Montrose Health Center residents celebrate Cato Mead, American Revolutionary War veteran, for Memorial Day


Resident Council meetings at Montrose Health Center are not just about complaints, compliments, and concerns…sometimes they are the breeding ground for wonderful ideas. This is what happened at the last council meeting. The discussion turned to Memorial Day and how the group’s families had celebrated in years past. Trips to the graves with homegrown peonies and irises and many fond memories were a large part of those days for our residents.  Most of our residents are not able to visit their loved ones’ graves now.  That brings a sadness of what cannot be done any longer.  Yet, instead of dwelling on what cannot be done, the group turned its attention to what CAN still be done.

After some brainstorming, the group agreed to craft a wreath for a Montrose veteran who may not have family nearby.  A recent Table Talk history moment had featured Cato Mead. Cato Mead was a veteran of the American Revolution, serving with the 4th Connecticut regiment and spending the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge with General George Washington’s troops.  Cato Mead was a free African-American who helped our United States earn independence from England. He is the only known African-American Revolutionary War veteran known to be buried west of the Mississippi River.  Mead lived near Montrose from 1840 until his death in 1846, the year of Iowa’s own statehood. The Jean Epsy Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided the white headstone in the Montrose Cemetery to commemorate his life. 

    Montrose Health Center is proud to honor this veteran on Memorial Day and to remember his service to our country. We may not know much about his life, but we certainly appreciate his fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We join with our Montrose community in honoring Cato Mead this Memorial Day.