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Farmington's Patriotic Day group seeks Civil War descendants

William Nixon was one of Farmington’s early settlers, and a Civil War veteran. His gravestone in Corinthian Cemetery cites the many engagements he participated in as part of the Co. A. 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The organizers of Farmington’s annual Patriotic Day would like to share some of those soldiers’ stories at this year’s event.

Farmington’s annual Patriotic Day ceremony always honors veterans. This year, though, none of the featured veterans will be able to participate in the program.

That’s because the 2014 Patriotic Day ceremony is highlighting veterans from the Civil War. It’s a different spin on the ceremony, which has in recent years featured veterans from World War II, the Korean War and, last year, Vietnam.

Veterans of those conflicts were able to attend, but there are no Civil War veterans left to attend this year’s event. Committee members hope there are a few descendants of Farmington’s Civil War veterans around, and that those family members will step forward for this year’s celebration.

The United States was not so united 150 years ago, when the Civil War was in its third year of battle. This year’s Patriotic Day ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8, falls one day short of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s election to his second term of office. Another six months of battle would follow before the Confederate forces surrendered in May of 1865.

In the years to follow, several of the Union soldiers and their families would find their way to a new community in Minnesota, called Farmington.

It’s been nearly 100 years since the last of Farmington’s Civil War veterans passed away, but Patriotic Day committee members hope some of their ancestors are still around to share their stories.

“The committee decided to highlight Farmington’s contribution,” said committee member Barb Pierce. “We thought it would be nice to see if we can find any families of (those soldiers) still in the area. We would like to hear from them.”

Committee members will check with the Corinthian, Farmington Lutheran, St. Michael’s and Castle Rock cemeteries to see if they can locate some of the area’s Civil War veterans. But they hope to hear of any family stories handed down over the years, as well.

Anyone who has information or a family member from the Civil War is can call Pierce at Farmington Community Education. Her number is 651-460-3203.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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