A Revolutionary War veteran who died in Newton County in 1841 will be recognized on Saturday, August 18, at Macedonia Cemetery near Stella. The cemetery is located about one mile north of Stella on "O" Highway.

A Revolutionary War veteran who died in Newton County in 1841 will be recognized on Saturday, August 18, at Macedonia Cemetery near Stella. The cemetery is located about one mile north of Stella on "O" Highway.

Thomas Ferrel fought in the Revolutionary War and then migrated to Southwest Missouri, settling on Shoal Creek in Barton County in 1836. Later, as counties were separated, his homestead became part of Newton County.

Ferrel, who was born in 1760, fought in the Revolutionary War in 1781-82. He served in the South Carolina Militia as an "artificer," a military or navel mechanic, repairing boats as well as performing other military duty. In 1790 he was listed on the South Carolina census records with his wife, five sons and one daughter. In 1835 he moved to Ohio and then lived for a time in Indiana. In 1836, he and his son, William, settled in Missouri in what would become Newton County.

Mr. Ferrel died in Newton County in 1841 and was buried in Macedonia Cemetery, near Stella. An iron fence was erected around his grave, but it eventually rusted and his grave was largely forgotten. In the 1980s, nearly 40 years ago, local historians began searching for and found his grave with the help of two local men, John Vanslyke and James Miles. They recalled that old timers around Stella called Ferrel "The Old Soldier."

After his grave was found, a memorial service was held for Ferrel on November 11, 1983, with more than 300 people in attendance, in spite of bitter cold temperatures. Among the speakers were local historian, Rylen Rudy, DAR Regent Mrs. Raymond Guppy, and State Representative Nolan McNeil. Music was provided by the East Newton High School Band and choral music was provided by the choir from Ozark Bible College.

A three-gun salute was given by members of the 203 Engineers Battalion of the Missouri National Guard. Charles W. Calef, who at the time was President of the Missouri Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), was the Master of Ceremonies.

Local businessman and SAR member, Gary Gift, said for this year's celebration the Ozark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will serve as hosts. The August 18 ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. and is expected to last about 30 minutes. The SAR has planned several other ceremonies that same day, including one at Sarcoxie later that morning.

The public is invited to the ceremony which will salute Thomas Ferrel, "The Old Soldier" who fought to help create the United States of America.