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                                                              Mill Creek Cemetery
                                                                                              AKA Buzzard Cemetery
                                                                      Sylvan Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - June 20, 1957

                                                  Conkle and Mill Creek

    These two cemeteries, the Conkle and Mill Creek, are on what is known as the "Middle Branch" of Mill Creek and are located not so far apart on county trunk E. The Conkle cemetery is in the town of Dayton and the Mill Creek burying ground in the town of Sylvan just a bit off of county trunk E close to the town line between Marshall and Sylvan.

                                                The Mill Creek Cemetery

    This cemetery is situated on the bank of the creek just over the line in the town of Sylvan. The Mill Creek church, unused now, stands on the south portion of the grounds. When we visited the cemetery along with Charles Ray and Frank Poynter not so long ago, we went into the church and found to our surprise, that it was empty. No seats, no pulpit, no stove, but a few Sunday school books and papers were upon the floor. Close beside the church house is the cemetery and from the names upon the stones the Ewers family would comprise at least half of the population of this burying ground.
    John Ewers was one of the early comers to Marshall. He was born in Ohio in 1823 and in 1855 came to Richland county. Besides his farm he owned a half interest in a flouring mill on section 31 which was capable of grinding 100 bushels of wheat in a day. He was married in 1845 to Mary Thomas and she passed on in 1855, and in 1860 he married Marietta Barnes.
    Buried close to Mr. Ewers is Orlen, a son, and Romeo, another son. Orlen died in 1896, and he and Romeo must have been musicians for their grave stones bear the outline of harps. Romeo died in 1900 and his marker says:
            "Your voice and music in our memory will remain,
               until in heaven we meet you again."
    On the marker for Orlen, along side the harp it says:
            "May your voice be as sweet to those in heaven above,
             as it was to us who miss your music and love."

    Another member of the Ewers clan resting in the cemetery is Elihu Ewers who was born in Ohio in May, 1852, a son of William and Rachel Ewers. Elihu married Iva Cooper, a native of Ohio; and they became the parents of eight children. Mr. Ewers died in 1918, and his wife in 1944. A son, Robert, who died in 1904, is buried on the lot with his parents.

    Death came in early life to James Turnmire, son of Alfred and Minnie Turnmire, who died in 1926 before reaching his second birthday; another son, Delburn, died November 18, 1911, was less than a month of age, and Buford passed on in August 1910, when he was less than three months old.

    Harrison Davis, born in 1854, died in 1928, and his wife Elizabeth, born in 1861, and died in 1946, are in this cemetery, and on the same lot is Emil Davis, World War veteran, Private, 316 Aux. died November 9, 1930. Another World War veteran, Lucius Adsit, known to his host of friends as "Toots" was buried in 1938. He was born in 1899. Another veteran, Howard Earl Felton, born November, 1896, and died at Camp Hancock, Georgia, October 3, 1918, is also buried here.
     Many familiar names, Starkey, McDaniel, Ferguson, Breese, Kidd, Draper, Laque and others appear upon the headstones. A double marker for Rachel and Elizabeth Kerby notes the date of their birth and death. Rachel was born in 1838 and died in June, 1907. Elizabeth, born in 1835, outlived Rachel by a year and 11 days, the date of her death was June 15, 1902.

    We found another member of the Ewers family to be buried here was Edgar Ewers, who served as district attorney for the county. His father and mother also rest close by. Edgar, his marker says, was born in 1870 and died in 1950. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Achilles Ewers.

    An early settler to be buried in the Mill Creek cemetery is William F. Kepler, who was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1834. In 1855 he came to Richland county together with his father. A log house 14xl4 was put up and eleven persons passed the winter in this dwelling. In 1859 he opened a carpenter shop manufacturing coffins, spinning wheels and reels. In 1860 he was married to Rachel Kirby, and after her death to Mrs. Mariam Bailey. His third wife was Mrs. Anna Van Poole. A son Elmer is buried in the Mill Creek cemetery as is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Kepler, Vada.

    Aquilla Cook, born in 1859, spent his entire life in Richland county. His parents came here from Ohio in 1854. settling in the town of Marshall, on Mill Creek. He was married in December, 1885, to Miss Minnie Ripley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Ripley.

    One of the long to be remembered events to transpire in the little church took place some 40 years ago. The funeral of one of the early settlers was to take place. Relatives and friends gathered for the last sad rites. The bereaved family sat in the front row and a hush spread as the pastor of the church arose and in a solemn voice announced that the funeral was being held at the usual hour of the church service, there fore the ushers would take up the usual collection. This was done and no one was slighted as the plate was passed to the mourners as well as all others there. As one of the mourners remarked later, "passing the hat sort of relieved the tensions."

    We should pause here to note that one of the persons to sleep away the years in this burying ground is John Cook. If it had not been for him we doubt if any of "The Tales the Tombstones Tell" would have ever been thought of and certainly you would not be reading one now but for a chance remark made long ago by Mr. Cook to the writer of these tales.
    It all started back before 1932. Mr. Cook, who spent part of his winters in Florida, had just returned from the south. There had been a large number of deaths during the winter among the older folks and Mr. Cook remarked that many of his old time friends had passed down, the long, long road. He spoke up and said, "It has become so during the past few years that if I want to visit my old time friends, I have to go to the cemetery to do so." The writer thought of that remark and as he had visited a few cemeteries and always found some one he once knew he made up his mind to visit, if possible, every burying ground in the county. There are 91 of these cemeteries and visits have been made, with two or three exceptions, to all of them. Mr. Cook, according to his monument, was born July 14, 1844, and died July 24, 1932. He was a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. I, 46th Wisconsin Infantry . He enlisted from the town of Richland, was promoted to a corporal before being mustered out in 1865. A large number of Richland county men served in the 46th.
    Mr. Cook's wife, Cassandra, is buried by his side. She was born May 10, 1847, and died June 7, 1916.
    At the bottom of the stone it says: "Gone from labor to reward."
    Two odd but pretty names appear in the above write-up. One on a stone in the Conkle cemetery and is for Cindaretta Conkle. The other is in the Mill Creek cemetery and is for Cassandra Cook.

S. F.

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