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Iowa Civil War Monuments|
O'Brien County: Sutherland
GPS Coordinates: 42.966250 by -95.485300
Last Living Soldier in Iowa - James P. Martin
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Pvt. James P. Martin (1847-1949) was a member of Battery H, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. After the war, he farmed near Sutherland, Iowa. He was the last Veteran to die in Iowa, almost reaching his 102nd birthday. He was active in the GAR, attending many national encampments and being appointed the last state department commander in 1947. It was said that photos of him and other old Veterans were in Life Magazine. This monument was erected in his honor - it originaly was in the town of Sutherland but was moved to Waterman Cemetery SE of Sutherland. It is near the CW monument in the center of the cemetery. He is not buried at the monument but elsewhere in the SE area of the cemetery. Thanks to Ed Johannsen of Sutherland for information and showing me the location of the monument and tombstone. The first photo was taken 10/14/11. The old photo shows the monument when located in town - it appears the inscriptions were painted to better highlight them.
The SUVCW has a project to mark the location of the gravesite of the last soldiers in each county of the state. James Martin was, of course, also the last soldier of O'Brien County and a ceremony was held on June 18, 2022 in his honor as the Last Soldier plaque was placed. A crowd of about 75 attended - many of these were descendants or relatives. The SUVCW's Kinsman Camp Guards and Sutherland American Legion Post participated. Photos from this event are shown below. Also, I was given a wonderful photo from Judy Jackson showing the color guard at J. P. Martin's funeral in 1949. The person on the left is unknown, 2nd from left is Rex Martin, grandson of J. P. Martin, 3rd from left is Irvin Struve, and 4th from left is Burdette Selk, father of Judy. The final photo is of James P. Martin