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War of 1812 veterans honored in bicentennial year

5/24/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

William Wetmore Chapter Daughters of 1812 members Sandy Dixson, of Cuyahoga Falls, and Marilyn Mazzarella and Claire Lucas, both of Stow, are shown from left as they pick up War of 1812 veteran flag holders at the Summit County Veterans Service Commission May 18.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Myers
GREATER AKRON — This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a military conflict that brought the battlefront to Ohio.

Now some descendants of the war’s veterans are doing their part to make sure local residents remember the conflict and those who fought in it.

“Nobody knows anything about it, and it was fought right here,” said Sharon Myers, of Silver Lake, president of the William Wetmore Chapter Daughters of 1812. “That was the first war in Ohio, and Ohio and Summit County, this was the hot spot. A lot of stuff happened. A lot of various troops moved through here.”

Myers said the Wetmore Chapter was founded just three years ago, but in that time its members have embarked on an ambitious project to find all the graves in the county of veterans from the War of 1812. She added the members of the group all are blood descendants of veterans of the war.

Myers said she has headed up the project for nearly a year.

“I knew the bicentennial was coming up, and it sprang in my head to see how many veterans of the war were buried in the county,” she said.

She created a list using various resources and last Labor Day set out to find as many graves as she could to determine which were marked.

“I photographed the graves, and if there was no grave marker, I worked with the cemetery to get documentation and get a grave marker from the Veterans Administration for the ones that didn’t have one,” Myers said. “It’s been a very big project.”

Myers also has compiled biographies of many of the veterans and is self-publishing a book that she plans to give to local historical societies.

“These guys moved around in the county a lot,” she said. “They might have been in Tallmadge and then Richfield and back again. It’s amazing that we have so many here, and the various townships and communities did not even realize what they had in their cemeteries.”

Myers has determined that there are 350 veterans of the war buried in Summit County.

Hudson has the most, with 47 buried there in various cemeteries. In the South Side News Leader coverage area, Manchester has 22 and Green has 5.

Myers said she and her fellow chapter members are also doing what they can to educate people about the war. She has a program that she presents to local historical societies and groups. In addition, the chapter is urging local communities to remember the war’s veterans in their Memorial Day events and throughout the year.

On June 18, which is the anniversary of the start of the war, the chapter plans to present County Executive Russ Pry with a 15-star flag to commemorate the bicentennial, Myers added.

For more information, contact Myers at 330-794-5099 or go to sharonmyers1.tripod.com. The website also has a link to a searchable database of Ohio veterans of the War of 1812.

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