Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society Activities

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 . 


Sometimes You Really Have to Search to Find a Parade!

And that was the case for the Ohio Society SAR President on this Fourth of July!

Most, if not all, of the local Community Parades in and around Cincinnati had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Many members of our Chapters and Ohio Society have been left with the task making this very special day for all Americans a memorable one.  In contrast to the larger cancelled events, An announcement in our neighborhood Facebook page mentioned that the Beechwood Farms Neighborhood Independence Day Parade would go on as tradition demanded.  This opportunity was too good to pass up!

The Parade kicked off at 9 AM with the boys of Union Township Fire Department Leading the way… 4 July 1

They were followed by every youngster in the neighborhood on their highly decorated bicycles, tricycle, scooters, electric cars and of course, on foot!  The beauty of it all was the passion experienced not just because the kids were marching—but they were learning!  Their parents were encouraging their lesson in our National Heritage.

4 July 24 July 4With each new generation, the discovery of who we are begins anew in the minds of our youngest citizens—it is a lifelong experience.  Learning of our past and how it informs our future and the truth of our uniquely American Character takes place every day of our lives.4 July 3

But, the lessons learned are really a lot of fun when you are young—even when you are getting older it is truly joyful to see the learning experience in the smiles and brightness of young eyes!

Happy Birthday America….

We Are 244 Years Old Today!

WW II Veteran is Honored on his 95th Birthday

On Sunday June 28th, 2020 , the Cincinnati Chapter of the SAR , under the leadership of President Lee Wilkerson conducted a beautiful ceremony at Hillside Church honoring  Associate Pastor Russ Coburn, 95 years young and going strong ,  presenting him with the Good Citizen Medal and certificate of Recognition with appreciation extended for his brave service in WWII.

The invitation came at the behest of Senior Pastor, The Rev. Dr Ed Bonniwell. The Rev. Russ Coburn was a C- 47 Flyboy in WWII , flying the Hump in the Burma campaign under Gen. Stillwell.  The planes carried thousands of gallons of gasoline to desperately needed  troops to maintain the American/ Chinese advance.  The entire congregation at Hillside thrilled at the moment and for Rev Coburn it came as a complete and delightful  surprise !  At Hillside Church and throughout the city many hold Pastor Coburn with the highest regards! A special thanks is extended to Dan Schmidt, Chuck Rogers, Jack Bredenfoerder, and Clay Crandall who participated in full uniform with weapons! Dr Ed Bonniwell , host Pastor and SAR  Chaplain for the state of Ohio, observed the ceremony with great pride!  Pastor Coburn has been with Dr. Bonniwell as his associate since 1983 !

The saints of the Hillside Church were all deeply moved by the recognition ceremony, conducted with great dignity by President Lee.  The well wishes and language employed made the whole event most ennobling!  This was truly a memorable and beautiful time . Because Hillside is a “Church without walls!” meeting at the Quality Inn in Blue Ash , our Color-Guard really impressed the manger/owner and the guest that were present! After the service the saints had a luncheon in the Hotel Restaurant and one kid came and asked if those“ old time soldiers would be coming back?”  I told him “yes , and that in time they would be back . “ Continental Soldiers always  captivate  the public and cause all to remember our fight for freedom !

 Submitted by Dr . Ed Bonniwell  SAR Ohio State Chaplain

Flag Day 14 June 2020 in Cincinnati


The official flag of the United states was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.  The resolution that passed stated:  “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

By Proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, officially established June 14 as Flag Day.

By an Act of the United States Congress on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established.

There were many flags prior to 1777 that represented the hopes and ideals of  “We the People.”

There has been just one American Flag over this Nation since June 14, 1777.

Music and songs have been written in honor this symbol…

The Star-Spangled Banner—by Francis Scott Key in 1814

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again—by Patrick Gilmore in 1863

The Yankee Doodle Boy—by George M. Cohan in 1904

You’re a Grand Old Flag—by George Cohen in 1906

Ragged Old Flagby Johnny Cash in 1974

Courtesy of the Red, White & Blueby Toby Keith in 2002

It has been carried into battle against enemies of our Nation and the ideals we hold precious—Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness.

It has inspired millions of American Patriots that fought to defend their home and land against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that inspired perseverance during our darkest days of conflict.

It has never been a symbol of Conquest—but, only a symbol of Hope and the Promise of Liberty in foreign lands where oppression and domination of human dignity has attempted to flourish.

It flies over American Cemeteries in foreign lands—the only foreign land we asked to keep—so that American Patriots that have given their lives in defense of the many that could not defend themselves—might Rest in Peace.

It is the flag that you & I pledged our allegiance to as children and students once upon a time in our schools.

It is the flag that used to fly on the screens of TV’s and Movie Theaters at the end of the show or broadcast day.

It is the flag that is burned, stepped on and desecrated by today’s enemies of democracy, both foreign and domestic.

It is the flag that many of my ancestors fought under in foreign lands…

It is the flag that I fought under in foreign wars…

It is the flag that draped the coffins of American Patriots when their lives were ended!

It is the flag that draped the coffins of my father and grandfathers!

It is the flag that will drape my coffin when my days have ended!



Members present:

  • President Ohio Society SAR Lee Wilkerson
  • 2nd Vice President Ohio Society SAR – Jack Bredenfoerder
  • Chaplain Ohio Society SAR – Ed Bonniwell
  • 1st Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – Greg Ballman
  • 2nd Vice President Cincinnati Chapter – George Stewart
  • Past President Cincinnati Chapter – Mike Gunn
  • President Highlanders Chapter – Gary Duffield
  • Compatriot – Gordon Stokley
  • Compatriot – Doug Blake
  • Compatriot – Dan Schmitz
  • Compatriot – Chuck Rogers

Mahoning Valley – Flag Day Luncheon

On Flag Day, I had the privilege of  attending, along with my wife, Christine, the June 13th, 2020 Flag Day Luncheon of the Mahoning Valley SAR Chapter. The meeting was held at the Youngstown, Ohio Country Club and to the extent possible current Social Distancing protocol was observed.

The highlight of the meeting was the presentation to the OHSSAR Knight Essay Contest Winner, Justin McLemore. In addition to a certificate, he received a medal and $800.00 check from OHSSAR.  Justin is also a Junior member of the Mahoning Valley Chapter.  (photo attached – pictured Justin McLemore and Chapter President Scott Davis).

Flag Day Mahoning Valley

Following the presentation, the video of by Van Scott – The Many Faces of Glory was presented.


Troy Bailey, First Vice President — Ohio Society SAR

Visiting Hocking Valley

This past Saturday, our 2nd Vice President, Jack Bredenfoerder and I, had the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the Hocking Valley Chapter at their “coming out” BOM meeting since the onset of the Pandemic shutdown.   The chapter had a good turnout for this gathering  which included election of two officers to the chapter’s leadership and Americanism Contest Awards to Student Winners of the Poster and Brochure contests.

Induction4Induction3Young Carson Call was present with his Dad to receive his Award Certificates and Scholarship Prizes for his Poster on Virginia in the Revolution.  Carson took 1st place in the Hocking Valley Chapter Contest and 3rd palace in the Ohio Society Contest.  As an additional incentive and memento of the occasion the Ohio Society awarded Carson an Ohio Society Challenge Coin.

Moving to the next item on the agenda, Compatriot Bob Hill conducted the brief  and uncontested election of the two nominees for the positions of Vice President and Chaplain.

Induction2Chapter President Matt Hardman was nominated and elected to the role of Chapter Chaplain.  Compatriot Joe McCrady was nominated and elected to the position of Vice President. Your President was given the opportunity conduct the Swearing in Ceremony to Vice President McCrady and Chaplain Hardman.

To the gentlemen compatriots of Hocking Valley—Thank you for Lunch and the opportunity to be of service your chapter!

I’m looking forward to my next visit —See you all at Fort Laurens!


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