Have you ever encountered two old tombstones in a county for the same name? If so, how did you decide which tombstone was for your relative? I never would have imagined that a 1999 newspaper article would identify the 1830 tombstone of Jason Hammond in Bath Township, Ohio. However, this article does just that.
The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
1 Nov 1999
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Gravestone clears up mystery in Bath Twp.
Researcher determines final resting place of man who served in Revolution
By Laura Haferd (Beacon Journal staff writer)
Bath Twp.: Jason Hammond fought in the American Revolution as a soldier in the Connecticut Militia and today is one of only two veterans of this country’s very first war buried in Bath township.
But it is only recently, as the township prepares to erect a permanent memorial to all its war veterans, that some of the mysteries of Jason Hammond’s story are being cleared up.
The Bath Grange, a local social society and service organization, announced thos month that the township is going to have a permanent memorial to combat veterans from Hammond and Nathan Thorp of the War for Independence to all deceased veterans.
The $20,000 project to build a black granite memorial is long overdue, according to Grange spokesman David Darst.
Back in 1946, in front of the Bath School at Cleveland-Massillon and Bath roads, there used to be a wooden board with the names of all Bath men and women who served during world War II. But there never was a comprehensive memorial to the area’s earlier soldiers, Darst said.
Evan the World War II wooden memorial only lasted for a while, he recalled.
“I was Scoutmaster back then and used to sit on the rail fence of the Town Hall looking at the deteriorating memorial,” he re-
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Grange hopes to ID more veterans’ graves
Continued from Page C1
called. “It was taken down in 1950.”
Many of the veterans were not only gone, but also forgotten. But loyal descendants of Civil War veteran Perry Howard Alexander have kept a list of all the township’s veterans buried in three township cemeteries — East Bath (at Shade and Revere roads), Bath Center (next to the Town Hall) and Moore’s Chapel (on Hametown Road, north of Bath Road).
There are 97 soldiers’ names on the list maintained by Perry Alexander’s great-grandson, Clair Behmer Alexander Jr. of Akron, himself a World war II veteran. Darst and the Grange are searching for information on any other veterans buried in the township — including those at the Ira Road Cemetery and at Miller Cemetery (on state Route 18 near the Hametown intersection).
To Carol Franklin of the Bath Historical Society, the biggest mystery of all is why so few people even know about Jason Hammond’s modest grave, which is located just a few yards away from the tomb of his much more famous Bath pioneer neighbor, Jonathan Hale.
“Not to take anything away from Jonathan Hale, but why does he get all the glory?” asked Franklin earlier this week, as she inspected Hammond’s worn-away white limestone marker at the Ira Road Cemetery, within sight of the Jonathan Hale homestead and famed Hale Farm and Village.
After all, Franklin said, the Western Reserve of Connecticut colony that came to be known as Bath first was called Hammondsburg.
Another mystery about Jason Hammond confused Franklin and other Historical Society members until just this month.
Although the Akron chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution had identified the Hammond grave on Ira Road as the veteran’s final resting place, there were those in the township who believed that the Revolutionary War soldier was buried at the Bath Center cemetery.
The confusion was caused because there are two “Jason Hammond” graves in Bath Township — one at each of those cemeteries — and the dates on old limestone graves are illegible to the naked eye.
Earlier this week, Franklin did a closer inspection of those graves. The grave at the Ira Cemetery is illegible. Using a black grease pencil and smooth paper, Franklin tried to make the words emerge in a rubbing of the gravestone’s eroded surface. The rubbing solved the mystery.
It showed Jason Hammond as son of “Nath.” Hammond and Nathaniel was the original Jason’s father’s name.
“Aha!” Franklin exclaimed.
Moreover, the rubbing showed the birth palce as Bolton, Conn.” That is where the first Jason was born, in 1762.
His burial year emerged as September 1830 — again, right for the Revolutionary soldier.
“This is it,” Franklin said.
Research on old soldiers’ graves here, and around the region can be a challenge, and the Bath grange is hoping that local families can help out in identifying more of these veterans.
The Bath Township trustees still have to give final approval to build the granite wall at the Moore’s Chapel Cemetery. The township is in the process of purchasing 12 acres of land at the north end of the present cemetery, and Trustee Elaina Goodrich said she expects that purchase to close any day.