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Revolutionary War Veterans
Burials, Various Cemeteries

There are seven Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Lee County. All of them were born in the mid-1700s but since this area west of the Mississippi did not open for settlement until 1833, most Revolutionary War veterans were gone and the ones who came were old men who did not live long. They are as follows:

Ebenezer Ayres

Timothy Brees: Born in 1761 in New Jersey and served for that state as a private in the 1st New Jersey Regiment. He died in 1847 and is buried at Lost Creek Cemetery.

Abram Clark: Born 1766, North Carolina, died ca 1850 in Pleasant Ridge Township, Lee County. He is buried in Woolens Cemetery, north of West Point on Lowell Road. He was in Captain Shepard’s Company of the North Carolina 10th Regiment.

Amos Glover: Born in 1758 in Delaware, served as a drummer boy for Delaware. He died in 1843 and is buried in Croton Cemetery.

Cato Mead: Black, born in 1762 in Connecticut and died in 1846 near Montrose. He served in the 5th Connecticut Regiment and is buried in Montrose Cemetery.

Joseph Patterson: Born in 1766 in Virginia and served in the 7th and 8th Virginia Regiments. He died at Keokuk in 1850 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

George Perkins: Born
March 22, 1752 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina, served with Francis Marion in North and South Carolina, died in 1840 near Primrose in Lee County and buried in Sharon Cemetery.

Gravestone image below states: A Soldier of the American Revolusion

George Perkins

Because they were old men by the time this area was open for settlement, very few came and those who did had only a few years left.  There are not many complete records for George. We know he served nine times between May 1776 and May 1780, or about two years total. It was customary to enlist for single forays or whenever the enemy came too close. He served for both North and South Carolina under Francis Marion, “the Swamp Fox,” as well as other generals.

Strong and sturdy in both mind and body, but unlearned in letters, he lived the simple life. His maintenance was from what he slew in the forest and cultivated in the clearings. He wore garments made from deerskin, dressed and cured with his own hands and cloth carded, spun and woven. He made hats, gloves and garments from the animals he trapped. He built his own still and made whiskey from the corn he raised and he smoked the tobacco he grew. According to a story written by his grandson James Cruickshank, he did not belong to any special church but he believed in God and “always kept his powder dry.”
In 1779 in North Caroline, he married Keziah Manning. They raised a son Stephan and a daughter Anna from which came a line of over 500 descendents. Stephan had a large family and his daughter Keziah married Alexander Cruickshank. Anna, who married a man named Graves, was widowed young.

While living in Kentucky, George applied for a war pension but only received it for six years. Anna, her son and George and Keziah came to a farm close to Primrose in 1837. George and Keziah did not live long - George dying in 1840 and Keziah in 1849. They were buried in a little country graveyard near their home and there they slept for over 65 years.  In 1906, the DAR at Keokuk petitioned the State of Iowa for a stone to be placed in the Sharon Cemetery and in a story dated September 2006 there appeared an article in the old Keokuk newspaper stating “the remains of George Perkins have been removed.” It tells of a few relatives being summoned to the old McGreer Cemetery (also known as McKeehan and Old Howard Burying Ground) when the graves were opened and all that was found were a few bones, a hank of red hair, a few nails and pieces of wood. Along with some of the surrounding soil, all were placed in a small box and taken to the new grave site.

Dedication of the monument May 28, 1907, was a great day in Sharon Church history. Horses were tied to the hitching posts all along the east and north sides of the cemetery which was lined with buggies and wagons. Several hundred people attended. The service opened with prayer, patriotic addresses by descendents and other prominent people, the unveiling of the monument, and patriotic songs. And best of all, there was dinner on the ground.

The Monument Carved from the finest marble from the quarry of Barre, Vermont, it was an impressive stone and Iowa did herself proud. Costing $500, George would never have been able to realize all of this. The stone stands six feet high and a flintlock rifle and powder horn are carved into the massive top piece. The middle piece tells his birth date, death date, years of service, and the officers he served under. “Erected by the State of Iowa” is carved across the bottom. George and Keziah rest in a beautiful historic place. “His bones are dust, his flintlock rust. His soul is with the Saints, we trust.” ~ Unknown

Sources for this article include old Keokuk newspapers, a story written by James Cruickshank, program on the dedication and information from the Perkins folder located in the Genealogy Department of the Donnellson Library. Photo taken by Diane Kruse at the Sharon Cemetery.

Researched and submitted by Erma Derosear

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