Tombstone Tuesday–John Wesley and Laura E. Headington

John Wesley and Laura E. Headington, Green Park Cemetery, Jay County, Indiana.

This is the tombstone of John Wesley and Laura E. Headington, located in Green Park Cemetery, Portland, Jay County, Indiana. The marker is inscribed:

John Wesley
Laura E. His Wife

 A Civil War marker at the graveside is inscribed, Maj. Jno. W. Headington, 100 Ind. Inf.

Maj. John W. Headington, 100th Indiana Infantry.

John W. Headington’s autobiography: I was born in Knox County, Ohio, December 13th, 1833. My parents were Nicholas and Ruth (Phillips) Headington, who emigrated from Maryland in the early part of the present century. I was educated in the common schools of Ohio and came to Portland in September, 1853, where I have lived ever since. In 1856 I commenced the study of law with Hon. J.M. Haynes, and was admitted to the bar in 1858. In May, 1858, I was married to Miss Nancy Bosworth, a daughter of Dr. Jacob Bosworth, who died in 1874. In August, 1862, I enlisted as a private in Co. H., 100 Regiment Indiana Vol. Inft. On the organization of the company I was elected captain of the company at Wabash, Indiana, where we first sent into camp. We were at once ordered to Indianapolis and in old Camp Morton we began to school ourselves as soldiers. We graduated early, partly on account of our proficiency and partly because of necessity. On the 11h of November, 1862, we started for the field of battle and landed at Memphis, Tenn., where we joined Grant’s army on his campaign through Mississippi, which was defeated by the fall of Holley Springs in our rear, and we were forced to retire to Grand Junction, Tennessee… [1]

John W. was promoted to Full Major on 1 June 1864 and was promoted to Full Lieutenant Colonel on 21 May 1865. He mustered out on 8 June 1865 at Washington D.C. [2] John’s Regiment, the 100th Indiana, was engaged in at least 25 battles and several skirmishes.

John W. Headington married Nancy “Nannie” Bosworth in May 1858. She was a daughter of Dr. Bosworth, of Jay County. John and Nannie had four children: Austin B., Alice (married J.H. Roll), Harry N. (died at age 22), Mary G. (wife of A.A. Richardson). Nannie died in 1874 and John married Laura E. Haines on 13 February 1876. They had six children: Frank, Etta (married Charles Freemyer), Billie, Raymond L., Lena and Nellie.

Colonel Headington was a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic, where he was post commander of the Stephen J. Bailey Post No. 154. His wife Laura was a member of the Eastern Star and they were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. [3]

Colonel John Wesley Headington, “Reminiscences of Adams, Jay and Randolph Counties”

John Headington died 19 January 1911 in Portland at the age of 77 years. [4] Laura E. Headington died 7 March 1919 in Portland at the age of 63 years. [5]

John W. Headington is my fourth great-granduncle. I have proved both John and his brother Nimrod for the Ohio Genealogical Society’s lineage society, Society of Civil War Families of Ohio.


[1] Reminiscences of Adams, Jay and Randolph Counties, Indiana, (Fort Wayne, Indiana: Lipes, Nelson & Singmaster, job printers, 1897), 166.

[2] Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA, “American Civil War Soldiers, database on-line,” abstracts, ( : accessed 15 October 2012), John Headington, Union, Indiana, Enlistment 11 Sep 1862.

[3] Biographical Memoirs of Jay County, Indiana, (Chicago:  B.F. Bowen Co., Publishers, 1901), 295-98.

[4] Various Indiana county death records indexed by the Indiana Works Projects Administration, “Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920, database on-line,” abstract from Book CH-2, page 23, ( : accessed 15 Pctpber 2012), John Headington.

[5] Various Indiana county death records indexed by the Indiana Works Projects Administration, “Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920, database on-line,” abstract from Book CH-2, page87, ( : accessed 15 October 2012), Laura E. Headington.



    • Ken Blue on May 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply

    John W. Headington was my Great-Great Grandfather.
    Austin Bosworth Headington was my Great Grandfather
    Leota Headington (Blue) was my Grandmother.

    1. Nice to hear from you and to know that we have common ancestors. I was able to prove John W. Headington for the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio, a lineage society sponsored by Ohio Genealogical Society. I proved the three brothers, who all served in the Civil War: William (my direct ancestor), John W. and Nimrod. I know someone who is a direct descendant of John W.’s first wife’s father, Dr. Bosworth.

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