Buena Vista Township, Richland County, Wisconsin USA
The Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - July 26, 1956
An Old Cemetery
Down in the town of Buena Vista is an old cemetery. It has two names best known today as the "Button Cemetery" and that name appears upon the gate which leads into the city of the dead. It's real name, according to old timers and official records, is the "Buena Vista" cemetery and as such it is recorded at the court house.
This is a well kept cemetery and buried therein are many of the early day settlers of the town of Buena Vista and that area. According to the county history Lucius Tracy, who died April 6, 1854, was the first person to be buried there. His tombstone says he was 56 years of age, if so, he was born in 1798. There are a number of persons buried in this cemetery who were born in the closing years of the 1700s, one of these was Ebenezer Young, who first saw the light of day on May 5, 1798, and died in 1870. J. W. Fox is another, he was 66 years old when he passed on in 1860.
Familiar names upon the stones are Bateson, Bills, Mainwaring, Martin, Donner, Bennett, McNurlin, Gewald, Phettyplace, McIntire, Button, Wallace, Ketcham, Thomas, Clements, Moore, Jamieson, Southard, Henry, Maxwell, Briggs, Esselytine, Seaman, Bock, Dexter and many others whose names will go down in history as honored citizens.
Old fashioned first names appear upon the stones, Azubah Gewald, who was born in 1826, has an odd first name; Ebenezar Young is old fashioned as we never hear of many, if any, being named Ebenezar in these days. Sophia B. West, has an old fashioned first name, she was born in 1792 and died May 11, 1880, and on her monument is carved these words, "Blessed are the poor in heart for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven." Columbia Seaman, has an odd first name and some of her kin, Jonah Seaman, has an old fashioned given name. One of the persons to be buried in the cemetery is Eliza, wife of John Seaman, who died October 15, 1853. She was accidentally shot by William McCloud. She was among others who died in the town at an early date and were buried elsewhere and their bodies moved to the Button cemetery.
Buried in the cemetery are the remains of M. W. Gotham and his son Lucius, who went to their death in a violent storm on the Great Lakes, November 24, 1902. M. W. Gotham was the captain of a lake vessel and his son also was a sailor. The boat which sank was making its last trip of the season and father and son looked forward to a return to their home in Gotham. They did return home but it was no happy occasion. Captain Gotham was born in 1842 and the son on November 20, 1884; the lad had just passed by four days his 18th birthday.
There are many Civil War veterans sleeping away the years there and stones for some who are buried elsewhere are to be found.
One of these is for James McIntire, who was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, May 27, 1864. Upon the stone for this soldier boy is also the names of his father and mother, Ezekiel and Carolina.
Capt. Henry Dillon, veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars, is one of the well known veterans to find final rest in this cemetery. He died January 10, 1882, of smallpox and was followed in death by several members of the family who contracted the disease and within a few days of each other passed away. A son Joseph, died February 10, 1882; Bruce died January 27th, and Willie B. Seiders, a relative, January 28th. There are ten tombstones on the lot and the last member of the family to be buried under the spreading branches of a tall pine tree on the Dillon lot, was Anna Cora Dillon, who passed on in 1946.
On one stone in the cemetery is the inscription: "Emeline, wife of Joel Oakes, formerly wife of Isaac Folwell, died January 16, 1893, aged 79 years. For 60 years an honored resident of Cambridge, Penn.
On the shore beyond the river,
from her labours she's at rest.
Now the cares of earth are over
And she mingles with the blest.
On one old stone in the shade of a tree on the Harter lot, is carved but two words, "Little Elmer." John Wallace, who was born in 1829 and died in 1900, is remembered by this verse:
"And if beside his grave the tears our aching eyes must dim,
God comfort us for all the love which we shall lost in him."
Upon a lot stands a stone which reads: "Our Hattie, 2 years, 1 month and 3 days. May we meet her in heaven."
There is nothing else upon the stone, but it stands upon a lot with a stone for Robert, son of Robert and Mary Field, who died April 23, 1856, aged 11 years, 2 months 7 days.
In the quiet confines of this old burying ground sleeps a sweet old lady known by many Richland Center folks as their first school teacher. These school children of 70 to 80 years of age will remember her as Mary Vedder who taught school in the basement of the Baptist church here some 70 years ago. The rear door of the church basement through which the boys and girls trooped to and from school, remains the same as in the far old days. Upon the marker at the base of her grave marker at the head of her grave say:
Mary V. Morrison
1841 - 1918
Miss Vedder became the wife of H. J. Morrison, an early settler of Buena Vista. He became a resident of Richland Center later in life and he and his wife resided on what is now the Sextonville road. Their old home still stands; it has been remodeled, other houses have been erected close by and the venerable couple would hardly recognize the place if they could see it today. Mr. Morrison was twice married, but his first wife being Ann Fox who preceded him in death by many years. Mr. Morrison and his wife Mary, were devout Christians, members of the Richland Center Presbyterian church. Well can we remember them on a Sunday morning driving in their buggy to attend the church services. They would tie their horses to a post across the street south of the church and attend the meeting. Home for dinner and back again to the church for evening services; and on Thursday nights only a severe storm or sickness would keep them from prayer meeting. Few, if any, were more devoted to their church than Mr. and Mrs. Morrison.
There is a monument in the cemetery for Hattie Anora Martin. It is carved from marble and represents an angel. Hattie Anora was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Martin. She died January 11, 1869, aged 8 months and 11 days. Her father James Martin Sr., was born in Ohio in 1827 and died October 23, 1886. He was the father of J. W. Martin and the grandfather of Harley Martin, long prominent as cattle breeders. Harley served as assemblyman from this county. His son James, now occupies the old home farm.
On the tombstone of Clara, the daughter of Charles and Joanna Maxwell, who died in 1884 at the age of two years, is this verse:
"We miss the bright eyes of our darling child,
And the sweet, rosy lips that so often on us smiled."
Buried in the northwest corner of the cemetery, are Paul A. Seifert and his wife Elizabeth. Paul will be remembered as living on what is now highway 60 west of Gotham and many a story of Bogus Bluff and the counterfeiters could he spin.
Five stones, all alike appear upon the lot of William Williams and his wife Nancy. Mr. Williams was born in 1831. There is the grave of William Ketcham and other members of his family, one for Parduhns, G. L. Thomas, John and Frank Brown, the latter served for a number of years as game warden. Dr. George Jamieson, J. W. Briggs, Alfred Kuykendall, Alex Ray; who served as postmaster at Lone Rock for many years; the Bills family.
One of the earliest settlers in Buena Vista was Samuel Long who settled there in 1848; he was born in Indiana in 1816. Another old settler, Jacob Bennett, found a resting place in the cemetery. He was born in Scotland in 1836, came to America in 1851 and to Buena Vista in 1857. Alfred Beckwith, Civil War veteran, died in 1893. His monument has carved upon it:
"There is no death,
the stars go down to rise upon some fairer shore,
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown they shine
Henry G. Tucker, member of Co. A. 1 Vol. Infantry, Spanish-American War. Charles Tustison, Major in 533 Field Artillery, who passed on in 1945, he was born May 11, 1910, and served in the Ist World War. Other World I and II veterans in this cemetery have flags waving over their graves.
Along the west fence are a number of slabs to mark graves of members of the Perrin family. Their deaths followed closely one another and it is recorded that they died of some mysterious disease.
William P. Weston, a relative of the Perrins, died in 1854, aged 15 years; Gilbert Perrin died September 1854 aged 19; Dr. Perrin passed away in October 1854, aged 28, and his wife died December 18, 1854, aged 21, and Ella Perrin died on February 28, no age given.
There is one monument in the city of the dead with a cheerful note. It is a regulation sundial on the monument for Michael Martin Shirk and his wife Laura Burnham Shirk. It reads:
"I count none but the sunny hours."
Lone Rock Cemetery
Buena Vista Township, Richland County, Wisconsin USA
The Tales Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - December 18, 1958
Lone Rock Cemetery
Dead these many, many years is Johnathan Hopkins, whose tombstone in the Lone Rock cemetery states that he died December 1, 1856, at the age of 52 years, one month and 17 days, and he may have been the first to be buried in this village cemetery as we found no other marker with a date earlier than 1856. However the cemetery is dotted with rough stones from the hillsides and one of these may mark the last resting place of some person who preceded Mr. Hopkins down the long road.
The village of Lone Rock first came into being in 1856, the railroad having been completed to that point in October of that year and only one building was on the spot at that time and it was two months later that Johnahan Hopkins breathed his last and indications are that his burial was the first in this cemetery.
A number of Civil War veterans are here with World War soldiers. Among the World War I veterans we noted markers for Steven Bennett who was born in 1886 and died in 1929. This is all the information the gravestone gives. Vern E. Rose is another World War veteran. He was a Pfc. 19th Ord. corps, born August 27, 1915, and died March 7, 1949. Another is Melvin C. Olson of World War II, born January 19, 1912, and passed on September 27, 1951. A third is Henry J. Krause, a private in the engineering corps. The stone does not give the date of his birth but records that he died October 25, 1936.
Of the Civil War, Boys in Blue, who sleep here are some who belonged to the 6th Wisconsin Battery which was made up for the most part by men from Lone Rock and that area and was organized at Lone Rock with Henry Dillon as captain. Captain Dillon is buried in the Button cemetery not so far away. Byron Babcock is a 6th Battery veteran buried here. He served from September 14, 1861, until July 3, 1865, residing for many years in Lone Rock following the close of the war. E. A. J. Burdick enlisted from Ithaca on Sept. 11, 1861, and was mustered out in October, 1864, his term having expired. Mr. Burdick in after years became an employee of the railroad. R. A. Hammond, another member of the battery, is buried near the gate of this prairie burying ground. On the lot with him is his wife Ida, and a son Carl, the latter was a barber by trade, born in 1874, and died in 1957. R. A. was born in 1848 and died in 1935, while his wife, born, in 1849, died in 1921. Mr. Hammond always went by the name of "Seal", being shortened no doubt from his given name, Rasselas. There may be other members of the 6th buried here but the stones do not indicate it.
Other Civil War veterans in the cemetery are Gardner Godfrey, a member of Co. B, 30th Wisconsin; John L. Harrison, Co. C, 37th Regiment; William F. Green, Co. G, 12th Connecticut Infantry; Leonard Tracy, Co. H, 1st Vermont Cavalry; D. E. Johnson, Co. B, 25th Illinois; there is also a G.A.R. marker on the grave of Charles H. Mumford, but no indications of the regiment in which he served. Jas. Gilson, a member of Co. K, 32nd regiment; Wm. H. Bower, Co. I, 23rd Infantry; W. A. Bower, Co. M, 38th Regiment. These are among the folks who served in the Civil War along with John Betty, Co. D, of the 9th Iowa Regiment. Mr. Betty was the last Civil War veteran from the Lone Rock area to answer "taps". His wife, Emma, who was born in 1859 and died in 1928, is buried by his side.
Well known names upon the stones are the names of Endicott, Gile, Price, Britts, Phetteplace, Raybuck, Chase, Hendricks and Fox.
On the marker for William Ward, who died in September, 1884, at the age of 44, it reads:
"We should not weep that he is gone,
With us its night with him it's dawn."
Ben J. Hobart was also a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. B, 12th Wisconsin Infantry. He was born in Ohio Feb. 12, 1820, and died April 2, 1905. Buried on the same lot are Polly, his first wife, born in 1825, and died in 1863; and Eliza, his second wife, who died in 1899, at the age of 72 years and six months.
On the same lot with E. A. J. Burdick, G.A.R. veteran, mentioned above, are markers for three other members of the family. Sybil was born in 1846, and died in 1938; Frank, born in 1870, and died in 1899, Harry, 1877-1952, and Clayton, 1886-1956.
The Preston family have several members buried here. James A. Preston, died in October, 1892, at the age of 72; his wife, Lucinda, was 75 when she passed on in 1900; Howard Preston died in 1902; Harley in 1900, and Lucinda, wife of James, Jr., died in 1885, at the age of 21.
Alpheus Aldrich evidently liked to move about for it says upon his marker that he was "born in Rochester, New York, April 24, 1818. Married Helen Conable on January 27, 1839. At different times lived at Fabius, New York; Berlin, New Jersey; Smithport, Pa.; Deansville, Wis., and Lone Rock, where he died June 28,1885. His wife died November 12, 1882. On the same lot is a stone for Eber J. Aldrich, born December 11, 1851, married Ida Jenkins, on June 24, 1875, and died November 14 1884. His wife died in 1886 at the age of 31. A son, Alexander Alpha, died in 1883 at the age of two years, 11 months and 22 days. Mr. Aldrich was a blacksmith. He too, like his father, wanted to move about a bit so he built a boat, launched it in Wisconsin river and set sail, landing at New Orleans. He returned home from there, no doubt with many tales of his adventures down the big river which he told and re-told to those who gathered at his blacksmith shop.
Michael Schlough was a harness maker by trade, and from what we learn, a good one. He plied his trade at Lone Rock for many years. He was born in 1845, and died in 1921; his wife, Mary, came into this world in 1848, and died in 1928. On the same marker are the names of their children. A son Vernie, died March 27th, at the age of a bit past one year; a daughter, Stella, was 17 when she passed on April 12, 1899; Carrie was three when her death took place on December 18, 1885, and Adda, whose death was December 19, 1885, was one year, one month, and seven days old.
Two of the early born folks were Philip Creasy, born in 1818, and his wife, born in 1821. He died in 1889 and she in 1875. On the stone for Mary Whipple, who was born in 1809 and died in 1900, is a line which reads:
"Weep not, she is at rest."
Dr. J. E. Peebles and his wife Elizabeth, are buried here. He was born in 1847 and died in 1914; his wife was born in 1847 and passed away in 1925. On the back of the tombstone for Dr. and Mrs. Peebles are two inscriptions which read:
"P. N. Gray, aged 82"
J. B. Gray, aged 82"
George Schnee was 86 years, 8 months and 11 days of age when he passed away in 1886. On the same lot is his wife Cora Bell Woodbury. Also in this cemetery is R. H. Layton, born in 1831, and died in 1904. A stone for Elmer, ten year old son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Towsley is here. Mr. Towsley was for years station agent for the railroad. A marker for Mary, wife of H. W. Haskell, who died October 12, 1897, at the age of 64. A daughter, Clara, who died January 22, 1876, at the age of 15, sleeps beside her mother.
Mr. Haskell was a hotel operator in Lone Rock for a number of years. His hotel was known far and wide as the "Haskell House."
One of the widely known persons to be buried here is John Fletcher Beardsley. "Fletch" as he was called by his friends, was, according to his tombstone, "born in Herkimer county, New York, March 29, 1849, moved to Wisconsin in 1856, settled at Lone Rock in 1870, where he died March 2, 1923." When Mr. Beardsley came to Lone Rock in 1870 he began the business of selling sewing machines and musical instruments, later he branched out into selling farm machinery of all kinds, implements, threshing machines, etc.; also sold lumber and building material. His
first wife was Miss Lucy Schellinger, and following her death he married Miss Jane Mumford, who was born in 1855 and died in 1918, and is buried on the Mumford lot in the Lone Rock cemetery. Mr. Beardsley's parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Beardsley, are also buried in the Lone Rock cemetery on the lot with their son J. F. The father was born in 1823 and died in 1900, and his wife, born in 1824, died in 1884. They were also natives of Herkimer county.
The Mumford family are on a lot near the Beardsley plot. Charles Mumford, a Civil War veteran, served in a cavalry regiment. He was, according to the tombstone, born in 1816 and died in 1899. His wife, Clarissa, was born in 1814 and died in 1906. The children became scattered, some members finding resting places other than the Lone Rock cemetery, but their names and the dates are on the stone which marks the graves of their parents. The inscriptions for a son and two daughters reads:
"Edward Mumford, Died June 12, 1872.
Buried at Wauzeka, Wis."
"Cordelia Mumford Foster, Died April, 1886,
buried at Graves, Cemetery, Rush, Illinois."
"Mary Mumford Kendall, died April 4, 1905,
buried at Wichita, Kansas."
A stone marks the grave of Elizabeth Hurst, wife of W. C. Hurst, and her son Raymond. She was born in 1845 and died in 1878. The son died in 1875. W. C. Hurst operated a ferry at Lone Rock at one time.
Ten markers all in a row, stand upon the graves of members of the Ball family. One of these is for William A. Garrison, and one for his wife, Flora Ball Garrison. Mr. and Mrs. Garrison are the parents of Mrs. P. L. Lincoln of Richland Center. He was a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. K, 1st Cavalry, and should have been listed with the G.A.R. veterans at the beginning of this article. Mrs. Lincoln has two great grandmothers also buried here in this row of graves. The stones read: Wm. A. Garrison, Flora Ball Garrison, 1849-1931; Alice Ball Loomis, 1859-1921; Mary Ball Ryan, 1853-1906; Caroline A. Ball, 1862-1936; George Ogden Ball, 1817-1897; Jane Heydon Ball. 1826-1921; Betsey Heydon, 1794-1882; Pheobe Ogden Ball, 1787-1878; Jane Ball Bancroft, 1809-1892." Jane Ball Bancroft was the grandmother of Levi H. Bancroft, who became prominent in the affairs of Richland county.
The Lone Rock cemetery is not often used now a days as burials are few and far between and it has become neglected over the years.
Buena Vista Township, Richland County, Wisconsin USA
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - December 26, 1957
A Little Known Cemetery Near Lone Rock
Here is the story of the Jennings cemetery on highway 14 near Lone Rock. It contains but a very few graves and is hardly noticed by those folks who pass it by. It is north across the highway from the Lone Rock cemetery. The story below was written by Robert Weigley of Lone Rock, some 17 or 18 years ago. Here it is
An Old Cemetery
Down in the southern part of the county in the town of Buena Vista near Lone Rock stands a little obscure cemetery which has remained unnoticed for many years otherwise than to those who had relatives buried therein. This tiny burying ground comprises two acres of ground and contains four unmarked graves. (More burials have since been made here and some graves are now marked.)
When surveyors in staking out the proposed location of U. S. Highway 14 between Spring Green and Gotham, they came upon the tiny plot. Running directly in the path of the proposed highway, relatives were contacted, among them being Mrs. Urania Jennings Fries, of Lone Rock, whose father and grandfather rest beneath this hallowed soil. Heirs of the estate otherwise than Mrs. Fries have sold part of the ground in the cemetery to the state and rather than take the small amount which would be allowed for the several feet of land, they have asked that instead it be fenced. Members of the American Legion Post at Lone Rock have been asked to write the state department at Washington requesting stones for the graves.
James Jennings, a former well known Lone Rock resident, was buried in the tiny cemetery 44 (now 62) years ago. The land was given by him as a final resting place for all members of the Jennings family. Mr. Jennings, a resident of Lone Rock between the years 1864 and 1888, was a veteran of the Florida War with the Seminole Indians.
Government records state that James Jennings enlisted in the service of his country on February 5, 1838, as a private in Battery K, U. S. Artillery. Here he saw active service and received his honorable discharge papers on February 5, 1841. A native of New York City where he first saw the light of day on December 6, 1812, he was actively engaged in the early affairs of that great city. It is recorded in the old council proceedings, a copy of which Mrs. Fries owns, that his father, Ephriam Jennings, had the contract of moving an early city hall and for many years served as "lamplighter" before the advent of the incandescent lamp.
The second James M. Jennings, the father of Mrs. Urania Fries of Lone Rock, was for many years a highly respected citizen of that village. He was actively engaged in the affairs of the village government, serving in various official capacities. Mr. Jennings was buried in the tiny cemetery beside his father 35 (now 53) years ago. A small child of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fries was interred there as was an infant of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel W. Jennings of Lone Rock.
The history of the entire Jennings family is indeed an interesting one and we learned from records that it had its inception in England. Several years ago a relative of the family, Mrs. Barnett of Norfolk, Virginia, received word of the death of a relative, "William Jennings", who had died in England, leaving a reputed estate of over $575,856 in castles, lands, lands, silver plate and costly paintings. Mrs. Barnett started suit and notified Mrs. Fries of Lone Rock. Two lawyers, one in America, and one in England, were hired. Although they spent much time and money in securing records both here and in England, they learned that an old English law said that all monies and property belonging to a citizen shall revert to the Crown within a certain length of time should no proceedings to obtain it be forthcoming. Mr. Jennings was a bachelor and it is believed his cook and trusty servant received much of the estate and the remainder reverted to the Crown.
At the present time the America relatives of the Jennings family number 55 scattered throughout the United States.
But the little cemetery which has remained unnoticed for many years will soon boast of a new attractive fence and the graves are to be decorated with stones. We know that a good character is the best tombstone. Those who love you and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve your name on hearts-not on marble. Blessed are the dead who sleep in the Lord!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Thus ends the story as written by Robert Weigley some 17 or 18 years ago. Changes have been made since then. The little plot of ground is now surrounded by a woven wire fence put there by the road contractors. A driveway was built, also by the contractors.
There are two stone markers close to the southwest corner of the cemetery and one smaller one. One of these tombstones is of marble, having the appearance of being erected years ago. It has a lamb carved upon it and below is this:
The other stone is a regulation government marker such as is furnished to service men. Note the difference in the spelling of the names upon the two stones for on the marker furnished by the government the spelling is "Ginnings" and it reads:
Pvt. 3 U. S. Artil'.
May 24, 1894"
The date, May 24, 1894, notes the time of his passing. The other marker is for Alfred E. Fries, who was kin of the Jennings. Mr. Fries was born in 1884 and died in 1942. He was 58 years of age at the time of his passing.
This cemetery is a bit east of the Lone Rock cemetery on the north side of highway 14. Note it the next time you pass by.
Credits to: Thompson's Richland County, Wisconsin Cemeteries