Henry Hines Churchill was a resident of the County Home when he went for a walk, had a heart attack and died. Young Jack Clements who was out hunting with his dog discovered the body and went for help. Just three days earlier, Henry’s brother, Paul Churchill passed away at his home, at 406 N. Walnut. This was also due to a fatal heart attack. Henry was born in Champaign, Illinois Jan 9th in 1893; he passed away December 28th, 1948, still a young man in today’s views.
Besides these two brothers born to William and Denia Richey Churchill, other boys were Marlin, Paul, Roy, Sigmond, George H, Virgil Franklin and Clarence, plus sisters, Mary, Anna, Margaret and Ida. There were also a couple of other children who passed away young, totalling a baker’s dozen. William was born in North Carolina September 15, 1849 and passed away in Crawfordsville Sept 20, 1936. Denia was born and raised here (1 Sept 1858) dying three days before Christmas in 1947. In almost all of the records relating to this family, the cause of death is heart failure. Most all are buried in Oak Hill.
What interesting careers these people had. In the 1920 census, Henry was a chauffer at that time, but worked for many businesses in Crawfordsville in many capacities, Paul a Porter, Virgil a janitor at a church, Clarence working in the stockyards. Marlin had worked in the brickyard and their father was a long-time cook in a local hotel. Henry married Alice Boling and to my knowledge, they had no children. They divorced and she is buried in Greencastle.
Henry spent almost a year in the service toward the end of WWI, entering on August 22, 1918 and he was separated July 10, 1919. He and five others from our community (William Smith; Welton Rice; Sylvester Norvell; Claude Hoard; and John England) left with great fanfare with a night of honor at the AME Church. They all had “been bothering the local board for months for a call and it has been a case of hunting calls to take care of them.” They did their training at Camp Dodge, Iowa.
Kim Hancock, our Soldier Seeker, had sent his paper work in three times but they would not accept it, then on the Indiana Genealogy Facebook page (these folks are so great) a gal sent Kim his pay sheet. It not only had what unit (163rd Depot Brigade) but his serial # as well, just what was needed for an okay for a new stone. Upon his honorable discharge, he was a member of the 414th Reserve Labor Batallion. He left from his home at 411 North Walnut, where his parents lived many years. With that sheet, the government allowed him his stone; however, he died after 1917 so the Veteran Service Officer had to sign okaying the information.
In regards to where Henry now rests, according to Kim on Facebook: Section L in Oak Hill North, Rest in Peace Henry Churchill, you were a challenge! Well worth it. God Bless you and thank you for your service. He was buried, albeit in an unmarked grave, but with military honors, the local Byron Cox post in charge of the services. Now thank to Suzy Petrey and Kim Hancock, Henry not only rests in peace, but now, with a marked grave, well, at least when the weather clears, and his stone can be placed. Yes! Another unknown soldier Etched In Stone!
Over the coming weeks and months I will write these columns highlighting each new stone. Karen Zach is the editor of Montgomery Memories, our monthly magazine all about Montgomery County. And she writes Around the County, which appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County. One by One: Etched in Stone is her latest offering and will appear periodically on Mondays in The Paper.