Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin
Tales the Tombstones
Tell - Republican Observer November 10, 1955
About Cemeteries Here and There
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
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
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,
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
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:
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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