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[SAR Sunburst]

JACOB OLINGER





We installed the Jacob Olinger stone on August 14, 2002 at Nebo Cemetery.

The Carroll County Comet a local newspaper covered the 150th anniversary of Jacob Olingers death in the middle of Sept 2002. The below article appeared in the Sept 18, 2002 edition and was written by Jennifer Archibald a staff writer.

Six from Carroll County


Project honors Revolutionary War Patriots
David Watson visited Carroll County in 1994 to find the gravesite of his ancestor who fought in the American Revolution. But when he went to Nebo Cemetery, west of Camden, there was nothing to to mark his great-great-great-great grandfather's grave.

Now, eight years later, and 150 years after hi s ancestors death, there is a new stone and a bronze flag holder with ab American Flag to mark the site.

Watson's ancestor, Jacob Olinger, is one of more than 2,000 Revolutionary War patriots who are buried in Indiana, according to records of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Six of those are buried in Carroll County.

Because many of these sites throughout the state are either unmarked or the exisating stone is deteriorating, the Sons of the American Revolution undertook a three year project to see that the graves are properly marked.

The various chapters of the SAR are in charge of the project in their area of the state. Carroll County is one of seven counties covered by the William Hnery Harrison chapter.

Bringhurst native Stanley Evans, a descendant of Revolutionary War patriot Andrew Evans, is a member of the chapter and spearheaded the project in Carroll County.

He discovered that only two of the six Carroll County Patriots gravesites were marked. These two are John Ollinger and Nathaniel Farmer. The other four patriots are Jacob Ollinger( mentioned above), Willibe Nichols, John Johnston and Peter Galloway. Jacob Olinger's stone was placed in August and stones for the other three have been ordered.

The six patriots migrated to Carroll County sometime after the war. John Ollinger's age at the time of his dath in unknown, but the other five all lived into thier 80's.

Evans obtained information about the patriots from Phyllis Moore and the staff at the Carroll County Historical Museum and prepared the forms needed to apply for the goverment stones to descendants of the patriots,if they were available.

Records showed that Jacob Olinger, 1763-1852 was buried in Nebo Cemetery, but there was no stone there. Fortunately, Ralp Rohrabaugh, Camden Town Council president, said he used to place flags on the veterans' graves, and he remembered the exact site where Olinger was buried. Theree was once a stone there, but it disappeared many years ago.

Evans has been told that there was logging done on the cemetery grounds a long time ago and many stones either run over or thrown over the hill. Sometimes after that, some of the stones were retreived and laid up against a fence at the edge of the cemetery. They remain there to this day.

The Olinger family plot is at the east end of the cemetery, near the fence.

Evans was able to find out the information about Jacob Olinger:

His father and uncle came to America from Germany in 1741. He was drafted in the Revolutionary War in 1781 and served three months and 20 days. He served with the Virginia Line.

In his own words


David Watson receives the "Ohlinger Family Newsletter", which printed a letter written by Jacob Olinger in 1833, telling about his service. An Excerpt follows:

" I have been in severfal skirmmages (skirmishes) at Portsmith (Portsmouth, VA) where my first Caption Cunninham got wounded and I was in the battel (battle) at Jamestown where my Cornel (Colonel) Wm Boyers got taken prisoner".

Olinger was married June 1, 1785, in Augusta County, Va to Barbara Downey. They had 11 children, and the last two were twins.

The Ohlinger newsletter quotes a book, Early Settlement of Carroll County, as describing Olinger in later years as follows: "He was a kind-hearted, honest old man as ever lived, and one who loved the country he had fought for, with his whole heart".

Jacob Olinger died at the age of 89. His family Bible is in the Maxwell Historical Museum in Story County, Iowa. It was taken to Iowa by Olinger's son John, who left CArroll County with his family in the 1850's.

Evans said he doesn't know of any Olinger descendants still living in Carroll County. Watson and his wife, Sheila, live in Grant County.

Mystery patriot


On down from Jacob Olinger's grave is a very old stone engraved with the name "Jno Ollinger (with two l's in his last name). The inscription reads, "Pa, Mil., Rev. War">

Revolutionary War records show there was a patriot by the name of John Ollinger, but he buried in Ohio. Genealogy records show some John Olingers in Jacob's family, but they were eitherr too old or too young to have fought in the Revolution. It can't be the stone that should have been on Jacob's grave, with a mistake in the name, because Jacob fought with the Virginia Line, not the Pennsylvania Militia.

Records in Carroll County Historical Museum mention the other five patriots who moved to Carroll County, but there is no mention of a patriot named John Ollinger.

Most patriots show up in the pension records if they claimed their pensions after the war, but the local John Ollinger is not listed.

Evans said there must have been two John Ollingers who fought in the Revolutionary War, and for wahtever reason, there is no record of the one buried in Nebo Cemetery, except for the stone. Perhaps he never claimed a war pension.

"John Ollinger was a patriot in the Revolutionary War. Just because we don't know who he was, doesn't dimish the fact that he served," Evans said.

A stone also will be placed in Nebo Cemetery in memory of Willibe Nichols.

Evans said no one knows where Nichols is buried, but there is a connection between the Olinger and Nichols families, so a stone will be placed next to Jacob Olinger.

Nichols was born on Christmas Dat in 1762 and lived to be 82. He served in the war for almost a year and was a sergeant. He served with both the North Carolina and Virginia lines, and twice entered as a substitute for someone else.

Fought under Washington


Nathaniel Farmer's gravestone is in Hopewell Cemetery (also called Deer Creek Cemetery) in Washington Township. An inscription on the stone says that Farmer fought in a number of distinguished battles under General George Washingtonn. He enlisted in 1778 in Maryland, and served until the last of July 1780. He was discharged near Wilmington, Del. Farmer died Dec 11, 1838 , at the age of 85.

Peter Galloway's stone will be p;aced in the Galloway family plot on Seceder Cemetery in Adams Township. He was with the South Carolina Militia. He was born in 1757 in Ireland and was drafted into the South Carolina Militia. He moved to Indiana in 1828/ He died in 1838 at the age of 81. Maxine White of Delphi is his great-great-great-great granddaughter. Her granddaughter, Amy Lynn Spitzer of Monticello, helped with gathering information and ordering the stone.

James Johnston volunteered in 1780 in North Carolina and fought in the battle of Hanging Rock in South Carolina. He enlisted in 1781 with a regiment of riflemen. He was born in 1755 on the Delaware River and died in 1838, at the age of 82. He is buried in the Johnso family plot in Pleasant Run Cemetery in Tippecanoe Township. At some point, the Johnston name change to Johnson (dropping the "t").

A seveneth patriot, James Shaw, also settled for a time in Carroll County, but is buried in Pretty Prairie Cemetery near Battle Ground in Tippecanoe County. A lafayette member of the William Henery Harrison Chapter SAR made the arrangements for a headstone and bronze flag holder at Shaw's gravesite.

One of the objectives of the SAR is to "perpetuate the memory of people and events of the American Revolution." The Indiana Revolutionary War Graves Project is one way to perpetuate that memory.

On the SAR website is this quotation from Benjamin Franklin:

"Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have."

Indiana War Graves Index - William Henry Harrison, Lafayette, Indiana SAR
The Indiana State Society SAR Homepage