Dedication Held for John G Honeywell





A special dedication ceremony recognizing John G. Honeywell, Civil War Veteran, was held at his gravesite at the Layton Township Cemetery east of Walnut, Iowa on Saturday, May 19, 2012, beginning at 2 p.m.  Despite the heat and wind, nearly 75 people honored John 87 years and 1 day after his passing.


Baxter B. Fite III of Peoria, Illinois had planned to participate in the service, but, unfortunately, was unable to attend.  He was responsible for our knowledge of the unmarked grave.  Baxter is researching the 992 veterans of the 86th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry and had sent a query to the genealogy society about John Honeywell.


As Walnut Genealogy Society members, my husband, Jim, and I were responsible for obtaining the gravestone from the Veterans Administration and for organizing the ceremony.


Ten members of the Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War conducted the impressive service, under the charge of Vern Damgaard, Camp Commander of Kinsman Camp #23.  Assisting were Iowa Department Commander Michael Carr and Past Department Commander Jim Braden.  Serving as bugler was Henry Krecklow, Past Commander of Kirkwood Camp #4.  The Civil War cannon was fired by Glen Kelley, Commander of Battery K 4th U.S. Artillery SVR.  Department Chaplain Dennis Sasse led the prayers.  Others who assisted were Roy Linn, Department Graves Registration Officer; Dan Rittel, Department Signals Officer; Darryl Cleaver, Kirkwood Camp #4; and Andrew Braden, Past Commander of Kirkwood Camp #4.


The 12 direct descendants of John G. Honeywell present were Ken and Vi Butler; Donald, Virginia and Louis Butler, all of Elm Creek, Nebraska; Lois and Jerry Idt of Lincoln, Nebraska; Jennifer, Grayden and Gavin Anderson of Sumner, Nebraska; and Jacques and Ian Beavers of Omaha, Nebraska.  Distant cousins present who still have the Honeywell name were Thomas G. Honeywell of Shelby, Iowa and his grandson Alex of Yankton, South Dakota.


Jim Hansen served as Master of Ceremonies and Jennifer Anderson introduced the Honeywell descendants.  Lois Idt read the history of the family.  After the unveiling of the monument, Andrew Braden stood guard at the grave while the rifle, canteen, haversack, and knapsack were laid at the monument.


The evergreen wreath, symbol of undying love for comrades, was placed by great-grandchildren, Ken, Don and Lois.  The white rose, symbol of purity, was laid by great-great-grandchildren, Jennifer, Louis and Jacques.  The grapevine wreath, symbol of honor, victory and eternal life, was placed by great-great-great-grandsons, Ian, Grayden and Gavin.  The American flag, symbol of victory, was then placed by the Commander.


“When the Boys in Blue Are Gone” was read by WGS President, Gayle Stuart.  Doug Matthies commanded the firing squad from Walnut’s American Legion Post 422, AmVet Post 45, and SAL Squadron 422.  Walnut Mayor, Gene Larsen, and Iowa State Representative Jack Drake made closing comments.


Walnut Boy Scout Troop 95 and Scoutmaster Tom Harmon posted and lowered the cemetery flags.  Walnut Communications video recorded the service and provided the Walnut Library with a copy.  Aubrey Stuart was the photographer and the photos in this newsletter are courtesy of Aubrey’s Art Photo.  Refreshments were provided by the Walnut Genealogy Society, who wants to thank the many people who helped.