Richland Township, Richland County, Wisconsin USA
Tales The Tombstones Tell
Republican Observer - March 19, 1959
Located about midway between the Richland county
fair grounds and the site of Bowen's Mill, in the town of Richland, is
the Bowen cemetery. It is off the highway to the west and tall pine
trees mark the spot. Here are some of the early settlers of that
section. It is still in use though burials here are infrequent. It is
being kept up in good shape and made a nice appearance when we visited
it quite some time ago.
In this cemetery are buried several aged persons as
you will note as you read on. The oldest person, in point of date of
birth, that we noted in our visits to the cemeteries about the county,
is John Pool. His date of death as given on the grave stone was March
28, 1857, at the age of 83, which would place his birth in 1774. Mr.
Pool, born before the War for Independence, lived under trying times
indeed. Born in 1774 he lived during the term of George Washington and
the 14 presidents following and could have voted for all of them except
President Washington, who went into office before Mr. Pool became of
voting age. John Adams could have been the president he first voted
for. For some time following his birth he was a subject of the King of
Great Britain. He was a native of Scotland coming to Richland county in
1852, located in the town of Rockbridge on section 29 where he lived
until his death. He and his wife, Mary, were the parents of a son
David, who went into service and died at Fayetteville, Ark., on January
7, 1863, at the age of 23. Fayetteville was, we believe, a prison site
for the rebels and several Richland county soldiers were held prisoners
there from time to time. So David Poole is evidently not buried in the
Bowen's Mill cemetery.
Another of the aged citizens to be buried in this
cemetery is John L. Schoonover, who died in 1921, at the age of 92
years, 7 months, and 20 days. Robert Turner, born in 1847 and died in
1916, is here. His wife Catherine, was born in 1854, and passed on in
1923. Two children, an infant son, died on March 30, 1888, and a four
year old daughter, Luviney, died July 26, 1881.
A Civil War veteran, Amos Puff, has a marker which
states he was a member of Co. F, 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. When he
enlisted on December 13, 1861, he gave his residence as the town of
Richland. He served less than a year, being discharged on August 1,
1862 on account of disability.
David L. Jones, born in 1855 and died in 1935, is
here. David W. Jones, a World War soldier boy, is also here and a VFW
marker is on his grave. He was born in 1920 and died in 1946.
A stone with the carved figure of a little girl is
on the grave of Gladys Schoonover. The little miss had a life of but
six months, being born on April 6, 1909, and died on October 6th
A well known couple and two children are in this
cemetery. They are Charles Hunt, born in 1850, and his wife Erilda, who
was born in 1858. The children are twins, Nettie and Nervie, born on
June 29, 1880. Nettie died in July, 1880, and Nervie lived until
February 9, 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt lived for many years in Richland
Some of the familiar names upon the stones are Fry,
Stoltz, Van Dusen, Schlafer, Clausius, Logue, Anderson, Thompson, Wade,
Roach, McCauley, Le Moine and Hollendyke.
Upon the marker for Mary, wife of T. C. Wallace, who
died March 30, 1879, at the age of 23, is engraved "Though lost to
sight, to memory dear."
Two early born folks are Isaac Johnson and his wife
Elizabeth. He was born June 9, 1800, and she February 19, 1810. His
death took place in 1873, and his wife died on January 5, 1900; one
hundred years following the birth of Mr. Johnson.
William Bowen, great grandfather of William and
Bernie Bowen of Bowen's Mill, is here, together with his wife and a
daughter Helen. Mr. Bowen, the tombstone says, died on July 25, 1858,
at the age of 64 years and 7 months. He came to Richland county in 1854
from Green county and
four years later he passed on. His wife died, in December 1870,
at the age of 77 years, 4 months and 17 days. The daughter Helen, died
October 27, 1855. She was 23 years, 4 months and 17 days of age. Mr.
Bowen's sons, F. P. and W. J., bought what is now known as Bowen's
Mill. F. P. Bowen sold his interest in the mill to his brother. William
J. now owns the mill but it has not been operated for a number of
years. The building still stands however, basking in the glory of the
past. When first purchased it operated as a saw mill; in 1867 the flour
mill was built and this is the part still standing.
A Civil War veteran, R. C. Johnson, has a marker
which states he was a member of Co. H, 128th Ohio Infantry. No other
information appears upon the stone. However close by is a stone for
Isaac Johnson and his wife, Elizabeth. They may have been the parents
or some kin of R. C ., we do not know.
Annie, wife of Daniel Hoskins, is buried in this
cemetery. She died in January, 1874, at the age of 72. One of the
early, early settlers of the county, James J. Soule, born in 1828 in La
Fayette county, came to Richland county in 1848, where he worked in a
sawmill at Rockbridge and run lumber rafts down Pine river. He and
Major W. H. Joslin also made shingles in Henrietta. In 1851 he married
Fannie Thompson, daughter of Aaron B. and Polly Thompson, and they went
to the town of Henrietta to make their home, but tbey were driven out
by the Indians.
They lived in various places until about 1856 when
they moved to the town of Richland. We believe that Soules Creek in
Henrietta township, was named after this pioneer couple. Mrs. Soules
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron B. Thompson, are buried here. Mr. Thompson
was born in 1807 and died in 1883. His wife, Polly, was born in 1816
and died in 1899. They came to Richland county prior to 1850, and we
believe, were the owners of the land upon which the Richland County
fair grounds is now located.
A G.A.R. marker stands upon the grave of David A.
Thompson, who died May 10, 1889, at the age of 52. No indication is
given as to what regiment he belonged. His wife Anna, passed on May 15,
1873, at the age of 33.
A number of the Ray family are in this burying
ground. Among them are Mark Ray and his wife Edwina. Mark was born in
1847; his wife in 1852. He died in 1896 and Mrs. Ray in 1903. John Ray
died in 1887 at the age of 36. Marion Ray, born in 1852 and died in
1930, is here, as is his wife Mary. She was born in 1856 and died in
Alex Grimshaw and his wife Jane, are at rest in the
Bowen's Mill cemetery. They are the parents of Tom Grimshaw of Richland
Center. A number of children are buried on the lot, one of then,
Turner, met death by drowning in Pine river. Mr. Grimshaw was born in
1855 and died in 1937. Mrs. Grimshaw was also born in 1855.
"Nancy A. Butler, wife of Seth Butler, died May 9,
1857, aged 21 years" is engraved upon a stone. We were told that she
was the first wife of Mr. Butler and that her death was caused by burns
Perry Pool, who died on September 5, 1883, at the
age of 50 years, 6 months and 10 days, has a G.A.R. marker on his
grave. A verse is on the stone which says:
"He took thee
from a world of care
everlasting bliss to share."
No other information appears upon the stone.
Another early settler to be buried here is John
Waddell, who died December 31, 1897, at the age of 86 years, 10 months
and 8 days. His wife, Sarah, died May 15, 1903, at the age of 86 years,
5 months and 22 days. She became known as "Granny" Waddell and was a
great help to others in time of sickness. Mr. Waddell came to the
county in 1850 and settled in Richland township in 1852, built a log
shanty, covered with bark and furnished it with home made furniture,
the bedsteads being made
of poles and cord manufactured out of bark. He and his family cut
the big trees, put in the crops with a hoe. When Mr. Waddell first
landed in this county he stated that the only earthly possessions were
"his wife, several children, a cow and a calf, two pigs, a dog, and 25
cents in silver."
He was born in West Virginia in
1811, moved to Ohio where on September 26, 1833, he married Sarah
Hughes, who was born in Ohio, December 15, 1816. Mr. and Mrs. Waddell
reared 11 children. They settled near what is now Bowen's Mill.
The log house made way for a modern one which still
stands on highway 80 a scant half mile north of the Horse Creek school.
Later on they moved to Richland Center. Two of their sons, George A.
and John H., were soldiers in the Civil War. G. A. Waddell was born in
1844 and died in 1868. He enlisted in the llth Wisconsin Co. B, giving
his address as Rockbridge, on September 12, 1861, serving until August,
1862. He contracted disease while in service and died as above stated.
The son John, had a more hectic army life. When he enlisted in Co. I,
19th Wisconsin on March 15, 1862, he gave his address as Sextonville.
Many Richland county men served in this company. He was taken prisoner
at Fair Oaks, confined in Libby prison for a time and then at a prison
in North Carolina. He was exchanged for a southern prisoner after being
taken sick. He was sent to the Marine hospital at Annapolis, Maryland,
where he died on May 19, 1865. It is doubtful that his body was
returned home. John was born in Ohio. Another son of Mr. and Mrs.
Waddell was Herman, who was born in 1851, and died in 1862. His life
was a bit over 11 years.
One tombstone reads:
wife of J. F. Fry,
the age of 20."
No date of birth or any other information is given.
Another stone says: Henry Lint, born on April 11, 1810, died January 7,
1893. Mr. Lint married Elizabeth Waggoner, a daughter of Peter
Waggoner, who came from Ohio in 1854, and settled in Rockbridge. There
is a marker in the cemetery for Peter W., Waggoner, a son of Peter,
Sr., who was born in 1831 and died in 1921; his wife Harriett, was also
a native of Ohio. She was born in 1852 and died in 1911.
Two Civil War veterans from West Virginia, William
Burkheimer and John Tanner, are buried here. Mr. Burkheimer was a
member of Co. C, 10th West Virginia Infantry, and Mr. Tanner of Co. B,
15th West Virginia Infantry. No other information was given.
Members of the Mecum family are here. Andrew Mecum
is one of them. He was born in 1829 and died in 1907.
A G.A.R. marker is upon the lot where Eloph LeMoine
and his wife Phelanise, are buried. Mr. LeMoine died April 17, 1898, at
the age of 75, and his wife passed on December 28, 1922, at the age of
Still another Civil War soldier is within the
confines of this cemetery. He is Christopher Scholl, born on Christmas
Day, 1839, in the state of New York. He came to Wisconsin in 1859,
locating at Whitewater where he learned the cooper trade. In August,
1862, he enlisted in Co. D, 28th Wisconsin Infantry, and on account of
disability was discharged February 22, 1863. Returning to Whitewater he
resumed his trade until 1866 when he came to Richland county and took
up his home in Rockbridge. In 1864 he married Mary Balch, a native of
New Hampshire. He died in 1903 and his wife passed on in 1894. Several
of their children are also buried in the Bowen's Mill cemetery.
Four burials took place in this cemetery on December
28, 1957, all members of the same family. They were Mrs. Carol Port,
her daughter, Janet, her son Frank, and her brother, Lester Jones. All
four met death near Holbrook, Arizona, on December 22nd, the result of
an auto accident. The bodies were brought here for burial, funeral
services being held at the Pratt Memorial Chapel, and burial made as
The tall pine trees whisper in the breeze as they
stand guard over the last resting place of many an early settler, whose
journey through life came to an end and they found rest in this quiet