Colonel Marcus Aurelius Smith Ming
- Unit: 10th Field Artillery
- Date of Birth: December 17, 1891
- Entered the Military: January 30, 1915
- Date of Death: November 13, 1962
- Hometown: Solomonville, Arizona
- Cemetery: Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Francisco, California
New Vistas Center for Education
Before the War
In 1886 Daniel Houston Ming married Margaret Marguerite “Mattie” Land, following the 1881 death of his first wife, Julia Heilemann. Daniel Ming’s grave lists him as a “Pioneer of Arizona” and he settled there with Mattie and Thadeus (Bud) Benjamin Ming, his son from his first marriage.
The family lived in the arid desert of Solomonville, Arizona, where daughter Lucille was born in 1887, followed by son Marcus Aurelius Smith Ming on December 17, 1891. Sadly, Mattie died in 1899, and the family spent four years living in the Philippine Islands.
After completing high school, Marcus attended the University of Arizona. He studied Animal Husbandry and Agriculture, while continuing to work as a cowboy and part owner of his family ranch in Douglas, Arizona.
Perhaps influenced by his father, a captain in the U.S. Army from 1875–1890, Marcus served in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and began serving with the Arizona National Guard in the Arizona First Infantry in 1910. He married Jane Ellen (known as Ellen) Thompson on April 11, 1912 shortly before graduation. Together, they had two daughters, Jane Ellen, born in 1912, and Mary Louise, born in 1913.
Ming rose as an officer in the Arizona National Guard and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army on July 12, 1917. He trained to command a field artillery unit and was stationed at the U.S. Mexican Border, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Camp Wheeler, Georgia, and Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky before leaving for Europe.
On June 27, 1919, he deployed to France on the USS Imperator from Hoboken, New Jersey. After a stay in Paris he transferred to serve with the U.S. occupation force in Germany. Jane Ellen, his wife, and daughter Mary Louise joined him in Koblenz, Germany in early 1920, where they remained until they returned in April 1923. Passport records and the 1920 census indicate that their older daughter, Jane Ellen, did not travel to Germany with them, but she was living with the family in the 1930 census.
Fellow officers described Ming as a serious-minded, conscientious, and loyal officer. Ming moved up the ranks amongst his peers, advancing to the rank of captain while serving in Germany.
Ming returned stateside with his family and served honorably at duty locations from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Fort Lewis, Washington. He often found himself on special assignment in Washington, D.C. Ming filled numerous capacities as an officer, including: field artillery officer, town/zone major, battalion training officer, intelligence officer, munitions officer, and head of the Branch Correspondence School. He served his country with honor and distinction, advancing to the rank of colonel and receiving the Presidential Commendation Ribbon in 1944.
During World War II he served stateside in a variety of roles.
Ming retired from active duty on January 31, 1947 after falling ill. When doctors found a medical condition and recommended limited service, Ming opted for retirement over limited duty. He spent his remaining years with his family in San Francisco, California.
On November 13, 1962, Colonel Marcus Aurelius Ming died. He rests peacefully in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Francisco, California, with his beloved wife Ellen and his father, Daniel Houston Ming. Colonel Ming’s life is a true example of one man’s dedicated service to the nation he loved.
Ellen Ming, U.S. Passport Application, 1919. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Ellen Ming, U.S. Passport Application, 1921. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Gun sections seen in position from elevation, Central Officers’ Training School for Field Artillery, Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph. November 26, 1918. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-30408-ac). Image.
Lothers, H.D. Old German wireless tower and antennae now used as 3rd Army main station at Coblenz... Photograph. December 28, 1918. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-52146-ac). Image.
Lubbe, Private. Central Officers’ Training School for Field Artillery, Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph. November 22, 1918. National Archives and Records Administration (111-SC-26777). Image.
Marcus Aurelius Smith Ming, Official Military Personnel File, Photograph, VA Master Index Card, WWI Officer Pay Cards. National Archives and Records Administration — St. Louis.
Marcus A. S. Ming. U.S. Select Military Registers, 1862–1985. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Marcus A. S. Ming. U.S. Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910–1939. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Marcus Aurelius Smith Ming and Ellen Thompson Ming. Findagrave. Updated September 25, 2008. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/30061148/marcus-aureulius_smith-ming.
Ming Family Papers (MS1098). Arizona Historical Society, Tucson.
Daniel Houston Ming. Findagrave. Updated September 25, 2008. Accessed February 11, 2019. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3536147/daniel-h-ming.