A Shelbyville man is looking for help to honor two veterans with military headstones.
Historian Ed Boedecker is looking for family members to help get the government issued headstones for Thomas Graham, a Civil War veteran, and ultimately for his father Martillas Graham, a Black Hawk War veteran.
Boedecker tried applying for a headstone for Thomas Headen Graham, but was refused because he is not next of kin. He also applied for a headstone for Martillas Graham, but has not received a response. He expects the same result.
Thomas Graham was unmarried and there are no decendants. However, at the time of his death, Graham appeared to have had two sisters, Sarah Patton of Olympia, Washington, and Mattie Brown of Shelbyville. A niece, Bess Dressler, daughter of Mattie and Albert Brown, lived in Shelbyville until her death in 1971. At that time she had one surviving son, Bryon Dressler of Kent, Ohio, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Thomas Graham is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. The location of Martillas Graham’s remains are unknown, but Boedecker would like to set a headstone for him in Glenwood Cemetery.
Martillas was buried in Bluff Cemetery, which was located east of Washington Street where the main line of the railroad is now. Some of the remains of that cemetery were moved to Glenwood, but others were lost.
Boedecker noted that War of 1812 veterans in Glenwood Cemetery will be honored next year and he said he would like to have the headstones by then. He is also beginning a search on a War of 1812 veteran Samuel Anglin and is looking for anyone who can give him more information.
Anyone with information can contact Boedecker at 774-2977.