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                                                      Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery

                                                                              AKA South Church, Maple Ridge Cemetery
                                                                    Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

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.

S. F.

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