LAST SOLDIER OF PORTER COUNTY- JACOB MOOKER
Civil War Veteran Mooker Dies, An Old Soldier Finds Peace DEATH COMES TO AGED HERO EARLY TODAY
Illness of Two Weeks Believed Result of Over-Exertion at Grand Army Encampment
SPECIAL MEMORIAL SERVICES PLANNED
(BY ENG. ZIMMERMAN, Sr.)
Jacob Mooker, one of Valparaiso's two veterans of the Civil war, which ended 76 years ago, has made his last March.
Death came to the 99-year-old soldier patriarch at his home, 556 West Chicago, at 6:50 a. m. today.
An illness which gripped him about two weeks ago, believed brought on by excitement and exhaustion resulting from a trip made in middle of September to Columbus, O., where he participated with his buddies in the annual grand encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, was the cause of death.
At the Columbus meeting Mooker marched in the parade, refusing opportunities to ride. According to newspaper accounts, the doughty veteran walked the entire route, gaining considerable publicity by his remarkable achievement.
Will Be Missed
Valparaiso citizens will miss the sprightly veteran when future parades are held. On many occasions he led the line of march and always was greeted by cheers.
Mooker's death leaves James Doty, of East Lincolnway, who lives with his daughter, Mrs. A. R. Putnam, the only surviving Civil war veteran in Porter county. Doty is 95 years of age.
At the time of his death Mooker was serving as commander of the local Chaplain Brown Post, G. A. R., though the active duties of the post were handled by Julius Bornholt, of Sons of Union Verterans.
Born in Germany
The decedent was born in a province in Germany on July 3, 1842. In April, 1848, his father decided to come to America, and he and his family, comprising his wife, and three children, took passage on an old sailing ship bound for the port of Hamilton, Canada.
At Hamilton, a cholera epidemic was raging. The mother and one daughter died after contracting the disease. the father, a daughter and the son started for Chicago. The entire trip was made on foot. Arriving in Porter county, near Crooked Creek, in Washington township, the father obtained employment on a farm operated by a man named Shinabarger.
When the Pennsylvania railroad was being built through Porter county, the father and son were employed on the grading part of the construction. For their pay they took store orders on Skinner and Starr, Valparaiso merchants. When the road was completed through Valparaiso, they took in lieu of their pay an eighty acre tract in Union township.
Enlists in War
At the outbreak of the Civil war, Mooker enlisted as a private in Company H, 128th Regiment, Indiana infantry, for a period of three years. From that regiment he was transferred to Company D, 18th Regiment of Veterans Reserve Corps, as a musician, and was discharged on Oct. 25, 1865.
He participated in a number of major battles and skirmishes. Two of these were Buzzard's Roost and Kenesaw Mountain. The latter engagement was fought on June 27 and 28, 1864. On the second day he was bayonetted and sent to the hospital, where he remained until the following November. He was then sent home to vote for Abraham Lincoln, joining his regiment later at Knoxville, Tenn.
At the time Lincoln was shot by J. Wilkes Booth, Mooker was in Washington. With the 18th and 19th Reserve Corps he was sent to hunt Booth. According to Mooker, Booth was killed after he had taken refuge in a barn which was set on fire by the soldiers. Mooker always discounted stories that Booth escaped, declaring that he saw the body of Booth, which was indentified by soldiers who knew him.
Joined G. A. R. In '68
Mooker joined the first G. A. R. post in Valparaiso in 1868. Later, when he moved to Minnesota to take up a claim in 1896, he joined a post in Park Rapids, Minn. Upon his return to Valparaiso in 1920 he again became affiliated with the local Chaplain Brown Post.
Mooker was united in marriage in 1871 to Rebecca Henry. Three children were born to this union, Agnes, who died in 1897; John Mooker, who died on July 23, 1936, and Mrs. Myrtle Ludolph, wife of E. G. Ludolph, of St. Paul Park, Minn., who survives. He also leaves nine grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren. Mrs. Mooker died on Jan. 18, 1918.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p. m. Sunday at the LePell and Son funeral home on Monroe street, with Rev. Harold E. Garner, of the Baptist church, officiating. Members of the Sons of Union Veterans will act as pallbearers. Burial will be in Kimball cemetery.
Friends may call at the LePell funeral home after 12 noon Saturday and up until time of the services.
[Obituary Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; October 10, 1941; Volume 15, Page 1/Column 5 and Page 2, Columns 2-5]