Rockbridge Township, Richland County,
Tales The Tombstones Tell
Tales the Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer November 10,
About Cemeteries Here and There
In the Rockbridge cemetery, located on a hill which
overlooks the little village, many of the pioneers of that area have
found a last resting place.
There are many familiar names upon the monuments
which brings back memories of other days. The cemetery is well kept, a
credit to the community.
In a visit to the cemetery not too long ago,
we were accompanied by Charles Ray and P. L. Lincoln of this city and
were joined at Rockbridge by Joseph Beran and Edward Huffman of the
village. They knew the majority of those sleeping away the years there.
In the silent city stands a stone for M. H. B.
Cunningham, who was one of the best known residents of the little
hamlet. Mike, as he was known far and wide, was born in Huntingtown
county, Penn., April 11, 1842, moved with his parents to Illinois, then
to Iowa county, Wisconsin, and when 19 years of age enlisted in the
18th Wisconsin Infantry. At the battle of Shiloh he was taken prisoner
and after over six months was paroled from Libby prison. He rejoined
his regiment in April 1863, and served until mustered out In March,
1865. In 1867 he came to Rockbridge where he conducted a store, later
operated a saw mill, engaging in the lumber business and then moved to
Richland Center where he made his home for a number of years until his
death which took place in 1918. On his monument is a line which reads
"I tried to do my duty." A son Kenneth with the U. S. Navy in World War
I, died in 1918, the same year as his father and the
two now sleep away the years side by side.
Also upon the stone a note of sadness creeps in for
inscribed thereon is this "Myra E., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. H. B.
Cunningham, Died December 25, 1877, aged 3 years, 11 months, 25 days."
Note the date, December 25th, Christmas day and the
date of death was just five days before her fourth birthday. No doubt
but that she was looking for the coming of Santa and her birthday. Her
mother died in October of the same year.
On another stone in the cemetery is engraved this
"Dying is but going home." That surely is a cheering way to look upon
Alden Haseltine, we were told, donated the land upon
which the cemetery is located but he overlooked one important thing: he
did not provide a road leading to it and this oversight has been more
or less of a bother. However now a nice road leads to the sacred plot
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