Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society Activities

Short note of Appreciation from the City of Dayton Police Department

Our Awards Committee Chairman, Jim Schaffer, recently received a copy of the National Society SAR Public Service & Heroism Awards Publication.  Upon receipt he forwarded a copy to Lt. Mullins at the Dayton Police Department.  As you may recall from a previous Blog Article (9 Feb 2020), the Ohio Society SAR had awarded six Dayton Police Officers with the SAR Medal of Heroism at our Winter Board of Management Luncheon.  Below is a formatted response from Lt Mullins.

Heroism Note

The Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution are deeply grateful for the men and women of America’s Police Officers for the safety and protection they provide to our communities nationwide!


SAR Website

The Ohio Society SAR has been named the First Place Winner in the SAR National Website Competition

Over the course of the past year our Webmaster, Compatriot Lance Beebe, working with a number of Ohio Society Chapters, revised, restructured and generally reinvented our website for the ease and support of the Ohio Society Membership and the Interested General Public.

Congratulations Webmaster Beebe!


Northeastern Ohio Sons of the American Revolution Honor Revolutionary War Veteran Simeon Prior (1754-1837)

On Saturday June 27th, 2020 the Sons of the American Revolution, along with the descendants of Simeon and Katharine Prior, Daughters of the American Revolution and local community groups, participated in the dedication of a new Prior Family Monument.   The site of the ceremony was the historic Harrington Cemetery located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Simeon Prior as not only Revolutionary War veteran, he and his wife, 20 years after the end of the Revolution War, moved to the Connecticut Western Reserve and founded what would become Northampton Township in the wilderness of the Cuyahoga Valley.

Simeon enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 as an armorer.  He participated in the battles of Princeton and Trenton and served in General George Washington’s bodyguard.   According to Simeon’s writings he invented a device to shred the sails of enemy ships, had the opportunity to shoe General Washington’s horse and he was in the same boat with General Washington when they crossed the Delaware river on December 25th, 1776.   Simeon credited General Washington with the ideas of his moving to the Connecticut Wester Reserve.

The combined Color Guard of the SAR and the City of Cuyahoga Falls Police & Fire Departments presented National Colors, and local government leaders presented greetings and congratulations. The memorial program was facilitated by 5th Great Grandson Kenneth Clarke of the Western Reserve Society, and Former Ohio Society President Steve Hinson of the North East Ohio Chapter SAR.  A memorial tribute and family history was given by 5th Great Grandson Emery Prior.   The monument was unveiled by 6th Great Granddaughter Kacy Clarke.   The SAR and family members presented wreaths, DAR Regent Venie Hinson, laid a bouquet of flowers on the grave of Katharine Prior, Patriot Prior’s wife.   Taps was played by NEO Chapter member Dan Matheke.

combined color guard


Steve MC

SAR Members


Ohio’s Orator wins First Prize in the 2020 Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Competition

The night of Sunday 12 July, would have been the 2020 Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Finalist Competition in Richmond, VA.

We have compiled a video to represent that competition and its results. This video will be posted to the Rumbaugh Oration page on the NSSAR website to represent this year’s contest. You may experience the finals and view it now by following this link:


1st Place Winner from Ohio

Abraham In-Chul Paik

receiving a $ 6,000.00 scholarship prize and medallion

ORATIONIt’s Great to See this National Award Come Back Home to Ohio Again
Congratulations Abraham!

2nd Place Winner from Louisiana

Jackson Joshua Howard

receiving a $ 4,000.00 scholarship and medallion
3rd Place Winner from Florida

Conrad Frederick Hellwede IV

receiving a $ 2,000.00 scholarship and medallion

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all high school students (9th through 12th grades) interested in the American Revolution to participate in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest. The contest is open to all students attending public, parochial, private or home school students in that same grade range. The preliminary rounds of the contest begin at the local level, students may potentially advance to the state or national levels where scholarships and cash prizes are awarded.

Each student’s five-to-six-minute speech (and accompanying manuscript) will be judged based upon its composition, delivery, significance, and historical accuracy and relevance. Three cash/scholarship awards are given: the National First Place Winner receives $6,000; the 2nd Place Runner-up receives $4,000; and the 3rd Place Runner-up receives $2,000 cash prize. Each also receives an Olympic-sized medal. All other finalists (4th through 6th Place runners-up) are awarded $500 and all other national contestants are awarded $200. An informational flyer and the contest forms can be found on the NSSAR website. Please be aware that the local and state application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR chapter for further details.

Amazing Grace – How Sweet the Sound…

Chapter President/Chaplain Matt Hardman was officially ordained as a Minister of Christ as recognized by the State of Ohio on Saturday, June 27th, at the Grace United Methodist Church in Jackson, Ohio.

Officiating the ceremony was Ohio Society SAR Chaplain Dr. Ed Bonniwell, also the Senior Pastor at Hillside Bible Church in Cincinnati.  Ed drove up for the occasion with his church pianist Carmen Hood.  Matt’s wife, Sharon, sang a solo “Take My Life and Let It Be.” Several Hocking Valley Chapter members took part in the procession and ceremony, including Tom Moe, Bob Hill, Mark Hardman, Noah Hardman, and Jeffrey Hardman.  Chaplain Ed Bonniwell’s Ordination Admonitions were heartfelt and eloquent, keeping everyone’s attention with his booming voice.  Matt will also assist Ed as an Associate Chaplain of the Ohio Society SAR.


Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, North Carolina

Compatriot John Neth, a member of the Kings Mountain Chapter in Johnson City, TN and a dual member of the Hocking Valley Chapter, presented a wreath on behalf of our Chapter at the 240th Commemoration of the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, North Carolina, on June 20th via a zoom presentation due to Covid-19 restrictions. John was the only representative from Ohio, although there were many participants mostly from the south who were present, including National Society SAR President General Jack Manning. The Commemoration was hosted by the Catawba Valley Chapter and North Carolina Society SAR.a

New Carpenter-Koontz Memorial Stone Placed

In September, 2016 a well-attended Patriot Grave Marking Ceremony was hosted by the Hocking Valley Chapter at the isolated and wooded Carpenter-Koontz Pioneer Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.  It concluded a year and a half of dedicated labor by Chapter members, led by then-President David Nessley, to repair many vandalized gravestones and clear the cemetery of much overgrowth.  The five veterans buried there, including three Revolutionary War Patriots, also received a Memorial Stone with the SAR symbol and respectful wording that included their names, ranks, and respective wars of service. Unfortunately, the stone had many noticeable repairs upon close inspection, where chipping had occurred when engraved and then re-glued.

A new stone was cut, and after nearly two years in storage it was finally picked up in February (2020) and taken to the cemetery by compatriots Brian and Paul Irwin.  It was laid on a pallet to await placement.  Delayed by the Covid-19 concerns, placement finally happened on a warm but beautiful Tuesday morning, June 2nd, when six compatriots traveled up to the cemetery and met the landowner, Steve Moore, and placed the new stone.  They also felled a dead tree and did some trimming and clean-up work. There are plans to go up again this year and do more repair work on restoring broken tombstones.




First row kneeling, L to R: Don Miller, Bob Hill. Second Row standing, L to R: Chuck Bundy, David Nessley, Al Gummere, Joe McCrady.


A 4th of July Celebration of Revolutionary War Heroes

This past Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm the Cincinnati Chapter honored six Patriot Heroes of the American Revolution.  The patriots listed herein have rested in the Old Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery (renamed the Sycamore Township Memorial Cemetery) since the early 1800’s.  

The Story Behind the Event

Some years ago, the Veteran’s Administration provided headstones for the graves of four of the patriots but due to an error in historical records the patriots were thought to rest in a cemetery located in Mt. Carmel, OH.  The installers of the headstones confused the Mount Carmel, OH Cemetery with the Old Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery. As a result, the headstones stood erroneously in the wrong cemetery for about 20 years.  That error has been corrected and the headstones were properly located and in place for the Independence Day Grave Marking Ceremony at the grave sites of the patriots!

Ferris Sr., John   P-157724
Felter, Matthias   P-157300
Hubble, Gershom   P-187091
Neves, William   P-255508
Ferris, Isaac   P-157678
Lee, Adam   P-334287

Special Guests

We were honored to have Mr. David Kent Holwadel, a descendant of Patriot John Ferris, Sr. with us for the ceremony.

Special guests for the event included Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Jones who presented the Cincinnati Chapter with a Township Resolution proclaiming the Fourth of July as Sons of the American Revolution Day in Sycamore Township.

Ms. Gloria D’Andrea and Mr. Standish Fortin of the Sycamore Township Historical Society were in attendance and recognized.  Both had been instrumental in coordinating the activity between the Township and Cincinnati Chapter.

United States Senator Rob Portman and his Southwest Ohio District Director, Nan Cahall were also in attendance, paying their respect to the Heroes of the American Revolution.

The Hopewell, Clough Valley and The Nathaniel Sackett Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as the Fort Hamilton Chapter of the Children of the American Revolution attended and placed wreaths at the graves.

Hopewell Chapter DAR attendees were:  Ms. Donna Vanover – Recording Secretary and Ms. Beth Dietrich – Chapter Member

Clough Valley Chapter DAR attendee was Ms. Tiffany Niehaus – Treasurer

Nathaniel Sackett Chapter DAR Attendees were Ms. Nancy Hutton – Vice Regent, Ms. Phyllis Hutton  Nancy’s mother and Ms. Jan Gould believed to be a descendant of John and Isaac Ferris, two of the patriots being honored in the ceremony.

Fort Hamilton Chapter C.A.R. Attendee was Ms. Emmie Blum

The Formal Ceremony

The day’s program kicked off with a short lesson in Revolutionary War History by Color Guard Commander Brad Jarard.  This element of the ceremony had been taken from the chapter’s Living History Curriculum.

The day’s program was led by the Cincinnati Chapter Vice President, Greg Ballman.

The Reverend Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell, Ohio Society Chaplain convened the gathering with an opening prayer.

The Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard presented Military Honors for our Patriot Ancestors commencing with the Presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem led by Ohio Society SAR vice President Jack Bredenfoerder.

The day’s keynote speaker was the Ohio Society President, Lee Wilkerson.  President Wilkerson graciously kept his remarks short in consideration of the heat index.

The markers were then unveiled and members of the attending guests were called forward to place their wreaths before the Grave Stones and Markers.

Many Wreaths were presented, and the Ceremony was concluded with a 21 Gun Musket Salute, the playing of Amazing Grace by Scottish Bag Piper Mr. Gerry Kelly Fritsch and the benediction by Chaplain Bonniwell.

The Cincinnati Chapter Attending

The Nolan Carson Memorial Color Guard
Brad Jarard, Color Guard Commander
Michael Gunn, Color Guard Deputy Commander
Mike Blum, Ohio Society Treasurer
Clay Crandall, Cincinnati Chapter Secretary
Ed Bonniwell, Ohio Society Chaplain
George Stewart, Cincinnati Chapter Vice President
Jack Bredenfoerder, Ohio Society Vice President
Emmie Blum, Camp Follower Doug Blake
Compatriot Chuck Rogers
Compatriot  Gary Duffield
Compatriot Jeff Hartman
Compatriot Josh Hartman
Compatriot Jacob Hartman
Compatriot Dan Schmitz

Non-Uniformed Chapter Members Attending
Gregg Ballman, Chapter Vice President
Lee Wilkerson, Ohio Society President
Compatriot Jim Houston
Compatriot Kenny Burck
Compatriot Gordon Stokely
Compatriot Jeff Sevier
Compatriot Larry Collins
Compatriot Robert Sturm
Compatriot Gerry Hounchell

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When in the Course of Human Events….

These stirring words read aloud to Liberty Camp Kids in the same manner that our forebears may have heard them for the first time!

The Hocking Valley Chapter (HVC) SAR Color Guard participated in the 2nd Annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence on Saturday, July 4th in Logan, Ohio. Pictured are Chapter members, L to R: Matt Hardman, prospective member Jim Hiles, Bob Hill, Bob Davis, and Al Gummere.  The event was sponsored by the Hocking Hills Liberty Camp for Kids and organized by Director Denise Whalen.  Prayer was given by Chaplain Matt Hardman.  The HVC posted and retrieved the National Colors and fired a three-volley musket salute.

Liberty Camp

L to R: Matt Hardman, prospective member Jim Hiles, Bob Hill, Bob Davis, and Al Gummere.

Members also assisted in the program.  Bob Hill and Jim Hiles each read a third of the Declaration of Independence, with the assistance of Ed Zell.  Jim and Bob also read the names of all the signers and their respective states.  Matt’s wife, Sharon, sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.  The program also included a short documentary on the creation of the National Anthem, audience recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, a ringing of the Liberty Bell, and a fine reading on the fate of the signers by Liberty Camp Board member Brian Mason, who suffered injuries in a car accident earlier in the week.  It was a very hot day, but when the ceremony began at 7:00 PM, the heat began to dissipate.  The audience was very appreciative of the program presented.

Impromptu Parades?

Mahoning Valley Color Guard Members and Several  Old Friends….

Since the official Poland 4th of July parade was cancelled this year a group of Friends from Poland, New Middletown, Canfield, Boardman and Austintown decided to hold their own impromptu parade on the morning of the 4th.  The event began at the Poland library and ending at Peterson Park at the corner of Rt. 170 and Rt. 224.  In attendance were Patty Zedaker, Melanie Opre, Jan Braham, Marlene Morris, Jay Morris, John Opre, Dusty Zedaker, Hugh Braham, Tony Galizia, Justin McLemore and Jim Alexander . Taking the picture was Angelo Ciavarella . 


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