|OELWEIN — Locating veterans' final resting places for
proper identification and tribute can be an eventful and historic
trek. The older the veteran's service, the tougher they are to locate.
John Hintz, director of the Fayette County Commission of Veterans
Affairs, recently, came across a list of 23 Civil War veterans buried
in the original Oelwein Cemetery, now called Oakdale Cemetery. He knew
that not all of
those veterans had G.A.R. markers for flags and also realized many of
them had no relatives to see to it they were recognized.
He obtained a map from the cemetery office at Woodlawn to aid in
his search, then he, along with his wife Kathy, and friends Joe and
Barb Wood, spent a recent sunny Saturday in search of the Civil War
vets buried at Oakdale, located on Fourth Street Southwest next to the
entrance to X-L Trailers.
"It was somewhat of a challenge," Hintz admitted. "Back then, the
gravestones were engraved on more than one side. Many of the old
marble and limestone markers were pretty badly eroded, making reading
them very difficult."
Hintz said they did not take along paper and charcoal, which may have
made some identification easier, but throughout the course of the
afternoon, ail 23 graves were found. He placed a marker at each stone
and a flag can now be placed in tribute to the Civil War soldiers.
The Civil War veterans that were found are:
||Byron C. Hale
||James W. Rathbun
|George R. Dayton
||Christopher C. LaTour
||Edward A. Whitter
||Dr. Israel Pattison
||Eli S. Rogers
|Martin V. Freeman
(Michael) Mahan's grave was found in the old
Catholic Cemetery across Fourth Street from Oakdale.
"Recognizing these veterans and getting markers on their graves was
Iong overdue." Hintz said.