Woman of the Century/Lydia A. George
GEORGE, Mrs. Lydia A., army nurse and philanthropist, born in New Limerick, Me., 1st April, 1839. Her maiden name was Philpot, and LYDIA A. GEORGE. she traces her ancestry back to English sources upon her father's side. In May, 1854, the family removed to Elk River, Minn., where, in 1857, she became the wife of Charles H. Hancock, of that place. Two years after her marriage, having no children of her own, she took to her home an orphan girl, who remained with them until she was married. Later, she took a motherless boy, who remained with them five years. A devout Christian of non-sectarian spirit, she was earnest in the work of various missions carried on by different denominations. The fateful signal gun which boomed out over Fort Sumter found her superintending a Sabbath-school in Elk River. In August, 1862, her husband enlisted in Company A, Eighth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. She sought an interview with General Pope, then stationed in St. Paul, and obtained permission to go with the regiment. The Indian outbreaks along the frontier at that time made it necessary for Minnesota troops to remain in the Northwest, and after the necessary drilling they were assigned by companies to their respective stations in the Sioux and Chippewa countries. Company A was ordered to the Chippewa Agency in September, and thither Mrs. Hancock soon followed. Arriving at the agency, she was assigned to a room in the agency building, which was the headquarters and also served as a hospital for the company. Work was awaiting her, for thirteen of the company were prostrated with measles, which rapidly spread until it attacked every man who had not previously had the disease. In April, 1863, the company were ordered to Fort Ripley, and remained there two months. From Fort Ripley they went to the Sauk Valley. The winter following they were ordered to Fort Abercrombie, Dak., in the Sioux country, where she remained until spring, having shared in all the vicissitudes of camp life on the frontier. Then her health demanded a rest. In Anoka, Minn., in the fall of 1865, her husband was brought to her in the arms of his comrades, that she might once more look upon his face and minister to his last wants. Her interest in the soldier, his widow and his orphans did not cease with the close of the war. In June, 18S5, she joined the Woman's Relief Corps, at the institution of Dudley P. Chase Corps, of Minneapolis, Minn., of which organization she was chosen president. She served in that capacity for two years. On 11th January, 1887, she became the wife of Capt. J. W. George, Company G, Thirty-third Massachusetts Volunteers, one of the most prominent Grand Army men in Minnesota. Captain and Mrs. George worked hand in hand, and their voices were heard at many campfires and patriotic gatherings throughout the districts of the State, and pecuniary assistance was given by them to many enterprises for the assistance of needy comrades. Captain George organized William Downs Post, No. 68. in Minneapolis, and she was interested in the organization of an auxiliary corps, and in January, 1885, at the institution of William Downs Corps, she was elected president. She served in that capacity until she was called to serve the State as its department president. Her husband died in May, 1891. Mrs. George has served the Woman's Relief Corps in many capacities, both in the State councils and in national conventions. She is now actively engaged in temperance work.