On Saturday Nov. 12th, on a beautiful sunny morning, approximately 40-50 people turned out for the ceremony of the Dedication of the Abel Lanham Grave. The trumpet call was given by Reverend Samuel Johnson followed by Color Guard from Rutledge High School. The welcome was given by Patricia F. Hunter, Regent Bonny Kate DAR. The invocation was given by June Burnett, Chaplain Bonny Kate DAR. Todd Williams, General Joseph Martin SAR, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Posting of Colors: JROTC, Rutledge High School. Special Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation was given by Claiborne County Mayor Virgil Herrell. Introduction of presenter, Chuck Minton, and history was given by Ollie Ellison, Historian Bonny Kate DAR. Chuck Minton, fourth generation great grandson of Abel Lanham, gave a history and tribute to Abel Lanham.
"We are gathered here today in honor of an individual who believed, as most colonists of the 13 colonies did, in a dream to be free of tyranny. At the age of 16, the man who lies here in this cromlech took up arms to defend this dream. This dream is now called America," Minton said.
Lanham also took part in the founding of Tazewell and served as an original member of the Claiborne County Court as a justice of the peace. His name appears in the first court minutes 24 times. Lanham also served as Trustee for Claiborne County from 1810-1814.
"From his youth to his death, Abel Lanham witnessed the birth of the United States and ultimately the birth of a county known by the name of Claiborne County. This country and this county will always remember you, Abel Lanham, for a job well done," Minton said in his concluding remarks.
A letter from State Sen. Mike Williams was read by Herrell who sent an American Flag for this patriot. The flag was presented to Minton by Captain,
Laying of Wreaths was done Minton, Herrell, and Williams. The benediction was given by Burnett. That was followed by Retiring of Colors by Rutledge High School JROTC, and Taps by Johnson.
Following the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by the ladies of Blairs Creek Church.