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American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 18 Sep 2006 10:20AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wilson, Harvey, Spaight
[The following was posted to the Wells County message board. A reply there by Don Rhodes seems to direct focus to Poplar Grove Cemetery, Union township, Marshall County, Indiana and possibley Rutland.]

(Greenville, Texas) Herald-Banner, Sunday, 17 Sep 2006, page A3:

American Legion looking for headstone owners

By Tracy Chesney, Herald-Banner Staff

It might be worth a lot of money, but the sentimental value is priceless. That’s why the veterans of American Legion Pot 17 want to find the rightful owners of a World War II headstone.

About six months ago, a man came into Post 17 and told Commander David Harvey that he had found a military headstone in a junk yard on Highway 69.

“The man knew that the headstone shouldn’t have been in a junk yard,” said Veteran Mike Spaight, a member of Post 17. “He came to us figuring that we could find the family that it belongs to.

“The commander asked the gentleman if he would go back and purchase the headstone and that we would pay for it.”

The heavy, duty, brass headstone measures 12 x 24 inches and is the standard headstone for military veterans. The inscription reads “Orean B. Wilson, Sgt., U.S. Army WWII, Born June 17, 1918, Died June 2, 1974.”

Spaight took on the responsibility of finding the owners, and he said that it looks like the headstone had never been used.

“These headstone (sic) are usually sent to the cemetery,” Spaight said. “But for some reason, this may have been sent to the homestead.”

Spaight has been searching for the owners for six months. He first contacted the local Veteran Service Office.

“The people there said that they had a similar incident a few weeks ago and a headstone was returned to someone in Commerce,” Spaight said.

Spaight then contacted the Graves Administration in Washington, D.C. When he didn’t have any luck in that area, he contacted the genealogist at the W. Walworth Harrison Library.

“The genealogist found that Sgt. Wilson was born in Shelbyville, Tenn.,” Spaight said. “I contacted every funeral home in that county and found out that there was no record of Wilson being buried in that area.”

If anyone recognizes the name of Orean B. Wilson or knows the whereabouts of family members, please contact Mike Spaight at 903-455-8053.

Addendum that may or may not relate:
RootsWeb’s Social Security Death Index:
Name: OREAN WILSON
Birth: 17 Jun 1918
Death: Jun 1974 46714
Last Residence: (Bluffton, Wells, IN)
Last Benefit: (none specified)
SSN: 309-14-0564
Issued: Indiana

Addendum that may or may not relate:
Ancestry.com:
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Record
Name: Orean B Wilson
Birth Year: 1918
Race: White, citizen
Nativity State or Country: Indiana
State: Indiana
County or City: Marshall
Enlistment Date: 23 May 1942
Enlistment State: Indiana
Enlistment City: Indianapolis
Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Geographer
Marital Status: Married
Height: 68
Weight: 138

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 27 Sep 2006 2:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Believe Orean Wilson was the son of Delbert L. Wilson and Bessie Guise of Marshall County. The 1930 census for Marshall County, Union Twp. shows: Delbert L. Wilson, head, age 47, wife, Bessie, 38. Daughters: Lucille, 16; Dorothy, 14: Louise, 8; Opal, 6. Sons: Oren B. (sic), 11; Charles, 10; Laurie, 8; William, 4; Edgar, 2.

Delbert, Bessie and Orean are listed in the on-line index for Poplar Grove Cemetery, Marshall County, Union Twp.

Hope some family members are found.

D. Williams

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 28 Sep 2006 9:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wilson, Guise, Ruggles, Calhoun, Newman, Baublet
I can confirm that the Orean B. WILSON mentioned in your message is indeed Orean Bennival WILSON, son of Delbert L. and Bessie H. (Guise) WILSON. He was born in near Culver in Marshall County, IN on 6/17/1918 and died in Indianapolis, Marion County, IN on 6/2/1974. His paternal grandparents were Leonard and Mary Ellen (Ruggles) WILSON and his maternal grandparents were Bennival and Emma (Calhoun) GUISE.

Orean's obituary in the Bluffton newspaper was incorrect regarding his burial location. He is actually buried next to his parents in the Poplar Grove Cemetery which is located just east of Culver, IN.

I am distantly related to Orean - 2nd cousin, twice removed. Unfortunately, I do not know any of his immediate family. The information that I have on the Wilson family comes from my genealogy research.

Orean was married at least twice. First in 1941 to Helen L. NEWMAN and second in 1967 to Barbara BAUBLET. His obituary from 1974 mentions 5 surviving children: Patty DICKHOFFER of Wabash, IN Sharon STUCKY of Lagro, IN and Mary, Tonya, and David WILSON, all of Bluffton, IN. The first 2 children are from his 1st marriage and the last 3 from his 2nd marriage. I am unaware of the current whereabouts of his wife Barbara or any of his children.

From my research I do know that one of Orean's brothers, Charles Cecil WILSON, died in February of 2004. I located an obituary for Charles and it mentioned that he had 3 surviving siblings (as of 2/2004): 2 sisters, Opal NELLANS and Louise PESSLEY, both of Warsaw, IN and one brother, Mike WILSON of LaGrange, IN.

Thank you.

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 4 Oct 2006 10:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for your assistance.

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 4 Oct 2006 10:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for your assistance.

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 6 Oct 2006 2:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wilson, Nellans, Peffley
Regarding living siblings of Orean, two sisters are still living in Warsaw, IN. They are Mrs. Byron (Opal) NELLANS and Mrs. David (Louise) PEFFLEY. An earlier post of mine had the wrong surname of PESSLEY for Louise. An obituary for one of her brothers had her surname spelled incorrectly. I was able to learn the correct spelling this week.

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 6 Oct 2006 12:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am the County Coordinator for Marshall County GenWeb. If I can be of any assistance in getting Orean B. Wilson's marker where it belongs please let me know.

Update on "Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974"

Posted: 14 Oct 2006 6:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wilson
I was visting family in northern Indiana today. Since I was near to Culver, I went by the Poplar Grove (aka Maxinkuckee I.O.O.F) Cemetery to check on Orean's burial location. I turns out that he already has a brass military marker on his gravestone. In fact it is mounted on the top of a red granite base and serves as his gravestone.

Based on the condition of the brass marker, it appears that has probably been there since Orean's death in 1974. Therefore, the one that was recently found in Texas was apparently a duplicate. Perhaps, it was defective in some way and another one was produced back in 1974.

Re: Update on "Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974"

Posted: 13 Mar 2007 4:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
Duane!!

Thanks for your persistence on this! Elizabeth (Hittle) and George Ruggles were the parents of Mary Ellen (Ruggles) who married Leonard Wilson. Elizabeth is my great grand aunt and daughter of my 2nd great grandparents, Joseph and Mary Hittle, who also are buried there at Poplar Grove.

Your work on this gives me insight into a branch of my family that I did not already have catalogued, so I definitely appreciate your work!

Mary Ellen and Leonard along with daughter Rosella are also buried at Poplar Grove (you probably already knew that). What I have not yet found is the location of Elizabeth and George's graves. It appears that George remarried after Elizabeth's death. According to census, probate and land records I am able to decipher that George and Elizabeth had at least 4 children:
Mary Ellen - m. Leonard Wilson,
Catherine/Carolyn - m. Gilson Norris,
Salome A. - m. James Moller
George Elam Ruggles.

If you have inroads on the families of those 4, I'd definitely appreciate an update. Which of course causes me to ask, are we cousins? :-)

Thanks Again!

Joe Hittle
son of Alferd Wesley Hittle
grandson of Iden Monroe and Emma (Paff) Hittle
g-grandson of Joseph Wesley and Anna Grube (Pontius) Hittle
gg-grandson of Joseph and Mary (Bachert) Hittle

skadj@yahoo.com
www.hittle.info

Re: American Legion looking for headstone owners (Orean B. Wilson, 17 Jun 1918 - 2 Jun 1974)

Posted: 4 Dec 2012 1:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello. I know this reply is several years down the road. My Grandmother, Louise Peffley's sister, Opal Nellans passed away this weekend. I noticed Orean Wilson listed in her obituary as her brother. I do not remember him. I searched his name and this article came up. My Grandmother is the last surviving sibling. I was wondering if you still have access to the headstone. She now lives in Warsaw Indiana. She is from Culver Indiana. Thanks.
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