Posted at: 07/04/2012 4:34 PM
Updated at: 07/04/2012 6:38 PM
By: Ellery McCardle
Only Revolutionary War Grave in Minnesota
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- There's a piece of U.S. military history very significant not only to our area, but to the entire state. You may not know the only known Revolutionary War soldier buried in Minnesota, is in Winona.
"It's a little bit of Winona history and U.S. History," said Walter Bennick, an archivist at the Winona County Historical Society.
History that's slowly unfolded since his headstone was erected in the mid-1800s. One that over-time has made its iconic mark at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona.
"It's dedicated to a man who served our country in the founding days of our country," said Bennick.
Stephen Taylor is the only known Revolutionary War soldier buried in Minnesota. Bennick showed us Taylor's file. Records show he was born in New York State in 1757.
"In 1781 he enlisted for a term of three years with the Massachusetts brigade," said Bennick.
In 1783 his service was complete and his next major journey led him west to the Minnesota territory. It was land grant deeds that helped him and his family get to Winona County 70 years later.
In fact, Taylor traveled all that way while in his 90's.
"He must have been very adventurous traveling into the frontier and the problems that come with it...it shows man's resilience," said Bennick.
Taylor died a few years later after being sick the only day of his life. He was first buried in a cemetery just southeast from Winona. He was then moved to Woodlawn Cemetery.
Nearly 70 years later, an iconic grave marker, shaped to look like a fort was placed over his grave.
Over the years, articles and research papers have been written on him, uncovering more details of his life and journey to the Midwest. But there's more unanswered questions.
"There are questions as to his service, the records are pretty scant from that period of time," said Bennick.
Even so, there's no doubt, Taylor's grave is a significant piece of local, state and U.S. history. A grave, that sits in a quiet spot, but speaks volumes.