Jim Dimond, Kent resident and Civil War enthusiast, holds an urn containing the remains of Civil War Veteran James Powers, who will finally be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery.
Honor will once again be paid to another Civil War Veteran at Tahoma National Cemetery on Saturday, December 10, beginning at 12 Noon at Shelter #4 by the Administration offices.
Civil War Veteran James Powers joined the 12th Michigan Infantry towards the end of the war on August 31, 1864. The day after joining, the 21-year old married Irena Keyes, the daughter of a local minister in Climax, Michigan. Her father had also joined the 12th Michigan Infantry as a chaplain with his first official act in the service being the marrying of his daughter to Powers.
Following the war, the couple settled in Climax where Powers served a term in the Michigan State Legislature. He privately read law and practiced in not only Climax, but also Marshall. Not only did he practice law, but did some farming as well.
In 1917, Irena, then 70-years old, knew that she could not take care of her husband, who had become feeble. After selling the Michigan homestead, the couple moved in with one of their two sons before heading west on a train in June 1920 to the state of Washington, where their second son had founded the First Unitarian Church in Seattle. One year later, Powers passed away followed by Irena seven years later. Both were cremated by Bonney-Watson, with remains placed in matching brass urns.
The urns were place in storage for a number of years before Bonney-Watson ran out of room. The Powers were then transferred to Lake View Cemetery for community storage. Earlier this year they were rediscovered by Jim and Loretta-Marie Dimond of Kent, who are family history researchers and Civil War enthusiasts. Since 1994, they have been working with other local genealogists on the stories of Civil War Veterans, who moved west to Washington.
Last summer, Loretta had a partial list of the community storage cremains at Lake View. Taking a look through the list, she found the Powers and after further research/certifications, the Powers remains were released from storage and interment plans began. One of the last surviving members of the family was located in Florida and gave consent for the remains to be placed in Tahoma National Cemetery.
Full military honors will be take place for the Powers on December 10th with Honor Guards drawn from Civil War re-enactors present at the ceremony. The public is also invited to attend.
“It took twenty minutes to find them,” Loretta reflected, “but twenty weeks to put it together.