Search billions of records on

                                                                  Big Willow Cemetery
(AKA Upper Big Willow Cemetery  &  Burdick Cemetery)
                           Willow Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - August 15, 1957

                                                       Burdick Cemetery

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,
             Can 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 disabled.
    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 you,
             we will find you among the good and true,
             When the robe of white is given
             for the 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, 1926.
    Buried here are numerous members of the Ironmonger family. One stone is marked
            "Father - Mother
            William Ironmonger
                 and Wife"
    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 4, 1955

                                                      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.

                                                 Go Back  to This Cemetery's Main Page