Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery
AKA South Church, Maple Ridge
Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
Tales The Tombstones Tell
- Republican Observer - June 14, 1956
The South Church
South on the ridge toward Blue River off county
trunk X a bit, is the old South Church, used but little now-a-days. It
in an old church and an old church cemetery, just 99 years old this
May, 1956. In it are buried the old settlers of the area. The first
burial therein was that of the body of Anna Torgerson, wife of John
Torgerson who was born on August 2, 1821, and died May 18, 1857. She
was the mother of Anton M. Turgasen who resided in the town of Richland
and later in Richland Center until the time of his death. It will be
noticed that the spelling of the surname has been slightly changed,
this action was taken by Anton M. in order to bring the title more
nearly in harmony with the English spelling. Anthony's mother, the
first person to be buried in the South cemetery, died five days
following his birth, Anton often related that as a lad as he would go
to the cemetery to visit the grave of his mother and at that time there
were but three or four other graves there and berry bushes and brush,
almost covered the site.
On the gravestone for Tilda Oleson who died in 1891,
at the age of five days, it says:
"She sleeps beneath her native earth and near the
spot that gave her birth. Her youthful feet trod flowers that bloom, in
beauty o'er her early tomb."
In the South Church burying ground are many members
of the Dieter family. One of these was John Dieter, who died in 1867 at
the age of 35 years; another was Mrs. Barbara Dieter, who passed away
in 1955, and work was being started to erect a monument on the lot. Her
son-in-law Edwin Anderson, and Stephen Cook, also of Richland Center,
were getting things in shape for the stone.
On one of the Dieter monuments was this verse:
"Our brother sleeps beneath the
ground, "Till the last trumpet sounds; Then burst the chains with sweet
surprise; And in his Savior's image rise."
Two early settlers were Hans Pederson (Peterson) and
Mrs. Olive Pederson. He was born in Norway in 1821 and died December 9,
1896. Mrs. Pederson, also born in Norway, first saw the light of day in
1823. Perhaps the oldest person to be buried there is Anna Westrum, who
was born in 1796 and died, so her tombstone says, in 1877.
As noted above services are infrequent in the old
church building, members now worship at the Five Points church. Burials
also are infrequent, except for early pioneers or members of their
families and as the years pass on there will be a final end to the uses
put to the church where services were held for many of those who rest
in peace close by.
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