Marshall Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
Tales The Tombstones Tell -
Republican Observer - January 3, 1957
This article telling of the Fancy Creek cemetery
will owning to its length, be in two chapters so to speak. This
cemetery is an old one; it adjoins the Fancy Creek church in the town
According to the county history the Fancy Creek
cemetery, which is connected with the Presbyterian church that stands
in the burying ground; was laid out during the Civil War by Rev. J. H.
Mathers and the first burial therein was in 1862, when a daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. William Smith was laid to rest. Burials have continued
from that day and will continue on through the years that are ahead.
The cemetery is one of the well kept ones in the county. James Clarson,
Richland Center, is the present caretaker and he keeps the 94 year old
graveyard trim and neat.
Many of the early settlers of Fancy Creek and that
area have found rest and peace in the shadow of the church house. In
fact some of the earliest, settlers are there surrounded by their sons,
daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
This graveyard has many, many old monuments and also
many, many of the newer ones. A number of the older people to be
buried there were natives of Scotland, sailed the ocean, took up their
homes in Ohio, Columbiana county being a favorite, and from there came
west to Richland county, Wisconsin, where they spent the remainder of
their days and now are counted as inhabitants of this city of the dead,
far, far away from their native land.
One of the earliest settlers of what is now the town
of Marshall, was Joseph Marshall, from whom the township took its name.
He was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, March 25, 1820. In April, 1851,
he was married to Margaret McCannon and the next day they started west
to seek a home and their journey ended on Fancy Creek, where they took
up a claim and settled down. Mr. Marshall served in the Civil War. Mrs.
Marshall died in the fall of 1865, leaving five children. His second
wife Nettie Starett, to whom he was married in 1867.
Another of the early settlers was George L.
Marshall, also a native of Columbiana county, Ohio, where he was born
October 28, 1839. At the age of 13 he came west with his mother Maria
Marshall, then a widow, and they took up their home in Marshall
township. With her was another son, Simon, who died July 17, 1855, his
death being the first or one of the first to take place in the
township. Mrs. Marshall and her son Simon are buried in the Copenhefer
cemetery on section 9 in Marshall. Mrs. Marshall, mother of George L.,
died on December 25, 1855, at the age of 55. In a write-up of the
Copenhefer cemetery, printed in this paper some time ago, more is told
of her and her son, Simon.
A double marker for William and Elizabeth Calhoon,
is near the west fence of the cemetery. It contains nothing else but
the two names.
A stone for Mary Blazer has this upon it:
"In sure and certain hope to rise,
And claim her mansion in
A Christian here, here
flesh laid down.
The Cross exchanged it for
a crown." Mother
Upon the monument there appears
the names of the pioneers such as Truesdale, Robbins, Stayton, Coulter,
Patch, Repsumer, Deckert, Berkshire, Armstrong, Johnston, Austin,
Ferguson, Herrington, Brown, Doudna, Clark, Warren, Schoonover and many
Winnie Armstrong, whose death took place in August,
1896, when she was 19 years old, has this upon her tombstone:
"At the crystal water's brink
We shall find each broken
Some sweet day by and by.
Then the star that faded
Left our home and hearts so
Some sweet day by and by."
John and Jane Fogo, who came from Ohio in
1853, bringing with them a large family of young children, settled on
Fancy Creek. They were the writer's grandparents. Both of these
pioneers were born in Kilmarnoch, Ayrshire, Scotland, John on September
20, 1799. His death took place on Friday, Sept. 1, 1876. He was a very
religious man, a straight-laced Presbyterian of the old school who
would not allow his children to whistle, whittle, let alone work on the
Sabbath. No cooking was done in the home on a Sunday; meals being
prepared the day previous, and eaten cold. On his tombstone it says:
"The habitations of Thy house,
Lord; I have loved Thee
Yea in that place I delight,
where doth Thee now dwell."
His good wife, Jane or Jean, as my father called
her, lived on the old home farm until her death on August 7, 1881. The
farm is now owned by Mrs. Etta Austin, a granddaughter of this pioneer
couple. John and Jane Fogo were buried in the Fancy Creek cemetery and
so were several of their children and they are surrounded by members of
their families and their families' families.
Prominent and numerous inhabitants of this burying
ground are the Gillingham family, who are numbered among the early
comers. Thomas Gillingham, born in 1837, and Sophia,
his wife, in 1841, are buried in the Gillingham lots. Eighteen
headstones are close by and scattered throughout the burying ground are
stones for other members of the family and their relatives. Thomas
Gillingham's birth date was October 28, 1837, and he came to Richland
county when he was 14 years of age. He helped to supply the table with
wild game which was abundant in the woods. In 1861 he was married to
Miss Sophia Drake, also a native of Ohio, who was born in Carroll
county. They became the parents of twelve children.
One member of the Gillingham family, Moses H.
Gillingham, a son of Harvey and Mary Gillingham, met with a tragic
death. He had gone to a field when a storm came up and he was struck by
lightning. His death took place on August 20, 1885. He was 30 years of
age, and was survived by his wife, the former Annie Wanless. On the
same stone is the this:
"Happy Infant, early blest;
Rest in peaceful slumber,
Most often there is in a cemetery something out of
the ordinary and in this cemetery it is a tombstone, a part of which
moves by some unseen force. On the lot of John D. Fogo is a large red
granite ball which is so perfectly balanced that it moves, slightly
each year, and the Masonic emblem carved upon it, will over a period of
years, be higher up on the ball and a bit to the left. The ball moves
in a sort of circle, just the fraction of an inch over a period of a
year. Some claim that the sun has something to do with the movement,
others think it is the cold weather in the winter, when it freezes and
thaws. But whatever it is, the ball moves.
On the grave of Emma Smith, first born child of Mr.
and Mrs. P. M. Smith, is a pretty verse. Emma was a bit past 15 years
of age when she passed away July 5, 1882. Here is the inscription:
"Death lies on her like an
upon the sweetest flower of
all the field."
One of the older people to be buried in this
cemetery is Hannah, wife of Henry Campbell. She died in 1922 at the age
of 80 years.
Daniel Smith, a native of Ohio, died December 20,
1866, aged 20. His tombstone has this on it:
"Happy friend whom God hath
And kindly taken to his
God grant we may prepared
To meet him in eternity."
(To be Continued)
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - January
The Fancy Creek
Charles and Nancy Stuart are two early settlers
buried here. He was born in 1820 and died in 1877, his wife was born in
1826, and passed on in 1904. It says upon their monument that they were
natives of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
A haunting verse of sadness is reflected upon the
monument for Emma and Florence Ewing, children of Mr. and Mrs. W. F.
Ewing. Florence was one year of age and Emma was three. Their deaths
came in 1882 just a few days apart; Florence passing away on July 29th,
and Emma on August 7th.
The verse upon their gravestone reads:
"Two pilgrims to the Holy land
Have left our lonely door;
Two sinless angels hand in
Have reached the promised
Joseph Benton Sr. and his wife, whose maiden name
was Janet Davidson, were natives of Scotland. He was born April 20,
1803, and his wife in 1806. Coming to America in 1834 they settled in
Ohio where they remained until 1854 when they came to Richland county
where he died July 14, 1880, and his wife passed on December 14, 1888,
at the age of 83. On her monument it says: "From the Resurrection and
the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he
A son Joseph Benton Jr. was born in Elgenshire,
Scotland, in November, 1826; coming to America with his parents when he
was eight years old. He first came to Richland county in 1852, but
returned to Ohio where he married Jane Russell. They came to Marshall
township in 1855. The closing days of their life were spent in Richland
Many Civil War veterans are buried in this cemetery.
One of them, W. O. Allison, then a resident of Ohio, enlisted in 1861
at the first call for troops. When his time of service expired he
re-enlisted and served until the close of the war, taking part in many
battles. He was not sick a day; went through all the battles without a
scratch and was mustered out in 1865. On his way home in a railway
accident he received a broken leg which laid him up for several months.
He came to Richland county soon after the close of
the Civil War. Others serving in the Civil War included George
Marshall, W. M. Milner, Thomas Armstrong, Daniel Noble, J. L. Ferguson,
Phillip Smith, Henry Campbell, Isaac Doudna, Thomas Doudna, John
Gillingham, John Hunter, Sam Culley, James McNelly, John M. Doudna,
Lyman Hart, Albert Hunter, Olney Hoskins, George Fogo, Wm. S. Noble.
There are others, some 40, who sleep away the years in this cemetery.
There are monuments in this cemetery for boys in
blue who never came back to home and loved ones. These were Ben S.
Doudna, killed at the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, December 8,
1862; Ben Queen, died of disease at Mobile, Alabama on September 2,
1865. Richard Caddell is another of the boys in blue to be killed in
battle. On his tombstone in the Fancy Creek cemetery it gives the date
of his death as April 9, 1865, and states he was killed at Ft. Blakely,
Alabama. He enlisted in 1861, served three years, re-enlisted and met
his death as above stated. He was the father of Jess M. Caddell, long
time member and chairman of the county board.
Besides the Civil War veterans several World War
soldiers are in this graveyard. Kenneth B. Austin is a World War II
soldier; he died August 21, 1949; Earle Rinehart, World War I, passed
away, January 11, 1954; Vivian Gillingham, Navy World War I, died on
March 2, 1952; Donald Turnipseed, World War II, died October 30, 1952;
another World War soldier is James T. Gillingham, who died in 1952.
There may have been one or two others whom we missed as we checked over
So many of the stones are silent memorials for
the early settlers; Doudnas, Hart, Truesdale, Herrington, Noble,
Janney, Allen, Minett, Poole, Withrow, Marks.
A monument for John and Alex Smith and one for
Archibald Wanless and members of his family are there along with one
for Angus Smith.
John Truesdale, was one of the early comers to
Marshall. He came in 1852 but did not remain for long but returned to
Ohio. It was not until 1863 that he settled on his land. On the marker
for Joseph Householder it says he was born in Virginia in August, 1820,
and came to Wisconsin in 1854. His wife who was Martha McElroy, was
born in Ohio in 1834 and died in 1911 at the age of 71 years. He died
in 1905 at the age of 85.
Joseph Marshall is claimed by some to be the first
settler in the town. He and his wife came in 1851 just after they were
married, sort of a honeymoon so to speak. She died in 1865, leaving
five children. Mr. Marshall died in 1866 at the age of 66. He was
a Civil War veteran.
There is a maker, in fact two of them, on the same
lot not far from the grave of Joseph Marshall. They are a bit weather
beaten. One stone is in French and it is engraved as follows:
Agee De 34, 12 Tours
Not being able to read French we had to have the
inscription red by one who stated he knew a bit of French and
translated it as follows:
"Sophronie, beloved wife of Louis Moussaw, died 27
of August 1865, aged 34 years and 12 days."
There were some lines in French below the above but
they were so weather worn they could not be translated.
The inscription on the other stone on the lot was
mostly in English except a few lines at the bottom. Note the difference
in the spelling of the last name of the person buried on the lot. The
second stone read:
"Delphine, daughter of L. and S.
Mouso, died February 12,
1881, aged 15 years, 5
months and 26 days."
Following that are the lines in French. Evidently
the two buried there were members of the Catholic church, a cross and
the letters I H S appear upon the stone. We learn from the Richland
county history that a French-Canadian family settled on Fancy Creek
many years ago but moved away.
The death of Delphine, the daughter took place in
1881, a span of 75 years ago.
Much more could and should be written about the
sturdy pioneers, but space and time does not permit at present. A
number of those buried in this cemetery were the first comers to the
area, they organized the church which stands on the site and they took
part in the building of the old log church, the first to stand upon the
ground, and were present in the home of Alanson Clark when the church
society was organized back in 1859 on June 11. J. H. Mathers was the
minister. Among the original members of the church who now rest in the
cemetery which adjoins the edifice we noticed the names of Alanson
Clark, Mrs. Elizabeth Clark, Angus Smith, Daniel Noble, Margaret Noble,
Mrs. Jane Fogo, Mary Wanless, Mrs. Eliza Merrill, T. M. Ocheltree, Mary
McDonald, Mrs. Ann Marshall and Mrs. Mary Caddell. Mrs. Caddell, her
infant daughter Rachel, and son Sydney, were the first persons to be
baptized after the formation of the church. All these now rest in the
shadow of the church surrounded by relatives and friends of the far off
days. May they all serve as a shining example to
future generations of lives well lived and tasks well done.
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