On Saturday, July 21, the Sleeping Ute Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution participated in the dedication of the grave of Mexican War veteran, Benjamin W. Sutherland.
Mr. Sutherland served in Company F, Second Indiana Volunteers, in the Mexican War from June 1846 to June 1847. The land that is now western Colorado, western New Mexico, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada became U.S. Territory as a result of the Mexican War.
Benjamin Sutherland was born in Kentucky in 1822. He died as the result of a wagon accident while hauling lumber to a location near Dolores on Aug. 30, 1892. He was buried on his homestead in the Lebanon area.
Benjamin Sutherland moved to the Montezuma Valley in 1886-1887 with his wife, Martha Ellen, and five children. His daughter, Eva, married Gus Stevenson in 1889. Theirs was the second marriage license issued in Montezuma County. The Stevensons raised nine children in the area: Hod Stevenson, Nancy Stevenson Wilson, May Stevenson Reed, Gus Stevenson, Eva Stevenson Gilliland Duncan, Mid Stevenson Cummings, Lottie Stevenson, Lola Stevenson Rose West and Ed Stevenson.
There have now been five generations of Benjamin Sutherlands descendants born in Montezuma County. It was those descendants who conducted interviews and researched the historical records to uncover the story of Benjamin Sutherlands service in the Mexican War. Some of those descendants were present when he was recognized and honored as a veteran at the dedication of his grave in rural Montezuma County.