Marker dedicated for veteran of War of 1812


(Posted May 13, 2015)

Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Kathleen Loftman of San Diego, Calif., searched for a long time for the grave of her fourth great-grandfather, Worthy Pratt, who served in the War of 1812.

She knew the family migrated by covered wagon train to central Ohio where family members founded a settlement now known as Granville in Licking County. They named it after the town they came from in Massachusetts.

Loftman admits she was nearly satisfied that Worthy was put to rest in an unmarked grave, but a visit to led her to the Darby Township Cemetery at the south edge of Plain City.

“It was unbelievable,” she said May 10 as she and other members of the Lucas Sullivant and California chapters of United States Daughters of the War of 1812 honored Worthy by placing a War of 1812 marker, a small flag and a wreath of white carnations at his grave.

Worthy was born on Jan. 23, 1784, in Granville, Mass., to Phineas and Hannah Pratt and was married Aug. 27, 1811, to Florenna (Flora) Case whose mother was the aunt of abolitionist John Brown.

Worthy and Florenna’s families arrived in central Ohio on Nov. 20, 1805, said Loftman, who teaches at the University of California at San Diego and at Defense Acquisitions University in Kettering near Dayton, Ohio

In her search for family history, Loftman found federal census and tax records that told her Worthy lived in Granville from 1805 through 1823, in Ashtabula, Ohio, from 1823 through 1830, and returned to Granville by 1840.

In Granville, he served as register of cavalry, a founding member of the Congregational Church, a Master Mason in the Centre Star Lodge and sat on the first Licking County Court.

Worthy enlisted in Capt. Grove Case’s Company, 27th Infantry, 5th Regiment, Ohio Militia, from Licking County in May 1813. The unit was sent to Fort Meigs in northwestern Ohio where the British had teamed with an Indian confederation led by Tecumseh to attack the fort.  After five long days of fighting, the Americans prevailed.

Worthy died Aug. 11, 1853, at the age of 69 years, 6 months. He and his wife had moved to the Plain City area in their later years to live with their children, Loftman said.

Not only did Loftman find the graves of her fourth great-grandfather and his wife, but also the graves of ancestors of an earlier generation, those of the Revolutionary War era—Jeremiah Converse and family, for whom Converse Road is named.

“They’re down there over the hill,” she said pointing to the south end of Darby Township Cemetery.

A couple of years ago when Loftman first discovered the graves, the markers were heavily covered in moss.

“They’ve been cleaned up,” she said pointing to her family marker. And not just the Pratt marker, but nearly all of the markers are sparkling white.

Loftman wasn’t the only one participating in the ceremony that traced her family history back several generations. Joanne Murphy, state president of the California Society U.S. Daughters of the War of 1812, said one of her ancestors is Francis Scott Key, author of the poem that became the National Anthem.

Leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance was Chuck Herrnstein of London dressed as James Madison, president during the War of 1812. His patriotic outfit consisted of red knee pants, white stockings, a gray vest, and a blue jacket with a white shirt with lacy cuffs. He wore a tri-cornered hat.

The marker placed at Worthy Pratt’s grave carries the words “In Honor of Service” on the top of a circular emblem. The words on the lower part are “In the War of 1812.” Nine stars are on each side between the phrases, one for each of the 18 states in the Union at that time. Worthy’s name is on a bar below the circle.

Previous articleMental Health & Recovery will ask for levy renewal
Next articleMemorial Day services in Madison County


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.