SAR chapters to mark grave of solider from Revolutionary War

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published March 26, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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Matt Johnson

Members of two chapters of the Arkansas Society Sons of the American Revolution will mark the grave of Revolutionary War soldier Asher Bagley Sr. on April 8 at the Old Union Cemetery in Saline County. Preparing for the memorial event are, from left, David James Hoss Sr. of Rose Bud, Bagley’s third great-grandson, past state SAR president and past president of the Casimir Pulaski Chapter, SAR; Larry Hartzinger of Hot Springs Village, treasurer, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter; Charles McLemore of Joplin in Montgomery County, president, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter; and Jimmie Weber of Diamondhead, secretary, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter.

Asher Bagley Sr. served in the American Revolution as a private in the first New Jersey Regiment. Following the war, he settled in Saline County in about 1828 near the community known as Bland. He is buried in the Old Union Cemetery in that community.

His third great-grandson, David James Hoss Sr. of Rose Bud in White County, and other members of the Arkansas Society Sons of the American Revolution will remember Bagley in a grave-marking ceremony at 11 a.m. April 8 at the Old Union Cemetery.

Descendants of Bagley and members of the public are invited to attend the event, which is co-sponsored by the Casimir Pulaski and DeSoto Trace chapters of the Arkansas Society SAR.

Charles McLemore of Joplin in Montgomery County, president of the DeSoto Trace Chapter, SAR, in Hot Springs Village, and Joey Sehon of Jacksonville, president of the Casimir Pulaski Chapter, SAR, in Little Rock, are coordinating the event.

McLemore said the Provincia de la Sal Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, in Benton first marked Bagley’s grave in 1978.

“We are grateful to the DAR for marking this grave so many years ago,” McLemore said. “We have asked members of the local chapter to join us as we remember him with an SAR marker. We invite all other DAR members as well.”

Hoss said he did not know about his ancestor’s service, or that he was buried in Saline County, until several years ago when a cousin joined the SAR as a descendent of Bagley.

“I joined SAR in 1986 when I lived in Georgia,” Hoss said. “I did not know about Asher Bagley being buried in Saline County until after that.”

According to Hoss’ SAR membership papers, Bagley “enlisted and began service in the War of the Revolution in the spring of 1977 in the 1st Regiment of Foot Army under the command of Capt. Aaron Odgen’s company and served through the following winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and continued to serve in the Revolution until 1783.”

Hoss said that at some point, Bagley went to Little Rock and did work for William Woodruff, founder of the Arkansas Gazette newspaper.

“I worked at the Gazette as a stuffer in the late 1960s,” Hoss said, smiling. “And my mother, Gladys Hoss Bobbitt, also worked as a bookkeeper at the Gazette.”

It is his mother’s ancestry that is traced back to Asher Bagley Sr., who was born in 1751 and died in 1840.

Asher Bagley Sr. had two brothers — James, who settled in Independence County, and Benjamin, who settle in Pulaski County; both are listed by the Arkansas Society DAR as having served in the American Revolution.

Bagley Sr. also had three known sons — Asher Bagley Jr., John Bagley and Lewis Bagley.

Hoss said he believes there are Bagley descendants still in Arkansas, but he does not know where.

McLemore said the April 8 program will begin with Dr. George W. English III of Texarkana, a member of the Southwest Trail SAR Chapter in Texarkana, playing the bagpipes. Members of the Benton High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will provide the color guard.

Walter “Bubba” Smith of Hot Springs Village, chaplain of the DeSoto Trace Chapter, SAR, will give the invocation and benediction. Corey Burns of Little Rock, past state SAR president, will give the SAR welcome, and Steve Perdue of Benton, president of the Saline County History and Heritage Society, will present the history of Asher Bagley Sr.

McLemore said the GPS address for the Old Union Cemetery is 7000 Bland Loop Road, Benton. GPS coordinates are 34 degrees 40 minutes 57 seconds north latitude and 92 degrees 40 minutes 2 seconds west longitude.

He provides these directions as well: From Interstate 30 at Benton, take Arkansas 5 West at exit 117; drive 3 1/2 miles, turn right onto Arkansas 298, and continue for about 8 miles. The Old Union Church will be on the left. Continue to Steel Bridge Road, which will be the first road on the right past the church. The cemetery is 1.6 miles on the left after turning onto Steel Bridge Road at the junction of Bland Loop Road.

For more information, contact McLemore at (501) 209-9513.

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