Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Denny Grove places flags at the Wakarusa Town Cemetery. A local historian did some research and has an estimate of how many veterans are buried in local cemeteries. (The Elkhart Truth, File)
Do you know how many US veterans are buried in Elkhart County?
Posted on May 20, 2014 at 6:02 p.m.

Do you know how many American veterans are buried in Elkhart County? Do you know who were among the first?

It’s hard to know exactly how many, but a local historian has an estimate. 

Patricia Johnson, a local historian who has worked with the Elkhart County Historical Museum and the Genealogy Society, said approximately 20,000 veterans are buried in Elkhart County.  

Liz Fisher, curator of collections at the historical museum, said Johnson started her research in the year 2000. But while she got good results from the earlier American wars, it became more difficult for her to collect data from the Civil War and World War I.

Johnson worked with the local veteran affairs posts to gather data. Other local organizations can help with additional data. 

Cemeteries, on the other hand, do not keep track of veterans buried in the county.

The Elkhart City and Goshen City cemetery departments have sections in local cemeteries for veterans, but there isn’t a count of how many veterans are buried there. 

The Elkhart chapter, also known as the William Tuffs Chapter, of the Daughters of the American Revolution has a list of five American Revolution veterans who may be among the first to be buried in the county.

Sherry Welty, one of the members of the DAR, provided the following list, which has the name of the veterans buried, when they were born, when and where they died, where they are buried and where they served:


William Tuffs

Born: 1750, near Boston

Died: Sept. 5, 1847, near Middlebury

Buried: Bonneyville Cemetery, Bristol, and is marked by a large stone that has two plaques provided by the Improved Order of Red Men and the Sons of The American Revolution.

Service: William Tuffs claims to have taken part in the Boston Tea Party, served in the Revolution, and the War of 1812.


John Robert Cathcart

Born: 1740, Scotland

Died: After 1830

Buried: Cemetery back of Washington Township School (Rush Memorial Museum), Bristol, Elkhart.

Service: Private in 6th CO., 9th Battalion, Lancaster Co.


Walter Denny

Born: March 3, 1756, Lancaster Co., Penn.

Died: March 31, 1842

Buried: Jackson Cemetery, near New Paris, Elkhart.

Service: Commissioned Captain for bravery at Yorktown, in the War of 1812 and cited for bravery at Harrisburg, Penn.


Jacob Leer

Born: 1765, Montgomery Co., Ohio

Died: 1827

Buried: West Goshen Cemetery, Goshen, Elkhart.

Service: Private in Capt. Robert Samplis Co., 10th Regt., Penn.


John Proctor

Born: Feb. 10, 1752, Stafford Co., Va.

Died: Jan. 11, 1856

Buried: Proctor Cemetery (Heaton Cemetery), Elkhart County

Service: Served in Virginia Regt., in Battle of Stony Point and at siege of Yorktown