GREEN’S PRAIRIE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL REPORT to BOARD, TOWN OF YORK SEPTEMBER 12, 2017
David W. Green
The Cemetery Association met on Saturday September 9. Officers for the coming year are David Green-President, Dan Gartzke-Treasurer, and Bill Kuenzi Jr.-Secretary. Directors are James MacDonald-1 year term, Charles Bauer-2 year term, Jim Grant-3 year term (new). It has been a very active year at Green’s Prairie Cemetery. Our annual burn of the cemetery was conducted on April23, once again under the supervision of John Ochsner of the Prairie Bluff chapter of the Prairie Enthuses. Also in April we applied to the Wisconsin Historical Society for a Historical Marker to be erected at the cemetery.
A stiff breeze and a sunny 70-degree day welcomed us as 75 people gathered on Memorial Day to honor the veterans buried in the cemetery. The names, ranks, and unit affiliations of the 12 veterans with markers in the cemetery were read. Tom Mitchell discussed the service of Joel Walker in Company E of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. Tom also regaled us with some stories of Old Abe, the bald eagle mascot of the 81 Wisconsin. Dave Green then told us of the heritage of Joel’s wife Anna (Everett) Walker. Anna was the last person known to be buried in the cemetery. She died on May 28, 1917 one hundred years and one day before our 2017 Memorial Day celebration.
For the second year living veterans were presented with Quilts of Valor during the Memorial Day celebration to honor their military service to the country. Randall James Kuenzi, son of Bill Kuenzi, was honored for his almost 26-years of service in the U.S. Airforce. Virgil 0. Matze was honored for his service in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960.
On June 26 Gary Pechmann and Adam Nieft of Pechmann’s Memorials, Madison, worked on repaired and reset stones in the cemetery. In 2015 vandals had turned over the monument of War of 1812 veteran Elisha Gorham. The sections of the monument were put back on the base with each section glued in place to make it harder for vandals to push it over. Gary and Adam also lifted the cap of the Stephens monument using a crane mounted on their truck and glued the support columns back into place that had once held up the cap. This beautiful monument is now restored to how it looked in 1926. Gary and Adam also reset two stone that had been lying on the ground for many years onto new bases. One was the stone of Julius Hilton found buried just under the sod in 2015. Julius was the first child of James and Ellen Hilton. He had died when only one year old. The stone of Mary Hubbel, wife of James Hubel, was also set on a new base. A new name was added to the list of people buried in the cemetery. A footstone with the name George on it was found at the base of the monument for Mary Smith. A footstone was also found there for Mary’s father-in-law Silas E. Smith. Previously Silas’ burial was only known from the tombstone inscription records of Virginia Ervin. The location where George’s footstone was found. and the existence of the footstone for Silas Smith at the same location, gives confidence that George’s last name was probably also Smith.
Perhaps the most exciting discovery this year is that Nathan Sherman (1782 to May 3, 1866) was a War of 1812 veteran. Documentation obtained from the National Archives established that Nathan served as a Private in Captain Seymour Kellogg’s Company of New York Militia from June 30, 1812 to November 3, 1812. This informati on increases the number of War of 1812 veterans buried in the cemetery to four. Nathan’s tombstone is broken and over half of it is missing. The Association voted to apply to the Veteran’s Administration for a replacement stone.