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                                                   Sand Prairie Cemetery
                                                    Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

Tales the Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer November 10, 1955

                                            About Cemeteries Here and There

                                                                Sand Prairie

    This is another well kept old time cemetery. It is on highway 60 in the town of Richwood, and Richwood by the way, has more cemeteries located within its borders than any other township. There are, as in other old time graveyards, many pioneers buried therein. One stone is of special interest. It stands near the grave of Mrs. Clara Burns, whose maiden name was Clara Washburn. She was born March 7, 1861, and died April 9, 1908. The stone says she weighed 450 pounds.

    Sand Prairie is one of the oldest towns in Richwood, in fact the Sand Prairie post office was the first one established in the county and its location was not far from the present cemetery.

    Odd inscriptions appear upon many stones throughout the county; things that are interesting, so interesting in fact that they have them engraved upon grave markers. For instance there is the one in the Sabin cemetery which reads: "Elizabeth Twaddle, born in Jefferson county, Ohio, Nov. 6, 1800, moved to Richland County, Wisconsin, in 1857, Died September 17, 1883. She and five brothers born blind."

    That tells a tragic story or at least an affliction to six members of one family who went through life without eyesight, having been without an optic nerve, which was tragic indeed.


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

    The township of Richwood contains more cemeteries than any other township in Richland county. There are eleven burying grounds there and of these the Haney, Wright and Chitwood cemeteries are no longer used, and, perhaps never again will there be anybody buried in them. We have written of the Wright and Chitwood cemeteries. The Haney cemetery, long since creased to be used, is, if we are not mistaken, on county trunk X just a short distance north of highway 60 and south of the Greenwood cemetery. No stones can be seen now but there were some there not so many years ago. They were just a few of them, perhaps three or four, and were for children of Mr. and Mrs. James Haney. The land upon which it is located was owned by Mr. Haney back before 1874.

    One of the old time cemeteries still in use is the Sand Prairie burying ground in section 34. It was, so the county history says, given by Edmund Clark. It is a well kept cemetery and will no doubt be in use for many years. A Baptist church, back in 1874 stood a bit west. Highway 60 goes by the cemetery.

    One day while driving along highway 60 with friends we went into the cemetery. One of the party remarked "there is no one here I ever knew," but a moment later, said in an excited voice, "why, here is Uncle Dave." reference being made to David E. Simpson, who is buried close to the west fence.

    David Simpson, while not among the early comers to that area, became very well known throughout the county. He was a resident of the town of Eagle and served that township as chairman for a number of years. He was born in Indiana, November 7, 1852. His parents were residents of Eagle and much of their farm was cleared from the wild state. According to the tombstone, Mr. Simpson died January 15, 1913. There are many stones in the cemetery for the Simpson clan.

    There are also a number of stones for the Sawyer family; one Andrew Sawyer, was born back in 1782, when George Washington was still in the land of the living.

    William Conners, who died in 1871, at the age of 43, has on his marker this verse:
            "Sweet hour of prayer
             That calls me from a world of care,
             And bids me at my Father's throne,
             Make all my wants and wishes known."
    We are told that William Conners' father was Henry Connor, the first man elected to represent Richland county in the state legislature. Mr. Connor was elected in 1852 over E. M. Sexton by a vote of 171 to 133; a 'total of 310, though there were three scattering which would make the total 313. This was at that time, all the votes cast in the county. Connor served but one term.

    Many familiar names appear upon the stones in the Sand Prairie cemetery, among them being Broderick, Wright, Clark, Beson, Hayward, Morgan, McDougal, Craigo, Hubanks, Dalton, Atkinson, Dobbs. We noticed on a stone for Mr. Atkinson that he was a mason, belonged to the I.O.O.F. and Modern Woodmen.

    There are a number of the Beebe family who found rest in this burying ground. Among these is Charles Beebe, who for many years served the town of Richwood on the town board. His wife, Dovie is also buried there. On the Beebe lot there are eight headstones, all carved with the name Beebe.
     Gerald Adams, World War I veteran, sleeps away the years close by other members of the family. Two others, Richard Knutson World War I, and Edward Knutson World War II, are there. Richard died in July 1949, and Edward, October 17, 1955. There may be other World War veterans within the quiet confines of this sacred spot but we failed to find them. There are however G.A.R. markers. One of these was for Thomas Hubanks a member of Co. K, 44th Wisconsin Infantry. According to government records Mr. Hubanks was a resident of the town of Orion when he enlisted on January 31, 1865.

    The captain of Company K was William H. Beebe of Platteville, and we wonder if by any chance he was a relative of any of the folks by the same name who are now in this cemetery. Many members of the company came from Grant county and one other Thomas Ewing, from the town of Orion, Richland county. However Samuel Powers, a member of Co. B 44th regiment, is also buried not far from his two comrades. Mr. Powers also gave his residence as the town of Orion.  He served from September 23, 1864, until June 27, 1865, when he was mustered out of service, the war having ended. The captain of Co. B was also a citizen of Orion. He was William Roush, who enlisted August 16, 1862, and discharged in April, 1864. He was a First Lieutenant and upon his re-enlistment was made a Captain of Co. K. William H. Bennett, after whom the Richland Center G.A.R. post was named, was a Captain of Co. B.

     We wish that we knew and could tell of each and every person buried in this or other cemeteries in the county. There are a few stones in the cemetery which bear the name Kincannon, who were among the early settlers in Richwood.

    Among the headstones in the cemetery there appears the name of Marsh. S. B. Marsh, an early settler, came in 1855 and here he married Rebecca Miller, a daughter of Henry Miller. They settled in Eagle but later moved to Richwood. Mr. Marsh was born in Indiana December 8, 1830. Edmund Clark, who gave the land for this cemetery, came to Richland county in 1856 and the next year settled on Section 34 in Richwood. He erected a log house and later a frame structure was built. He was born in Massachusetts in 1817 and in 1845 he married Sally Benson and they became the parents of three children. One of these children was Homer J. Clark, who served as county clerk, of this county and served one year as the clerk of the circuit court. He later moved to Richland Center where he engaged in various businesses, storekeeper in the Clark & Elliott store and for many years was connected with the First National Bank in Richland Center. Homer and his family resided for many years on North Central Avenue.

    There is one monument in this cemetery of more or less interest; it reads:
                Clara Washburn
                Wife of John Burns
                Born March 7, 1861
                Died April 9, 1908
                 Weight 450 Pounds

    We were told that Mrs. Burns developed a gland trouble which caused her to put on weight at a rapid rate. So large was she, 450 pounds the tombstone says, that it was necessary to have eight pallbearers for her. Despite her weight she was quite active, and was evidently quite proud of the weight, else it would not have been recorded upon the tombstone for her in the Sand Prairie cemetery. On another side of the same stone is another inscription; it is for "Elizabeth, wife of D. Fields, died May 13, 1886."


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