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Civil War Veterans Buried in Oelwein (Oakdale) Cemetery

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:

Alfred Bell Byron C. Hale James W. Rathbun James Shadle
William Bell I.W. Hough Daniel Rees George Stark
George R. Dayton Valentine Kappes Wiiliam Ridler Sebert Toney
George Derrick Christopher C. LaTour Bruce Roberts Edward A. Whitter
George Fish Dr. Israel Pattison Eli S. Rogers Michael Mahan.
Martin V. Freeman Theodore Powers Letha Rosencrans  

(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.

~ source: Oelwein Daily Register - 22 May 2006  
~ transcribed and contributed by Dorothy Gosse  

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