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Local DAR chapter to hold rededication ceremony for Revolutionary War soldiers plaque
On Wednesday, the Nancy Hunter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will honor some of Cape Girardeau County's forefathers with the rededication of a plaque featuring the names of eight Revolutionary War soldiers buried in the area.
"They helped form what Cape Girardeau is today," chapter regent Sheila Holloway said. "The time and suffering they gave in fighting in the Revolutionary War is part of what our true history is."
The rededication will take place Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. U.S. Courthouse. The ceremony will include remarks by Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr., outlines of the history of each soldier and the unveiling of the plaque.
The plaque was originally unveiled in 1924 in the lobby of the old post office that once stood at 339 Broadway. This building also housed the federal court. However, it was demolished in 1967 and a new federal building was erected on the same site. The plaque was again placed in the lobby where it remained until recently when the General Services Administration sold the building. Now, the plaque has been moved to its third location in the lobby of the Rush Hudson Limbaugh U.S. Courthouse.
"The plaque has outlived two buildings and is onto its third," chapter registrar Charlotte Slinkard said.
The eight soldiers listed on the plaque are Christopher Hays, Robert Brevard, Ithamar Hubble, Stephen Ranney, Thomas Hill, Alexander McLain, Uriah Brock and John Walker.
At the time the plaque was made, the chapter could only locate the graves of these eight men.
"They came here because there was lots of land," Slinkard said. "They were American settlers that moved West."
Since the original dedication in 1924, the chapter has uncovered the names of other soldiers who are buried in the area. For example, Slinkard said there are several more at Old Bethel Cemetery in Jackson.
"We are well aware there are more in the county," Slinkard said.
Currently, there are two members of the chapter who are descendants of two of the original eight soldiers: LaFern Stiver, a descendant of Alexander McLain, and Lois Spaulding, a descendant of Uriah Brock.
According to Stiver, McLain is buried in the Apple Creek Church Cemetery in Pocahontas. He enlisted in the North Carolina State Troops in 1777 and was discharged after being wounded. He re-enlisted in 1780. His family records show that he emigrated to Cape Girardeau County before 1815.
"It fills me with a great deal of pride that my family has been instrumental in the preservation of our country," Stiver said. "First in establishing it and then in preserving it."
In September 1989, the chapter dedicated a new tombstone to McLain because the old one was destroyed.
"McLains from all over the United States sent money for the tombstone," Stiver said.
Stiver and Spaulding will give outlines of their ancestors' history at the rededication ceremony. A descendant of Ithamar Hubble, Nora Zimmer, from a St. Louis County chapter, will present his history. Members of the chapter will give outlines on the remaining five soldiers.
A descendant of Mary Frissell Evans, who unveiled the plaque in 1924, will also be present at the ceremony. Nevaeh Dannenmueller, of Kelso, Mo., will unveil the plaque at the ceremony. She is the daughter of Michael and Tamera Dannenmueller and the great-granddaughter of Evans. Evans was the granddaughter of Mary Giboney Houck, who was the chapter's historian at the time of the original dedication.
"We are lucky enough to have some descendants of the people here," Holloway said.