Saturday, March 6, 2021

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Civil War Veteran Honored at Arbuckle Cemetery

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In the Arbuckle Cemetery lies a man by the name of John Rufus Thompson, a concrete grave marker sets his resting place with the dates 1841 – 1915 carved into the stone.

Thompson born in Arkansas, he enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 12, 1862, and fought in elev-en battles, and later discharged in 1864.

After serving the Confederate Army, Thompson returned back to Arkansas and settled down on the farm. He later moved to Oregon where he met his wife, Jane Hardison, and married on October 18, 1864. Thompson and his wife moved to California, and settled into Spring Valley; a short time later, they relocated to Cottonwood and had ten children.

Thompson’s wife, Jane, passed away in 1886, and once again he packed up his family and settled in Arbuckle and worked as a carpenter, and later as a shoemaker.

In 1915, Thompson died at the age of 74 and was buried in the Arbuckle Cemetery.

This information would not have been possible if it weren’t for Ms. Lori Auteri compiling information about her family tree. Her research leads her to Arbuckle – to where she connected with Mr. John Lupe of the Arbuckle Cemetery District.

Lupe connected Auteri with Colusa County Historian John Morton, and now-retired assistant veterans services officer Carol Pearson.

Pearson was able to provide Thompson with a proper headstone, and Morton provided Auteri with a little historical background.

On Saturday, May 17th, at 10:00 a.m., the Sons of the Confederate Veterans gave honor and tribute to Thompson.

A dozen or so family members of Auteri and community members attended the quaint ceremony where Allen Davis, Doug Keefauver, and Lou Olker of the Gen. George Blake Cosby Camp #1627 helped officiate the ceremony.

The new monument was unveiled to a rifle salute, and the playing of taps.

Other notable Civil War Veteran Ceremonies include Robert Todd Powell, John Fletcher Rich, James Van Horn, and James Augustus Garrison, at the Colusa Cemetery, James Foster in the College City Cemetery,

Morton noted three additional Civil War Veterans at the Maxwell Cemetery and one at the Stonyford Cemetery, which have yet to be honored.

“We have to find family members in order to complete the ceremony,” said Morton, “when we do, they will have the same service as well.”

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