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                                        DAWSON CEMETERY
                Eagle Township, Richland County, Wisconsin USA

                                           
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - November 29, 1956

                                                       The Dawson Cemetery

    Located on highway 80, a scant half mile south of the Pleasant Hill school house in the town of Eagle, is the Dawson cemetery, a well kept burying ground.

    The cemetery was surveyed in September, 1881, by James Appleby. It is on the farm, at the time owned by Wm. H. Dawson; and the site was selected as a burying ground by Mrs. Dawson before she died the year previous, her death taking place, so the tombstone records, January 13, 1880. The monument reads:

        "Sacred to the memory of Sarah, wife of W. H. Dawson,
         who fell asleep in Jesus, January 13, 1880"

    Below this is engraved:

        "Think O ye, who fondly languish
         O'er the graves of those ye love,
         While your bosom throbs with anguish,
         They are warbling hymns above.
         While our silent steps are straying
         Lonely through night's deepest shade,
         Glory's brightest beams are playing
         Around this happy distant head."

    Mrs. Dawson was a daughter of William and Charlotte Miller, first white settlers of Hoosier Hollow. She was born in Kentucky, March 24, 1823. In the fall of 1849 she was married to Wm. H. Dawson and a week after the marriage they started for their new home in the wilds of Wisconsin, Hoosier Hollow, being their destination. They came from Indiana with horses and a wagon, camping out along the way and after their arrival at their new home they lived in their wagon until a cabin could be built. And thus it was that the bride of a week began pioneer life in the wilderness. Following her death in 1880, Mr. Dawson was again married to Sarah Rebecca Bobb, a daughter of Peter and Margaret Bobb, who resided on Indian Creek not far from the village of Orion.

    Mr. and Mrs. Dawson resided on the farm in Hoosier Hollow for some time, later moved to the village of Orion where he kept store and served as postmaster of the village. His store, he opened in 1865 and was appointed postmaster the following year and served for many years.

    Mr. Dawson died in November 1899, at the age of 74. His second wife lived upon the farm for quite some time following his death, rented the fields and carried on the management of the place, then moved to California where she resided until her death on February 4, 1939. Her body was brought back and buried on the same lot with Mr. Dawson and his first wife. Upon the same monument is an inscription which reads "Our Bertie, born 1879 and died in 1888." This lad was Bertie Cook, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cook, who lived for many years at Riverview, in the town of Orion. The second Mrs. Dawson was his aunt and the boy, a favorite of Mr. and Mrs. Dawson, spent most of his time at their home. His death was caused by drowning in Mill Creek not far from the Dawson home. The accident caused much gloom in the Dawson and Cook homes. He was buried on the Dawson lot.

     Much could be written in regard to Mr. William H. Dawson. He served in the Civil War, enlisting in July, 1861, as a second lieutenant, went south but after some nine months time became ill and was sent home and after a time recovered and resumed farming. Mr. Dawson, for some reason or other took a great dislike to Secret Societies, providing in his will that upon his death his farm would become the property of an anti-secret society in Chicago. His widow was to have the use of the farm as long as she lived. She rented the land but made no improvements except to the house in which she lived. The barn and sheds fell down from lack of care and the death of the second Mrs. Dawson in California, the estate was probated and the odd provisions of the will carried out, the land going into the hands of the anti-secret society officers, and they sold it to Richland county folks.

    It is now owned, we, believe, by Louie Zahalka. It is a fine farm a part of it back some 50 or 60 years was heavily wooded, giant trees grew therein and the site contained many Indian mounds of all shapes and sizes. Camp meetings were held there and the place was known far and wide as Dawson's Grove. It is located not far from Balmoral. Upon the monument for Mr. Dawson it says:

            W. H. Dawson
             1825 - 1899
            Aged 74 Years
        "Peaceful beauty, silent rest,
         Slumber sweetly, God knew best
         When to call thee home to rest.
         Thou has loved us long and well,
         How we miss thee none can tell,
         Jesus called thee, all is well.
         We have said our last farewell
         'Till we meet beyond the river,
         Hoping there with thee to dwell
                Farewell loved ones."

    And so the curtain was drawn upon the life and fortune of William H. Dawson.

    Near the front gate of the Dawson burying ground is a monument for a girl. An angel carved out of marble stands watch for the little miss. She was Lucile, a daughter of Everette and Ida Miller, born November 23rd 1910, and died July 25, 1912.

    A monument for William McCoy and his wife Ruth, stands not far away. He was born in 1829; and died in 1900; his wife was born in 1833 and passed away in 1925. On the stone it says:

        "In labor and in love allied,
         In death they sleep side by side,
         Resting in peace the aged twain,
         'Till Christ shall rise them up again."

    Clement Stanczhjk, a soldier, served in World War II; born on June 30, 1908, and died June 5, 1951.

    In this cemetery are buried relatives of those buried at Pleasant Hill and Lycurgus Recob is one of them. His father is buried at Pleasant Hill. Mr. Recob was born in 1856 and died in 1905. His death was a tragic one, he being killed by a vicious hog.  His wife was Carrie Ward, born in 1857, and passed on in 1920. Her parents Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ward also sleep here.

     Member of the Royal Wright family, among the early settlers of Hoosier Hollow, are at rest in this burying ground. Mr. Wright was born May 2, 1812, and died February 28, 1898. On one of the markers it reads:

                       Zena Wright
            Wife of Edwin Sharp, born June 18, 1888,
                  and died October 31, 1908.
            "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

    J. A. Sharp has a marker on his grave. He was one of the early comers to Hoosier Hollow.

    Another well known pioneer, Charles Miles, is buried in the Dawson cemetery, as was his Mary. Charles was born in October, 1802, and died February 16, 1898. His wife a native of Shenandoah county, Virginia was born October 15, 1800, and passed on January 5, 1886.

    James McClintock, born in 1827, died in 1915, and is buried by his wife, Patsy, who was born in 1830 and died in 1921.

    Another aged couple buried in this cemetery are James Lewis and his wife Anna.

    John Wilson, a member of Co. C, 8th Tennessee Cavalry, has a marker on his grave.

    Members of the Comar, family are among those resting in the Dawson burying ground. Lida Comar is one of these. She was born in Windson, Vt., June 21, 1826, and passed from this earth, August 26, 1908. A verse reads:
        "Dear Mother in earth's thorny paths,
         how long thy feet have trod,
         To find at last this peaceful rest,
         Safe in the arms of God."

    Some of the familiar names that appear upon the headstones are Fry, Collins, Case, Fay, Elder, Smelcer, and Hessler.

    On a marker is a pretty verse:

        "Yet again we hope to meet thee
         When the days of life are fled,
         And in heaven we hope to meet Thee
         Where no farewell tears are shed."

    As we said before the Dawson cemetery is well kept and continues to be used though burials there are not frequent. From this spot one can look across the valley to the south and on the ridge dividing the Mill Creek and Wisconsin river valleys. There can be easily noted in bold relief numerous mounds made hundreds of years ago by the Mound Builders who roamed this region.

    The Dawson cemetery basks in the sunshine of summer and lays white and cold in winter. Autos speed by its gate and trucks rumble as they pass this sacred a spot.
 
S.F.


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