Round two of the Veterans’ Headstone Project was completed on Monday when three headstones were installed – two at Greenwood Cemetery and one at County Infirmary Cemetery.
The first two rounds of headstone replacements, both completed in 2012, were a great success. The Veterans’ Headstone Project was accepted into the family of the LaGrange County Community Foundation earlier this summer and their guidance has been appreciated.
There have been some changes to the Veterans Administration's (VA) policy on who can request a new headstone or a replacement headstone, and the procedures required for doing so. Although these changes have slowed the progress of the Veterans' Headstone Project, the work of the project continues with fundraising for rounds three and four, scheduled for 2013, well underway.
The following are small bios of the three veterans who received new headstones this week. The three stones are not the typical upright marble ones generally associated with Civil War or earlier – due to the changes to the VA's policies, these veterans required a new stone to be purchased rather than supplied by the government program.
Private Jacob Tuttle – County Infirmary Cemetery
Jacob Tuttle was born in 1823 or 1824 in Pennsylvania. He was drafted at age 40 or 41 into the 11th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company I, on Sept. 29, 1864. Pvt. Tuttle survived the war and died on April 27, 1888 in LaGrange County and is buried in the County Infirmary Cemetery.
Commissioner George Bachman, who is crusader for the preservation of LaGrange County history, took a personal interest in Pvt. Tuttle's headstone replacement.
Captain Micajah Harding Sr. – Greenwood Cemetery
Micajah Harding’s pioneer cemetery was paved over in the name of progress in the 1950s when the Indiana Toll Road was built. The Harding Family Cemetery was originally located in Lima Township on the north side of CR 700N, east of CR 250E. His headstone at Greenwood Cemetery is a memorial to him as his remains are long lost to progress.
Micajah was born April 20, 1761 in New London County, Conn., (according to a Harding family researcher) the son of Stephen Harding.
Beginning in 1793 he was commissioned a captain for a term of seven years in the militia – 2nd Regiment of the Luzerne Brigade, 4th Company, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. From Luzerne County, Penn., he and his wife Betsey migrated to Wayne County, N.Y. Their sons, Micajah Jr., Daniel and Jessie, and daughters Lucy and Sallie were all born there according to family researchers. U.S. Army Register of Enlistments 1798-1914 reflects Micajah Harding Sr.'s service during the War of 1812. He served as captain of Rifle Volunteers in Swift's and Dobbin's regiments of New York Militia Volunteers. It is noted his specific participation at the Battle/Siege of Fort Erie on Aug. 28, 1814.
About 1829 Micajah Sr. migrated to LaGrange County in the company of at least one child, his son Micajah Jr., and family. On May 14, 1832 at a meeting of the board of commissioners of LaGrange County, it was decided to divide the county into two townships, Lima and Greenfield – later that same year in June, Micajah Harding Sr. was appointed overseer of the poor for Lima Township along with William Adair. He was one of the first white settlers in what is now LaGrange County and helped form the pioneer government from its beginnings.
Micajah Harding Sr. died in 1849 according to most reports. There is a conflicting year of 1846 in one database. I am inclined to use the 1849 year as that is the most commonly accepted.
Theodore “Dora” Brown – Greenwood Cemetery
Theodore “Dora” Brownwas born June 6, 1845 in Ohio, likely near Hebron in Licking County as that is where his family was residing at the time of the 1850 U.S. Census. The son of Valentine and Louisa Brown, he had one sibling that I found – a brother, Elmore.
Theodore was living with the Jacobs family in LaGrange County about age 16 as it would suggest from research that his mother may have died or otherwise left the family and the father sent the boys to live with other families.
Theodore enlisted on Aug. 15 1862, about age 17, in the 100th Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Company C, as a drummer. He survived the war and mustered out on June 8, 1865 at Washington, D.C. with the rank of private.
In the 1870s, Theodore was living in LaGrange County with the occupation of saloon keeper (his Grand Army of the Republic record reflects him as a salesman). He was married to O'Gennetta and had one infant daughter, Louisanna. His brother Elmore was also living with him and working as a painter.
Theodore died on June 4, 1905 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in a plot with his father, Valentine (also a Civil War veteran of the 44th Indiana Infantry, Company H), and two daughters, Louise and Lola.
The following individuals, businesses and organizations helped make the 10 headstones set in 2012 a reality: County of LaGrange; American Legion Post 215; Sons of the American Legion Post 215; Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, National Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Margaret Orr Circle; Daughters of the American Revolution, LaGrange de Lafayette Chapter; LaGrange Rotary Club; LaGrange Monument Works; Greenwood Cemetery staff; Frurip-May Funeral Home; Lake Area Veterinary Group; Tom and Jane Hulen; George Bachman; Kent and Amber Taylor; Jeff and Betty Conrad; Kyle Baker; Suzi and Richard Marchand; Keith Gillenwater; Lloyd Moore; Mark and Sharla Thompson; Jack Miller; Allen Connelly; Dalonda Young; Dr. Suzanne Lee; and Dr. John McKibben.