CHESTERVILLE — It was a bright but brisk Saturday when the Lucy Knox Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met at Chester Baptist Church, Chesterville, to commemorate four American Revolutionary War patriots buried in the church’s cemetery. It was fitting that the chapter chose this cemetery to research the soldiers buried there because Chester Baptist Church just celebrated its 200th year.
It is the oldest church in Morrow County, being chartered on March 19, 1819. For 21 years, members met in a log cabin with a dirt floor using logs for seats. In November 1850 a new structure was built and that is the church still used today. Chester Township was once in Knox County but now is in Morrow County. The Rev. Chuck Wythe has been the pastor since 1982 and presented the invocation at the marker dedication.
Lana Siekkinen and Suzy Davidson co-chaired the event. They had the responsibility of researching the patriots, choosing a marker and arranging the event.
“DAR’s mission is to promote historic preservation and marking the graves of patriots is one way that we do this,” Siekkinen responded when asked why the DAR does this. “When Lois Taylor was chapter regent in 2009, as her project, she chose to do a marker dedication. We have done it since then.”
Siekkinen went on to say that not only does it take time but it is also expensive so they can’t do it every year.
Susan Ohl, Ohio DAR State Parliamentarian and Steve Hinson, Ohio Sons of the American Revolution State President, gave chapter greetings to members, family members and guests. Jane Duerk, Ohio DAR State Historian, provided information about the historic marker process. She said the Daughters of the American Revolution must verify each patriot’s proof of service.
Karen Smith, a member of Lucy Knox Chapter, presented a history of Peter Doty, private, New Jersey, who was born 1757 and died March 18, 1848. Peter enlisted Sept. 28, 1777, in Sussex County as a private in the Somerset, New Jersey Militia Company commanded by Capt. John Sebring in Col. Frederick Frelinghuysen’s First Regiment. He served at Elizabethtown under Major Richard McDonald and was discharged Oct. 16, 1777. He served as a private in the Tenth Company, Col. Frelinghuysen’s First Regiment, Somerset County militia in May 1778. He then enlisted May 18, 1778, as a private in Capt. Daniel Piatt’s Sixth Company, Col. Matthias Ogden’s First Regiment, New Jersey Continental Line, for nine months. He fought at the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, in a division commanded by Gen. William Mansfield. He was discharged on Feb. 20, 1779, at Elizabethtown, NJ.
Peter married Susannah Boyle, April 19, 1786, in Basking Ridge, NJ. They moved to Knox County sometime around 1799. At 84 years old, he and his wife lived with his son Ephraim in Wayne Township, Knox County.
The day before the marker dedication, Tim Foor, Hallowed Ground Cemetery Preservation LLC, uncovered Peter Doty’s original gravestone. It was buried beneath the ground about six inches and broken. He repaired the stone and it was standing upright for the event.
Suzy Davidson, a member of Lucy Knox Chapter, presented a history of Evan A. Holt, Drummer, Pennsylvania, who was born in 1762 and died Oct. 24, 1846. Evan enlisted June 24, 1778, at the age of 16 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and he served as a drummer in Capt. Jacob Ashmead’s Company attached to the Second Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line commanded by Col. Walter Stewart. He was in the skirmish against the British commanded by Gen. Charles Cornwallis at Green Springs VA and the taking of Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown, as well as numerous other skirmishes. He was discharged on Aug. 15, 1783, in Philadelphia, having served for five years.
Evan married Charity Laster/McCreary. Evan and his wife came to Knox County in 1807 or 1808 and was said to be the first white settlers of Chester Township. Evan and Charity were among the 20 charter members of the Chester Baptist Church.
Karen Smith presented a history of John Kinney, Scout, Pennsylvania, who was born in 1755 and Died on March 7, 1847. John enlisted in the spring of 1778. He served as an Indian spy and scout under Capt. Henry Enochs of the Pennsylvania militia in the Ten Mile Creek area in western Pennsylvania. John’s service consisted of scouting through the woods and forests, watching and spying on the movements of the Indians. He carried messages and communicated intelligence to the forts. He served until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 and further until the Treaty of 1788 was signed with the Indians.
John and his wife, Eleanor, moved to Chester Township around 1810.
Kimberly North, descendant, Worthington Chapter DAR, presented a history of George McCreary, sergeant, Pennsylvania, who was born 1752 and died Feb. 26, 1842. According to his pension application, George lived in York County, PA, when he enlisted as a volunteer about May 1, 1776. He served as a sergeant in Capt. Gilliland’s Company under Col. Joseph Reed in the Pennsylvania troops. After enlistment, he marched to Elizabethtown, NJ, where he joined the Flying Camp and was engaged in one or two skirmishes with the British. He then marched to Fort Washington under the command of Col. Robert Magaw and was a soldier in the fort when Col. Magaw surrendered it Nov. 16, 1776. He was taken prisoner and marched to New York where he was put on board a British man-of-war where he suffered hardship both from cold and hunger. He was confined on this ship for eight to nine weeks during which many of his fellow prisoners died. He was discharged by the British on Jan. 5, 1777 and never returned to service.
He married Mary McQuown in 1781/82. After the war, George lived in York Co., PA for eleven years, Washington Co., PA for nine years, and Ohio Co., VA for five years. He then moved to Licking County and finally in the fall of 1832 to Chester Township.
Brenda Whittaker, Chapter Regent and Cindy Kettler, Ohio DAR State Chaplain presented the dedication of the marker. Lois Taylor unveiled the marker as Virginia Cameron played ‘Amazing Grace’ on the bagpipes. Flowers were placed on the memorial and Dane Heuchemer, Bugles Across America, played taps. JR ROTC, Knox County Career Center, retired the colors and Pastor Brad Hamm, First Christian Church, gave the benediction.
Family attending the event came from as far away as Colorado.