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Old Rippey IA Remembers the Fallen Heroes in 1897

Memorial services held at Old Rippey in 1897 were very moving to the local residents. The Kinkead-Martin Legion Post of Rippey continues the tribute to these veterans on Memorial Day each year. The Washington Township Trustees oversee the well-kept cemetery and it is a lovely place to visit....Jean Borgeson

Jefferson Souvenir  June 5, 1897

 OLD RIPPEY EXCERCISES

 Graves In That Cemetery Decorated Sunday Afternoon.

             After the memorial services were ended at Rippey, a large portion of those in attendance secured conveyances and went to the Old Rippey cemetery, where about 200 people congregated to join with veterans in paying tribute to the cherished memories of the fallen heroes. The Veterans from Rippey, under command of Wm. Patterson formed in procession just outside the cemetery about 4 o'clock and marched to the center of the yard, where short services were held.  A. C. Lovejoy made a prayer and Chas. Burk gave a very appropriate address for the occasion, although having had little previous preparation. Prof. Thompson had been asked to make the address at this place but was detained at home on account of sickness.

            M. Burk said that this cemetery was one of the oldest in the county and many of the veterans lying here were buried during the time when the whole country was rent in twain with the union and anti- union sentiment, when neighbor was arrayed against neighbor and even families were divided, so bitter was the feeling on the subject and so strong the convictions of right by both parties. He said the present generation could little realize the feeling that then existed, nor could they easily appreciate the courage that it took at that time to stand for principles involved and the enlisting in the army where a man took his life in his hands and bid goodbye to home friends and dear ones, never expecting to see them again.

            And it was many of these same boys and men who went away from this spot, which was then the sight of a nourishing town that came back, having died on the battle field or soon after their return.

            He paid tribute to the loyalty of those engaged in the fight for national union, and closed with the thought that it was justly appropriate, that the day should be observed on Sunday, that instead of making a celebration of it, the day should be set apart as one to be given wholly in paying reverent tribute to the memory of those whose graves we decorate this afternoon.

            The soldiers then marched to the following graves and decorated each with a profusion of flowers, they being quite plentiful in that vicinity.  The list was furnished the writer by Dr. Lovejoy and is as follows:

            Brand, Van Buren, 10th Iowa Infantry, and during the  last years of the war was a member of a U. S. Calvary regiment---died in 1865.

            Heater, Jacob, died in 1864

            Rhoads, Walter, died in 1861.  These men served as comrades in the Black Hawk War of 1832.  Mr. Rhoads was also a soldier in the War of 1812.  Number of regiment not known.

            Measures, James, 39th Iowa Regiment Infantry, died 1878 

            Peterman, John, died in 1865 or ‘6 the precise date unknown.  He belonged to the 25th Illinois Regiment.

            Robbins, Elam, Co. E. 39th Iowa, died 1893

            Tolliver, John, Co. E. 39th Iowa Infantry, died at Davenport in 1862

            White, B. F., Iowa Infantry, date of death and regiment unknown.

            After this part of the program the procession stopped in the center of the cemetery, where a few well-chosen words were spoken by Wm. Patterson.  He referred to the time when he remembered the streets of Old Rippey alive with scenes of preparations for war, when Dr. Lovejoy, as captain of the home guards, organized and drilled Co. H. of the 10th and Co. E. of the 39th Iowa regiments and who, thought he had never claimed to be a soldier had done so much to further the cause of the union at home in caring for the families of those in the field, that at some day in the  future when he was laid to rest in this quiet and shaded spot, his grave would be remembered by those who should each year observe this day.  And in this connection he wished to speak of the further fact that as many of the graves were unmarked and Dr. Lovejoy was the only one who knew where some of the veterans were buried, some provisions should be made for marking these graves.

            As the government furnished stones for the graves of all soldiers, where desired, he thought a committee should be appointed to arrange for securing such monuments.  As it seemed to be the sentiment of all present that this idea should be carried out, he appointed a committee consisting of B. F. Osborn, Chas. Suydam, F. A. Free and J. P. Fowler.

            This closed the day’s exercises, and the procession disbanded.