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A special Memorial Day service

By Staff | May 17, 2015

The old gravestone of Thaddeus Smith.

The Memorial Day 2015 ceremonies by the Easton American Legion Post 569 will be a little different this year.

They will be dedicating two military veteran’s headstones at a long-abandoned cemetery.

The Legion Honor Guard will again be at memorial services on Monday, May 25, at several area cemeteries, including a 9 a.m. service at St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery, 9:30 a.m. at Lura Cemetery and 10 a.m. at the OLMC Catholic Cemetery.

But, this year they have added the Schermerhorn Cemetery to the list, located two miles northeast of Easton.

At 11 a.m. they will gather at the intersection of 200th Street and 497th Avenue. Then they will hike the half mile across a field edge, along a ditch, to get to the once long-abandoned Schermerhorn Cemetery.

The new gravestone of Thaddeus Smith to replace the old.

They have to walk, because there is no road paved, gravel or dirt that goes to the cemetery where no one has been buried since 1900. Once there, the program will include a Chaplain’s prayer, wreath-laying, and playing of taps.

In addition, the new headstones for George Schermerhorn, Civil War veteran, and Thaddeus Smith, War of 1812 veteran, will be dedicated.

Don Amundson, Blue Earth Legion Post chaplain, and Rev. Bill Sabol, pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Easton, will each speak briefly, as will U.S. Congressman Tim Walz, who will be attending the dedication ceremony at the cemetery.

At 1 p.m. the Memorial Day program will be held at Juliet’s Place in Easton, with CDR Brent Johnson as the main speaker. Johnson is a military history expert.

A buffet dinner at Juliet’s Place will be available after the program.

The recovered gravestones were place on a cement pad at Schermerhorn Cemetery near Easton.

While there are 400 Civil War veterans buried in Faribault County, there is only one veteran of the War of 1812.

Just last year, it was discovered that Schermerhorn Cemetery had two veterans buried there George Schermerhorn and Thaddeus Smith among the 30-plus people buried there.

Dave Hanson, Faribault County Veterans Service Officer, and A.B. Russ, of the Faribault County Historical Society, have been determined to make sure every military veteran buried in the county has a headstone.

Hanson gathered all the information needed to get new headstones from the VA for Schermerhorn and Smith. He had help from Luann Schrader who has worked for many years to recover and repair the abandoned cemetery.

The first application was rejected, but in November of 2014 the next application was approved.

Just last week, Mark Maher, of Blue Earth Monument, set the new headstones on the cement pad that was placed at the site of the cemetery. All of the gravestones that had been recovered had also been placed on the cement pad.