Big Willow Cemetery (AKA
Upper Big Willow Cemetery & Burdick Cemetery)
Willow Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - August 15, 1957
A little cemetery north of Loyd on highway 58 contains pioneers
prominent in affairs back in the 1850s. It is located on section 2 in
the town of Willow and is known as the Burdick cemetery, taking its
name no doubt, from the Burdick family who owned the land at an early
date. Alonzo Burdick is buried in this cemetery. He came to Richland
county from New York in 1854 and settled on section 2. He died, his
tombstone says, February 18, 1868, aged 41 years, six months and two
days. His wife Hanna, is buried on the same lot.
His burial was not the first one in the cemetery as
a few others took place there prior to 1868. A number of Civil War
veterans found rest there and there is a marker for one who never came
back. One of the boys in blue was John Rosenbaum, a member of Co. A
36th Wisconsin Volunteers. Mr. Rosenbaum came from Ohio in 1856. On
Feb. 17, 1864, he enlisted in the army and served until June 3, 1865,
when he was mustered out.
We noted on the tombstone for Hanna M. Scoles that
she was born in 1796, and died in 1881. She lived in the days of George
Washington and probably had many exciting times.
There are a number of the Outcalt family buried
here. Frederick Outcalt and his wife Elizabeth, are among them.
Frederick was born in 1818 and died in 1899. His wife first saw the
light of day in 1826 and her eyes closed for the last time in 1909.
Another member of the family, Hannah Outcalt, was born in 1847 and
passed on in 1864. One member of the family was the Rev. Frederick
Outcalt who organized several of the early day churches in Willow and
Westford. He perhaps was the Frederick Outcalt who is buried in this
cemetery but we have no proof.
Another pioneer family to settle in Willow was the
S. V. Carpenter family. Mr. Carpenter was a native of New York. He came
to Willow township in 1854 and settled on section 11 where he and his
family lived for many years and some of them found final rest here in
the Burdick cemetery.
Herbert, a son, died July 18, 1863, aged 11 months,
one day; Charles, another son, died in 1881 at the age of 26; Bertha, a
daughter, was nearing her tenth birthday when she passed on in October,
1881, and Ernest died in November, 1881, at the age of nine years and
20 days. These three deaths were close together; Charles died in
September, Bertha in October, and Ernest in November. Mrs. Carpenter
died March 30, 1886, at the age of 51 years, and at the bottom of her
marker are these words: "She has gone to her rest."
A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Burdick is on the
lot with her parents. Her given name was Minnett, and she died December
17, 1885, at the age of 22 years and five days.
James Hill, who died September 28, 1882, was 66
years and ten months old. On his marker it says: "His many virtues form
the noblest monument to his memory."
On the same lot is buried Mandana Hill, whose death
took place December 21, 1890, when she was 68 years, 9 months and 16
days of age. On her marker it says:
"No pains, no
grief, no anxious fear,
reach our loved one sleeping here."
James A. Hill and his wife Mary, are here. James A.
was born on May 14, 1840, and died December 10, 1908. His wife was born
February 14, 1847, and died March 6, 1922. Mr. Hill was a Civil War
veteran, a member of Co. A, 36th Regiment. He entered service on June
18, 1864, was wounded in battle and mustered out June 5, 1865.
Another Civil War veteran Daniel Woolever
sleeps away the years in this burying ground. He was a member of Co. I,
35th Wisconsin and was mustered into service at Milwaukee, February 17,
1864, and was mustered out January 30, 1865, on account of being
A number of the Jaquish family are here. Avery, who
was born February 8, 1818, and died April 22, 1887; Elizabeth Jaquish,
born August 27, 1827, and died April 15, 1882, are buried on the lot as
also is Alice M. Jaquish, born October 27, 1857, and died June 17, 1885.
There is a marker for the infant daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. W. A. Shaw. The little one had a short span of life, being born on
June 30, 1888, and died on July 1, 1888.
Merit Stout, who was born in Pennsylvania January
27, 1838, came to Richland county from Janesville in 1855, and here he
died April 13, 1905.
Edward C. Walker died December 18, 1885, at the age
of 70 years and Pauline Walker, died March 19, 1895, at the age of 78.
Levi Walker, their son, has a marker in the Burdick cemetery but we
doubt that he is buried there for the marker says he was born in New
York, March 13, 1837, and killed at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Levi was
one of the many boys in blue who failed to come back home. He enlisted
from Rutland, August 10, 1861.
On the monument to his memory is this verse:
"We shall know
find you among the good and true,
robe of white is given
faded Coat of blue."
Jonathan Stout, another Civil War veteran, is buried
here. He was born January 22, 1847, and died April 4, 1910. His wife
Cordelia Wildermuth Stout, was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David
Wildermuth who came to Willow in 1856. There is a cemetery on Pleasant
Ridge in Willow, named the Wildermuth cemetery where Mrs. Stout's
parents are buried together with a number of the members of the Latter
Day Saints. Mrs. Stout was born February 1, 1847, and died February 18,
Buried here are numerous members of the Ironmonger
family. One stone is marked
No dates are upon the stone.
The Ironmonger family came into Wisconsin soon after
the Civil War. They took up their home at Ironton, later moving to the
town of Willow and there today members of the family live a short
distance south of Loyd. One of the family, Mat, became known far and
wide as a fiddler of local fame as he played often for dances and
entertainments. Mat, now dead, could read music but his playing was
almost entirely by ear. All members of the family could play.
The stone for Mr. and Mrs. William Ironmonger may be
for Mat's parents as his father was William Riley Ironmonger and Mat's
grandfather was William E., who was born about 1810. Indian and
French blood flowed in his veins and he became known as an Indian
Medicine Man, according to information furnished us by Mat back in
1940. Others of the family are in the Burdick cemetery. One of these is
Ardella, born in 1911, and died in 1951; Dorothy and George are there;
George, born in 1911, died in 1939,; and there is Edna. Living members
of the family keep the lots in nice shape and when we were there about
April 17th, pretty flowers and wreaths dotted the graves, the only ones
in the burying ground. The present generation do not forget those who
have gone on before.
Though the Burdick cemetery is a small one there is
much unused space and at the rate of present day burials there the
cemetery will still be in use a hundred years from now. A tall pine
tree stands as a silent sentinel to those who sleep there. The cemetery
is known by some as the Murphy burying ground as it stands on land
adjoining the "Old Dan Murphy place" but its right name is Burdick. For
so small a cemetery much interesting information and historical data is
brought to light.
Tales The Tombstones Tell Republican Observer August
Just a Few Notes
Then there is the story of the Burdick cemetery over
in the town of Willow north of Loyd. I do not vouch for this tale but
tell it to you as it was told to me. The story runs something like
this. Someone had been buried in the cemetery, that day and when
darkness fell a young man had to pass the burying ground. He was afraid
of ghosts and the like. When he started out from home he put on an
overcoat and slipped a revolver in his pocket When in front of the
cemetery he saw, so he said, the person they had buried there that day,
raise out of his grave and start toward the road, whereupon the young
man became greatly excited, pulled the trigger on the revolver and shot
himself in the leg.