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Memorial Day at Green's Prairie Cemetery

 

June 14, 2018

About 30 people braved the near record heat for our annual Memorial Day ceremony at Green's Prairie Cemetery in Postville, WI. Soldiers with gravestones in the cemetery include a veteran of the Blackhawk War, four veterans of the War of 1812, and eight veterans of the Civil War.

One of the highlights of this year's ceremony was the dedication of a Wisconsin Historical Marker. The double-sided marker highlights some of the early settlers of York, Adams, and Primrose Townships who are buried here. These include William C. Green, for whom the cemetery is named, and Josiah La Follette, father of Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette. Josiah's body was later moved to Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison. The names of all veterans with tombstones in the cemetery are listed. The marker also notes the natural history of the cemetery. Established in 1845, this one-acre remnant of deep-soil prairie has never been plowed. The sixty some species of prairie plants found in the cemetery are genetically descendent from ancient stock. People can visit the cemetery several times during the year and see the progression of prairie plants as they would have looked in the 1800's.

Three newly confirmed burials were also highlighted during this year's ceremony. Mahalia Sweet was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, in 1841. She moved with her family to Wisconsin and in 1858 she married John Crooks. They farmed in Adams Township until Mahalia died in 1893. Their last two children, twin boys, were born prematurely in 1881. Although no tombstones have been found, records show that Mahalia and the twins were buried in Green's Prairie Cemetery. John Crooks died in Monroe in 1909, and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Monroe. Mahalia's name is listed on John's tombstone but no records have been found to indicate her final resting place. John and Mahalia's first child was born in 1859, but only lived about a month. He may have been buried in Green's Prairie.

Finally, two special presentations were made to Lyle Klosterman for his service to the community. Bill Kuenzi presented Lyle with a plaque and dinner certificate for his many years service as a member of the Green's Prairie Cemetery Association. Dan Reeson presented Lyle a dinner certificate in recognition of his service on the York Town Board.

 
 

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