To the editor:
Thank you for publishing the article “Colfax historians to right a 24 year wrong” by David Rowley on April 12.
I am a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and we appreciate your efforts to recognize and honor our veterans.
As a follow-up to this article, I am pleased to report that the improper Confederate headstone has been removed and the new headstone has been set at Cpl. Jacob Binkerd’s grave at McKeever Cemetery north of Colfax.
This has generated interest in a wide region and, in addition to men and women from Newton, Colfax and Baxter, others from Story County and Polk County came to help in the installation of the new headstone.
The Binkerd family contributed a great deal in the Civil War. Jacob had the honor of being the color bearer for his Regiment and fought in a number of the major battles in the war.
His brother, Joseph Binkerd, was wounded in the battle of Shiloh and received a disability discharge due to his wounds. Another brother, Levi Binkerd, died of disease while in the Army and is buried in the Marietta, Ga., National Cemetery.
With such a strong contribution by the family, it is particularly unfortunate that the wrong headstone was placed on Jacob’s grave.
I am pleased that members of the SUVCW, Colfax Historical Society and American Legion are planning a dedication ceremony 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Binkerd gravesite. This will be at the McKeever Cemetery, 2 miles north of Colfax on Highway 117.
A SUVCW color guard, the 49th Iowa Infantry Regiment, will be in Civil War uniforms and have members from throughout the state attending. Larry Hurto, archivist of the Colfax Historical Society, will make the main address.
We anticipate that Jean Binkerd Akins of Baxter will attend. Jean is the granddaughter of Joseph Binkerd, the brother of Jacob. His gravesite is also at McKeever. Hopefully, other relatives will receive notification of this ceremony and will also be able to attend.
This will be an opportunity to honor this outstanding veteran and help right a wrong. We hope your readers can participate in the ceremony on May 11.