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Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War

The following article has been transcribed by Steve Shook from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.
"Porter Camp No. 116, of Valparaiso, was organized in the hall of Chaplain Brown Post, Feb. 9, 1905, and was formally mustered in on March 14, with forty-five charter members. Rodney J. Kitchen was the first commander; Robert B. Swing, senior vice-commander; William W. Bozarth, junior vice-commander; Clinton Jones, treasurer. Mark L. DeMotte was present and delivered an address. On August 1, 1905, R. J. Kitchen, of Valparaiso camp, was appointed judge advocate of the Indiana division by Commander T. W. Blair, of Fort Wayne. The twentieth annual state encampment was held in Valparaiso June 6 and 7, 1906, when the ceremonies included a parade from the Lafayette hotel to Memorial hall, where an address was made by Mayor W. P. Spooner, which was responded to by W. W. Hoffman. At this encampment John H. Arnold was elected senior vice-commander for the state organization, and John W. McNay was chosen as delegate to the national encampment. Company B, First Indiana Sons of Veterans Reserves, was formed at Valparaiso on May 13, 1908, with thirty-five members and the following officers: Richard Smith, captain; Franklin T. Fletcher, first lieutenant; Julius E. Bornholt, second lieutenant; Roy Chester, first sergeant; Everett Drapier, second sergeant; John Jones, third sergeant. The company was mustered in by Major R. F. D--omb, of South Bend, after which a banquet was served at Dudley's café. For a time drills were held regularly. Then the novelty wore off, interest decreased, and the company dropped out of existence without the formality of disbanding.

Porter camp at the present time has 62 members, Leslie Hall is commander; Fred Hall, senior vice-commander; Cassius E. Barrett, junior vice-commander; Julius Bornholt, secretary, and A. W. McDaniel, treasurer. Mr. McDaniel is treasurer of the state organization, and is now serving his fifth year. He also served as department commander, being elected at the Marion, Ind., encampment in 1915. The name of the organization was changed to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil war at the Des Moines, Iowa, encampment in September, 1926.

A charter list of Porter camp, Sons of Union Veterans at the time of the institution in 1905, is as follows: Harry Albery, Theodore Thimings, Adelbert Jones, William Bozarth, William Forney, William A. Moore, John H. Mooker, James A. Jones, Charles F. Bornholt, M. E. O'Keefe, Carl Wood, Richard Smith, Charles Crisman, Rodney J. Kitchen, Myron Brown, Matthew Brown, D. L. Matthews, L. T. Campbell, A. W. McDaniel, J. E. Bornholt, Clayton Wood, Charles A. Pratt, Roy Chester, John Jones, Charles Phares, Frank Carter, Harry E. Smith, C. J. Hand, Warren G. Elam, J. F. Snyder, John Forney, John Fitzwilliams, Jr., John R. Hall, Arthur A. Finney, William N. Muster, Clinton Jones, O. C. Ferrell, Everett Drapier, Frank W. Jones, J. Herschell Arnold, George J. Cole, James A. Frayer, Walter Anderson, Ira B. Tillotson, Earl J. Finney, John Keyes, Robert B. Ewing, John H. Massey, Gifford Herring, Gust E. Bornholt, W. P. Shinabarger, Fred W. Flint, Charles S. Hicks, Albert Anderson, A. J. Louderback, John M. Mavity, R. W. Lytle, H. R. Bidwell, H. M. Miller, Glen Crisman, J. A. Wise, Paul Hayes, H. L. Bornholt, Arthur A. Croke, Edward Miller, Alonzo Jones, Samuel Parks, George Spaeth, James H. Pratt, L. E. Smith, Joseph Sego, C. M. Jones, William Flint and John W. McNay.

Previous to the institution of the camp in 1905, a flourishing camp existed in the late eighties. Harry Albery, Matthew Brown and Elden Small served as captains of the camp. There was considerable enthusiasm among the members and the attendance at meetings was large. A strong district organization comprising camps of Porter, LaPorte, Marshall, Lake, Starke and St. Joseph counties, known as the Northwest Indiana Association of the Sons of Veterans functioned at the same time. In 1892, a meeting was held in Valparaiso. Presidents at various times of the district organization were Horace R. Bidwell, Valparaiso; George Newman, Hammond; James F. Gleason, Michigan City, and Elden Small, Valparaiso.

Interest in the Valparaiso camp dwindled and the camp was inactive for a number of years until its reorganization in 1906."
It took another 30 years for the camp to be re-charted by Ron Gill, Al Loomis, and Bob Griffith, to name a few. It was Charted again on August 18th, 1976. Membership has been up and down over the years, but due to a renewed interest, the current membership is now at 41- one of the highest numbers of camp members since the Re-Charter in 1976

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