Founder of Hewitt to receive long-awaited gravestone
After more than 100 years, Henry William Hewitt's grave now has a stone thanks to a curious researcher of local history.
Henry William Hewitt was the founder of the small town of Hewitt, located nine miles south of Wadena. After researching local history, Wayne Uberto discovered Hewitt was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Verndale.
"But he didn't have a gravestone," Uberto said. "All veterans are supposed to have gravestones for free. He was a Civil War veteran so I wondered why he didn't have one."
After some additional research, Uberto discovered Hewitt was a veteran of the Civil War and served as a union soldier in the Wisconsin Infantry of Volunteers, Co. G, 19th Regiment from March 1862-April 1865.
After leaving the army, Hewitt returned to farming and married Martha Woolard on Oct. 10, 1865.
In 1879, the family moved to Todd County in Minnesota and adopted two sons. He was one of the first settlers in northern Todd County and the town of Hewitt was named after him and established on land that he owned.
His wife, Martha, died in 1894. He moved to Grand Forks, N.D. and lived there from 190205. Later, he married Annie Tulane in Richmond, Va. in 1908.
Hewitt died at age 70 April 26, 1915 in Richmond, Va. His remains were returned to Minnesota to be buried alongside his first wife, Martha.
Because his children were adopted, Uberto said there were no official birth records for the family to request a gravestone.
He reached out to Teresa Sorenson at the Todd County Veterans Services Office and she did some research as well. Even though the town of Hewitt is located in Todd County, Henry Hewitt was buried in Verndale, which is in Wadena County. So, Sorenson put Uberto in touch with David Anderson, the Veterans Services Officer in Wadena County.
No living relatives of Hewitt could be found so Anderson helped Uberto apply to receive the gravestone.
"We were notified they were sending a gravestone," Uberto said. "We're getting the American Legion and VFW involved so they can be part of a ceremony."
Uberto is the American Legion Post Commander for Bertha and said it's important to recognize the Legion, along with the Wadena VFW.
The gravestone has been placed and a ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 at the Verndale cemetery.
Uberto is thankful to everyone who helped him acquire the gravestone to make sure this important veteran and community founder is recognized.