Eagle Township, Richland County,
Tales The Tombstones
Tell - Republican Observer - October 17, 1957
One of the largest and nicely kept country
cemeteries is the Basswood burying ground in the town of Eagle. It lies
upon a hillside which faces the east. It is part and parcel of the
churchyard which surrounds the Basswood Union church. The church is a
structure of white brick, giving an added attractive look to the
cemetery. The cemetery, we learn, was laid out in 1861 on land donated
by Thomas Hardy and Mrs. Francis Keplogle and the first burial there
was the body of a child of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hardy. Additions have
been made from time to time and at present there is grave space enough
to last for many years. Albert Glass was caretaker of the cemetery for
many years before his passing, and at present a son, Jay Glass, keeps
this burying ground in good shape. Hundreds of peony plants dot the
cemetery and in the spring when the plants bloom it is a beautiful
sight and the place has been noted for the pretty flowers.
Mrs. Insco Annear is the secretary of the cemetery
association, a position she has held for some 34 years. Mrs. Annear
furnished us with a list of soldiers buried here. J. I. Lewis, now a
resident of Blue River, served as secretary for about 25 years and he
gave us valuable information concerning the older people buried here.
As you pass down the rows of stones, names of many
of the well known families, early pioneers and others are noted such
as: Weldy, Gault, Carter, Surrem, Standish, Parish, Peters, Allemang,
Sparling, Rummery, Fazel. Then there are others, Anderson, Hinkel,
Wheaton, Manning, McIlhattan, Elliott, Persinger, Dillon, Conkle and
Brock, Chitwood, Briggs, Storms.
On stones in other rows are more names, Burkhamer,
McClary, Harsha, Barrett, Shannon, David, Williamson, Recob, Daly,
Cooper, Elder, Lyman, Collins, Miller.
And these are not all for there is Newman, Slane,
Peterson, Stetler, Wilcox, Dieter, LeMoine, Haskins. Though there are
many more names listed the above list is not complete. Old stones are
badly worn so they cannot he read for the winds, rains, hail and snow
have worn away the names and letters.
W. J. Briggs and his wife Mary, have a marker. He
was born in 1823 and she in 1824, with Mr. Briggs passing on in 1901
and his wife in 1912.
On the marker for Lee Redfield, who was born in
1892, and died in 1919, it says:
"He was too
good, too gentle and fair,
in this cold world of care."
There is a marker for John H. Evans, who was born in
1865 and died in 1925.
The list of soldiers of the wars who have markers
here, are, according to the records of Mrs. Annear: World War I, Fred
Anthony, Vivian Turgasen, Joseph Dill, Floyd B. Kidd.
World War II: Everett Glenn Scott, Russell Gault,
Malcolm Dalton, Ralph Dowell, Roy Montgomery, Harold Lewis, William
Standish, Albert R. Lyman and John Murray.
Civil War: Rensselear Brewer, James Dixon, John D.
Hottman Jr., Asbury Burris, George Manchester, John Gordon, C. B.
Johnson, John D. Parish, John Roth, Herman Anderson, George Thompson,
A. J. Daughenbaugh, Thomas Carter, Isaac J. Wright, Isaiah Frye, Thomas
Shannon, Wm. A. Endicott, Joshua P. Johns, George Roth, Cash Collins,
George W. Collins, H. Cornwall, Dr. Orlando Ewers, Ansel Standish,
Warner Shannon, Squire Sheafor.
All of those who have markers here are not buried on
this hillside. For instance Russell Gault, World War II soldier, was
buried far across the sea and his body was not brought back. His marker
Died in Service
Joshua P. Johns, Civil War veteran, is far
from the Basswood cemetery though his name appears upon a marker. He
was killed on September 17, 1862, in the battle at Antietam, Maryland,
and buried there with many of his soldier friends.
William A. Endicott, Civil War soldier, was killed
in action at Petersburg, Virginia, April 2, 1865. There may be others
who served in the wars from Richland county who have markers here but
they were buried elsewhere.
High up on the hillside is a vault built of granite
wherein are the bodies of Cornelius Stetler and his wife Margaret. Mr.
Stetler was born August 12, 1850, and died June 25, 1924. His wife was
born February 17, 1855, and she passed away December 3, 1951. Mr.
Stetler was an early settler, coming with his parents to Orion in 1853.
David Cornwall was born in 1848 and his wife Mary,
born in 1855, are here as also is Fred Smith and his wife Ella. He was
born in 1857 and she in 1858. They kept store at Eagle Corners for
many, many years.
Rev. George Adams, born in 1876, and his wife Mary,
born in 1880, and died in 1951, are buried here.
On the stone for George Roth, Civil War veteran, are
"But oh these
ears no more shall hear
voice of wife and children dear.
eyes of love shall never more
that face with joy spread o'er."
Keziah, wife of R. W. Peters, died on March 17,
1875, at the age of 33 years, 7 months and 13 days. Mr. Peters was born
in 1840 and died in 1924. His second wife Hattie, was born in 1858 and
passed on in 1907.
George Roth, veteran of the Civil War, was born
November 22, 1818, and died in 1862. He was an early settler in the
town of Eagle. He settled in "Bear Den Hollow." "Bear Den" is now
known as Eagle Cave. He enlisted on March 12, 1862, and died the same
month on the 27th at Racine. His body was brought back and buried in
the Basswood cemetery. He is mentioned above, together with the verse
upon his stone.
Thomas C. McClary was 73 years of age when he died
in 1889. On his marker it says:
"Death's but a
path that must be trod
would ever pass to God."
Susan, wife of Thomas C. McClary, is buried on the
same lot. She was born November 4, 1820, and died on February 26, 1887.
Martha, wife of David Dewey, is here in this
cemetery. She was born in 1842 and died in 1915. She was his second
wife. Mr. Dewey is not here, being buried by his first wife in the
Greenwood cemetery near Port Andrews. Mrs. Dewey, buried here, left
$1,100 to the Basswood cemetery when she died, also a sum for the
Greenwood cemetery. When she made her gift to the Basswood cemetery she
called it "Eagle Center" and as there was no "Eagle Center" cemetery it
took a lot of red tape to get the money to the Basswood cemetery where
it belonged. It cost about $100 to get the matter straightened out.
Abram Elliott, who died June 22, 1873, at the age of
39 years, 11 months and 11 days, has this engraved upon his marker:
Jesus blessed sleep,
which none ever wake to weep."
Horation Cornwall is one of the pioneers buried
here. He died on October 27, 1891, at the age of 53. His wife was born
in 1847, and died in 1935. Mr. Cornwall was born in Cleveland, Ohio,
coming to Richland county in 1864. He served as town clerk of Eagle and
was county clerk of Richland county when he passed away.
According to the marker for Thomas C. Carter he was
born in Cornwall, England, January 1, 1845, came to Grant county,
Wisconsin, when six weeks old, moved to Richland county in 1874 where
he died December 8, 1885. He was a Civil War veteran. On his marker is
certain, the hour unseen."
Samuel B. Gault and his wife Mary, are here in
this burying ground. He died April 10, 1870, aged 63 years, and Mrs.
Gault passed on August 30, 1889. They were, we believe, the
grandparents of Russell Gault, World War veteran, mentioned of whom is
Margaret, wife of Joseph Standley, is here. She was
52 years of age when she died in 1876. She was a native of Perthshire,
Scotland. On her marker are these lines:
unto me: I am the resurrection and
life, be that believeth in Me
he were dead yet shall he live."
Hannah, wife of Samuel Standley, is buried here
also. She died May 8, 1874, aged 77 years, five months and 19 days.
This would made her birth in 1796.
George V. Collins, another to be buried here, was
born January 11, 1851, and died May 3, 1876. David A. Johns died at the
age of 79 years and his wife Sarah, lived to be 82, passing on in 1897.
Wm. R. Standish and his wife Clara have a marker and there is one for
Elizabeth, his second wife. On the stone it says he was born in 1850
and died in 1919; Clara was born in 1855 and died in 1881, while
Elizabeth was born in 1857 and passed on in 1939.
John M. McKy, Civil War veteran, was born in 1844
and died in 1914. Alma, his wife, was born in 1848 and died in 1928.
There is a monument here for Rev. I. J. Wright,
mentioned in the list of Civil War veterans. Rev. Wright died in 1888
at the age of 69 years. He settled in the town of Richwood in 1855,
served in the Civil War. He was ordained as a preacher, serving as a
circuit minister for some time. He was married three times. One of his
children was J. C. Wright who became one of the leading physicians in
the county. Dr. Wright practiced at Excelsior for many years. Later he
moved to Antigo where he died. On the monument for Rev. Wright it says:
"As for me I
will behold Thy face in righteousness.
be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness."
17 Psalm, last verse.
There is a marker on the James Lewis lot which reads.
and a marker which reads
Mother - Died
November 18, 1905 Aged
80 Years, 8 Months
Isaiah Lewis and his wife Ruth, are here. He was
born in 1813 and died in 1883. Ruth was born April 5, 1823, and passed
on New Years Day 1916.
Rev. George Kite lived to be past 60 years of age.
He died in October, 1882. His wife Sarah, was born in 1829 and died at
the age of 83 years and 11 months. Andrew M. Kite and John Kite, sons
of George and Sarah are here. Andrew was born in 1853 and died in 1900;
John, born in 1856, died in 1876.
On the monument for Rev. Kite is this:
"A loving man,
a friend most dear,
faithful partner lieth here.
for me nor sorrow take
my children for my sake.
is completed and finished below,
tear is fallen I trust,
preached his last sermon
his last foe,
conquered and now is at rest."
John Mathews, born in 1848, died in 1935, and his
wife Irene, born in 1854, and died in 1910, are buried here.
Two other ministers have found rest in the
Basswood cemetery. They are Rev. Wm. H. Endicott, and Rev. J. Turgeson.
Rev. Endicott died early in life as he was 27 years, 5 months and 11
days of age when he died on May 12, 1886. Rev. Turgasen was born in
1858 and Mary his wife, in 1859. Rev. Turgeson, if memory serves us
right, was killed by a train. On the same lot is buried their son
Vivian, World War veteran, who was born in 1896 and died in 1932.
Sam Annear and his wife Elizabeth, are here buried.
He was born in 1850 and died in 1931; she was also born in 1850 and
died in 1925.
Orrin Henry has a marker on his grave which says he
died in 1892 at the age of 72, and his wife died in 1907 at the age of
81. Mr. Henry, we were told, once owned the land where Eagle Cave is
situated. On the stone for Andrew Barnhart it gives the date of his
birth as 1844 and death as 1933. His wife Helen, born in 1849, died in
There is a marker for R. Brewer, his wife Phebe, and
their daughter, Lillie. He was born in 1820, his wife in 1823, and
Lillie in 1852. A son in the family, Richard, was shot and killed in
Oklahoma years ago when serving as a deputy sheriff he met death when
attempting to round up members of "Billy The Kid" gang. It is quite a
story which we hope to publish in these columns at some future date.
Holida Peters is one of the well known citizens in
this cemetery, as is Stanton Peters. Stanton was born in 1863 and died
in 1943. His wife Tissie, was born in 1866 and passed on in 1932.
Richard Parsell, born in Dayton, Ohio, January 3,
1813, died at Boaz July 13, 1901, at the age of 88 and his wife Eliza,
also born in Ohio, also died at Boaz at the age of 70.
Elizabeth Shepherd, wife of John Shepherd, was born
in 1811 and died in 1908.
Alex Barrett and his wife, Jannett, found the end of
life's journey here. He was born in 1836 and died in 1915. His wife was
born in 1840 and passed away in 1901. Cassius Collins, a Civil War
soldier, was born in 1848. Sarah, his wife, born in 1849, died in 1919.
Also on the lot is a gravestone for Rosanna Collins, born 1813, and
died in 1898.
Ansel Standish was 80 years old when he died in 1908
and his wife was 81. She died in 1912.
Up on the hillside is a stone for Mr. and Mrs. Jay
Wilcox. Their death was a tragic one as both drowned in the Wisconsin
river while swimming.
Buried here are Arthur J. Harness and his wife
Della. Mr. Harness was a rural mail carrier out of Muscoda for some
time. He was born in 1854 and passed away in 1928. Mrs. Harness was
born in 1860 and died in 1930.
This account of the Basswood cemetery is far from
complete for it merely touches the highlights of some who are buried
here. The cemetery contains so many, many pioneers of that area, all
deserving of more than passing interest, but our space is limited to
such an extent that an extended account of those buried here would be
almost impossible and so we beg your pardon for any omissions made.
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