Before her death in 1939 at the age of 91, long-time West Plains resident Alice Cary Risley had been the last known living Civil War nurse. Her final resting place in Oak Lawn Cemetery is marked with a headstone, and she is also honored by a marble bench there gifted in 1940 by state officials of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic in recognition of her service during the conflict.
Aside from her status as beloved nurse, Alice Cary Risley wrote the first history of Howell County in 1876, for the United States Centennial celebration. On many occasions, Alice shared her sketch of early life in Howell County. Her well-loved stories were filled with touches of humor and human interest. Her historical articles are still used today for reference.
For a brief sketch of the life of Alice Cary Risley see an article here which originally appeared in the West Plains Gazette Magazine.