After decade of effort, a pioneer's history is restored

Amanda Litzenberger, left, stands with her mother, Susan Bower-Litzenberger, as she talks about her great-great grandfather. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Amanda Litzenberger, left, stands with her mother, Susan Bower-Litzenberger, as she talks about her great-great grandfather. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - With the help of the Clampers in Kingman, a family was able to correct their great-great-grandfather's headstone and give him the military recognition he'd been missing for more than 100 years.

The Hall family recognized Jackson Hall, an early Mohave County pioneer and a soldier in the Mexican American War, on Saturday.

Hall passed away in 1908 and was buried on his land near the Colorado River. When Davis Dam was built in 1949, his gravesite was in an area soon to be filled by Lake Mohave. The U.S. government paid $175 per gravesite to re-bury Hall and others, with his remains being taken to Mountain View Cemetery.

His headstone was made with the wrong birth date and no mention of his military service. It wasn't until 20 years ago that his great-great-granddaughter noticed something wrong.

"I was with my grandmother and my mother. We noticed that it had the wrong date on it and no military record, and that was the initiative that one day we were going to get a new one," said Susan Bower-Litzenberger in a phone call to the Miner in December.

The road to get his corrected headstone was a bumpy one that spanned almost a decade. Susan appealed to the Department of Veterans Affairs after collecting proof of Hall's service. They could not provide a proper military headstone, as the Mexican American War was before the government started providing these types of headstones.

"I made a promise to my grandmother we would take care of it. I almost gave up, then the Clampers in California told me about you guys," said Susan on Saturday, referring to the Clampers present for the memorial.

The Clampers are a group dedicated to preserving the history of the American West. With the help of Stan Yardas and Gary Wilson from the local Arizona Lost Dutchman chapter, they were able to raise enough money to purchase a new headstone for Hall, complete with his military record and correct birth date.

The headstone was placed earlier this year and nearly a dozen members of the Hall family, nearly all of them traveling from out of state, came to remember the life of Jackson Hall.

The Clampers also coordinated a color guard to conduct a three-gun salute. Vince Correa sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "Amazing Grace," and Frank Kozlowski played "Taps" for the service.