Patch Acres Cemetery
AKA Copenhefer Cemetery
Marshall Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - December
The Copenhefer Cemetery
The little known burying ground, located, so the
official records show, in the NE corner of NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 section 9
bearing 10 rds. range 1 W., which in other words E and W 2 rds N and S,
town 11 N is a bit of land 10 rods long and 2 rods wide in the town of
Marshall. It is on the Glen Patch farm, quite some distance from any
road or highway. It stands neglected on the line between the Patch farm
and the one owned by Charles Wilson.
In this old time cemetery there are two tombstones;
one small one, might have been a footstone, and the other bears two
inscriptions. Both are dated 1855. We learn from Mrs. Glen Patch that
there are probably seven persons buried there and sunken spots indicate
at least four.
According to the abstract of title shown to us by
Mr. and Mrs. Patch, the land came into the ownership of Martin
Copenhefer, father of "Bob", on November 15, 1854, by a land patent
granted by the United States government.
Martin Copenhefer was a native of Ohio and he came
to Richland county from Indiana in 1854, entered land and remained
there until 1880 when he sold the land and moved to Bloom City. He and
his first wife, Cassa B., are buried in this cemetery, we are told.
The one stone which bears any words is for
Maria Marshall and her son Simon. He died first, the date being July
17, 1855. He was 20 years, 10 months and 23 days old.
The inscription for the mother reads:
Wife of James
Years, 24 Days
Note the date, December 25th, Christmas Day.
Probably the first death in the town of Marshall or
at least one of the first, was that of Simon Marshall, and his mother
passed away five months later. Simon and his brother John G., were
among the first permanent settlers of Marshall. They came in 1852 from
Ohio and settled on Sections 3, 4, 9 and 10. In the fall of 1852 their
mother, Maria, then a widow, came to Marshall accompanied by two other
sons Mahlon and George. They made their home together until 1855, when
Simon died and the mother became sick. She went to live with her
daughter, Mrs. John Hart where she died on Christmas Day. John G., who
came here with his brother Simon, went to the mountains and later on
moved to Tennessee. Mahlon died in 1879 and George remained on the old
homestead, what is now known as the Alta Roudebush farm on highway 56,
Mrs. Roudebush is a granddaughter of both Mr. Copenhefer and Mrs. Maria
Marshall. Mrs. Marshall's son George, was Mrs. Roudebush's father, and
Mr. Copenhefer was her mother's father.
There never will be another other burial in the
Copenhefer cemetery. The march of progress has left it far behind.
Visits to it will not be numerous as the years roll by, in fact a
person would have a hard time even find it unless they knew its exact
location. Mr. Glen Patch, on whose farm it is located, led Frank C.
Poynter and myself to the spot, hidden among the trees at the edge of a
field. This field looked to us to be about the size of Texas as we
started across it. On our return to the Patch home Mrs. Patch got out
the abstract of title to the place which dated back to November 15,
1854. It had many interesting items and familiar names. One of the
transfers was to L. D. Gage when he paid around $17 back taxes and took
what was known as a tax deed. It is a sure thing $17 would not go far
these days in paying back taxes for a couple of years on this now fine
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