IAGenWeb Bremer County

Plat of Old Cemetery Aids in Finding Soldier's Grave
Sturdevant’s Work of Locating Graves Progresses


A few tears ago, Frank Sturdevant was delegated by the war department to locate, mark, and record the graves of American soldiers of all wars in or near Waverly. The work is now about completed. Graves of soldiers of the Civil war were, for the most part, easily located, but as some had been left unmarked in small cemeteries, there was difficulty in getting the exact location.

It was still more difficult to find the graves of some of the soldiers of the War of 1812. This was especially true in the case of the grave of Jacob Bonstine, who died in Waverly in pioneer days, as shown by records of the war department. It was known that Mr. Bonstine was the father of the late Mrs. John Smith, whose husband was known as “Dutch John” Smith, and members of the family were buried on the bluffs above the stone quarry on Lover’s Lane. But there are no records to guide Mr. Sturdevant in his search for the grave of the old soldier until a plat of this cemetery was found among the effects of one of the early settlers, and through this the grave was found. A search of relatives is now being made with a view of getting permission to remove the remains to Harlington cemetery, and if no relatives are found a suitable marker will be at the present place of burial.

Sturdevant’s records show that eight other soldiers of the war of 1812 are buried here. They are:

George L. Case, father of the late Louis, A. J., Levi, Samuel and Edward Case, all pioneer settlers
John Shaffer, father of the late George and Nathaniel Shafer and great grandfather of Carl Shaffer
Jeremiah Smith, brother of the late Mrs. H.H. Couse and granduncle of M.H. Curtis and Mrs. W.C. Woodring
Frederick Winner, grandfather of H.L. and Miss Effie Winner
Ira Sturdevant, great grandfather of Frank Sturdevant
Manasas Reeves, grandfather of Elmer M. Reeves
John Russell, grandfather of C.H., J.H., and Ralph Russell and Mrs. Maude Eifert
Rowell Allen, grandfather of J.W. Allen.

It is thought that this list covers all the soldiers of the War of 1812 that are buried in this vicinity, but if there are persons who know of others, Mr. Sturdevant would be glad to have them notify him so that the record may be complete.

In his search for the grave of old soldier Mr. Sturdevant discovered that of John Brandt, an officer under Napoleon in the French Revolution of 1793.

Sturdevant comes from a family of soldiers. He served during the World War, his grandfather served in the Civil war, and his great grandfather in the War of 1812.

Bremer County Republican July 31, 1930
Contributed by Karlyn Armstrong
April 2009