Forest Hill Cemetery (Madison, Wisconsin)

Last updated

Soldiers Lot in Forest Hill Cemetery Soldiers Lot, Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, WI.jpg
Soldiers Lot in Forest Hill Cemetery

Forest Hill Cemetery is located in Madison, Wisconsin, and was one of the first U.S. National Cemeteries established in Wisconsin. [1] [2]

Contents

Founding of cemetery

After the first permanent European-American settlers arrived in Madison in the 1830s, the first non-native burials occurred on the current University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, near Bascom Hill. In the following years other areas within the area were established as informal burying grounds and the first official village cemetery was established in 1847 near what is now Orton Park.

In the mid-1850s, a committee was formed to search for another appropriate site in the area to form an official Madison cemetery. The committee members chose the current site, then on the far west side of the city and subsequently bought the original 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land for $10,000 from John and Mary Wright. The Wrights had obtained the land from land speculator James Duane Doty, who had obtained it from Alanson Sweet. Sweet was a territorial council member from Milwaukee who led the fight that made Madison the territorial capitol of Wisconsin.

In 1863 the city sold a portion of land from the original purchase to the Roman Catholic Societies for $170. They in turn developed that property into a Catholic cemetery, now known as Resurrection Cemetery.

In the 1860s a receiving vault was built on site. During and following the Civil War, the Soldiers Lot [3] and Confederate Lot were created and in 1865 a well was dug near the plot of Governor Harvey and a windmill was erected over it. In 1878 a chapel was built following a contribution by the family of John Catlin.

Expansion

In 1928 another 80 acres (320,000 m2) were purchased, 60 of which are part of the Glenway Golf Course directly behind the present cemetery.

Effigy mounds

Architectural historian Gary Tipler traverses a panther effigy mound in Forest Hill Cemetery, 2008 Forest Hill Cemetery effigy mound.jpg
Architectural historian Gary Tipler traverses a panther effigy mound in Forest Hill Cemetery, 2008

The cemetery protects seven precontact effigy mounds, dating from 700 to 1200 CE. The earthworks are shaped like a goose flying down a slope toward Lake Wingra, two panthers, and a linear shape. Three more linear mounds have been destroyed by cemetery development and the goose's head was destroyed by grading for the railroad. [4] The mound group is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. [5]

Confederate Rest

A section of the cemetery is known as Confederate Rest. On it lie about 140 Confederate prisoners of war who died while in confinement in a Union camp in Madison, Camp Randallǂ, [6] in 1862. [7] A stone marker or cenotaph lists the names of 132 [8] of the prisoners who died in custody. In October 2018, the Madison City Council voted 16 to 2 to remove the marker with the list of buried prisoners, overturning the Landmarks Commission, which had denied a permit to remove the marker, [9] which was built in 1906. [10] The eradication of the cenotaph was seen by some in city government as a "reparation," [11] and was supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission of the city government. [12]

The removal of the cenotaph was opposed by the Dane County Historical Society. [13] The editorial board of the Wisconsin State Journal, noting Confederate Rest is the northernmost Confederate graveyard in the nation, also opposed the removal. [14]

Notable interments

Notes

  1. "Forest Hill Cemetery Dane County, Wisconsin)". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  2. City of Madison Parks: Forest Hill Cemetery
  3. "Forest Hill Cemetery Soldiers' Lot". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  4. Birmingham, Robert A. (2010). Spirits of Earth: The Effigy Mound Landscape of Madison and the Four Lakes. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 209-210. ISBN   978-0-299-23264-1.
  5. "Forest Hill Cemetery Native American Mound Group". Play Madison Parks: Historical Features. City of Madison. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  6. "Advice for Confederate sign: Condemn the sin, if not the long-gone sinners". Wisconsin State Journal. April 9, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018. Historian Carolyn Mattern notes in her 1981 history of Civil War-era Camp Randall, “Soldiers When They Go,” that “many prisoners had received poor treatment in transit, and although conditions were much improved at Camp Randall, a high rate of mortality prevailed.”
  7. Abigail Becker (April 11, 2018). "Madison City Council votes to remove Confederate marker rather than add an interpretive sign". The Cap Times. Retrieved October 8, 2018. In April 1862, about 1,200 captured Confederate soldiers were moved to the Union Army stockade at Camp Randall. Though the majority of prisoners were relocated later that year, 140 soldiers died in Madison.
  8. Rickert, Chris (May 5, 2018). "Removal of Confederate graveyard monument requires more than city council's OK". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. the monument featuring 132 of the names of the Confederate soldiers buried in the Confederate Rest
  9. Wroge, Logan (August 28, 2018). "Madison commission rejects request to remove Confederate monument in Forest Hill Cemetery" . Retrieved October 8, 2018. “We can move it, but personally to me as someone who is interested in telling history on the basis of physical things, that changes what histories people can tell in the future,” said commission member Anna Andrzejewski, adding that she views the stone as a “historic communal marker” and not a monument.
  10. Wroge, Logan (October 3, 2018). "Madison City Council overturns Confederate monument decision, supports removal". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. “You don’t have discussion in a cemetery. You have reflection, and you have memories, and this (monument) brings up memories that are not so pleasant in our history,” said Council Vice President Sheri Carter.
  11. Wroge, Logan (July 23, 2018). "Madison commission punts on whether to remove Confederate monument". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. Rummel said getting rid of the monument installed in 1906 [...] is not about disregarding history, but is a small act of reparation.
  12. Wroge, Logan (April 11, 2018). "Madison City Council votes to remove Confederate monument at Forest Hill Cemetery". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. the council decided to go in the direction of the Equal Opportunities Commission, which had recommended removing the cenotaph
  13. Novak, Bill (June 18, 2018). "Don't remove Confederate monument, Dane County Historical Society says". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. “Despite being born in states which seceded from the Union, the names of those soldiers should not be removed or hidden,” the letter says. “They (the Confederate soldiers) should not be forgotten, as those men lived and died and were interred in Madison.”
  14. Editorial Board Wisconsin State Journal (August 29, 2018). "Landmarks Commission right to keep Confederate marker in Madison". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2018. Some of the individual headstones of the Southern soldiers who died here are so worn they are unreadable. So the 4-foot stone monument helps identify who is buried at the “Confederate Rest,” the northernmost Confederate graveyard in the nation.
  15. "T. W. Brazeau, Veteran Local Attorney, Dies". Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune . October 13, 1965. p. 1. Retrieved July 3, 2020 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  16. "Haugen, Nils Pederson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  17. "McDill, Alexander Stuart". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  18. "Nelson, John Mandt". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  19. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Pink to Pittoni". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  20. "Sauthoff, Harry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  21. "Spooner, John Coit". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  22. "Vilas, William Freeman". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  23. "Whittlesey, Thomas Tucker". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress . Retrieved October 7, 2022.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander Wiley</span> American politician (1884–1967)

Alexander Wiley was an American politician who served four terms in the United States Senate for the state of Wisconsin from 1939 to 1963. When he left the Senate, he was its most senior Republican member.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond, Virginia)</span> Historic cemetery

Hollywood Cemetery is a large, sprawling cemetery located next to Richmond, Virginia's Oregon Hill neighborhood at 412 South Cherry Street. Characterized by rolling hills and winding paths overlooking the James River, it is the resting place of two United States Presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as the only Confederate States President, Jefferson Davis. It is also the resting place of 28 Confederate generals, more than any other cemetery in the country; these include George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Augustus Octavius Bacon</span> Member of the U.S. Senate from Georgia

Augustus Octavius Bacon was a Confederate soldier, segregationist, and U.S. politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a U.S. Senator from Georgia, becoming the first Senator to be directly elected after the ratification of the 17th Amendment, and rose to the position of president pro tempore of the United States Senate. Controversy arose during the American Civil Rights Movement over a provision in his will that created a racially segregated park in his hometown of Macon, which led to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions. He was also a slave owner.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">University of Wisconsin Law School</span> Law school in Madison, Wisconsin, US

The University of Wisconsin Law School is the professional graduate law school of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the school was founded in 1868. The University of Wisconsin Law School is guided by a "law in action" philosophy, which emphasizes the role of the law in practice and society. Juris Doctor graduates of the law school enjoy admission to the Wisconsin bar by diploma privilege.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indian Mound Cemetery</span> Cemetery in Hampshire County, West Virginia, US

Indian Mound Cemetery is a cemetery located along the Northwestern Turnpike on a promontory of the "Yellow Banks" overlooking the South Branch Potomac River and Mill Creek Mountain in Romney, West Virginia, United States. The cemetery is centered on a Hopewellian mound, known as the Romney Indian Mound. Indian Mound Cemetery is also the site of Fort Pearsall, the Confederate Memorial, Parsons Bell Tower, and reinterments from Romney's Old Presbyterian Cemetery. The cemetery is currently owned and maintained by the Indian Mound Cemetery Association, Inc.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James O. Davidson</span> American politician

James Ole Davidson was a Norwegian American immigrant and the 21st governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He also served as lieutenant governor of Wisconsin and state treasurer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isaac Stephenson</span> American politician

Isaac Stephenson was an American politician of the Republican Party who represented Wisconsin as both a United States representative and a United States senator.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mount Olivet Cemetery (Frederick, Maryland)</span> Maryland cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery is a cemetery in Frederick, Maryland. The cemetery is located at 515 South Market Street and is operated by the Mount Olivet Cemetery Company, Inc.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forest Home Cemetery</span> Historic cemetery in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Forest Home Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery located in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is the final resting place of many of the city's famed beer barons, politicians and social elite. Both the cemetery and its Landmark Chapel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were declared a Milwaukee Landmark in 1973.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frankfort Cemetery</span> United States historic place

The Frankfort Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery located on East Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky. The cemetery is the burial site of Daniel Boone and contains the graves of other famous Americans including seventeen Kentucky governors and a Vice President of the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orsamus Cole</span> 19th century American politician and judge, 6th Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Orsamus R. Cole was an American lawyer and judge. He served as the 6th Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and, until 2013, was the longest-serving justice in the Court's history, with nearly 37 years on the high court. He also represented Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 31st Congress (1849–1850). His name is frequently misspelled as Orasmus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nils P. Haugen</span> American politician (1849-1931)

Nils Pederson Haugen was a Norwegian American immigrant, lawyer, and politician. He served four terms in the United States House of Representatives, representing western Wisconsin. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement in Wisconsin and a national expert on tax reform. The village of Haugen, Wisconsin, in Barron County, was named after him.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert G. Siebecker</span> American judge, 11th Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Robert George Siebecker was an American attorney and the 11th Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the last 19 years of his life (1903–1922). Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, he served 13 years as a Wisconsin circuit court judge in central Wisconsin and was a law partner of Robert M. "Fighting Bob" La Follette.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Indianapolis)</span> Monument to the Confederate POWs in Indianapolis

The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument was a large granite monument that sat at the south entrance of Garfield Park in Indianapolis for nearly a century, before being removed in 2020. It commemorated the Confederate prisoners of war that died at Camp Morton. At 35 feet (11 m) tall and located in the city's oldest public park, it had been the most prominent of the very few Confederate memorials in the Union state of Indiana. It was dismantled and removed by the city of Indianapolis in June 2020 after a yearslong debate, part of a national wave of removal of Confederate memorials during the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the 1960s, many municipalities in the United States have removed monuments and memorials on public property dedicated to the Confederate States of America, and some, such as Silent Sam in North Carolina, have been torn down by protestors. Efforts to remove Confederate memorials increased in the late 2010s after high-profile incidents including the Charleston church shooting (2015), the Unite the Right rally (2017), and the murder of George Floyd (2020). The removals have been driven by historical analysis that the monuments express and re-enforce white supremacy; memorialize an unrecognized, treasonous government, the Confederacy, whose founding principle was the perpetuation and expansion of slavery; and that the presence of these Confederate memorials over a hundred years after the defeat of the Confederacy continues to disenfranchise and alienate African Americans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Confederate Rest</span> Historic cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin

Confederate Rest, in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin, is the northernmost Confederate graveyard in the nation. 140 Confederate prisoners of war who died under Union captivity lie in it.

References

Coordinates: 43°03′48″N89°25′55″W / 43.0633773°N 89.4320049°W / 43.0633773; -89.4320049