Tomb of Civil War veteran receives new grave marker

T-L Photos/SHELLEY HANSON ABOVE: GENE CAMPBELL, left, stands beside his great-great-grandfather’s new Civil War grave marker at Riverview Cemetery that was provided by the Veterans Administration and installed by Justin Gallagher of Randall L. Gallagher Memorials.

T-L Photos/SHELLEY HANSON ABOVE: GENE CAMPBELL, left, stands beside his great-great-grandfather’s new Civil War grave marker at Riverview Cemetery that was provided by the Veterans Administration and installed by Justin Gallagher of Randall L. Gallagher Memorials.

MARTINS FERRY — A Civil War veteran’s tomb received a new gravestone on Thursday, thanks to his great-great-grandson, Gene Campbell of Martins Ferry.

Campbell discovered about a year ago that his great-great-grandfather, James T. Campbell, was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Martins Ferry. However, when he found the marble grave marker it was barely legible. With the help of his daughter, Campbell applied to receive a new stone from the Veterans Administration. On Thursday, Randall L. Gallagher Memorials installed the stone for Campbell.

“It’s been a long process. My daughter (Lugene Campbell-Chine) started over a year ago. She made lots of calls to the VA. We had to have proof that he was a veteran of the Civil War to replace the stone,” he said.

Campbell said when he learned his great-great-grandfather was buried there, he was surprised that no one in his family, including his own father and grandfather, had ever mentioned it.

“My first reaction was why didn’t my father and his father tell me he was up here? The only thing I knew was that I had a grandfather here, not a great-great-grandfather. I was surprised. Why didn’t the Campbells talk to each other? They must have known. They were poor and worked hard and very few have stones,” he added.

“We looked at the cemetery records, which aren’t really good, and saw the name Campbell scribbled on a page. … The old stone was tipped over. We got down on our hands and knees and we could see the name. The rest was hard to read.”

James T. Campbell was a member of the Ohio 25th Volunteer Infantry. He was born July 9, 1825, and he died April 17, 1901, at the age of 76. He enlisted at 35 years old and served for three years. While he was at war, his wife Rachel, who was Campbell’s great-great-grandmother, took care of their five children. When he came back home after serving in the war, they had another three children, Campbell said.

He said James and Rachel were born in Maryland. They moved to Belmont County, first living in the Powhatan Point area and then settling on Burlington Road in Martins Ferry.

Campbell noted he has enjoyed learning more about his family’s history.

“Those people in those days worked hard. They had a hard life. Some of things he did were amazing,” Campbell said of his great-great-grandfather, noting he is still learning more about his ancestors.

Justin Gallagher was happy to be involved with the project. He was assisted by Ray Purtiman.

“I always tell people that genealogy is such an important thing. … It’s nice when a family member takes the time,” he said.

The new stone provided by the VA looks just like the original except it is made of granite instead of marble. To be given the stone, the VA also required that a legitimate company install the marker, which is where Randall L. Gallagher Memorial came in. Campbell said the company created his late wife Irene (Kovalick) Campbell’s headstone at Riverview Cemetery.

“We were up here more than usual because my wife died a year ago April. It’s been tough. She was a beautiful person. She loved everyone,” Campbell said.

Gene Campbell retired from Bell Atlantic in Wheeling. He enlisted in the Army in 1949 and was stationed in Germany for three years during the Korean War.

Lions Club officially unveils latest edition to city of Martins Ferry

MARTINS FERRY – The Martins Ferry Lions Club is helping to beautify the city of Martins Ferry one section of town at a time.

Friday, various Lions’ members along with other dignitaries and business representatives officially unveiled the latest project, the city’s new welcome wall on the corner of Ohio 7 and Hanover St.

”The Martins Ferry Lions Club has just completed its largest project to date with the completion of the welcome wall to the city of Martins Ferry,” Ferry Lions Club president Paul Riethmiller said. ”It took several months to build at a cost of more than $6,000 from the Lions club’s general operating funds.”

The wall itself is 26 feet long and seven feet high, consisting of 926 individual Edington earth blend wall stones glued together with limestone caps and a built-in flower bed.

The project was completed with lighting and landscaping with black mulch and more than four tons of river stone.

Lighting helps illuminate the three flag poles and American, State of Ohio, Lions Club and Martins Ferry flags blowing blowing in the wind above the wall.

Riethmiller stated the idea began months ago when the Lions approached the Ohio Department of Transportation in New Philadelphia about the prospects of installing the wall on the corner.

ODOT owns the property and was also responsible with maintaining the grounds.

”We had to get ODOT’s permission,” Riethmiller explained. ”They came down for a visual inspection and to look at our plans. Then we had to have written permission.”

An agreement was struck that the lights would be maintained, along with changing the flags when necessary.

The Lions will also handle keeping the plants watered and the grass mowed.

It was a win-win for ODOT, with the Lions now handling the landscaping responsibilities and the corner now featuring a welcome wall instead of growing grass and weeds.

Riethmiller was quick to offers thanks to ODOT, the Martins Ferry Administration and, in particular, the business in and outside of town that helped out with time and materials.

”This entire project could not have been completed without the support of our local businesses and help from several individual city residents,” Riethmiller said.

”Once this wall started going up you could just see and hear the excitement around the town about the welcome wall.

”A special thank you to Lollini & Sons for their help with the design, materials, construction suggestions and on-site assistance during this project.”

Lollini & Sons wasn’t the only business offering assistance however. Wilson Blacktop, Ochsenbine Construction, Ferry Hardware, Ultimate Signs and Graphics, Bodnar & Son Florist, Ayers Limestone, Mike’s Auto Center and Randall L. Gallagher Memorials all either donated time and materials or provided the Lions’ with a hefty discount.

Riethmiller noted that one of the Lions’ main goals was the help clean up the entrance to the city and make a “visual impact in our community with a new welcome wall.”

Sign Donated to Legion

Randall L. Gallagher Memorials Inc. recently donated a granite sign to mark the location of the new home of American Legion Post #87 in Woodsfield. Randy Gallagher said of why his business decided to donate to the legion, “I’m a veteran, and I felt like this was a worthwhile project for the new building.” Gallagher was made aware of the need when someone from the legion called him for pricing. Knowing that the post does not have a lot of funds at its disposal, he told them he would install a sign for free. Pictured behind the granite sign are, from left, : Clem Kress, trustee of American Legion Post 87; Randy Gallagher and Justin Gallagher of Randall L. Gallagher Memorials. The main office is located at 131 S. Main St. in Woodsfield.

Veterans Memorial Dedicated

A monument has been prominently displayed in front of Woodsfield’s VFW Post #5303 by the men’s auxiliary. The monument was dedicated Dec. 15 in memory of veterans of foreign wars. Shown, from left, are: post chaplain Vernon Burke, senior vice Roger Elliott, men’s auxiliary treasurer, post commander Alonzo Wilson, auxiliary president Greg Wilson, auxiliary jr. vice Eric Wilson, Randy Gallagher of Randall L. Gallagher Memorials Inc., trustee Lewis Jackson Jr. and auxiliary sr. vice Steve Swallie.

“In Memory of Veterans of Foreign Wars We Thank You” is the inscription on the monument prominently displayed in front of Woodsfield’s VFW Post #5303. The monument, placed there by the post’s men’s auxiliary, honors those veterans who have fought to make this a free country.

A dedication ceremony was held Dec. 15 at the post home. On hand for the dedication was James Neuhart who was the post’s first commander.(shown at left).

The memorial stone was engraved and graciously donated by Randy and Lisa Gallagher of Randall L. Gallagher Memorials, Inc.

Emory Rothenbuhler & Sons Trucking donated the stone for the landscaping portion of the project.

“This community effort was put in motion and completed out of the love of our country and a deep appreciation for the living and deceased soldiers that made our way of life possible,” said Greg Wilson, president of the men’s auxiliary. “As we approach the holiday season, let us count our many blessings.”

A luncheon was served by the post’s ladies auxiliary following the dedication.