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                                                         Haskins Cemetery

                                                    Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA


Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - July 17, 1958

                                                     The Haskins Cemetery

    One of the numerous cemeteries in the town of Richwood is the Haskins cemetery south of the village of Excelsior on county trunk F. This county trunk divides the cemetery into two parts, the older portion is on the south side of the highway, though in the north portion are buried a number of the earliest settlers.

    Such names as these appear upon the markers: Powell, Rouse, Leffler, Dobbs, Mathews, Bell, Taylor, Hamilton.

    Henry Cook was 67 years of age when he died on October 9, 1881. A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Washburn, was a bit past three years of age when she died on September 17, 1880. An early birth was the wife of Henry Bailey, who was born December 23, 1803. Her given name was Mary. Another early day birth was Harriett Phelps, who was born in 1815. She was the wife of O. W. Phelps and her death occurred on April 16, 1883.

    Mr. and Mrs. Asa Wood and a son are buried here. Mr. Wood died on October 7, 1895, at the age of 73 years, 8 months and 18 days. The son, Lafayette, died in 1888, at the age of five years and eight months. Luzena Wood, the wife and mother passed away in 1889, when she was 50 years old.

    Levi Persinger and members of his family are buried here. Mr. Persinger was a native of Virginia, born on July 26, 1816. He moved to Ohio and then to Indiana and there he was married to Christena Brunnemer in 1838. He came with his family to Richland county in 1851 where he engaged in farming. For 22 years, from 1861 to 1883, he acted as mail carrier on a stage route and got the mail through in spite of floods, bad roads and sickness. He was a member of the I.0.O.F. lodge and his death took place May 12, 1888. His wife was born in 1808 and she died in 1899. A son Levi, Jr., is buried near his parents and he died at the age of 32.

    Mary Pound was 73 years, 10 months and 25 days of age when she died on February 10, 1888. Orange S. Pound, born in 1851, and died in 1925, has a marker as has his wife Rosallia, who was born in 1851, and passed away, January 15, 1906. Another early day couple is Alexander E. Lowery and his wife Amanda Jane. He was born in 1842 and died in 1903 while she was born in 1852, and passed on in 1896. Others born well over 100 years ago to be buried here are Isaac J. Powell and Jane, his wife. Mr. Powell was born in 1831 and died in 1914. His wife died when she was 63 years of age. Aliza Cohen, wife of Samuel Cohen, was born in 1807 and had reached the advanced age of 82 years, six months and six days when she breathed her last on December 7, 1889.

    A number of the Buchanan family are here buried. Robert, a native of Ireland, is one of them. He was born, so his tombstone says, September 2, 1809. From Ireland he went to Canada and then to New York where he learned the trade of a stone mason; later moving to Illinois and to the town of Richwood, Richland county in 1864 where he engaged in farming. He was chairman of the township at one time, also treasurer. He was married in 1838 to Mary Shannon, a native of Ireland, born in 1815. Among their children was Robert Jr., who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1843. He enlisted in Co. C 95 Illinois regiment. Wounded at the battle of Vicksburg and again a year later at Yellow Boyou. After the war he learned to be a harness maker and established a business at Excelsior, being the first person to be engaged in that business in the village. In 1873 he was married to Belle Hawkins. S. M. Buchanan, buried close by, was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buchanan Sr. He died September 24, 1888, at the age of 35.

     Artless Brown, a daughter of J. J. and Huldah E. Brown, came to their home on Christmas Day, 1868, and died April 14, 1893. On her marker it says: "Weep not, she is not dead, but sleepeth."

    Dorothy May, daughter of C. E. and M. P. Dobbs, had a brief life, born in February, 1905, and passed on the following month. On her marker is engraved:
            "With Christ in Heaven."
and then follows this verse:
            "Go little Pilgram to thy home on yonder
                blissful shore,
              We miss thee here but soon will come where
                thou hast gone before."

    William T. Howell has an I.O.O.F. emblem carved on his marker. He was born in 1847 and died in 1927. By his side is buried his wife Sarah, born in 1848 and died in 1909. Another of the older folks to be buried here is Orton Taylor, who died in October, 1897, at the age of 87.

    There is an unfilled grave here in the older part of the Haskins cemetery. A tombstone and also a government marker is here for Osborn Gamage, member of Co. I 16th Regt. Wisconsin Vol. According to his marker he was 33 years old when he died on September 5, 1862. He is one of the "Boys in Blue" who never came back home from the Civil War. According to the government record he was a resident of Darlington when he enlisted September 30, 1861. In the battle of Shiloh he was taken prisoner and died September 5, 1862, at Nashville, Tennessee. His marker is on an Indian Mound, The grave of his daughter Emma, is also in the Indian Mound; she died in 1878 at the age of 16 years. Another to be buried in this mound is John Ross, who died in 1876 at the age of two years. He may have been a son of Dr. and Mrs. 0. Ross, who came to Excelsior in 1864.

    A. A. Hathaway and his wife, Elizabeth, are buried here. He was born in 1821 and she in 1828. Mr. Hathaway died in 1874 and his wife in 1908.

    Cpl. Charles J. Moore of the 27th New York Light Artillery found rest here. A government marker stands on his grave. Jackson Dobbs, who died in 1910 at the age of 73, is here as are also Chas. Powers, born in 1823, and his wife Jane, born in 1828. He died in 1905 and she in 1908. A son Lawrence, who passed on in 1870, is also here. David Bartells and wife have markers. He was born in 1811 and she in 1820.

    On the stone for Adaline and Adalide Coats is this verse:
            "Our Twins-"
            "Peaceful be thy silent slumber,
             Peaceful in the grave so low.
             Thou will no more join our number
             Thou no more our song shall know.
            'Dearest sisters thou has left us,
             Keen thy loss we deeply feel,
             But 'tis God that hast bereft us,
             He can all our sorrows heal."

    Elizabeth Duncan was 80 years of age when she passed on in 1894. Born in 1814 she lived in a pioneer age and we know that she and others of the folks who were boys and girls in the days of "away back when" would have many an interesting story to tell of the days of long, long ago.
    Mary Haskins, wife of Rev. William H. Haskins, is here among her old time friends. Her maiden name was Winton and she came to Richland county with her husband in 1853. He is said to be the first or at least one of the first, ministers of the gospel to settle in Richwood. Their home was on Sand Prairie. Rev. Haskins was a United Brethren minister  and was known as a circuit rider, preaching at Spring Green, Lone Rock, Sandusky and other points. His circuit was 60 miles in length; traveling on horseback he made each appointment every two weeks. Rev. Haskins, was in fact, the first person to live in what later became the village of Excelsior and erected a saw mill but the village was not platted until 1867, though a post office was established there in 1857. On the marker for Mrs. Haskins the date of her death is given as 1885.

    Alden H. Avery was but 47 years of age when he died September 1, 1879. He was a mill owner, belonged to the Odd Fellow lodge and was well known in that section of the county in the Excelsior area. The mill property which he purchased in 1870, was located not far from the cemetery. It took on the name of Avery's mill. First built in 1855 by Alonzo Carson, it was sold to Avery & Langdon, and became the property of Mr. Avery as above stated. This property was a saw mill but Mr. Avery erected a grist mill in 1871. It had two run of buhrs. Following the death of Mr. Avery the property became owned by others. Samuel Yeager operated a chair factory there at one time. An interesting item in connection with the mill property was that Mr. Avery or one of the other owners put a high price on logs being rafted through the mill pond. These rafts came from upstream and were rafted down Knapps Creek from Excelsior to the Wisconsin river to be assembled in a large raft and floated down the river to mills on the Mississippi. Rafters objected to the high price charged by the mill owners so they got the state legislature to declare the creek open for navigation from its mouth as far up stream as Excelsior, also making into law the price that could be charged for rafts. If the law has never been repealed Knapps Creek is still open for navigation. All signs of the mill have long vanished. It was on the road that now starts at the Haskins cemetery, going southwest from county highway F connecting with highway W located on the Alva Miller farm, we believe.

    On the lot in the cemetery with Mr. Avery are a son John, who died at the age of 11, and a daughter Julia, who passed away in 1860. We could find no mention of Mrs. Avery upon the stone though we learned from marking for the son that her initials were "S. C."

    Close to the fence on the east side of the burying ground are the graves of members of the E. J. Langdon family. His first wife, Eleanor, is here buried. She died April 13 1873, at the age of 20 years. He remarried and, Cynthia,    his second wife, passed away Sept. 27, 1879, at the age of 21 years and 19 days. A son, Guy, died in 1878 at the age of one year. Mr. Langdon was clerk of the courts at one time and resided in Richland Center. He is buried in the Richland Center cemetery by the side of his third wife.

    A tragic death by fire snuffed out the lives of Lillie May McKinney and her brother Charles M., children of Amanda and J. M. McKinney. Lillie May was two years and 13 days old when death came; Charles was three years and five months of age. Their deaths took place on December 15, 1869. The father had gone to Excelsior and the mother to the home of John McKinney close by on an errand, leaving the children alone. During her brief absence the lad and lassie scattered coals from the fireplace, the house caught fire and the children perished in the blaze. A double tombstone marks their burying place in the Haskins cemetery. It is now broken and cannot be read as 87 years have passed since the tragic event. Time and the elements have just about destroyed the carvings on the stone. We were in the cemetery in 1939 and then copied the inscriptions upon the marker.

    This covers the older, or south part of the burying ground. A burial has not been made in this part of the cemetery for a number of years.

     Across the highway is the new part of the cemetery. It is not "new" as time goes. Some of the earliest settlers are here buried. We see such names as these upon the stones: Hathaway, Brown, Powers, Cox, Hysell, Adams, Faulkner, Pound, Dyer, Howell, Weldy, Meeker, Miller and McMillen.

    J. P. Gobin and his wife Mary, were no doubt early settlers of the area surrounding the cemetery. He was born in 1845 and passed on in 1926. Mrs. Gobin was born, so her marker says; in 1848 and passed on in 1939. Russell Gobin was born in 1842 and his death took place in 1916.
    On the marker for Frank Jones is this verse:
            "We cannot tell who next may
                fall beneath the chastening rod,
             One must be first but let us
                all prepare to meet our God."

    Joseph Cox, born in 1824 and died in 1914, is here by the side of his wife, Amanda. Mr. Cox was a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. D 92nd Regt. Ohio Volunteers. Hayes Keepers of Co. I, 12th Wisconsin is here. He went into the service on December 14, 1861, giving his address as Richland Center, and was mustered out July 16, 1865.

    B. F. Washburn, who had much to do with the village of Excelsior in an early day, is buried in this graveyard as is his wife Maria J.  Mr. Washburn was born in 1840 and passed on in 1910 while his wife, born in 1846, lived until 1928. Mr. Washburn was born in Illinois, came with his parents to Grant county in 1857. In 1864 he enlisted in Co. I, 17th Wisconsin Volunteers and served until being mustered out. He returned to Grant county and was, in 1865, married to Maria J. Hawkins. In 1869 he bought lots in Excelsior and later purchased a large amount of farm land, being at one time the largest real estate owner in Richwood township. He conducted a mercantile business at Excelsior for some time, interested in the mills, owned a wagon shop, and served as postmaster of Excelsior for several years. He also served in the state legislature.

    Samuel Noble, born in 1830, in Ohio, is here in the Haskins cemetery as is his wife Maranda, who was born in Ohio in 1840. Her maiden name was Maranda Ackley. They came to Richwood in May 1864. He owned at one time an interest in the Excelsior mills. He served as town treasurer of Richwood for ten years. Mr. Noble died in 1911 and his wife passed on in 1920.

    Joseph J. Taylor, World War veteran, buried here, was a private in the army, and his marker indicates that he served in an Iowa unit. He passed on February 15, 1918. Another World War veteran, John William McKinney, was, so his marker says, Sp. 3, 509 Quartermaster Co. He was born on November 9, 1934, and died April 8, 1957.

    Still another World War soldier in this burying ground is Hartzel Alderman, a Sgt. in Co. K, 128th Inft. Division. Hartzel was born in 1889 and died in 1919. A stone marked "Father" and one marked "Mother" are on the same lot. The father, Robert, was born in 1858 and died in 1934. Florence, the mother, was born in 1857 and died in 1939.
    William H. Powers has a flag on his grave and two guns crossed are carved upon his tombstone. Wm. was a World War II veteran who died in service in 1944. On the same lot is his mother, Mildred, and her name appears upon the monument. She died in 1948. When her son was to be brought back for burial, she then a resident of a Pacific coast state, made plans to attend the burial and in due time started for Wisconsin by auto. On the way here she was the victim of an auto accident which took her life. Her body was brought back and she and her son were laid to rest on the same day at the same time in 1948. The stone that marks their burial spot reads:
                Son                                Mother
            William H. Powers       Mildred H.
               1925-1944                     1900-1948

     J. W. Garner, is one of the "Boys in Blue" to be buried here and by his side is his wife, Mary. Mr. Garner was born in the Hoosier state, January 10, 1840, and in 1861 enlisted in an Indiana regiment, took part in 37 battles, taken prisoner at Johnsonville, Tenn. He was never wounded but of the 109 men in his company when he first enlisted, only nine lived to come home. In 1866 he married Mary Endicott and later they came to Wisconsin.

    Moses Weldy, born in 1843, and died in 1921, is buried here by the side of his wife, Amanda, who was born in 1842. Enoch Harvey and his wife, Harriett, are among those who found rest here. Enoch was born in 1842 and died in 1922. Mrs. Harvey was born in 1854 and passed on in 1911. W. J. Owens, born in 1842 and died in 1910, is here, as is his wife Eliza, born in 1913. A flag on the grave indicates that Mr. Owens was a Civil War veteran.

    John Faulkner, another Civil War veteran, is in this graveyard. He was a member of Co. A 22nd Wisconsin Infantry. When he entered service he gave his residence as the town of Richwood.

    Buried here is John S. McKinney and some of the members of his family. Mr. McKinney was one of the early comers to Richland county, born in Grant county on September 1, 1837, he came with his parents to Richland county in 1842, when he was five years old, when there were less than 20 white settlers in the county. In 1862 he married Maria Parish, bought a piece of land about a mile cast of Excelsior, built a log house. Later a frame house was erected. Mr. McKinney died on March 14, 1927. He was a good carpenter, built many of the houses still standing in Excelsior is well as the school house there. There were ten children in the family, only one, we believe, still lives. Mr. McKinney also conducted a furniture store and was called upon from time to time to make coffins. He also was a pioneer undertaker and many of the people in the Haskins cemetery were furnished coffins made by him in his carpenter shop. No doubt he assisted in providing undertaking service to many of those who passed away in the early days.

    A granddaughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Miles Randall, live upon the old farm. Mrs. McKinney, the wife, who shared the joys and sorrows of the pioneer days with her husband, was born in 1841 and passed into the land beyond the sunset in 1920.

S. F.

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