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                                                           Conkle Cemetery
                                                        Dayton Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

                                           

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - June 20, 1957

                                                         Conkle and Mill Creek

    These two cemeteries, the Conkle and Mill Creek, are on what is known as the "Middle Branch" of Mill Creek and are located not so far apart on county trunk E. The Conkle cemetery is in the town of Dayton and the Mill Creek burying ground in the town of Sylvan just a bit off of county trunk E close to the town line between Marshall and Sylvan.

    In the Conkle burying ground some of the early settlers of the area ended their journey through life. On the monument of one of the early settlers, Lovina Hook, wife of John Hook, it says she was born in North Carolina December 18, 1811, and died on Mill Creek, Richland County, Wisconsin, March 13, 1904. A line follows which reads "All is Well." The young also found rest on the Hook lot. Thelma Hook, who was born on March 26, 1898, died February 25, 1900, lacked but a month of being two years of age. A verse on the stone says of the little girl:
            "Beautiful, lovely, she was but given a fair
             bud to earth to blossom in Heaven."

    Buried there are members of the Wood family, one of whom, W. J. Wood, was a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. D. 11th Wisconsin Volunteers. He enlisted from the town of Dayton, January 25, 1864, and was mustered out May 25, 1865. Henry Toms and Jesse S. Miller, Richland Center, were captains of Co. D; Wm. Hill, also of Richland Center, was a First Lieutenant and Wm. H. Dawson of Orion, a Second Lieutenant.

    Daniel Conkle, also buried in this cemetery, served in Co. D. He was born, so the tombstone says, in 1843 and died in 1922. He enlisted in the Civil War in 1861. His wife, Cindaretta, was born in 1847 and died in 1913. Another member of the Conkle family, Michael, lived to be 72 years of age. He died June 27, 1890.

    Many members of the Miller clan are buried in the Conkle cemetery. One of these was Jacob Miller, who was born in Ohio, on March 12, 1821, came to Richland county in 1850. His death took place on Christmas Day, 1863. Other members of the family are buried on the lot, one Milton, was born in 1855 and died in 1942. Members of the Miller family still own the old farm, up the road, not so far from the cemetery. The son Milton, was born in Eagle, coming to Mill Creek when he was but three years old. The rest of his life was spent on the old home farm. He served as town clerk of Dayton for over 50 years.

    Albert C. Herlitz and his wife Dorothea, also early settlers, are buried in the Conkle cemetery. Mr. Herlitz was born in 1854, and died in 1921. His wife first saw the light of day in 1860 and died in 1933. Other members of the family are buried on the lot.

    Members of the Nevel clan are also in the cemetery. George W., born in 1839 and died in 1917, is there as are Harve Nevel and his wife Zula.
    A finely carved statue of a young girl stands upon the resting place of miss Minnie Groh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Groh. The daughter, born August 24, 1900, met a tragic death on August 7, 1914. She and a companion had gone to the creek to swim and both were drowned. Minnie had not quite reached her 14th birthday. Drowned with her was Miss Lillias Grant of Janesville, who was visiting at the Groh home. Miss Grant's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Grant, at one time conducted the Park hotel in Richland Center. Henry Groh, father of Minnie, is buried close to his daughter. He was born in 1866 and passed on in 1949. Another member of the Groh family was Arthur, born September 16, 1907, and died Aug. 29, 1910. The verse on his marker reads:
            "A little time on earth he spent
             'Till God for him His angel sent."
     Valentine Groh, who died in 1895 and Dorothea Groh, who died in 1909 at the age of 79, are, buried there. Valentine was 75 years of age when he died.

    Among those who found rest in this little cemetery were Charles Bender and his wife Mary. He was born in 1858 and died in 1938; she was born in 1862 and died in 1938. Another early death was that of John Hull, who died May 1, 1859.

    Joseph Conkle, another of the early settlers thereabouts, lived to a ripe old age. He died October 15, 1890, at the age of 83 years, 7 months and 11 days.

    The ravages of the elements has laid a heavy hand on some of the older markers in the cemetery.
    They are difficult to read and some of them, covered by moss, cannot be made out.

S.F.
  

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