Where history meets military service

Spec. Joey Bloomer, left, and Sgt. Matthew Gregory of the Army National Guard, Military Funeral Honors, fold a 48 star U.S. flag during a military service for Patrick Flynn Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at St. Mary’s Cemetery. In the background are Pfc. James Davis and Father Ambrose Ziegler. Flynn served in the Civil War with the 2nd New York Cavalry. (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)

Lafayette, Indiana November 11, 2015.

Under a bright sun and in between gentle gusts of wind, about 20 people gathered Wednesday afternoon to honor someone none of them had ever met.

The focal point was a brand new gray military-style gravestone that sat on a hill next to the woods on an edge of St. Mary’s Cemetery. “Patrick Flynn,” it read in part, “Co I 2 NY CAV.” Along with the birth and death dates, the words pointed to Flynn’s service fighting for the Union in the Civil War.

The marker belongs to the great-grandfather of Cathy Ferguson, a lifetime Lafayette resident. Her family — including a few veterans — and friends attended the military service. Ferguson worked with her nephew, Fred Bolander, to obtain a stone through Tippecanoe County’s veteran’s services, a headstone that would replace the heavily faded one that had stood for more than a century.

But there’s more to the story than that.

Flynn’s previous stone, Ferguson said, was turned backward, faced the woods and was in an area removed from the rest of his family. No one is completely sure why. While her uncle paid to have it turned around about 20 years ago, she said the family believed Flynn might not have properly been honored for his service because of its initial position.

So she contacted Sgt. Matthew Gregory, the team leader of the Lafayette division of Military Funeral Honors, and decided to have a service honoring her great-grandfather.

“Family history is important to me, and … we’re just a close family,” Ferguson said. “So it was just something we wanted to do, and my niece suggested, ‘Why don’t we get a service?’ So it kind of snowballed into that.”

“I feel every soldier deserves his honors. We don’t ever leave anyone behind,” Gregory said. “That soldier served this country and sacrificed a lot.”

Four members of the armed services carried out the military honors — First Sgt. Paul Sabol of the Indiana Guard Reserve played taps, and servicemen presented a late 19th-century replica flag to Ferguson. Father Ambrose Ziegler, who travels around the area performing services, blessed the gravestone and delivered prayers. His remarks centered on the importance of remembering a war fought on U.S. soil and keeping the country strong from within through prayer, positivity and love.

“Sometimes we forget the price that many, many people — men, women and youth — have to pay so that there can be peace,” Ziegler said.

Flynn was born in Toronto in 1842 to parents from Ireland, according to a family history pamphlet compiled by Ferguson’s uncle. In August of 1861, Flynn enlisted for the Union as a private in the Capt. Naylor’s Company, the Harris Light Cavalry — which later became the 2nd New York Cavalry Regiment — in Lafayette.

According to the family records, he served until June 1863 and received a bounty before rejoining the same company in December of the same year. An undated article from the Morning Journal mentions Flynn and several others receiving medals for bravery for serving in the battle of Gettysburg. He stayed in the army until June 1865 and spent a long stint of time in the hospital, though records don’t indicate whether his illness stemmed from war injuries.

After the war ended in the spring of 1865, Flynn served in different posts in the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Union veterans, the records stated. He settled in Lafayette, built a home on Romig Street, and worked for J.B. Felley Hardware store and in the draying business.

The story of Flynn’s death garnered a front-page spot in the Lafayette Daily Courier, according to the records. He, his wife Bridget and son Owen died of asphyxiation while heating their home in January 1899. According to the article, the gas in the stove was turned on and the damper was turned down to keep heat from traveling up the chimney. But the damper’s opening was clogged with soot, which trapped the gas inside. The three were found several days later by Ferguson’s grandfather and police.

In the process of obtaining a new gravestone for Flynn and researching his story, Ferguson said she has learned more about the Civil War than when she was in school. And she looks forward to finding out more.

To read more about this story, visit the Lafayette Journal & Courier website

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Farmer’s Institute Cemetery makes a $10,000 restoration investment

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Farmer’s Institute Cemetery Association paid a cemetery restoration company called Stone Huggers to clean, restore, and repair about 50 grave stones.

Source: Farmer’s Institute Cemetery makes a $10,000 restoration investment

Albert R Swaim memorial

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This is an unusual monument, in the shape of a musical organ. It is marking the grave of Albert R. Swaim. This can be found in the Bethany Cemetery, to the east of the town of Marshall, Indiana. Memorial Text: Albert R. Swaim, Born Oct. 28, 1843, Died Jan. 10, 1893.

According to the Find A Grave memorial page http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5662820 “The 1870 and 1880 census shows him as a music teacher from a large farming family dating back to the 1840’s in Indiana.”

I checked the 1880 census details on Ancestry.com http://ancstry.me/1uifAFf and found the following:

1880 United States Federal Census about Albert Swaim

Name: Albert Swaim

Age: 37

Birth Year: abt 1843

Birthplace: Indiana

Home in 1880: Howard, Parke, Indiana

Race: White

Gender: Male

Relation to Head of House: Brother

Marital Status: Single

Father’s Birthplace: North Carolina

Mother’s Birthplace: Indiana

Occupation: Music Teacher

Household Members:

Name Age

James C. Swaim 24

Nancy B. Swaim 21

Emma E. Swaim 19

Louettie Swaim 16

Thomas Banta 15

Albert Swaim 37

Bethany Cemetery, is a well tended cemetery located on the north side of Indiana State Road 236, approximately one mile east of the town of Marshall, Indiana.

According to Find A Grave http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=84311 there are currently 711 interments.

Marshall is a town in Washington Township, Parke County, Indiana, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 324. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall,_In

Old Baptist Cemetery, Newtown, Indiana

Old Baptist Cemetery, Fountain County, IN

As you travel north, on old SR 55, from Wingate, through Newtown, and on towards Rob Roy and Attica, you will come across a sharp right hand curve in the road. On the left is a small country road, and over to your left, if the corn is not too high, or even not there, you will see a cemetery, about half a mile away.
That is Old Baptist Cemetery.

The Old Baptist Cemetery was established in 1811, in Richland Township, Fountain County, Indiana.  

Richland Township has seven cemeteries. Wikipedia

It is situated west of the small town of Newtown, and just south of Indiana State Road 55.

It contains 642 interments, according to Find A Grave.

This is a well kept and cared for rural cemetery, surrounded by fields, with a fairly new white vinyl fence, gate and sign.

We found six Zinc or White Bronze memorials in this cemetery.

Fielding Slusser DSCF8660 Washington and Permelia Rice Edward C Rice Abednego Rice & son Frank Willam and Elizabeth Stephens