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War of 1812 veteran to be honored

Orchard Park Historical Society members and the community Saturday will honor a Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veteran buried in Deuel Cemetery in the town.

Jotham Bemus Jr. died in March 24, 1813, in Armor, apparently from injuries suffered in the War of 1812.

A new headstone will be dedicated at 11 a.m. in the cemetery on South Buffalo Street near Hillside Drive. It replaces a small, broken flat stone.

The ceremony will feature members of Post 567, American Legion, and Post 6247, Veterans of Foreign Wars, providing military honors.

Dennis Mill, historical society president, will serve as master of ceremonies, and there will be brief remarks by Orchard Park Mayor John Wilson, Orchard Park Historian Suzanne Kulp and Deuel Cemetery President Al Kaefer. A tribute will be offered by David Rebmann, historian of the American Legion.

According to the historical society, Bemus was born in Saratoga in 1760 and joined the Continental Army when he was 17. He served in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and spent that winter in Valley Forge under Gen. George Washington.

He was discharged a corporal in 1783 and several years later served in the Saratoga militia. He and his wife and family had moved to Western New York by 1803. He bought land in Armor in 1805 and was named pound master, responsible for wayward livestock, at the first meeting of the Town of Hamburg in 1812. Bemus served in the War of 1812 and died, reportedly from a leg wound or disease contracted in the War of 1812.