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                                                                 Loyd Cemetery
                                                       Willow Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

   
                                           

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer September 1, 1955

                                                Uncle Joe and Aunt Lydia

    For detailed information of the lives of those who "have gone on before" the Loyd cemetery is perhaps the most interesting one in the county. The tombstones not only give the name, date of birth and date of death but lists interesting facts about the folks who sleep away the years upon the hillside overlooking the village.

    For instance there is the monument of Robert Bruce Stewart, it reads:

    Robert Bruce Stewart, born in Stockbridge, Madison county, New York, December 14, 1821. Went to Jefferson county, Wisconsin, in 1849, moved to Buena Vista, Richland county in 1849, and with E.M. Sexton platted the village of Loyd in 1854; died February 16, 1901, aged 79 years, 2 months. We only know that they have gone, and that the same relentless tide which bore them from us, still glides on and those who mourn them with it glide.

On the other side of the monument is this:

    Helen L. Sexton, daughter of Morris and Linda Sexton, born at Clayton, Jefferson county, New York, October 18, 1825,lived in Chicago. In 1836, came to Jefferson, Wisconsin, in 1838, married to R.B. Stewart March 4, 1847, and died May 7, 1897, aged 71 years, 6 months and 19 days.

    A marker for their daughter is also on the lot and we wondered as we read the inscription what the last line meant, it has a meaning, but what? The marker was for Laurentine who was married to C. R. Hyde in 1882 and died at Superior, Wis., June 21, 1904.

The last line reads: "She hath done what she could."

    The cemetery contains stones for many of the pioneers of the Loyd area and familiar names on the monuments brought memories of friends we used to know.

    Some of the tombstones tell matters of interest. For instance there is one near the tool house for Joseph Rassette who was born in Quebec, Canada, June 1, 1807 and died December 1, 1887, buried at Hartford, Michigan. The inscription reads:

    "Uncle Joe will long be remembered as the genial story teller, a good citizen and an honest man."

    The stone also contains a brief history of his wife. It reads:
    "Lydia B. Sexton born at Leeds, Canada, February 9, 1810; lived at Muskegon,  Michigan, in 1836; at Sextonville, Wis., from 1851 to 1867, at Hartford, Michigan until 1888, died at Loyd, Wis. January 10, 1896, a friend to homeless children. Aunt Lydia was the daughter of Maurice E. and Linda Sexton; a sister of E.M. Sexton, Mindwell Johnston, Helen Stewart, and Comfort Banks. Faithful, kind and true. Her's was a long life well filled with loving deeds."

    On a monument not far from Rassette's is one which bears this inscription:
    "In the soft light and sweet repose of that fair land of bliss;
    She gently rest and waits for those
    She loved and left in this"

Upon the grave stone of Amos Stafford, born September 28, 1783; died May,1861, it says:
    "The angles called him on a sunny day."
     According to history Mr. Stafford went to Loyd in 1856 from Cbenango county New York, in the fall and spent the winter in Loyd. The following spring he settled on section 26, later on he moved to section 15 where he built a mill, put in a turning lathe and manufactured furniture. He was a natural mechanic and a good workman.

    The old familiar one with a few changes about preparing for death and follow me, appears upon the stone of John Thompson; it reads:

    "My children dear assemble here.
    Your father's grave to see;
    Not long ago I dwelt with you
    But soon you will come and dwell with me."

Upon another was this:

    "Where this silent marble weeps,
    A friend, a wife, a mother, sleeps."

    Here is another pretty verse that notes the first death in the Smyth family, it says:

    "O, brother, first to leave our band,
    Life's song as yet unsung;
    While gray hairs gather on our brows,
    Thou are forever young."

    There are a number of the early comers to Loyd who were of French origin. One of them is Jules Francois, who at one time lived in Richland Center. We noted from the stone the spelling of his first name; it was "JuLes"; all one word but with a capital J. and L.

    According to the county history the Loyd cemetery was laid out at an early date and one of the first persons to be laid to rest therein was H. Z. Britton who was the first person to die in the village. His death took place in 1855 and he was buried in the village but later removed to the cemetery.

    Mr. Britton was born in 1795. He was one of the first town officers of Willow township, and when the post office was established at Loyd in 1855 he was the postmaster. He also in 1851, conducted a hotel in Sextonville.

S. F.



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