Osage Cemetery History
Osage Cemetery History
The following is from the Mitchell County Press published in late 1936 and early 1937.
When the pioneers were coming to this locality eighty years ago [1850's], most of them traveled via Janesville, Wis, which was the last source of supplies. Many were so poor they had no suitable or seasonable camping outfit. Croup for the children; pneumonia for the aged, were the common afflictions. Without facilities for home nursing and no medical advice to be had, it is not strange that deaths along the unmarked trail were frequent. Pioneers were forced to revert to primitive customs and bodies were interred "at just any old place" and the unmarked graves were seldom visited.
Deaths continued after the people had arrived in the Sannaan-like richness of the promised land of this immediate locality. The Harts, Moore's, Lewis's, were among the first to settle in 1852 and '53. Hiram Hart was first to file on land now within Osage, L.S. Hart, sr., and L.S. Hart, jr., took claims south toward the Lewis neighborhood. Orrin, a son of L.S. Hart sr., was the first death in the colony, Oct. 14, 1854, aged 24. He had filed on a homestead that was sold a year later to pioneer John Lewis, and the mortgage resulting is the first to be recorded in Mitchell county. The land is the same as became the home place of the numerous Lewis generations.
The second white child to be born was Major W. Hart, son of L.S. Hart, jr., Dec. 13, 1853. In the spring of 1854 were born Miss Mary Lewis and Mr. Henry Lesch who have each lived here continuously for 82 years. Their memory has contributed several items of history not obtainable elsewhere.
It is surprising how little any single person knows of the history of the Osage Cemetery. A search of the three thousand pages of the recorded history of the county reveals only nine lines that mention that a cemetery existed then or now. Nowhere is there a scratch of the pen that mentions the first cemetery where so many illustrious pioneers were laid away from late 1854 until early 1869. A publication by the United Map & Engineering Co., in 1926 shows the 30 acres of our present cemetery as part of the J.W. Eckford land. The A.T. Andreas Atlas of 1875 ends at the northwest corner of Osage without mention of a cemetery. The Atlas of Mitchell county, distributed by the Osage local press, 25 years ago, allots to the cemetery 23 84-100 acres.
We have in our possession the names and date of death of ninety pioneers buried in the cemetery now forgotten, who were disinterred and placed in the first 4 acre plat of the present cemetery. The 91st removal grave is that of John Stacy, disinterred at Janesville, Wis., and removed in 1872 via the new Cedar Falls and Minnesota railway. His death occurred March 16, 1856, aged 45. His wife made her home with her son, our late, well-known M.S. Stacy. They had been living at Mitchell, but with the removal of the county-seat to Osage, they followed to Osage in 1871, and the aged widow feared she might be laid to rest in a strange land far from her husband. Their gravestones may be seen side by side near the southeast corner of the first cemetery plat.
The cache is in the cemetery but not near any of the grave markers. That being said, if there should be a burial service going on when you get to this spot it may be best if you come back some other time. As with all cemetery caches be respectful and no night caching.