It started with a letter to Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa President, Mike Rowley, from Harold Nevenhoven at the Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery in Brooklyn, Iowa. Nevenhoven had been given a link to our website listing the War of 1812 veterans who had lived in Iowa. He noted the name Christian Sowerwine was on our list of veterans, but did not have a proper headstone. Nevenhoven had ordered the headstone from the VA and now had it in his possession and was going to install it. Would the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa help with a proper dedication ceremony?
Rowley put a call out to the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War asking for assistance. It all came together on Saturday afternoon, May 27, 2017, at the Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery.
Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa members Rowley, Alan Wenger (also representing the Sons of the American Revolution), Danny Krock and Dan Rittel (both also representing the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) along with members of the Brooklyn American Legion Post conducted a proper dedication ceremony for Christian Sowerwine’s new headstone.
Christian Sowerwine was born July 7, 1793, in Rockingham County, Virginia. He served in the 4th regiment of the Virginia Militia. In about 1834 or 1835, Christian and his brother John moved to Indiana. Four of their children were probably born in Cross Roads, Delaware County, Indiana. Christian’s first wife, Maria Good, died January 1838, in Indiana leaving him with nine children to raise.
Christian married Catherine Semer July 4, 1839, in Henry County, Indiana. She brought along her step-son Michael and her three daughters into a household that already had nine children. Quickly three more sons were added to their brood. Catherine died in 1852 and is buried in Indiana. He and his family moved to Iowa in 1856. At Brooklyn he farmed north of Brooklyn and operated a blacksmith shop.
At the time of the Civil War the Sowerwines offered their services. John, Jacob, Isaac and George served with the Union Army along with son-in-law James Maddy. Daughter Sarah’s husband, Michael Miller, served with the Confederate Army. John Sowerwine proved disqualified because of a crippled arm. Nevertheless, he served as a guard in the San Francisco harbor during the period of hostilities. Jacob Sowerwine was killed in the Civil War May 1, 1863 in Port Gibson, MS.
General Society of the War of 1812 In The State Of Iowa President Mike Rowley joined with members of the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries (SAPIC) at the signing of the Proclamation to declare May as “Cemetery Appreciation Month” by Iowa Governor and United States Ambassador to China nominee Terry Branstad.
President Rowley (far left in the photos) shared with the Governor the fact that members of the Iowa Society have documented nearly 900 veterans of the War of 1812 that are buried in the State of Iowa.
Photos by Chance McElhaney
Each year members of the Iowa Military Heritage Society meet in the southern part of the state to hone their skills live firing weapons of all era’s. A few Iowa Society of the War of 1812 members also belong to the Iowa Military Heritage Society.
Members qualified with a flint lock weapon of the Revolutionary War era as well as muskets from the Civil War era at both 50 and 100 yards.
After the formal morning session attendees had the opportunity for training and practice with the M1 Garand rifle of WWII era.
Iowa Military Heritage Society members pictured above: (back row) Jim Braden, Dave Sample, Richard Grim, David Lamb, Ron Rittel, (front row) Jeff Rassmussen, Louie Zenti, Mike Rowley.
Congratulations to Mike Rowley and Tim Rowley!
Mike was elected President of the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa at the Fall Meeting held in Des Moines this past weekend. In addition, Tim was elected Vice-President. They shall serve the 2014-2016 term.
Other officers remained the same:
- Secretary/Treasurer – Mike Rowley
- Registrar – Mike Rowley
- Historian – Ron Rittel
- Chaplain – Ron Sharp
- Chancellor – Lance Ehmcke
The Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa will be having a joint meeting with the Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on Saturday, October 18, 2014.
Holiday Inn and Suites
4800 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, Iowa
The meeting will begin with lunch at 11:30 am.
Lunch will be ordered off the menu. In order to prepare for enough seating, please R.S.V.P. Volney Smith by Wednesday, October 15th, if possible. See contact information in the letter below (click letter for larger image).
The Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa will be having a joint meeting with the Iowa Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on Saturday, October 18, 2014. More details to follow.
At that time the Society will be having an election for officers.
The latest issue of The Federalist has been posted.
In this issue you will find information about “Hell on the Wabash” (fife & drum tune); call for nominations of officers; the Battle of Credit Island; a profile of Benjamin Coleman Payne; and other items of interest.
The GS of the War of 1812 in Iowa will be having our Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Iowa Sons of the American Revolution once again.
Date: Saturday June 15, 2013
Where: Urbandale Public Library (Meeting Room B)
Urbandale Public Library
3520 86th St.
Urbandale, Iowa 50322
The latest issue of The Federalist has been posted.
In it you will find information about the upcoming Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee; War of 1812 board games; vandalized headstones; an ancestor profile of Dr. William Simpson; and other items of interest.