WAR VETERANS MONUMENTS
Town of Rose
Wayne County, NY
Last fall we published an article on the photography project in the Rose Historical Society newsletter, and included 11 photographs of gravestones of veterans, representing wars from the Revolution to the Gulf War, who are buried in the cemetery. This online version is a revision of the article in the newsletter, which was written by Frank Dennis. None of the individual veterans whose gravestones were included were listed in the article, just the photos with info underneath.
Alfred S. Roe's book, Rose Neighborhood Sketches, published in 1893, contains gravestone records from the Rose Cemetery and other cemeteries in Rose and adjoining towns. The Rose Cemetery Association (RCA) was not formed until 1924. A plot (or lot) system was established in the new portion of the cemetery, but plot numbers were not assigned to graves in the old section (northwest corner), and burials were not systematically recorded during the years between the early 1890s and 1924.
Bill Dean, who served as Galen Town Historian in the 1990s, made a monumental contribution to cemetery record keeping, not only in Galen, but in Rose, Butler, and adjacent towns. He visited cemeteries, kept voluminous records, and had a computer program written to keep track of them. He recorded dates of birth, marriage, and death of individuals, spouses, children, and parents, when available, and used a coding system to permit him to keep track of these relationships. In the years he served as Historian, he collected data on some 30,000 individuals.
Unfortunately, the computer system Dean used was not a standard one, and Bill died before explaining his methods to others. However, Bill Garafano of Clyde was able to convert the data to MS Excel, making it accessible to libraries and individuals, and the Clyde-Savannah library in the village of Clyde has all of the records. There are still some problems of interpretation, as a coding system was used to identify cemeteries, rather than names. Dean's data for the cemeteries in the Town of Rose have been modified to make access easier, and are now accessible, together with the cemetery data recorded by Roe in Rose Neighborhood Sketches, on the Wayne County NYGenWeb (wayne.nygenweb.net). However, lot numbers were not recorded and some gravestones were omitted.
Under the leadership of Rose Historical Society member Wayne Griswold, a group of volunteers, including Mike Savage, Jim Ryan, Charles Catchpole, Frank Dennis, and Gary Marshall, photographed most of the graves in the Rose Cemetery, including early burials not included in the RCA records, in the summer of 2005. These have been labeled with: name; years of birth and death; military record, if any; and location (row and stone in the old section, lot number in the newer section). Few photographs have been taken since 2005.
Portions of the Rose Cemetery Records for 1924 to 2005, including record book number and page number, name, dates of birth and burial, and cemetery lot number, were converted to MS Excel, and a column was added to indicate stones that had been photographed. These data, along with the photographs, are on file in Wayne County's Office of the County Historian in Lyons, NY.
The photographs include all stones regardless of date of death. The names of some persons who died between 1924 and 2005 are recorded on gravestones, but are absent from the cemetery records. These are entered in the list of names, but no book or page number is listed for them. Many epitaphs contain information on more than one person, often with different surnames, but the first surname listed determines position in the alphabetical listing.
Old section on NW corner. This area was surveyed in the spring of 2001, and a map was prepared. The lines of stones are not straight, but were assumed to be approximately straight in assigning row numbers from 1 (west) to 33 (east). Numbers were assigned to each stone from north to south in each row. If two or more names occurred on one stone, all of the names were recorded as occurring on the stone. A table was prepared and the names were compared with those in the cemetery records in A. S. Roe's Rose Neighborhood Sketches, and with those in Bill Dean's records. All stones were photographed, as described above, in 2005.
Many war veterans are buried in the cemetery. The numbers of persons serving in the various wars varied greatly; our records show the following totals (approximate), based on data in Rose Neighborhood Sketches, The Military History of Wayne County, and other sources: Revolutionary War - 10; War of 1812 - 7; Mexican War- 3; Civil War - 290, of whom 218 enlisted; Spanish-American War- 2; WW I - 46; WW II - 217; Korean War - 32; Vietnam War - 29. Data for the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan are not available as of this writing. Of the 290 Civil War soldiers listed in Rose Neighborhood Sketches, 10 were killed in action, 5 were wounded, 4 died in Confederate prisons (Andersonville, Danville, Richmond) and 26 died of unspecified causes. (Wadsworth, in his Wolcott, New York, Old and New, lists more wounded, as well as men who served time in Confederate prisons. He also lists typhoid fever as the cause of 5 deaths.) According to data compiled by Daryl VerStreate, Jr., 108 graves in the Rose Cemetery contain the bodies of Civil War soldiers. Two men from Rose were killed in WW I (Olin Miner and Orin Thompson) and 16 in WW II.
To provide a sample of the photographs taken, we have included photos of 11 graves of the men and women from Rose who served their country in wartime. (Veterans of the Revolution and the War of 1812 were born elsewhere, as Rose was settled beginning about 1810.) Unfortunately, no gravestones of men who served in the Mexican War (Nathan Jeffers Sr., Wm. Wylie, Valentine Way) remain intact in the Rose Cemetery, but all other wars are represented. James Covell, Elizur Flint, Nathan Jeffers Sr., Samuel Hunn, Jacob Winchell, Simeon Barrett, and Philander Mitchell all served in the War of 1812. Covell, Jeffers, and Hunn are buried in the Rose Cemetery, but their gravestones have deteriorated or disappeared; therefore the photo of Elizur Flint's grave (N. Rose Cemetery) is used here.
The eleven gravestones pictured were selected based on their condition, the war in which they served, and the branch of service represented. Included are the following: Revolution - John Sherman, Pvt., born in Shrewsbury, Mass.; War of 1812 - Elizur Flint of Coventry, Conn., corporal in the 1st Regiment (Brainerd's) Connecticut Militia. Civil War - George W. Seager, 90th Infantry; Spanish-American War - Frank Fitch, Pvt., Co. G of the 9th Infantry Regiment. WWI - Frank Roney, 1st Lt., Medical Corps, and Alice Waldorf, Y2, USNRF, D.C. WWII - M. Donald Putnam, 8th Army Air Corps (killed in action) and Alice Colburn, Tec. 4, U.S. Army; Korean War - Donald Facer, AIC, U.S. Air Force; Vietnam War - Graham Smith, SP4, U.S. Army; First Gulf War - James Kingsley, S. Sgt., U.S. Air Force.
Click on each image to see a larger version in a new window.
George W. Seager
Frank F. Roney
Alice E. Waldorf
M. Donald Putnam
Alice E. Colburn
Donald F. Facer
James E. Kingsley
Copyright 2008 - 2011 Frank Dennis
Photos Copyright © 2008 - 2011 Mike Savage/ Jim Ryan/ Charles Catchpole/ Frank Dennis/ Gary Marshall
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