Osage Cemetery History
The following is from the Mitchell County Press published in late 1936 and early 1937.
Under the system of allowing each owner to care for his own lot, the first cemetery lacked in attraction. It was an ill-kept, unfenced area of farmland. It was located on what is now the west side of Seventh Street at the point where the Illinois Central railway crosses. Most of the graves were on the southwest side of the present roadbed. Many graves were said to be left and all the very poor still rest under the thundering tracks and the shrieking whistling of the locomotives.
Miss Mary Lewis remembers that the main road then ran from Spring Creek by the south side of the cemetery and on into the Lewis colony. The settlers at first thought the county seat was for the future prosperity of Mitchell; the second town of note would be a mile or two south of where S.B. Chase, et al, managed to place Osage. They opined: "To what purpose would a willful people waste their substance eking out a meager living in that howling wilderness". (Now the site of Main Street, Osage.)
On the west side of 7th street on the lot just north of the railroad tracks, lives Myron Tucker who states there still remain three of the ancient graves on his premises. Henry Lesch, who has lived nearby for 82 years, has heard of the three graves there for as long as he can remember. Miss Mary Lewis also has lived nearby for 82 years, vaguely believes it is only two graves. Of one grave all agree it marks the last resting place of a known person, a Mr. Voltinburg, who died aged 34, either on the road near his journey's end, or promptly on arrival in 1856. He was a brother to the wife of the pioneer John Lewis and of course the uncle of numerous nephews and nieces, now living in and near Osage.
In those days it was the custom to often plant a cedar tree at the time of burial to permanently mark the sacred place of rest of departed loved ones. In this case the tree can be seen thriftily growing north of Mr. Tucker's house about a rod [16.5 Feet] from the sidewalk.
Planting a young tree at the newly-made grave is an old custom now little used in America.
Miss Mary Lewis remembers of the death and burial of her sister, aged 3 or 4 years, in this cemetery of the pioneers. She was ten years old at the time. That same year, 1865, she went to Charles City to see a new railway, but as there was present no train to demonstrate she was unable to figure out how a train could operate on two strips iron. That day she saw and ate her first apple, but it was not until Christmas day 1868 that she saw her first railway train, a publicity stunt, that traveled only as far as Osage.
When it was discovered in 1868 that the railway tracks ran smack through the old cemetery it forced the people to establish the present cemetery.
This 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.