Hardin County Historical Museum

Back in October, I had to opportunity to visit the Hardin County Historical Museum in beautiful Kenton, Ohio. I've wanted to visit Hardin County for a long time having read and enjoyed Wheeler McMillen's book "Ohio Farm" which tells the story of late 19th/early 20th century farm life; McMillen's farm was located near McGuffey. Kenton itself is a bustling county seat but has lots of old buildings and is a delight to visit. The museum, located in the Sullivan-Johnson House at 223 N. Main St., proved to be a nice place to visit and had some interesting Civil War artifacts as well as a large collection of cast iron toys from the Kenton Hardware Co., a famous name in cast iron toys. https://www.hardinmuseums.org/

Here are a few of the highlights:

Brigadier General James Sidney Robinson
The pre-eminent local Civil War hero, General Robinson served in the 82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Gettysburg (like Captain Alfred E. Lee) and later was promoted to brigade command with the 20th Corps. Captain Lee served on his staff so naturally I was very interested in the museum's collection of General Robinson's items, which including his spyglasses, epaulets, and saddle.

Another very interesting fact is that Hardin County is the home of two Medal of Honor recipients, including the first soldier awarded the medal, Jacob Parrott of the 33rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Jacob Parrott served as part of Andrew's Raiders. The second individual to receive the medal was Delano Morey of the 82nd Ohio who was awarded the medal for bravery displayed at the Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1862.

Jacob Parrott: http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=1433
Delano Morey: http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=636

The museum has both medals (Parrott's original medal is at West Point) on display in the war room.

Another item that really intrigued me was this hair ring woven from the hair of 65 Civil War soldiers that passed through Kenton in the final year of the war. They have documentation on who these soldiers were, and I must admit that this is the first time I'd ever seen an article quite like this.

This log, cut from a tree that stood between the lines on the battlefield of Antietam, has been in the museum for many years. How it came to arrive in Kenton is something of a mystery, but it was donated to the county relic room in 1915 and now resides at the museum. There is a cannonball embedded in the log, which was later painted with a depiction of the reconciliation of the Union and Confederate soldiers. A neat item, but as I said, something of a mystery.

The day that we visited, the staff was busily engaged in reorganizing the military room (as shown by the ladder) but were very gracious and helpful. The museum far exceeded my expectations and the visit was most pleasant; I even picked up a book written about Jacob Parrott that gave me a great deal more insight into Andrew's Raiders.
Following our visit to the museum, we elected to stop by Grove Cemetery and pay our respects to General Robinson and the two Medal of Honor recipients. It was a rather chilly fall day so we had to place to ourselves. One gravestone that really struck me as an oddity was this one of a soldier from Co. D, 82nd Ohio Infantry named Godfrey Sutermeister with a 3" Ordnance Rifle atop the stone; I'm sure that there's a good story there.



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