PANDORA — A couple of Revolutionary War veterans were honored Saturday in ceremonies in Pandora and near Bluffton. Grave markers were rededicated for Israel Hubbard Jr. and Hezekiah Bloomfield Hubbell.
“One of the things we do as a national society is we try to locate where our veterans were buried and do biographies on them and get that information recorded,” said David Lupien, secretary of the Northwest Territory Chapter of the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution.
Twenty years ago, Lupien received a letter from Barbara Cook mentioning that she thought there might be a couple of veterans in the Pandora area. Lupien’s father died a couple of years ago, and when Lupien was going through his father’s belongings, he found the old letter.
“Sure enough, we found Hubbard in Malahan Cemetery and we found Hubbell in Richland Township in Allen County, and on top of that, when I was talking with the local American Legion in Gilboa, their adjutant told me there was an old veteran buried in one of their cemeteries, and when I checked, sure enough, there’s a patriot buried in the Cholera Cemetery from the Revolutionary War,” he said.
Hubbard and Hubbell were honored Saturday with refurbished grave markers in separate ceremonies, the first, for Hubbard, inside at 10 a.m. at the Pandora Community Center and the other, for Hubbell at 3 p.m. at the gravesite off Shifferly Road. A bigger ceremony was planned, but that was canceled due to weather.
“The Malahan Cemetery in Putnam County, that was an old family cemetery that was abandoned. The [Riley] township trustees took over control of that cemetery and are looking after it. About a year ago, we took a trip down there to find this cemetery. We wanted to see what the condition of his marker was to determine whether it could be repaired, if it was damaged, before we went and talked with the trustees, and sure enough, there was the marker. It was pretty dirty. We could hardly read it but it was there and was still in pretty good shape. He died in 1840. We went and talked to the trustees and they gave us permission to restore it,” he said.
The Riley Township Trustees went one better and restored the whole cemetery.
So why is it important to remember these two Revolutionary War veterans?
“They were the ones that had that dream of being able to live your lives the way you wanted to, to be able to choose your leaders to be able to make decisions based on the ability as a group or individually to vote on it. Of course, we have a republic where we vote to have people make decisions for us, but still, the idea [is] that we can say yes or no to their ideas by voting them out and putting new people in. It’s all this idea of the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, everything that they fought for to get established, and then through the years, the generations that have continued on with that through the various other conflicts and wars … it’s just a way of remembering our past that, you know, nothing comes free. There’s always a cost to it,” said Lupien.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.