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Civil War Veteran’s New Stone to be Dedicated Sunday

Civil War veteran Stephen Farnham, who is buried in the Farnham-Dorr Cemetery adjacent to the new Convenient MD by the South Sanford roundabout, has a new headstone thanks to the efforts of local residents who wanted to see him properly memorialized.

Stephen Farnham was born in South Berwick in 1841. The 1850 census finds him living in Wells with his parents, Ralph (a laborer) and Phebe, and older siblings. By the 1860 census, Stephen and his brother Nathaniel were working as shoemakers, and living in Alton, NH, with members of the Dorr family. Ralph and Phebe had moved to Sanford by this time.

Stephen enlisted in the 12th New Hampshire infantry as a private on August 22, 1862 at Alton. He was wounded at Chancellorsville, VA, in May of 1863, and discharged the following February under disability.

By the 1870 census, Stephen was back in Alton, working in a shoe factory. He died in Tilton, NH in 1898, possibly at the Veterans Home there.

Stephen Farnham’s great-grandniece, Kathy Wainwright, and her husband Cary, maintain the cemetery. They have been working with Sanford residents Bruce Knight and Dianne Connolly to get Stephen’s original headstone replaced. The stone was broken in three places and unreadable. Maine law prohibits original stones from being removed from a cemetery, so the old one will remain there alongside the new one.

After the proper paperwork was filled out, with help from Dan Guillemette at Black Funeral Homes, the Veterans Administration provided the new stone. It has been in storage at Heritage Memorials for a year, waiting for construction at Convenient MD to be completed. Landscaping around the cemetery will be done at a later date.

The stone will be dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. The public is welcome to attend, but please park at Shaw’s Supermarket or Sanford Sound and walk over, so the Convenient MD parking lot can be available for patients and staff. There are a number of small stumps and trip hazards in the cemetery, so please step with caution if you plan to attend the ceremony or visit the cemetery at a later date.

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