(By Jamie Henneman/Chewelah Independent)
Headstone to be dedicated at Evergreen Cemetery…
A project to dedicate a headstone to area men who died in the Civil War all started with the discovery of a set of neat boxes tied with cotton string in the Stevens County Auditor’s records that held a letter to the Stevens County Commissioners. The letter, dated 1899, asked the commissioners to appropriate funds and issue a warrant to D.J. Zent for a burial plot at Evergreen Cemetery for all old war veterans. The letter noted Zent had paid for 20 graves for veterans of the “late war,” referring to the Civil War.
Lora Rose, with the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society, found the letter in 2015 when she was working on a scanning project of the Stevens County Auditor’s records.
Rose continued to research the letter, hoping to find a man the letter referenced, George B. Williams, but all she could determine is that he was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. What the search did turn up, however, was the identity of three other men who were Civil War veterans with grave sites in an unknown location. These veterans are William Aldridge, Dennis Huntley, Jr. and James (Benjamin) Moore.
Through the work of the Genealogical Society, the stories of these men have been compiled and an anonymous benefactor has provided the headstone that will memorialize these men at Evergreen Cemetery.
On Saturday, July 1, 2017 a memorial dedication ceremony honoring these veterans will begin at 1 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery located on Aladdin Road about one mile north of Highway 20.
The men to be memorialized are:
Dennis Huntley, Jr. was born July 3, 1842 in Morgan, Vermont, to Dennis Huntley, Sr. and his wife Lydia Cole Hartwell, who died in 1844.
Dennis Huntley Jr. enlisted as a private in Company C, Minnesota 7th Infantry Regiment on August 18, 1862. He served until the war ended soon after and by July 1865 the 7th was headed for home. The 7th Regiment, Minnesota Union Volunteers had 2 officers and 31 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 138 enlisted men lost by disease for a total of 171 men lost during the war.
After Dennis mustered out at Fort Snelling (Minneapolis, Minnesota) in August 1865, he returned home to his family in Marine, Minnesota. On April 2, 1867, he married Helen C. Saunders in Marine. Dennis & Helen had eight children, seven boys and one girl: Herbert, Ernest, Alfred, Arthur, Chauncey, Charles, Myrtle and Jess. They remained in Minnesota until 1880 where they are found in Stanton, Wisconsin. By 1890 they are back in Minnesota as Dennis is enumerated in the 1890 U.S. Veterans Schedule. Dennis died January 24, 1909 in Bossburg, Washington of diabetes complications.
William Aldridge was born to Nathan Aldridge and his wife Rachel Stiers on June 26, 1840 in Milroy, Indiana. William remained in the Indiana until 1860, but as he mustered into the 70th Illinois Infantry, Company I on July 4, 1862 at Camp Butler, Illinois he was living at Spring Creek, Pike County, Illinois. William served as a private while his regiment remained at Camp Butler on guard duty until mustering out in October 1862. William married Mary M. Smith on February 12, 1870. Their only child, Cora Belle was born in Illinois on September 1, 1879.
The family was in Waitsburg, Walla Walla County, Washington when Cora married Jonathan Gilbert Gerking on October 11, 1897. Additionally, William and Mary were living at Clugston Precinct in Stevens County, Washington for the 1900 census. William died March 10, 1910 of the flu and pneumonia at home in Bruce Creek, Stevens County, Washington. He was 69 years old. The funeral service was held at the Bruce Creek schoolhouse with burial at the Evergreen cemetery.
James Moore was born April 12, 1846, in York, York County, Pennsylvania. He was only 15 years old (based on his stated birthdate) and single when he enrolled Oct 19, 1861, as Benjamin Moore with Co. K, 6th Regiment, New York Cavalry. James was 5 feet 11 inches tall, fair complexion, dark eyes, black hair and worked as a carpenter. Records show that by June 1863 he had deserted. After the war he lived in Ohio, Wyoming, Oregon and finally Washington.
In the 1889 Washington state census his age is listed as 35 (making his birth year about 1854), working as a carpenter in Stevens County. The 1890 Veterans Schedule of Stevens County lists James Moore serving as a private in Co. K, 6th New York Infantry from 1861-1863 and suffered from rheumatism. The 1900 US Census finds James living at 340 Court Street, Colville, still single and working as a carpenter at age 53. The census indicates his father was born in Germany and his mother born in Holland. He filed for a Civil War Veterans Pension on Jan 27, 1909, using the name James Moore serving as a private in Co. K, 6th New York Cavalry from April 1862 and being honorably discharged at Staten Island, New York, in 1865. After back and forth correspondence, his request was denied as he could not produce his honorable discharge. James Moore was found dead in his bed at home in Colville on September 26, 1909. He had not been sick and the death was not attended. Cause of death was listed as cardiac paresis. He was buried in Colville September 30, 1909, by W.S. Prindle, Undertaker. James Moore died unmarried and had been a resident of Colville for almost 20 years.