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                                    Pleasant Ridge - Willow Cemetery 
                                                     Willow Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

                                           

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - November 7, 1957

                                           Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Willow

    There are three Pleasant Ridge communities in Richland county. One in Akan, one in Bloom and one in Willow. There is no cemetery at the Pleasant Ridge church in Akan but there is one in Bloom. It is of the one in Willow of which we write, located on county trunk D. A church is there at this cemetery with Lester Mathews as the pastor. This church was, we believe, organized in 1874 at the home of Ezra Reagles. A log church was built and later the frame structure which houses the congregation on a Sunday, was built. It and the cemetery were at one time a part of the farm of Ezra Reagles. Mr. Reagles found rest here in this burying ground, close to the church he helped to organize. Mr. Reagles was born in Medina county, Ohio, in 1834, and moved to Indiana when he was six years old. In 1861 he married Susfine Mayewinkle and the same year they came to Wisconsin. Here the wife died 13 years later. He again married when Mary E. Lewis became his wife. She was born in 1858 and died in 1918. A son, Clyde, is buried on the lot with his parents. He died in 1894 at the age of 13 years. Mr. Reagles was a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. A, 36th Wis. Vol. At the time of his enlistment he gave the town of Willow as his residence. On August 16, 1864, he was wounded in the leg, the wound being so severe that the leg had to be amputated. He was Register of Deeds for Richland county for two terms. He died in 1917.

    Joseph W. Bryant is one of the Civil War veterans buried here. He was a member of Co. E lst Penn. Light Artillery. He was born June 18, 1823, and died September 11, 1904. His wife Sarah J. was born in 1844 and passed on July 14, 1915.

    A World War I soldier, Charles A. Warner, is buried close by. He was a private in the army in the first World War, born May 10, 1894, and died February 15, 1955. He was kin, we learn, of Ezra Reagles and Joseph Bryant.

    There are many well known names upon the stones and markers in the burying ground. Williams, Scoles, Newkirk, Thompson, Draves, Long, Markley, Frye, Denman and Brock are some of them. Then there are others: Mathews, LeMoine, Rose, Stout, Worth, Sutherland, Pahl, Fuller, Lane, Mosher, Hendricks, Kingery and Todd.

    Ira Hyde and Harriett Hyde have a marker. He was born in 1850 and died in 1901, while she, born in 1849, died in 1929. James Breese, his marker says, died on August 2, 1898, at the age of 57 years, 11 months and 21 days.

    Mary A. Newkirk is another one buried here, who was born over 100 years ago. She first looked upon the world in 1826 and her eyes closed in 1905.

    Fannie Roberts, who married Lewis Johnston, is here. She was for many years our correspondent from Buck Creek. She was born in 1888 and died in 1952. Her sister Claudia M. Roberts, is on the same lot. Claudia was born in 1874 and died in 1937. Another stone upon the lot is marked "Jennie, 1849 - 1924."

    Edward J. Long is here in this cemetery along with his wife, Amanda. He was born in 1827 and died in 1905. His wife was born in 1835 but no date of her death is given. Lucinda Hyde, wife of E. G. Singletery, died December 28, 1884, at the age of 37. On the same lot is Sarah Dary, wife of A. P. Hyde, who died September 10, 1888, at the age of 62.
     On one monument it says: "Lillie May Stayton, born in Rockbridge, August 8, 1866, married J. W. Bryant December 5, 1889, died January 3, 1909, aged 42 years, 4 months and 26 days.
            "Lillie darling you lie here.
             To me, love you are most dear;
             Let come whatever will
             I will always love you still."

    Mr. Bryant was born May 24, 1868, but the date of his passing is not given.
    Samuel Fuller who died February 2, 1897, at the age of 74, has this engraved upon his marker:
            "Shall we meet beyond the river."
    On the same lot is his wife Julia, born in 1828 and died in 1907, also a daughter Euphemia, who died on September 23, 1865, at the age of 14.

    George C. Spencer, born in 1838, died in 1891, and his wife Martha, born in 1852, died in 1927. They were quite early settlers in the Willow area.

    Civil War veteran William DeVolt, gave the town of Willow as home when he enlisted in Co. A 36th Regt., February 16, 1864. He was mustered out July 12, 1865. He served in the same company and regiment with Ezra Reagles. Mr. DeVolt was born March 22, 1822, and died November 16, 1898. Emily, his wife, was born in 1830 and died in 1895.

    Gracie May Kennedy, who died August 15, 1888, at the age of two years and six days, has this upon her marker:
            "Dearest Gracie thou has left us,
             Though we see your form no more
             Yet we know that we shall meet thee
             Over on the Golden Shore."

    John Kennedy is buried on the same lot as is Charlotte, his wife. He was born in 1849 and died in 1909. Charlotte, born in 1862, died in 1888.

    John Gray, born in 1854, died in 1936. Mr. Gray operated a farm upon which is located a cave, which years ago was surveyed by a party from the state university.

    Ed and Hannah Ford have a marker. He was born in 1862 and she in 1871. Mr. Ford died in 1904 and she in 1949. Tillas Knapp lived to be 73 years, 7 months and 25 days of age when he died January 31, 1900. A son Jesse, died in 1895 at the age of eight and a daughter, Nellie Fry, passed on November 22, 1895, at the age of 22 years, one month and 13 days.

    Mary Olive Rose had a short life; as she died January 26th at the age of seven months and six days. her sister, Nora, died in December 1, 1897, at the age of seven. The tombstone says they were the daughters of S. H. and M. Rose. Connie Williams, buried in this cemetery, had a short life too, being born in 1901 and died in 1902. Ruth Gray had a much longer life; born on December 29, 1834, she lived until January 30, 1910.

    Isaac Johnson Sr. and Isaac Johnson Jr. are here. Isaac, the older, was born in 1845 and died in 1919, while Isaac Jr., born in 1881, lived until 1905. Ida M., wife of Isaac Sr., is on the lot. She was born in 1858 and died in 1933. Another son, Cal. H., is buried on the lot. He was born in 1889 and passed on in 1941.

    A marker for Jean and Janet Johnson is on a lot close by. They were no doubt twins. They died, so the marker says, in 1935.
     Daniel Mosher is buried here. He was born in 1864 and answered the final call in 1951. Levi Hicks and his wife Lucinda, have markers. He was born in 1846 and she in 1853. Mr. Hicks died in 1914 and his wife in 1928. Another marker on the lot is for C. W. Hicks, born in 1844 and died in 1896. There are also stones there for Walter and Ezra Hicks. John Pugh is one of the early born folks to be buried here. He was born in 1848 and passed on in 1888. Among those whose birth took place "back in the 40s" were William Purrott and his wife Elizabeth. The marker gives the date of his birth at 1842, and death in 1914. His wife was born in 1847 and died in 1926.

    Harlin Kingsbury, a Civil War veteran, has only a G.A.R. marker on his grave.

    Elmer C. Denman and his wife, Edna L., are among the folks buried here. Mrs. Denman was born in 1889 and passed on in 1954. Mr. Denman first saw the light of day in 1886 and died in 1956. His death took place while he was attending a dance in Richland Center. Mr. and Mrs. Denman had the distinction of having one of the largest families in the country. On this monument is engraved this line:
            "Parents of 25 children."

    Steve Bryant, well known as an operator of steam engines back in the days when they were used at threshing time, is buried here as is his wife. Five of their children are on the same lot. Mr. Bryant passed on in 1942 and his wife in 1956.

    Olive, a daughter of Ezra Reagles, died in 1924. She was the wife of Harvey Jewett.

    Charles Williams, son of one of the early settlers of Pleasant Ridge, was laid to rest in this cemetery. He was born in 1871 and died in 1957, his death taking place at his home in Richland Center. Members of the Breese family are buried here. On one lot the stones bear the names of Balemas, Rachel and Levi.

    Among the well known folks to be buried here is Edward E. Mickel and his wife, who was the former Mabel Jewett. Mr. Mickel was born in 1862 and she in 1870. Edward died in 1932 and she in 1909.

    The cemetery was visited on June 7, 1885, by the worst storm in the history of the county, in fact the entire north portion of the county felt the damage by hail which swept out of the west. The path of the storm was some 18 miles in width and extended through the county. Hail stones were of immense size, one stone picked up an hour after the storm measured 12 inches in circumference one way around and 13 the other. The funeral of Miss Mary Rose was in progress at the Pleasant Ridge church. The people got into the church just as the storm broke. Several teams, maddened by the pelting hail, ran away and top buggies were ruined. Several men, who out to look after their horses, were knocked down and one man was rendered unconscious. The funeral was postponed until the next day.

    The cemetery is well kept.

S. F.

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