Wilhelmine is buried in the Linwood Cemetery in Dubuque, Iowa. Her stone caught my eye not only because of her name, but because it shows she was a nurse in the Spanish-American War.
Looking her up in Ancestry.com shows her on the 1900 census, living with her mother, Lusina Giessemann. The 1910 US Census has her as living with her in-laws (she is listed as sister-in-law to the head of household), whose last name appears to be Taylor. The 1925 census shows her name spelled as Wilhelimin Giesemann, and has her living with her aunt. By the time of the 1930 census, she’s showing as a lodger, with no family members.
The nice thing is, there is a family tree for her on Ancestry.com. This shows that in 1900, she was working as a nurse in Dubuque City, Iowa. While there is a passenger list from Havana, Cuba to New York, NY in 1905, there doesn’t seem to be any information about why (or when) she joined the Army Corps as a nurse for the Spanish-American War, which was in 1898. I’m assuming that the passenger list showing her going from Cuba to New York was something tied into the war, since the war had to do with the United States’ intervention into the Cuban War of Independence.
I did find some interesting information about the nurses of the Spanish American War. This page has some great photos, although none of them have names listed. This page is absolutely fascinating, and gives a lot of information and insight into nurses in this war.
Wilhelmine is mentioned in The American Monthly Magazine, Volume 15 – which lists “Names of Nurses Who Were Selected for Service at the Naval Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia, by the Daughters of the American Revolution Hospital Corps.”
This is where my search ended (at least, for the day I was looking). I’m not sure why she went into service, how long she served, and what led to her death in 1964.