rear Adm. Victor Blue, grew up in Marion, where he attended school. He received an appointment to the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1887. He rose through the ranks and participated in the Spanish American War and World War I.

During the Spanish American War, Adm. Blue, then a lieutenant, junior grade, won distinction by proceeding in an open boat by night to make contact with the Cuban Army so that troops could be landed. On this successful expedition, he planted the first United States flag on the mainland of Cuba. Later, he volunteered to go ashore to discover how many Spanish ships lay inside the harbor of San Diego, which expedition he successfully carried out. He was in the battle of Santiago and was given command of the captured Spanish gunboat, the Alvarado, which he brought back to the United States and exhibited it in every eastern port. For his exploits, he was advanced for "extraordinary heroism" and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In World War I he was given command of the battleship, Texas, which in 1918 was attached to the North Sea fleet and saw the surrender of the German fleet in November of that year. Following the war, he was detailed to duty as chief of the Bureau of Navigation and promoted to rear admiral. For his World War I service, Congress voted him the

distinguished service medal and the King of Belgium decorated him with the Order of Lepold.

At the time of his death, Jan. 28, 1928, he was living on Ft. George Island, Fla.

In 1937, the destroyer USS Blue, named in honor of Adm. Blue was launched at the Norfolk Navy Yard.

This destroyer was sunk in the Pacific in World War II, and a new destroyer USS Blue was launched after the war, with Miss Blue as a joint sponsor. The new ship honored both Adm. Blue and Miss Blue’s nephew, Lieut. Cmdr. John Stuart Blue, who went down with his ship in World War II. The widow of Lieut. Cmdr. Blue acted as sponsor with Miss Blue.

Dr. Rupert Blue, former surgeon general of the United States, died April 12, 1948, at a Charleston Infirmary at the age of 80.

He attended the University of Virginia and studied medicine at the University of Tropical Medicine in England.

Famous for his bubonic plague campaigns in San Francisco, he was credited with discovering that the plague was carried by fleas on rats. He carried out extensive rat extermination drives in California, which were credited with halting outbreaks of the plague.

He spent his entire professional career in the public health service, entering as an assistant surgeon in 1893 and retiring in 1932. He was surgeon general from 1912 to 1920. After becoming surgeon general, he started an investigation of the causes of malaria and typhoid. One of the most sweeping regulations concerned sanitation measures for the control of drinking water on trains and ships. This made America conscious of the perils of the ordinary drinking cup in public establishments.

Other investigations under his leadership led to the establishment of leprosy institutions and inauguration of venereal disease and typhoid control measures. In 1920 he went to Europe to direct disease control there. He was a former president of the American Medical Association.

Miss Blue’s father was a Confederate officer and was a member of the "Wallace House", in which body he distinguished himself as an ardent and outspoken Democrat. He is said to have introduced the first bill to establish a state women’s college in South Carolina. His wife was the daughter of Gen William Evans of Marion County.

There were eight children in the Blue family. The oldest, William Evans, a former sheriff and former member of the Legislature, died in September, 1927. Mrs. Sallie John, a sister, died two years later. Others were Mrs. Effie Blue Wheeler of Marion, Mrs. Ida Blue Nicholson of Laurinburg, N. C., Miss Blue and Miss Henriet Blue, who survives.

Kate Lily Blue was the daughter of Anna Maria (Evans) Blue (1836-1911) and Col .CSA John Gilchrist Blue (1829-1889) and the grand- daughter of General William Evans (1804-1876) and Sarah Anne (Godbold) Evans(1807-1885).

She did not marry.

Submitted by William Coxe and Jane B. Thompson, 23 May 2004

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