Founding Mothers and Fathers
In Iowa, United States
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This letterbox cache has a log book and a signature stamp which is NOT FOR TRADE. Use the provided stamp to make an image in your personal log book. Use your personal signature stamp to make an image in the cache’s log book. In addition to the log book & stamp, the cache contains a pencil and small swag.
**UPDATE 11/6/11** Ink pad removed for winter. Please bring one with you (or a marker)
FTF prize is a hand-carved mini-stamp! **Congrats Pietpilot6636!!**
Second in a series of Letterbox Hybrid caches in historical Webster County cemeteries, each with a unique, hand-carved stamp.
Please make sure baggies are tucked in well and not in the seal of the container.
Park hours are 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
As soldiers arrived in the area in August of 1850, those who settled with them began to think of the need for land which could be developed into a cemetery. In 1859 a local man named Egbert Bagg was hired to design and layout the cemetery. Bagg was an acquaintance of Major William Williams who is considered by many to be the father of Fort Dodge, having plotted the city after the soldiers were ordered to abandon the fort and were moved north to Minnesota.
Bagg was an architect originally from Utica, New York. He was paid the generous sum of $150 to design and build Oakland Cemetery. In 1866 Oakland was incorporated as "Oakland Cemetery Association." The association purchased the forty acres for $700. At the time, the cemetery’s location was three-quarters of a mile outside city limits.
Oakland Cemetery was designed according to the Rural Cemetery Movement which began in the early 19th century. The purpose of the movement was to move cemeteries out of the center of towns. RCM cemeteries were designed as parks with winding roads, graves that follow the roads, and beautiful landscaping. The hope was that RCM cemeteries would provide a pleasant place for families to visit deceased loved ones.
Oakland Cemetery was plotted in 1877 by E. G. Morgan. The cemetery was operated for over 100 years, until 1984, by volunteers. Merill and Blanche Saunders were the last volunteers, having served from 1964 to 1984 when the cemetery was deeded to the City of Fort Dodge. In 1985 Mayor Jim Janvrin placed Oakland under the jurisdiction of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry division.
An appeal to the National Register of Historic Places was filed in 1998 by the Fort Dodge Historic Preservation group. That request was granted and in the year 2000 Oakland Cemetery was placed on the National Register.
The cemetery is the final resting place for many of the people instrumental in early Fort Dodge history. Those of note include Major William Williams, the founder of Fort Dodge; Dr. Stephen Olney, Fort Dodge’s first doctor; Brevet General Leander Blanden; Dr. Thomas Fitzhugh Grayson, a Confederate soldier who practiced medicine in Fort Dodge for 36 years; Senators Jonathan P. Dolliver and William S. Kenyon; Cyrus Carpenter, Governor of the State of Iowa from 1872 to 1876, and Lili Damita, the first wife of actor Errol Flynn.
There are more than 200 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery, including two black soldiers. The monument to the unknown soldiers of the Civil War was created by local sculptor William Pollack, himself a Civil War veteran. This monument was unveiled and dedicated May 30, 1900.
A variety of sizes and styles of headstones, including different signs and symbols used on grave markers throughout the centuries, can be seen while visiting this historic site. It's well worth your time to stroll through the setting!
You may encounter deer, owls and a variety of song birds.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 7/12/2014 12:23:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:23 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum