Kenton Celebrates and Recognizes Civil War Sergeant 105 Years Later

KENTON – It’s not every day you celebrate a member of the Union Army from the Civil War. Last week, Kenton celebrated Hiram White, a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. White was a Sergeant in the 25th United States Colored Infantry Regiment, which was organized at Camp William Penn near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The regiment was spent portions of the war in New Orleans, Louisiana, and west Florida, before being disbanded in 1865, a month after the conclusion of the Civil War.

“Following the war he lived in a variety of locations across Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and even Duluth. Mostly working as a barber, he had one child, and a marriage that failed. And so he did end up traveling quite a bit toward the end of his life, and he ended up in Kenton, Michigan. Working again as a barber, until he passed away in 1917.” – Joseph Battisfore, Veterans Service Coordinator of Houghton County

Last Friday’s ceremony saw many residents and nearby visitors at the Kenton Cemetery. Battisfore, says that the area has regularly recognized White’s life and achievements for 105 years, placing an American flag next to his headstone. The family of the honored person is a big part of these dedication ceremonies. He said living members of the family deserve to receive recognition of their relative.

“My research and, of course, Mrs. Shayne Davidson’s research, who was the genealogist that helped us with the final piece of evidence needed to get the marker for Hiram. None of us were able to locate any relatives for Hiram or his brother, Isiah. We did find his brother, Isiah’s grave, in Pennsylvania.” – Joseph Battisfore, Veterans Service Coordinator of Houghton County

Even though event organizers could not find living relatives of Hiram White, it is still a special moment for the small town of Kenton. Dozens of people came out to celebrate the long-awaited moment for Hiram White. The soldier’s life and service will not  be forgotten by this small Upper Peninsula town. Thank you to all of the researchers, Battisfore, and the Trout Creek American Legion Post 494 for organizing a special event. And as always, to everyone who’s served in the U.S. Military, thank you for your service.