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                                            West Fork Cemetery
                                                                         AKA Coates Cemetery
                              Richwood Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

Tales The Tombstones Tell
Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - June 12, 1958

                                 West Fork, West Lima and Vernon Cemeteries

    "K. K. K." is engraved at the top of the tombstone erected for Lafe Powers down in the West Fork cemetery in the town of Richwood. Mr. Powers was born, the stone says, in 1859, and passed on in 1927.
    The West Fork cemetery is on county highway S north and a bit west of the village of Excelsior. It is located on the south slope and is quite well kept.

    Buried here are Charley Dilley, a Civil War veteran, Thompson Dilley and his wife Jane. Thompson Dilley was 49 years of age when he passed on December 27, 1863. Jane died in 1883 but her age is not given.

    A flag was on the grave of Wilder Beebee which led us to believe that he may have been a Civil War veteran but there is no other indication on the grave. Mr. Beebee died May 20, 1892 at the age of 69. His wife Sarah, lived until March, 1911, when she passed away at the age of 83 years, seven months and six days.

    Isaac Anderson reached the ripe age of 82 when he died February 10, 1912. On stones in this cemetery are names of folks in that area who were buried here. Brown, Troxel, Craig, Miller, Flynn, Anderson, Bell, Owens, Toney and McDowell are some of them.

    Thomas Davis, who died February 13, 1891, at the age of 76 years, 10 months and 21 days, has this engraved upon his tombstone:
            "Here I sleep all alone
             Not knowing the friends
             I leave to mourn.

             I want a headstone placed at my grave
             And a weeping willow,
             That will o'er me wave."

    A flag waves on his grave. Another stone which has been knocked down is on the grave. It also bears the name of Davis but cannot be read. It might be that the flag was for him.

    Another soldier lies close by and the marker says it is for William H. Wey, who was born in 1837. He was a member of Co. E, 50th Wisconsin. His record says he enlisted on February 6, 1865, giving Hazel Green as his residence. For some reason or other he was not discharged until December 18, 1884, and, like Aaron Sharp, buried in the Dayton Corners cemetery, he served 20 years in a four year war. His discharge was dated back to Sept. 4, 1865. Mr. Wey's wife, Lillian, is buried here. She was born in 1844 and died in 1915.

    A flag also waves over the grave of James Hutson, who died March 31, 1879, at the age of 40 years. A flag also waves over a grave close by but the name and inscription cannot be read.

    There are also stones that bear the name of Lightfoot, Jones, Logan, Randall, Couey and Shaffer here.

    John R. Smith, born in 1846 and died in 1922, served in the Civil War with Co. M, 9th Indiana Cavalry. His wife, Marian, is by his side. She was born in 1844.

    Warrington Jones, buried here, is given the honor of being the first settler on the west branch of Knapps Creek. He entered land in the spring of 1853 but did not take up his home on it until 1855. He was born in Georgia in 1811 and went to Tennessee where he married Minerva Howard and they came to Grant county where he engaged in mining. His wife died in 1874. She was born, the tombstone says, in 1813.
     A marker for a World War II veteran is in this burying ground. It is for George P. Dilley, Pvt. 64 B.M. Laundry Bn. He was born June 18, 1899, and answered the last roll call on December 17, 1949.

    The West Fork cemetery is not far from the Crawford county line which is about a mile and a half to the west. Some Crawford county folks are no doubt buried here.

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