Seattle woman to attend ceremony to honor former slave

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A Seattle woman plans to attend a ceremony in Hutchinson at the newly marked gravesite of her great-grandfather, who escaped slavery and fought in the Civil War.

Janice Lovelace discovered that her Great-grandfather John Crooms is buried at Eastside Cemetery, but that his gravesite didn’t have a headstone, The Hutchinson News reported.

Eastside Cemetery manager Zach Phillips said about half of the people buried there have no headstones, and many did not have a family that could afford one.

Lovelace has a photo of Crooms wearing his Grand Army of the Republic gear, so she contacted the organization, which is now the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. By Memorial Day, the organization had a headstone in place for Crooms’ grave.

On Saturday, Lovelace will be in Hutchinson as the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War pay homage to Crooms, who died in Hutchinson on July 3, 1922.

“We are trying to preserve the memories of the sacrifice these men went through,” said Doug McGovern, Kansas Civil War Memorials Officer of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Lovelace said she admires Crooms’ courage to escape slavery and join the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry.

“To have enough courage to leave the plantation and sign up for the army — a lot of people didn’t have that,” Lovelace said.

Crooms and his wife, Mary, moved from Kentucky to Kansas in the early 1880s and originally settled in Grant County before moving to Reno County, Lovelace said. Mary Crooms died in 1907. John Crooms died on July 3, 1922, and was buried without a marker.

“It fell through the cracks,” Lovelace said. “There’s no story about why he didn’t have a marker. … It was a pleasant surprise to find out the veterans group helped.”

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

King County sheriff could face felony charge in groping case

A former deputy claims John Urquhart groped him. Renton police forwarded the case to the prosecutor.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Puffy-coated robbery suspect arrested on Whidbey

The suspect apparently wore the same outfit in 2 robberies at the same place in less than 2 weeks.

Planning — and patience — can ease Thanksgiving travel

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers information to help guide planning.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Front Porch

JUST FOR YOUTH Fun with leftovers The week after Thanksgiving is always… Continue reading

Most Read