Memorial Day was begun in 1868 to remember and to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead. Gene Stratton-Porter was born during the Civil War era; just one month after the battle of Gettysburg. Her future father-in-law was a surgeon for the Union Army, but Dr. John P. Porter would perish on November 1, 1864.
On July 24, 1882, the Dr. John P. Porter GAR Post #83 was established in Geneva. The post was named in honor of the pioneering doctor of Adams County who lost his life in the war. This was a thriving post for many years. At its peak, almost 200 veterans were members.
One man that was a long time member of the post was John G. Brenner. John fought in the 115 th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D. He served the GAR Post in many capacities, including its commander in 1908. He was a trusted friend and employee of Charles and Gene Stratton-Porter. John would spend the last twenty years of his life caring for the Limberlost cabin and grounds. He lived in the carriage house. His room is part of the tour if you visit the Limberlost State Historic Site
Gene would become a great supporter of the United States Army in WWI. She had a compassion for veterans as shown in her book “Keeper of the Bees.”