Looking at the list of veterans buried at Whitewater Cemetery, you'll see the names of five Civil War veterans interred there. In reality, only four Civil War vets are buried there. Why are there five names?

Have you visited the Whitewater Cemetery? This Veterans Day, why not visit the cemetery and pay your respects.

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A Cemetery Straight Out of American History

Earlier today, Wednesday, November 10, 2021, I ran into one of the caretakers of the Whitewater Cemetery. A tremendous amount of care and passion goes into maintaining this western Colorado cemetery. It's something right out of American history. Imagine, if you will, a dirt field in the desert hills adorned with headstones. If you've never been there before, trust me, it's just as you would imagine.

Veterans at Colorado's Whitewater Cemetery

There are 13 veterans laid to rest at this cemetery. Four of those are Civil War veterans. Two were Confederate soldiers, and the other two were Union soldiers. According to Sue Chapman with the Whitewater Cemetery Association, all four settled in the Grand Valley in the early 1800s.

Civil War Veterans

The four Civil War soldiers laid to rest at Whitewater Cemetery are:

  • Archie Jenkins Dodgion - Confederate Army
  • Lewis N. Farmer - Union Army
  • Jessie M. Walker - Confederate Army
  • Joshua Reason White - Union Army

Family Still in Western Colorado

I spoke today with Sue Chapman, a former director with the cemetery, who still resides in the valley. According to her, she was related to two of the Civil War vets at Whitewater Cemetery. Lewis Farmer was her great-grandfather, while Dodgson was related by marriage.

Why Are There Five Names Listed but Only Four in the Cemetery?

I'm glad you asked. In the photo at the top, you'll see five names listed as having served in the Civil War. Why, then, do I say there are only four Civil War vets in the Whitewater Cemetery? I asked the volunteers the same question.

As it turns out, the fifth veteran on the list, George Lewis Gaylord, was relocated to the Orchard Mesa Cemetery after the marker had been made.

How to Find the Whitewater Cemetery

You've probably driven right past the cemetery a thousand times and didn't even know it. As you're heading down Highway 50 through Whitewater, the cemetery is on the top of the hill on the north side of the highway. An American flag is flying at all times. To get there, take Highway 50 and turn north on Reeder Mesa Road. After a short distance, turn to head east on Whitewater Cemetery Road. You're going to think you've turned on to someone's private driveway. That's alright. Just keep heading down this dirt road until you reach the gate of the cemetery. You won't be able to drive into the cemetery, but you'll find parking right by the gate.

Google Maps

Volunteers Are Always Needed

Would you like to be a part of this? The Whitewater Cemetery Association is in need of a few more volunteers to loving take care of this precious historic part of Western Colorado.
Waylon Jordan
The Whitewater Cemetery is always an amazing place to visit. At this special time of year, you could be a part of this awesome tribute to Western Colorado vets. I've visited the cemetery dozens of times over the years. I can't think of a single occasion where I wasn't the only person there. The cemetery is only minutes away from downtown Grand Junction, so please make an effort to visit this Veterans Day.

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LOOK: Grand Junction Father and Son's World War I + II Photos

The photos below are from the personal collections of father and son, James and Robert Grant. James L. Grant of Clifton served in the United States Navy during World War I. Years later, his son, Robert Grant, would serve in the United States Army in World War II.

James L. Grant served as the Postmaster of Clifton. His son, Robert, was the photographer at the Daily Sentinel from the late 1930s until his retirement in 1985. James passed away in 1971, and Robert in 2000.

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