Forest Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
Tales The Tombstones Tell -
Republican Observer - October 31, 1957
Atop a hill overlooking Bender Hollow in the town of
Forest, is the Hopewell cemetery or as some call it, the New Bender
Burying Ground. Hopewell, is the rightful name, we believe. It is not
far from the Old Bender cemetery which was the first one in the town of
The Hopewell cemetery is south cross the highway on
a county road, MM, from the Hopewell church. The church building is no
longer in use; stripped of its pews, its pulpit and stove, it stands as
a silent monument to other days.
There can be no doubt but some of those out in the
burying ground attended meetings there and funeral services for some
were held in this church. It was erected in 1889, and dedicated in
February, 1890. It took the place of an old, old church which stood
"down the hollow."
The first burial in the Hopewell cemetery was in
1895, David Bender tells us. David is a native of that section, his
younger days were spent there and he kept in touch with events in that
area. He says that Cyrus Gochenaur, a ten year old lad, son of Mr. and
Mrs. Ephraium Goehenaur who met an accidental death, was the first to
be laid to rest there.
James Matthes, born in 1857 and died in 1942, is
buried here as is also his wife Lucie, born in 1871 and died in 1915. A
number of the Ambrose family are in this cemetery. Hiram Ambrose and
his wife Caroline, are among them. He was born in 1826 and she in 1837.
They were at one time residents of Richland Center and conducted the
old Mitchell Hotel for a time. J. K. Ambrose is one of the family
buried here. He came at an early date, about 1854 or 1855. He was a
Civil War veteran.
Names upon the stones in this cemetery include
Moore, Rounds, Walter, Lowrey, Smelcer, Hoke, Dobson, Benn and Bender.
John and Susan Harn are in this cemetery as also in
Rola, a son. Rola was accidentally shot, his death taking place, the
tombstone says, on September 6, 1900. John Harn was a Civil War veteran.
Another tragic death was that of John Lynd, who was
killed in a ranaway accident, December 16, 1895. On his monument it
"Be ye also ready for in such an
hour as you thinkest
not the Son of Man cometh."
Mr. Lynd was born in 1825.
William Fry, born in 1857 and his wife Barbara, are
in this cemetery. Mr. Fry was a Civil War veteran.
William Dary, born in 1830 and died in 1914, is
buried here as is his wife Mahala, born in 1831 and passed on in 1905.
Jeremiah Kanable is another Civil War veteran, who
found this cemetery his last resting place. He was born in 1844. His
wife Isabelle, is on the lot.
The life story of Edgar Lanam, infant son of E. J.
and T. E. Lanam is soon told as a line on his marker reads:
"Born and died
October 26, 1899."
A rather odd name Ellis Ellis, appears upon a marker
which says he died in 1895 at the age of 64 years. No other information
appears upon the stone.
Ed Joseph, one time resident of the town of
Richland, residing a scant mile west of the city on Brush Creek, is
buried here. He was killed in an auto accident. He was born in Forest
on May 3, 1868, and all his life was spent in Richland county. His
parents were John and Anna Joseph, who were natives of England and
Wales; he of England and she of Wales. They were married in England and
came to America, taking up their home in the town of Forest. Mrs. Edwin
Joseph is still living.
Another of the "Boys in Blue" to find rest
here in this quiet cemetery was Irvin Gribble, one time treasurer of
Richland county. He was a native of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, born
May 9, 1841. In 1854 the family came to Wisconsin from Indiana, settled
in Vernon county, and then to the Viola area. Mr. Gribble enlisted in
Co. I, 12th Wisconsin Infantry in October, 1861, re-enlisted when his
time of service expired, and served until August 1865, when the
regiment was mustered out of service. He returned home and resumed
farming. In 1872 he was married to Sarah Bender. Mr. Gribble was
elected treasurer of the county in 1880 and served four years.
Side by side are buried T. R. Beighly and wife. He
was born in 1803 and she in 1833. Mr. Beighly was a soldier in the
Civil War. Would that we could tell a bit of history about every person
buried in this cemetery and in other cemeteries about the county but we
will have to be content in many instances with just what the tombstones
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