- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Wapello County officials are trying to determine who is in charge of maintaining the grave of a man believed to be the oldest Army soldier in the Civil War.

Curtis King was 80 when he served in the 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry in November 1862. He left the Army in March 1863 and died later that year.

A volunteer had mowed his grave until this year, when he died, said Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker.

The grave lies within the state transportation department’s right of way on Highway 163, the Ottumwa Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1vbP9R7 ). The county has contacted the department but hasn’t received a final response regarding the site.

Parker said two groups, the Ottumwa Civil War Roundtable and the Iowa Questers, placed the iron fence surrounding the grave but that they aren’t responsible for maintaining it.

Parker said cemeteries generally fall under township trustees’ responsibility, but the site isn’t a cemetery. King’s grave is by itself, with no other graves near it.

Now, it’s a question for the county’s supervisors. Parker said it’s a veteran’s grave and it needs to be looked after.

“This is kind of a search to find out who is responsible,” Parker said.

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Information from: The Ottumwa Courier, https://www.ottumwacourier.com

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