Today’s Civil War soldier has complete birth and death dates that always make Kim, Suzi and I happy. Born in Morgan County, Indiana, Isom R. Farmer was the son of Peter and Blanch Westley Farmer, entering the world on April 10, 1832. He was one of eleven children, having seven brothers and three sisters, at least one of his brothers serving in the Civil War, but not in the same company (Eli Co D 70th Indiana; Isom Co H, 40th).

Isom (spelled Isham) was found with the large family in Morgan County in the 1850 census but appears June 22, 1854 in Montgomery when he married Lydia M. Moore. Her parents, Robert S. and Freelove (Groves) Moore lived in Waveland as did Isom and Lydia for a while until they moved to Crawfordsville on South Green Street.

It was on October 6, 1862 when he was mustered into Company H, of the 40th Indiana Volunteers, Col. William C. Wilson, his commanding officer. He left Lydia home with three small children, upon a leave, producing her another child, then they would have three more, totaling seven children. Her mother and younger brothers were extremely helpful to her when Isom was off to war. Although he reupped once, he spent three years, mustering out on October 22, 1865.

Company H saw many battles and skirmishes, the bigger ones being Stones River, Lookout Mountain, Chattahoochee, Peach Tree Creek and Nashville. Company H was filled with many of his friends, some of whom were lost, but Isom came home unscathed as far as is known.

An exceptional carpenter, he and his sons worked side by side building and repairing homes, but before his death, Isom worked in a planing mill in Crawfordsville. He was hurt at work and developed weakness afterward. As sickness does, when you’re down, you’re vulnerable and Isom got a lung disease called quick consumption. His wife had passed away just a few months earlier, but with the lengthy consumption, sick for a very long time. Isom was gone within a few weeks. This was on March 31, 1888, he lacking just a few days before his 56th birthday and Lydia having passed at not yet 50.
Buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Isom had no gravestone. However, thanks to Suzi (Oak Hill Cemetery) and Kim (Kimberly Hancock), he can RIP one of Montgomery’s unknown heroes, Etched in Stone: one by one!

Over the coming weeks and months I will write these columns highlighting each new stone.

Karen Zach is the editor of Montgomery Memories, our monthly magazine all about Montgomery County. And she writes Around the County, which appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County. One by One: Etched in Stone is her latest offering and will appear periodically on Mondays in The Paper.

Thank you for the article Karen Zach! Here is a link to the newspaper article: