SUMMERVILLE, JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A Jefferson County veteran who served in the late 1800s received a marked headstone Monday in honor of his service.
A ceremony in honor of Andrew Baker was held at Vandervort Cemetery on Memorial Day.
In 2013, residents of Summerville took on writing a community history book. That’s when they discovered Baker served in the army and had an unreadable grave.
Summerville resident Colleen Cooney said knew Baker as a child.
“My dad had a little grocery store and a man named Andrew Baker would come in every few days to get groceries,” Cooney said. “He would tease us kids, he would say to us you’re a little lazy bones.”
Baker was an African American Buffalo Soldier who served in the Indian Wars from 1886 to 1891.
He lived in Summerville until he died in 1956.
Over the years, his homemade headstone became unreadable, so Cooney decided to have it replaced.
“Being that it had no name on it, we thought that was such a shame,” Cooney said. “We thought he should be honored and he should have a marker with his name on it.”
The project was completed with help from Furlong Funeral Home in Summerville and the Jefferson County Veterans Affairs Office.
The headstone was provided through the Veterans Administration.
The VA will replace any headstone if it’s unserviceable or unmarked.