Cover: Army Sgt. Stanislaus Roy's Gravesite in Green Lawn Cemetery

Erica Thompson
Photo by Tim Johnson

The French-born Stanislaus Roy joined the U.S. Army, became a sergeant and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery following the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana.

And then he was buried under the wrong name.

Following Sgt. Roy's death in 1913, his internment card listed his last name first. To make matters worse, his last name was misspelled. As a result, his headstone in Green Lawn Cemetery read Roy Stanislas for about 80 years.

When a researcher discovered the error in the 1990s, it appeared the spelling would finally be corrected. But when the headstone was replaced, the “u” was again left out of the sergeant's name. As a result, his headstone read Stanislas Roy for approximately two decades.

When Anietra Hamper visited the plot in 2017 to conduct research for her book, Secret Columbus, she found a temporary “section under renovation” marker. Was Roy finally getting the headstone he deserved?

Not quite. His headstone was being cleaned and restored with gold leaf put back into the lettering, but the misspelling remained. The cemetery still wasn't aware of the error.

Today, thanks to Hamper, plans are in motion to update the headstone.

“At some point, the internment card was corrected, and we know the correct spelling of his name, but the marker itself was never corrected,” said Randy Rogers, executive director of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association.

According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs policy, changes to markers must be requested by a family member. Unable to find any relatives, Rogers reached out to Rep. Steve Stivers to intervene.

“When we had a problem doing a repair to a Medal of Honor recipient's grave a couple years ago, [Stivers] stepped in and helped us,” Rogers said.

At press time, Rogers was still awaiting a response. Let's hope Roy will finally rest in peace by Christmas — 105 years later.

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Green Lawn Cemetery

Section 51, Lot 183

1000 Greenlawn Ave., Hilltop

Army Sgt. Stanislaus Roy's Gravesite