Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More on Maple Grove: Spanish-American War Veteran?

MYSTERY OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR VETERAN BURIED IN MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY as researched by Fern Eddy Schultz.  "Maybe someone, some day, will be able to identify who is buried there."

Just thought I would let you know what I did/did not find as a result of researching about the stone in Maple Grove that is for a Spanish-American War veteran—“Natural Rock, 1893-1902, No inscription.”  
I checked Martin Barlag’s listing of Veterans in La Porte County Cemeteries—He assigned No. 17 to Maple Grove Cemetery.  In his list of Spanish-American War veterans, he lists the following:
            17        Ackerman, Rollin C.                 1895 – July 5, 1944
That, of course, would mean that Ackerman was only 3 years old when he served.
Following the list of Spanish-American War veterans, Martin has a listing of WWI veterans and he lists the same information here for Ackerman serving in WWI and buried inMaple Grove Cemetery. 
The Veterans Graves Registration Form for Ackerman gives information about his service in WWI, buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.
Edna Kitchell’s cards for Maple Grove do not include anyone from the SA War.
The newspapers used to list all the veterans in the various cemeteries in the issue published near Memorial Day.  Strange but in all of those lists, they never included any veteran burials in Maple Grove Cemetery.  That cemetery was not even shown over the years of listings.
Pat Harris and I did visit the stone the night of the tour.  It appeared to possibly have something etched on it.  I photographed it and put it through PhotoShop but was unable to see any etching.  Pat said she thought she depicted a “P” at the middle top of the photo.  I have attached a copy of the photograph I took.  Maybe you have a program that you can put this through that might divulge something.
I have abstracted death information from the newspapers from 1900 through 1919.  I checked the information for 1902 but nothing indicated a burial at Maple Grove or that the individual was a SA veteran.  A search could be made at the health department of deaths in 1902 but that record will not give a burial location (and the individual who is buried there may not have died in La Porte County or his death may not have been recorded). 
Anyway, I will put this information in the file at the museum.  Maybe someone, some day, will be able to identify who is buried there.  It would seem that since 1902 (if that is the actual death date) is not all that old in comparison to many earlier burials, the caretaker of the records might have some information to clarify this.   But then again, those records are not always as complete as we would like.

Orphans no more -- stories of the Indianapolis Orphan Asylum

For 90 years, 1851-1941, parents and children in trouble found help at the Indianapolis Orphan Asylum. Most of its records survive at the Indiana Historical Society -- dozens of volumes documenting life events among the people hardest to trace, those at the bottom of the social ladder. Harold Henderson came across the collection by accident while searching for his great-grandfather's cousin, and published an article about it in the Spring-Summer 2011 issue of the magazine The Hoosier Genealogist: Connections. Find out more about the institution, the records, and the children -- who were not always orphans! -- at the La Porte County Genealogical Society's meeting 7 pm Tuesday, July 10, at the Swanson Center for Older Adults, 910 State Street.

Weather permitting, the society meets there on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm. The public is welcome at all meetings. Membership dues are $10 individual, $12 family.

It's not too early to apply for one or more residency certificates for 2012. Our web site at has information for those who believe they have La Porte County ancestors (and can prove it!). There's information on how to apply for First Families of La Porte (before December 1840), Pioneer Families (1841-1860), Settler Families (1861-1880), and Civil War Families (1861-1865).

You can also read or search back issues of the society's newsletter, December 2005 through December 2009, including genealogical and historical information from members' research and abstracting work in local records, on our blog at http://lpcgs.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stories and pictures from Maple Grove Cemetery

Dorothy Palmer and Gloria Arndt led a tour of Maple Grove Cemetery in Hudson Township on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Following are their notes and four photographs. It makes for a long post but if you missed the tour this is the next best thing!

Part 1 (Gloria)

The Maple Grove Methodist church was established in 1868. The board of the association consists of seven members to be elected annually. The board set aside a small section of the cemetery for the burial of persons unable to purchase a grave. The land the cemetery is located on was donated by William Thomas. There are two veterans of the War of 1812, seven Civil War veterans and one Spanish American War veteran buried in the cemetery. Veterans from WW I and WW II are also represented. There are five graves to one lot and originally lots sold for $5.00 per lot. The cemetery is still open for burials but the price has gone up.

(1) MAJOR DAN SOLLOWAY was born in England in 1830 to Major and Annie Solloway. He immigrated to this country in May of 1832 with his parents on the ship “Thomas Dickason”. His first name is not a title, it is his first name. In the 1860 census he and his wife, Isabella, both 29 years old with 5 children are listed as living in Hudson Twp. where he farmed 80 acres. Major enlisted in the army in 1862 and was assigned to Co. K. 1st Indiana Cavalry during the war. He went in as a Private and was discharged in May of 1865, still a Private. Isabella died in 1887 and he then married Miss Christina Klinger who was born in Germany. Major died in 1902 and Christina in 1914. They are buried in this cemetery along with some of their children.

(6) AMOS B. RANGER was a veteran of the War of 1812. He was born 16 January 1789 in Massachusetts. Amos and his wife Anna lived in Galien, Berrien County, Michigan according to the 1870 census. He had land valued at $2500 and personal property of $250.00. He enlisted in the army in July of 1813 and mustered out in February of 1814. He died at the age of 82 years in 1871. Anna died in 1876.

(7) LYCURGUS JEFFERIES was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana on 1 January 1838, the son of Thomas and Margaret Jefferies and he had 5 siblings. Lycurgus father died of cholera in 1850. His mother remarried and at the age of 11 years he was indentured to a famer for seven years.
At the end of his indenture he received three months of schooling, a suit of clothes, and $15.00. He taught school for one year and then commenced farming on the home place. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the army for 3 years’ service. He was in the 68th Regiment in the Indiana Infantry. He was in many battles and was taken prisoner in Kentucky and was held for 3 months and then paroled. At the close of the war he located to Berrien County, Michigan and in 1867 he was married to Julia Valentine, the daughter of William and Samantha Valentine. They had one son, Ernest who married Daisy Mayes. Lycurgus was for several years engaged in the grocery and drug business in Three Oaks. He was a member of the G.A.R. in New Carlisle and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church. He died 10 November 1903. Several members of the family are buried here.

The Spanish American War veteran’s name is unknown but on his grave is a plain rock with no inscription.

Part 2 (Dorothy)

[History of the cemetery land]
March 20, 1837
Edson Goit of Hancock County, Ohio was issued a Land Patent for 148.38 acres here in Section 7 of Hudson Township. The document was signed by the Secretary for President Martin Van Buren.
15 Years later on April 7, 1852 in Hancock County, Ohio, Edson Goit and his wife, Jane, conveyed to William Thomas this same acreage plus an adjoining piece for $2000. The deed was recorded here in La Porte County a year later in February of 1853. Strangely, the first tombstone in this cemetery is dated July of 1847 for Thomas’ 11-month-old son, Daniel E. Thomas, 5 years before Thomas owned the property.
Was Thomas renting the land before he owned it? In 1855, he and his family were living on the property when their son, Edson, was born. Was this son named after Edson Goit from whom he bought the property?
14 Years later on June 8, 1866 or 1867 (both dates are on the deed)
William Thomas and his wife, Lucretia A Thomas, convey a small section of the original property in trust for the Methodist Episcopal Church and an adjoining cemetery, for $50.


Born February 16, 1819.
Deed information lists William as being “of Hancock County, Ohio”. Census information says he and his wife, Lucretia A. were born in Ohio, she being born in Wayne County in her obit.
He voted in the 1st presidential election ever held in La Porte County in 1832.
William bought and sold land in Michigan City, La Porte, and Springville.
He was listed in the 1860 U.S. Census with his wife, Lucretia, children, Marcus, Edson and Cora, as well as his mother-in-law, Mary Fairchild, who had been born in Massacchuettes.

William Thomas served as a Private-Recruited into the Army, Company K, 11th Regiment, Indiana Infantry. He enlisted on June 14, 1861 and was discharged on December 30 of that year due to a disability. Jasper Packard, in his 1876 book, THE HISTORY OF LA PORTE COUNTY, lists William as being back in the Army, this time in Company H of the 11th Regiment on October 12, 1864. Did he return to service after his disability was corrected?

William died February 4, 1880 on the farm from Erysipelas (Greek —red skin; also known as "Ignis sacer", "holy fire", and "St. Anthony's fire" in some countries) is an acute streptococcus bacterial infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics.

This simple obituary appeared in the Michigan City Dispatch, Thursday, 12 February 1880:
“William Thomas, an old settler of this county, died at his residence in this city last Thursday morning, of erysipelas. He was buried at Maple Grove cemetery, in Hudson township.”

The Probate Order Book A for La Porte County in Feb of 1880 for the estate of William Thomas lists a minor heir, Kittie Thomas, for whom an Attorney ad Litem is appointed. This is the Kittie Belle buried in the family plot-an adopted daughter. She died two years later at the age of 9 yrs. She is not listed in the obit of Lucretia.

Only three children of William & Lucretia lived to adulthood.
Son, Edson G. Thomas was born and died on the farm (1855-1902). Edson attended Valparaiso college and Prof. Phelon’s academy in La Porte before teaching school for 3 years. He studied law under Captain Bliss of La Porte where he practiced law for 5 years before moving to Sac City, Iowa. He married a hometown girl Lillian Buck in 1880 shortly after the death of his father. They moved to Omaha, Nebraska to continue his law practice. In 1897 Edson moved back to the farm largely prompted by the hope of benefitting his health. On October 19, 1902, he died of appendicitis at age 47. He left behind his wife, three daughters and two sons. His funeral services were held in the Maple Grove ME Church and he was buried in the cemetery here.

Son, Marcus B. Thomas, was living in Wasco, California, in 1919. A daughter, Cora Thomas, married Frank Wickersham and was living near Westville in 1902 and in La Porte 1n 1919. Neither Marcus nor Cora are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.

13 years after the death of William Thomas, his widow married Jonas Lycurgus Hicks.

If William Thomas could speak to you, he might tell you this interesting story about his neighbor in life and death, Cyrus York.
He might say:

My neighbor here, in life and death, Cyrus York, had a daughter, Jane. Jane married one of the Thomas boys from my home county, Hancock County, Ohio. His name was Cyrus Thomas. Cyrus went off to the Rebellion with the 49th Ohio. He fought at Shiloh, Tenn. and Salt River Bridge, Kentucky. He even became a Sergeant. Sadly, like so many others, he took sick and spent 4 months in a military hospital and died in 1863. Never did see his daughter, Olivia, who was born here in Indiana in 1862. But he did leave behind a diary to remember him by. It’s in the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections. You can even view it online.


Jonas was born in Vigo County, Indiana on the 2nd of March 1828 to Benjamin Hicks and Lydia Seely. He came to Hudson Twp, La Porte County with his family at the age of 7 in 1835. His father was a farmer, a male nurse, and a self-made dentist. His father was born in Chemung, NY. His mother was born in Canada. Jonas’ grandfather, George, came from England to Canada and to La Porte County by way of NY.

In the 1850 census, at the age of 22 yrs, Jonas is a school teacher. According to the Berrien County marriage records, on the 27th of October 1853, he married Araminta Dormor York in Berrien County, MI.

In July of 1862, Jonas enlisted in the 73rd Indiana Volunteers as a Sergeant. He signed up for 3 years service listing his occupation as a physician. At the time of his enlistment, Jonas was 34 yrs old, 5’ 6” tall with light complexion, grey eyes and dark hair. He had a wife and three children named Lydia, John and Ben and a 4th child born in his absence, Jonas B. After 1 year and 2 months in the service he received a Certificate of Disability discharge at Indianapolis which stated that he was sick with disease of he bowels for more than 60 days and was not fit to re-enlist.

After Jonas recuperated from the effects of camp life, he and Araminta took up their lives again in Hudson Twp, he as a physician. 3 more children were born to the union, Minnie, Myra, and Georgiene. Of all there 7 children, only Jonas B. Hicks is buried is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery. Araminta died in Benton Harbor in 1892. In 1893 at the age of 64, Jonas married the widow of William Thomas, Lucretia Fairchild Thomas.

Jonas was one of the oldest masons in the Three Oaks, Michigan lodge and also a member of the G. A. R. in New Carlisle. He entered the National Military home at Marion, Indiana in 1898 where he lived until his death in 1905. His extensive obituary makes no mention of his marriage to Lucretia Fairchild Thomas. Her obituary does. Why did the writer of his extensive obituary chose to leave that out?


John W. Carrier was born in 1844 in Pennsylvania. His wife, Eliza was also born in Pennsylvania. They lived on Section 19 of Hudson Twp. near the Hicks families. In May of 1861 at the age of 17 he enlisted for three months of service in the Civil War. On Sept 5 he joined the 9th Indiana Regiment in Co. F in the first campaign in W. Virginia. After his 3 months were up, the company returned to Indiana to be reorganized, hoping to get into the Lew Wallace (Zoo av) Zouave Regiment, the Indiana 11th. The Zouave unit was too full and the recruits joined the 20th Indiana. Somewhere John Carrier was dropped from the roles and listed as a deserter in some records. He lived here in Hudson Twp. until his death in 1886. Since his wife applied for a widow’s pension in Pennsylvania after his death, she must have moved back to the state of her birth. The fact that she filed for a pension seems to prove that his loss from the rolls was not because of desertion but an error during the reorganization after the completion of his three month enlistment. Only his pension file would tell the story.


Charles was born In Wayne Co., NY to John and Chrisa McDuffee . He and his wife, Ellen lived and died in Galien, Berrien Co., MI., he in Nov of 1872 and she in Feb 1878, both died in their 40’s.

Although Charles’ grave is marked with a Civil War flagholder, the author hasn’t found evidence that he was a Civil War veteran. There are reasons to think that he has been confused with another veteran of that war, Henson T. McDuffee.. Henson was related to a John Wesley McDuffee family who lived in Galena Twp. Henson joined the troops in Michigan City. He is listed in Jasper Packard’s HISTORY OF LAPORTE COUNTY, and his wife’s first name was Louisa, but she was called Eloisa giving her the same first initial as Charles’ wife Ellen. Henson died in Big Rapids, Michigan and is buried in Plymouth, Marshall Co., IN next to his wife.

But in fact, Henson McDuffee was not the C. J. McDuffee buried here and his wife, E. W. is Ellen and not Eloisa. So, it is possible that C. J. McDuffee did not serve in the Civil War, at least not from La Porte County.