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Baxter B. Fite III (#47203738)
 member for 6 years, 20 days
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Bio Photo April 2010. I am a soon to be 56 year old genealogist and historian that especially loves tracking down the Civil War Veterans who came from Central Illinois. My primary interest, since 1985, has been to find the last resting place of the 992 men who served in the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. I have traveled extensively to photograph the tombstones of veterans of the 86th, but, I have always been aware that I was never going to get pictures of all of their tombstones. But. then someone told me about Find A Grave. In the five months that I have been a member of Find A Grave, Thanks to the many wonderful people who use Find A Grave, I have seen pictures of tombstones of veterans of the 86th that I never dreamed that I would ever see pictures of. I can't begin to tell you how Thankful I am for all of the wonderful people that have helped me see pictures of those monuments to veterans who gave so much to preserve our union. I will forever be indebted to all of you. Thanks for all you have done!!
I am also trying to consolidate the Find A Graves sites for all of the 86th into Virtual Cemeteries. If you go to my Virtual Cemeteries you will find a number of ways that you can search for the veterans of the 86th. I hope all with an interest will learn more about the 86th and the men who served in her in this way.

P.S. As of December of 2013, I have found the final burial site of all by 89 members of the 86th. I could use any and all help in finding out about these last 89 men.

September 2011. Through the years, there has been a poem which explains why I have been doing what I have been doing. It is one of my favorite poems and I have read it countless times at Memorial Day service and Veteran's Day services. It is now our job to not let people forget "our Boys in Blue."

"When the Boys in Blue Are Gone" by John Hendricks

When the comrades have departed,
When the veterans are no more,
When the bugle call is sounded
On that everlasting shore.
When life's weary march is ended,
When campfires slumber long;
Who will tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone?

Who will tell about their marching,
From Atlanta to the Sea?
Who will halt, and wait, and listen,
When they hear the reveille?
Who will join to swell the chorus,
Of some old, Grand Army song?
Who will tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone?

Sons and daughters of this nation,
You must tell of triumphs won;
When on earth our work is ended,
And the Veteran claims his own.
You must all cherish Old Glory,
And its teachings pass along.
You must tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

To that flag, our country's emblem,
You must pledge allegiance, too.
To that flag, our nation's emblem,
May your hearts be ever true.
That the nation be protected,
'Gainst injustice, and all wrong;
You must tell the world the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

You must keep your country's honor,
From each stripe withhold all stain;
You must take the Veteran's places,
And repeat the roll of fame.
You must keep your country's honor,
And your flag above all wrong,
Then we'll trust you with the story,
When the boys in Blue are gone.

John Hendricks was the last living Veteran of the 89th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The poem expresses his concern that the Union Soldiers,
the "Boys in Blue", not be forgotten by future generations. And since 1985, I have been trying tel tell their story and will continue to tell their story until the day I die.

I have walked through hundreds of cemeteries in my first 57 years and hope the Lord allows me to walk though a few more. It saddens me to think that most of these people have been forgotten about by too many of us. Ben Franklin once said, "One can tell the morals of a culture by the way they treat their dead." I have walked through many a cemetery over the years where it truthfully doesn't look like we remember or care for our dead at all. The Old Methodist Church Cemetery in Eureka, where Private John Wiley Adams, of Co. A, is buried, and the plowed over cemeteries or overgrown cemeteries that I have seen and walked through are examples of this. And speaking of Private John Wiley Adams, take a few moments and read about the terrible way his grave and the graves of the other people buried there have been treated.


Wandering among the stones I see
The stones so weathered and worn
‘Tis difficult to find the date
On which the babe was born

I stare at the stone and am struck with awe
At the life that I knew was gone
This was someone's child, a babe so sweet
With loved ones to carry on

So I take a photo for all to see
For the family that remains
An everlasting memory of
A child of God's domain

I brush the weeds back from the stone
And say a silent prayer
For the babes that had no chance to live
And for mothers everywhere

The dove calls out it's mourning song
Among the stones so still
Echoes of the woes, through time
The choirs of despair

The stone will someday perish
The flowers will be gone
But a photo now remains of this
Their memory lives on!

And so my friend, don't hesitate
To film the weathered stone
Those who live within your hearts
Are never truly gone.

Author Unknown

I just want to Thank the creators of Find A Grave for creating this site. It has been a wonderful place for me to leave some of the information that I have accumulated over the past 26 years about the 86th "Boys in Blue." I also again want to Thank all of the photographer volunteers who have taken their time to search out and to photograph so many tombstones of 86th veterans, that I KNEW, that I was NEVER going to see in person and that I was NEVER EVER even going to see a picture of. Thanks for getting those pictures for me and for all who have an interest in them in the future. It is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!



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3013 N. Golf Drive
Peoria, Illinois 61604-2341

Telephone # (309) 685-5861
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First NameLast Name

Virtual Cemeteries
Co. A, 86th Illinois (107)
Co. B, 86th Illinois (97)
Co. C, 86th Illinois (106)
Co. D, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. E, 86th Illinois (98)
Co. F, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. G, 86th Illinois (102)
Co. H, 86th Illinois (100)
Co. I, 86th Illinois (114)
Co. K, 86th Illinois (111)
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Find A Grave Friends
Messages left for Baxter B. Fite ... (1287)[Leave Message]
Bruce Hicks
A 111 Ill Inf Veteran
Here's a Charles J LeSturgeon from the 111th in San Antonio National Cemetery. Memorial # 3062058.

Added by Bruce Hicks on Nov 23, 2015 10:19 AM
L Evans
RE: Earl W. Kloppman
You wrote a message to me:

RE: Earl W. Kloppman
Sorry, It has taken me so long to get back to you. Thanks for the additional information about Earl Kloppman and his children, Karl and Earl. Are you related? Would be interested in anything else you think would be good to add. Thanks, Baxter

Added by Baxter B. Fite III on Nov 19, 2015 5:18 PM
Sorry, I am not related. I looked at your memorials for his parents. Do you have recent or updated data to input? The memorials appear to be in "under construction" mode.

Added by L Evans on Nov 23, 2015 4:39 AM
Bruce Hicks
A 155 Ill Inf Veteran
Hi Baxter,

Just ran across a Henry Eifert from the 155 Ill Inf, Co I, in Wichita, Kansas. His memorial # is 23779677.

Thought you might like him for one of your virtual cemeteries.

Added by Bruce Hicks on Nov 19, 2015 7:53 PM
Jeptha King - #74003758

I was looking at the vast genealogical info you have on this memorial. Appreciate all your work.

I've been doing some research on Merlin King (son of William Rufus King and his wife Carrie). I have not yet found his burial place but I can say for certain he is not the Marlin O (Oliphant) King buried in VA that some people have confused him with. Your Merlin was Merlin B. King so you can toss the possibility of him being Merlin O. I believe Merlin B. King is the Merlin King in the SSN index (b. 30 Dec 1900, d. Sep 1980) of Tempe, AZ.

Merlin B. King was married to Annie (Annis in some records) Karns, daughter of James & Rutha (Tower) Karns of Ft Scott, KS. Merlin and Annie had 2 daughters named Norma and Marjorie. I have not found Annie's burial place either but there is a record in the California death index for Annis (Karns) King (b. 21 Sep 1902 in KS, d. 23 Feb 1993 in Sacramento, CA). A check of the 1920 census in Ft Scott shows this family.
Added by oleyboy on Oct 28, 2015 9:40 AM
Karen Ziege Bartelt
Felicite This
Good news! I found her (111014939) marker. I think Lourdes has reset a few stones.
Added by Karen Ziege Bartelt on Oct 26, 2015 12:56 PM
Lt. John Morrow
I am sorry to let you know but I have nothing on his children or his grandchildren. Lt. John's father is Thomas and Thomas's father is John E. Morrow Jr. and this Morrow family we belong to comes from Thomas's brother James Edward Morrow. Wished I could of helped you. Jeanne
Added by Jeanne on Oct 14, 2015 11:49 PM
jane austin
Just passing through...
And thought I'd drop you a note to say that I get it. I understand your drive. And your baby poem made me sob. I might come back to snatch it some day. In the meantime, I'm going to continue walking Oakland Cemetery in Peterson, Clay County, Iowa until I've found Troxel's grave or determined that there isn't one.

Thank you for your passion.
Added by jane austin on Oct 09, 2015 7:32 PM
Mark Myers
Patterson@ Bethel, Winnebago Co. Illinois
John and George Patterson have a headstone there but they're supposed to have died during the civil war and cemetery was established in 1881. Do you know why this would be?

Added by Mark Myers on Sep 28, 2015 5:45 PM
john morris
I have never been able to find a pic of him. Her second husband was ABC Knox. First name Anthony. I'd love to find out what the whole ABC stands for.
Added by chance22 on Sep 26, 2015 7:20 AM
Tom and Nancy Gawthrop
Charles Robert Runyon
Charles Robert Runyon was born on 19 Feb 1923 in Peoria County, IL, close to Elmwood, the son of Harry Elias and Alma (Lindzey) Runyon. Harry was born 16 Apr 1900 in Brimfield, Peoria Co, IL, the son of James Robert Runyon and Bertha Elora (Vickery) Runyon. The 1910 census is correct, but they misspelled Ilva, the 15-year-old daughter.

Alma Lesta Lindzey was born 4 July 1899, the daughter of William F and Estella A (Shelton) Lindzey, who were married 8 July 1896, location unknown. The 1900 census shows them living in Elba Township, Knox Co, IL, with Alma 10 months old.

Harry and Alma were married 28 May 1919, location unknown. Their children:
1. Mary Eloise married Charles W Bantz on 29 Aug 1937 in Davenport, Scott Co, Iowa. They had 5 sons, and settled in Plano, IL. They are buried in Little Rock Township Cemetery, Plano, IL. Her Find a Grave is #13908146.

2. Gene D Runyon. Still alive. He married Betty Faye Sandall 1 Jan 1940 in Iowa City, Iowa. They have several children. Betty Faye lived 1923 to 2004 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. #141633394. Two sons and two daughters have preceded Gene in death. Three daughters and 5 sons survive.

3. Charles Robert Runyon.

4.Phyllis L, wife of Alvin C Bock. Phyllis lived 18 Feb 1924 to 14 May 1997. Her husband lived 7 Dec 1920 to 23 July 2006. They are buried in Maquon Cemetery, Knox Co, IL. They had 2 sons and 1 daughter. Phyllis is #151865718, and Alvin is #152212563.

5. Agnes is still alive. Her husband, Carl Dee Ted Snyder lived 1923 to 1985. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. #142177100. No children.

6. Ruth Irene Aiello, wife of Albert. They were married in 1959 in Monterey, California. They were blessed with 5 children. Ruth lived 10 Aug 1927 (Yates City) to 11 Dec 2005 in Monterey, Cal. She is buried in Monterey City Cemetery. #138984480.

7.Betty Runyon King. Her husband's name was never mentioned, assume they were divorced. Betty had one son and one daughter. She lived 22 Nov 1929 to 27 Apr 2012. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery. #89750193.

8. Kenneth H Runyon lived 25 Nov 1930 to 30 Apr 2009 in Canton, Fulton Co, IL. he married Janice Mabe on 14 Apr 1972 in Havana, Mason Co, IL, and were blessed with one son and one daughter. Kenneth is buried in Yates City Cemetery, Knox Co, IL. #36608755.

Charles Robert Runyon was married to Leona Mae "Mazie" Donaldson on 22 Aug 1942 at St. Louis, MO. Leona was born 25 Aug 1923. Their daughter, Sue Ann Runyon we do not have a birth date for. Charles died on 22 Dec 1994 in Galesburg, Knox Co, IL, at 4:15 am at St. Mary's Medical Center, and was originally buried in Elmwood Cemetery, but was then moved to Brunswick Cemetery, Stone School Road, Trivoli, Peoria Co, IL.

All this info will keep you busy, but I am thankful to help. Nancy Gawthrop
Added by Tom and Nancy Gawthrop on Sep 16, 2015 9:23 PM
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