Tales The Tombstone Tell Columns
from the Republican Observer
Written by S. W. Fogo
Page 71

 So many of the stones are silent memorials for the early settlers; Doudnas, Hart, Truesdale, Herrington, Noble, Janney, Allen, Minett, Poole, Withrow, Marks.
 A monument for John and Alex Smith and one for Archibald Wanless and members of his family are there along with one for Angus Smith.
 John Truesdale, was one of the early comers to Marshall. He came in 1852 but did not remain for long but returned to Ohio. It was not until 1863 that he settled on his land. On the marker for Joseph Householder it says he was born in Virginia in August, 1820, and came to Wisconsin in 1854. His wife who was Martha McElroy, was born in Ohio in 1834 and died in 1911 at the age of 71 years. He died in 1905 at the age of 85.
 Joseph Marshall is claimed by some to be the first settler in the town. He and his wife came in 1851 just after they were married, sort of a honeymoon so to speak. She died in 1865, leaving five children. Mr. Marshall died in  1866 at the age of 66. He was a Civil War veteran.

 There is a maker, in fact two of them, on the same lot not far from the grave of Joseph Marshall. They are a bit weather beaten. One stone is in French and it is engraved as follows:

Heker Femme
DeLouis Moussaw
Le 27 August 1865
Agee De 34, 12 Tours
 Not being able to read French we had to have the inscription red by one who stated he knew a bit of French and translated it as follows:
 "Sophronie, beloved wife of Louis Moussaw, died 27 of August 1865, aged 34 years and 12 days."
 There were some lines in French below the above but they were so weather worn they could not be translated.
 The inscription on the other stone on the lot was mostly in English except a few lines at the bottom. Note the difference in the spelling of the last name of the person buried on the lot. The second stone read:
  "Delphine, daughter of L. and S. Mouso, died February 12,
   1881, aged 15 years, 5 months and 26 days."
 Following that are the lines in French. Evidently the two buried there were members of the Catholic church, a cross and the letters I H S appear upon the stone. We learn from the Richland county history that a French-Canadian family settled on Fancy Creek many years ago but moved away.
 The death of Delphine, the daughter took place in 1881, a span of 75 years ago.

 Much more could and should be written about the sturdy pioneers, but space and time does not permit at present. A number of those buried in this cemetery were the first comers to the area, they organized the church which stands on the site and they took part in the building of the old log church, the first to stand upon the ground, and were present in the home of Alanson Clark when the church society was organized back in 1859 on June 11. J. H. Mathers was the minister. Among the original members of the church who now rest in the cemetery which adjoins the edifice we noticed the names of Alanson Clark, Mrs. Elizabeth Clark, Angus Smith, Daniel Noble, Margaret Noble, Mrs. Jane Fogo, Mary Wanless, Mrs. Eliza Merrill, T. M. Ocheltree, Mary McDonald, Mrs. Ann Marshall and Mrs. Mary Caddell. Mrs. Caddell, her infant daughter Rachel, and son Sydney, were the first persons to be baptized after the formation of the church. All these now rest in the shadow of the church surrounded by relatives and friends of the far off days.
 May they all serve as a shining example to future generations of lives well lived and tasks well done.

S. F.

Page 72 

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - February 7, 1957

 Epitaphs upon tombstones appear to be things of the past. They are infrequent now-a-day on the newer monuments but the old time markers are engraved with verses. Some of these epitaphs on older stones have so faded away, worn by rains and winds that they can no longer be read. These appear upon the marble stones and no doubt that in another ten years most of the remaining stones will be so weather worn that they will be more difficult to make out.

 Here are some epitaphs taken at random here and there from tombstones in various burying grounds about the county.

 On the stone which was erected for Mildred Myrtle Beckwith in the Button cemetery, it says she was the daughter of M. H. and N. E. Beckwith. She passed away January 1, 1885, aged three years and five months Her epitaph reads:
  "Peace little loving sleeper,
   Close to thy Savior's side
   Housed with thy tender keeper,
   Safe, for the Lord has died."

 Upon another stone, also in the Button cemetery is this inscription, "Our Hattie, aged 2 years, 1 month and 3 day, May we meet her in heaven."

 There is no indication as to when she died or her last name. However, off to one side on the same lot is a marker for Robert Field, who died April 23, 1856.

 In the Bloom City cemetery a marker for Alice Hall, who died on April 1, 1873, at the age of 34, read:
  "Why lament the Christian dying,
   Why indulge in tears or gloom,
   Calmly on the Lord relying
   She can greet the open tomb.
   What if death with icy fingers
      all the font of life congeals,
   'Tis not there thy life lingers
   'Tis not death her spirit feels."

 In the Germantown cemetery near Cazenovia is a stone for Rev. Stephen Duren which reads:
  "Pilgrim!  What thou are, I was,
   What I am, thou wilt be.
   I have prayed for thee,
   Please, thou now pray me."

 According to the stone Rev. Duren was born September 15, 1856, ordained June 24, 1884, and died December 6, 1937.
 Also on another side of the stone is this:

The last of the pioneers of St. Anthony's church
William Duren
Born at Anstel, Germany, Dec. 9, 1819
Died March 27, 1908
"Meeting again is our Hope."

 Jacob Penter, buried in the Fancy Creek cemetery, evidently thought death would be a relief to him, for on his monument is this:
  "His Last Prayer:  Oh! Lord take me home to heaven, tonight,
   that I may get rid of this terrible pain; where there will
   be no more pain and sorrow, no parting of friends."
 Mr. Reuter died in February, 1896, at the age of 79 years and 9 months.

Page 73

 Rachel Mark, wife of G. W. Mark, is buried in the Fancy Creek cemetery. She died March 16, 1884, aged 26 years. On her monument is engraved:.

"Just as the morning of her life
was opening into day.
The young and lonely spirit
passed from earth and grief away."
"Friends or physicians could not save
His mortal body from the grave.
Nor could the grave confine him here
When Christ did call him to appear."
So reads a stone in the Rockbridge cemetery.
 There is frequently noted this verse which will be found on tombstones in many cemeteries. The verse reads:

  "Take them, O Father, in
   Thine arms and may they henceforth be,
   A messenger of Peace between our human hearts and Thee."

 Thomas Davis, who died on February 13, 1891, at the age of 76 years, is buried in the West Fork cemetery in the town of Richwood. On his monument is engraved:
  "Here I sleep all alone
   Not knowing the friends I leave to mourn.
   I want a headstone placed at my grave,
   And a weeping willow that will o'er me wave."

 Mr. Davis got the headstone on his grave but there is no weeping willow tree.


 Just a single line on a stone conveys the heart throb of a mother and father. In the Sextonville cemetery upon a stone for the four year old son of Robert and Kate Robinson, who died in September 1896, are these loving words, "God Bless Baby."


  Good friend pause here as you pass by,
  As you are now, so once was I,
  As I am now so you will be,
  Prepare for death and follow me.

 That epitaph appears upon stones in over half of the cemeteries in the county. We noticed one with several changes, but conveying the same thought in a nearby cemetery. it reads:

  "Remember friends as you pass by
   That all of us are born to die.
   Then let your thoughts on Christ be cast,
   That you may dwelt with Him at last."


 Then there is the one upon a stone in the Sylvan cemetery, which by the way, has many modern stones though it is quite an old burying ground. The epitaph reads:
  "My work's now competed and finished below.
   My last tears have fallen I trust.
   I have fought my last battle, have met my last foe;
   Have conquered, I now am at rest."

Page 74

 Frank Burdick, buried in the Lone Rock cemetery, died November 16, 1899, who the tombstone says "lost his life while performing his duty as brakeman at St. Paul, Minnesota."

 Members of the Mumford family, one time Lone Rock residents, became scattered over the years. Clarissa who died in 1906, apparently is buried in the Lone Rock cemetery; Edward, who died in 1872, is buried in Wauzeka; Corde died in 1886, and on the monument in the Lone Rock cemetery along with Edward, was laid to rest in the Graves cemetery at Rush, Ill., and Mary Mumford Kendall is buried at Wichita, Kansas. She died in 1905. All this information appears upon the one monument.

Here is one we clipped from an exchange:
I read this on an old tombstone, half-hid by grasses tall:
"Tis better to have lived and died
Than not have lived at all."
                        L. L.
Dear L. L.: I wonder if you and I have been exploring the same
cemetery. The one I saw reads:
"Tis better to have lived and died
Than never to have DIED at all."

If it be upon a stone or elsewhere there is deep sorrow coupled with the passing of a loved one. The longing of a mother for her child is surely expressed in a remembrance which we clipped from a newspaper a few weeks ago. It is the outpouring of a mother's broken heart. It reads:

     In Memoriam
  Coates-Lorrie Coates, My dearest darling Lorrie, today is
  your birthday, you are 15 years old. Grandma, Auntie Helen,
  Jerry, daddy, and I miss you so; we love you so much,
  darling; you are with me every moment of the day and night.
  My heart is so heavy, Lorrie dear; take care of yourself
  baby; I'll try to be with you as soon as I can. Wait for
  me-my darling one.     MOTHER

 Dead these 64 years is an old time school teacher, Edwina Edwards, of the town of Bloom. She became the wife of Robert J. Drake and died October 24, 1891, at the age of 30 years 7 months and 28 days. Her grave is in the Pleasant Ridge cemetery in the town of Bloom. It is quite possible that some former pupils, who learned their A B Cs from her in some county school years ago, are still in the land of the living. Their old time teacher left a message for them, it appear upon her marker thus:
  "Dear Scholars. When the lessons of life are all ended,
   and Death says, 'the school is dismissed,'
   May you one and all gather around me again
   to bid me 'good night' and be kissed."

S. F.

 Page 75

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - February 14, 1957

 Perhaps there are fifteen to twenty cemeteries in Richland county that have long since ceased to be used for burial purposes. The tombstones lay upon the ground covered by grass weeds. Inscriptions upon the stones have become dim over the years and names, dates and verses worn by the elements so they are difficult to read.

 One of these cemeteries, located in the town of Richwood, has long since ceased to be used as a burying place. It is located in section 30 on the farm owned, we believe by Mrs. Lloyd Chitwood, west and south of the Haskins cemetery. It is on county trunk W. Back in 1874, according to an atlas of the county, the land was owned by M. Chitwood. There are a number of stones in the cemetery, none standing erect. The name Clark appears upon one or two of the stones and a date on a stone is 1869, it is for a daughter of R. and C. Clark. The date of death is August 21, 1869, and the child "Almeda", was one year of age. While in the cemetery we made a few notes of names and dates, but these have become lost or misplaced and will require another visit later on.

The Wright Cemetery

 Also located in the town of Richwood is what is known as the Wright cemetery, located on section 24. It is on land, owned back in the long ago, by L. J. Wright, who donated the land for burial purposes. It is located north of the village of Byrds Creek, some two miles a bit east of the school house which has "Byrds Creek School" painted upon it. This burying ground is located perhaps 300 feet from the road and cannot be seen from the highway as it stands upon a hillside and is quite hidden from view. It is enclosed by a wire fence, part of which has been knocked down.

 Years ago a church stood near the site. It was a U. B. church and now there are no signs of it except a few stones that may have been a part of the foundation.

 I. J. Wright, who donated the land for the cemetery, settled in Richwood in 1855 where he purchased 300 acres of land. He took part in the Civil War and became a second lieutenant. He sold his farm and moved to Muscoda, later to Tennessee and then back to Muscoda. He was ordained  as United Brethren minister, serving for some time as a circuit preacher. He no doubt organized the little church which was located near the cemetery which bears his name.

 One of his sons was Dr. J. C. Wright, born March 19, 1859 in Richwood, attended the country schools, the Muscoda high school and Rush Medical College in Chicago, from which he graduated in 1882. He began the practice of medicine at Excelsior and continued there for many years, moving to Antigo where he remained until his death. Dr. Wright was well known in Richland county.

 In this cemetery is buried William T. Wright, another son of I. J. Wright. He was born March 11, 1848, and passed away in April 1871. When the G.A.R. post at Excelsior was organized in 1882 it was named William Wright Post No. 51, and, according to the county history, had a membership of 53. Regarding him we now quote from the county history: "William Wright, the gallant young soldier in whose honor the was name, was a son of I. J. Wright, and was born in Ohio. He came to Wisconsin with his parents and assisted in tilling the soil. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in Co. B, 25th regiment and served until mustered out of service. Returning home he attended school at Sextonville. He was united in marriage with Mary Barnes, and engaged in farming until his death. Mr. Wright was a whole souled, good hearted fellow, surrounded by a wide circle of friends. His name was chosen for the name of Post 51, at the suggestion of Edward Dosch, who was his 'chum' in early days."

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