Sunday, June 29, 2014

Duane Miller McKay's cross in the Henri Chappelle Cemetery

Maxime (Max) Noel works recording the histories of the military of all nations buried in cemeteries in Belgium. He has adopted Duane M. McKay's grave. Thank you, Max, for sending these photos and for your hard work preserving the memories and histories of those who fought and died in Belgium.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

George Copeland - Grand Marshall at Veteran's Day Parade in Springfield, Missouri

Thursday, August 1, 2013


This is a copy of the article from the Indpendence Reporter Newspaper

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Heinrich Augustin (of Germany) holds the backpack of 2nd Lt. Duane Miller McKay - a 22 year old from Independence Kansas who died in December 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge. Heinrich's family held onto the backpack since 1944, and after his 95 year old Mother died last year, Heinrich found it again and was determined to return it to the McKay family.

The backpack has been returned to the Kansas Historical Museum in Independence Kansas, and soon the McKay's and Kansas natives and guests will be able to view the relic and read/hear the story of Heinrich's search to find McKay family members and return the backpack.

Coming soon to this blog, more stories about the return of Duane McKay's backpack!

George Copeland - POW tells his story

Memories live on through mementos

George CopelandWas a POW for nearly a year

  • By Sarah Okeson
The daily entries George Copeland penciled into his blue log book more than six decades ago are faded with age. World War II was coming to an end, but Copeland didn’t know if he would survive to see it. The armorer for the 448th Bomb Group had been held captive in Germany for more than seven months.
The first entry is Feb. 6, 1945. Copeland and an estimated 6,000 other prisoners from Stalag Luft IV near the Baltic Sea were marched out of camp as the Russians approached from the east. Hundreds died from exhaustion and disease in what some would later call the Black March. Others were shot when they couldn’t keep up.
Copeland, a farm boy from Kansas who had enlisted with dreams of being a pilot, each day recorded kilometers walked and food eaten, mostly potatoes and bread, or brot. According to his tally, they walked about 473 miles over 86 days.
The first entry is “27” with the words “1/9 can beef 1/3 brot.”

For the full story and to see a video of George, please click here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Minnie Lou Ella Allen Rogers

Minnie Lou Ella Allen was the daughter of Mary Catherine Finney and William Allen. In my Finney book, I had no information other than what Rosamary High Finney's book supplied - her parents and her husband on page 98.

Recently, her grandsonsDave and Gene Rogers, and their sister Jan Rogers Caputo gave me the missing information.

Minnie Lou Ella (or Louella)  Allen
Birth: 8 Aug 1889inTyro, Montgomery, KS
Death: 11 Feb 1922inMontpelier, Blackford, Indiana
Minnie was married to Grant J Rogers (in the book) and Joseph Grant Rogers in his records
          Birth: Feb 16, 1888inMontpelier, Blackford, Indiana
Death: July 30, 1957inCanon City, Fremont, Colorado, USA

Minnie Lou Allen (sure looks a bit like Clarissa Copeland - Samantha Jane Finney Copeland's daughter!)

Joseph Grant Rogers

The grandchildren are trying to solve the mystery of where Minnie was buried. She and her family lived in Colorado, but she must have been traveling when she passed in 1922. After sending for a death certificate, they discovered her place of death. They have written to the cemetery in Blackford, IN but have received no response.
provides a detailed and fascinating history of his life and times.

Minnie and Grant had one son.
Paul Loren Rogers
          Birth: Oct 21, 1917inHavana, Montgomery, Kansas, United States
Death: Dec 16, 1988inDenver, Denver, Colorado
Paul Loren Rogers

Mary Alta Cunningham as an airline hostess
also provides a fascinating memorial of his life and times.
Loren was married to Mary Alta Cunningham
Birth: Aug. 11, 1912
Elk County
Kansas, USA
Death: Dec. 29, 2011
Arapahoe County
Colorado, USA

The Rogers grandchildren have supplied a host of photos on the Findagrave web site, as well as When the Finney book is updated, I will include several. I have included some on this page.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Errata 2 - Copeland AND Finney books


In both books - how could this happen?? - in the long list of husband/wife and children, I have the wrong birthplace for Abner Copeland. He was born in Alamance, NC - and NOT Alamance, KS.

Copeland book - page 331
Finney book - page 138

Good grief. No matter how often you look, and your editors look, these things can happen.

I incorrectly cited that Mary Polly Long's Cherokee parents died on the Trail of Tears. This occurred after the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Lynn Stuter reminded me that Polly was born in 1776 and would have been an adult by 1830 (she died in 1872).

Born: Apr. 2, 1786
Grayson County
Virginia, USA
Death: Sep. 27, 1872
Parke County
Indiana, USA

However, unlike some people who believe that Polly was William Long's daughter by a Cherokee woman, I believe that Polly was full-blooded Cherokee? Why? As a Quaker child, she would have been taught how to read and write. I believe she was adopted as an older child and never could learn to read and write - because she signed her documents with an X, as witnessed in the copies of her application for a War of 1812 pension based on Joseph Finney's military service.