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PERRY COUNTY – Indiana is the final resting place for more than 2,240 patriots who fought in the American Revolution, according to members of the Lafayette Spring Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Perry County is home of 26 of these soldiers.
The members of the Lafayette Spring Chapter will honor one of these soldiers April 5 at the Old Rome Courthouse.
The chapter was notified in June by the NSDAR Historian General Ann Hunter of the approval to mark the grave of Revolutionary patriot Jacob Kepler. Kepler served in the Pennsylvania militia and served under General St. Clair. He was also a soldier with General George Washington at Valley Forge.
Family tradition states that Kepler saw General Washington kneeling and praying in the snow for his soldiers during the winter of 1777-78. More than 2,500 American soldiers lost their lives that winter to starvation, disease and exposure.
Kepler was captured by British soldiers and was paroled from the army in New York in 1781. After his parole, he walked from New York to his home in Pennsylvania. He was an early Perry County resident, settling into what is known as Groves Bottom in Tobin Township in the early 1800s. He is one of Perry County’s first known residents to live over the age of 100 years. Kepler died Dec. 12, 1845, at the age of 104. He is buried in the Groves family cemetery in Tobin Township.
Surnames that can trace their ancestry back to Kepler are Groves, Cart, Bryant, Boyles, Cashman, Connor, Cummings, Hammack, Hicks, Huckaby, Sandage and Welch. The Lafayette Spring Chapter members encourage anyone who could be a descendant of Kepler to contact the group.
The dedication will be open to the public and all are invited to honor Kepler. The information about Kepler was provided by past Perry County historian Wallace Weatherholt and Jeff Groves.
For more information on Kepler or the grave dedication, contact regent Lena Joyal at 619-0708 or vice regent Molly Hall at 547-3746.