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                                                           Frawley Cemetery
                                                    Sylvan Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA                                            

Tales The Tombstone Tell - Republican Observer November 17, 1956

                                                   Neglected Graves of Pioneers

    Along the highways, out in the woods over in a field back from the road, are a number of cemeteries wherein are buried some of the pioneers of Richland county. Some of these burying places you never heard about and do not know.

                    {PARCELL CEMETERY - See Thompson's SHEAFOR CEMETERY}

    Perhaps the one over on highway 14, a bit over a mile west of the Boaz corner is one which most Richland county people pass and do not know it there. No tombstones are to be seen yet one is there and a little iron fence to enclose a grave is now hidden among the bushes and weeds. A cedar tree can be noticed but you must drive slow if you want to see the iron fence or the cedar tree. Leaning against a butternut tree is the tombstone of a lad, who died away back when. His name was Sheafor and his illness, so his obituary says, was "water on the brain." The cemetery has as a name as all cemeteries do, it is the Parcell cemetery, named after John Parcell, an early settler of the town of Dayton. This cemetery, if you wish to know, is located a mile and 3/10 northwest of the Boaz corner on highway 14. It is on a bank on the left side of the road as you go northwest.
                                                        {FRAWLEY CEMETERY}

    Another cemetery of which but few people know the location, is out in the town of Sylvan, on the ridge north of where St. Peter's Catholic church once stood. It is near the Frawley farm. St. Peter's church has been torn down and some of the bodies in the church yard have been removed to other cemeteries. However the burying ground of which we speak is perhaps close to a mile north. It is out in the woods on the left hand side of the highway. We have, for lack of a regular name, called it the Frawley cemetery. That is not the name however and we do not know what it is. Can some one help us out? It has not been used for years and years, but dates back to close to 100 years ago.

    In it is buried Zenas W. Bevier, one of the pioneers of the town of Akan. His stone, one of those old fashioned kind. has a hand on it pointing upward, and above the hand are the words: "Meet Me in Heaven." Mr. Bevier died October 24, 1861, aged 57 years. There are other words upon the stone but winds and rains over a period of 94 years have all but wiped them out.

    Another stone in the old burying ground is for "Infant Henthorn who died March 16, 1865, aged two days. The stone has a lamb adorning its top. There is a stone for Sarah J. Lawrence, who died October 12, 1856, aged three years, one month and fifteen days.

    A double stone for Mary C. Taylor and Margaret Taylor are in this spot. Mary died December 29, 1859, and Margaret on January 6, 1860, a week apart. There may have been bitter cold winter days when they were laid to rest in what is now an unused cemetery off the regular traveled highway. They rest there undisturbed in quiet peace of the long, long ago.

    Of most of the folks buried in this cemetery we know but little but Zenas W. Bevier was    a pioneer who had much to do with the early day settlement of the town of Akan. He is surely a neglected pioneer. His last resting place is covered with bushes, vines and trees so thick that but little sunshine penetrates the spot and moonbeams would have difficulty in shining upon his grave.

     Mr. Bevier, a native of New York, came in 1855 to Richland county and settled in the town of Akan where he engaged in blacksmithing and farming until his death. It was through his influence that the first post office to be established in Akan township, set up for business in 1856 with Mr. Bevier as postmaster. The office was kept at his home on the northeast corner of section 2. This location was on the west branch of Mill Creek, now on highway 14, near the West Branch school, a bit north of the J. G. Sheafor farm.

    Mr. Bevier must have been well liked by his neighbors and the people in general, for when the township of Akan was first organized at a town meeting held at the home of Martin Munson, April 1, 1856, he was present and elected chairman of the town and thus became a member of the county board. There were 28 votes cast at this election.

    The first school in district No. 1 was taught in 1856 by Martha Funston, at the residence of Mr. Bevier. He took a prominent part in the early development of this township. He continued as postmaster at Akan until the time of his death in 1861. D. D. Woodruff was appointed in his place and the office moved a short distance to the town of Sylvan. It was discontinued in 1877 and long since forgotten except by a few.

    And when the curtain went down upon the life of Mr. Bevier, relatives and friends attended his services and they buried his remains up in the little cemetery and laid him to rest. A simple stone marks the spot of a pioneer, the first chairman of the town of Akan.  Peace be to his ashes.

    Many other little known burying grounds are here and there in a number of townships about the county. They contain the remains of some pioneer and there may be a story of the early days. We will take a look into them some day.

S. F.

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