John E. Hammon
John E. Hammon was the father of Harry and Emma Hammon. To explain the significance of this statement, John’s life story must be told. John was born in Rochester, Ohio on the 4th of December in 1857. He remained home in Ohio until 1872 when he enlisted in the 7th Cavalry. As a private in Troop G, he partook in the Battle of Little Big Horn, also known as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, in 1876 and survived. He eventually became a noncommissioned officer during his time in the service. After his discharge in 1879, he remained at Fort Meade as a wagon master and eventually a pack master. As a wagon and pack master, he was in charge of overseeing the transportation of wagons through the Fort whether they carried people, goods, or services (like mail). John took home $100 a month to his family. John was 24 when his daughter Emma passed away on July 14, 1882. Tragedy struck John’s family again on June 2, 1883, when his son Harry passed away. Both children were buried in the Fort Meade Cemetery. Shortly after his son’s passing, he left the Fort but remained nearby in Sturgis, where he began a business venture with John Vener. However, he would return to the military in 1895 with the beginning of the Spanish-American War. He was commissioned as Captain with the Grigsby Rough Riders and then stayed in Cuba after the conclusion of the war as a pack master. John Hammon passed on Wednesday January 22, 1909 after suffering from an illness for many months. He passed at his home in Sturgis and although two of his children were buried in the Fort Meade Cemetery, he was buried in Bear Butte Cemetery. His wife and six other children survived him but were eventually buried in Bear Butte Cemetery as well, leaving Harry and Emma in the Fort Meade Cemetery to share their family’s story.