Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fort Calhoun Cemetery

Linda and I visited the old Fort Calhoun cemetery.  During the research for our presentation (YouTube-Early German Settlement) we discovered the early settlers in southern Washington County used the Fort Calhoun cemetery prior to the establishment of the German Cemetery in the late 1870's.  We were amazed at what we discovered in terms of local and national history.  There were so many stories.   

Fort Calhoun Cemetery, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
The old portion of the cemetery is located at the very top of the hill and probably overlook the Missouri River at one time.  The oldest marker I found was dated 1864.  We ran into the facility's care-taker and he said there were several older.  

We had a great conversation and he told us that a Nebraska Governor was buried here, his name was Lorenzo Crounse and he was Nebraska's 8th Governor and a veteran of the Civil War.   His family memorial had a metal compartment built inside and it was rumored that during prohibition, the cavity inside the marker was a popular drop-off.   You dropped off money and the next day you picked up your moon-shine.   
Governor Crounse's Monument
There were several veterans of the Civil War and those that served with the Nebraska Calvary that was detached to I believe Missouri during the 'rebellion'.  

I was really surprised to find a marker to "Unknown U.S.Soldiers" of the Civil War (GAR-Grand Army of the Republic).  I wondered who, how many and what battle fields they might have made the ultimate sacrifice?

The veterans didn't end there.  Along with WWI and WWII we also found veterans from the Spanish American War like Robert Greene.  And graves and markers have been swallowed up by vegetation and flower beds.

J.B. Kuony....I believe we found John's daughter; Josephine later in our walk. 

 A cemetery also tells stories of hardship and grief, especially for parents who lost many of their children in early childhood.  We found the small markers of 5 girls and someone had placed flowers at each grave. We wondered who?

Some markers told stories like Josephine who was the wife of W.G. Shockey and her parents were John and Regina Kuony.  She was born in Fort Calhoun in 1858, four years after Nebraska Territory was created by passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  She died at the early age of 25 at Manitou, Colorado in 1884.  I wonder if it was a mining camp?   It appears her father's marker was in the day lily bed.

And on some the message was quite simple "Father" and that apparently said it all.  He was also a veteran of the Civil War.  

Here is another veteran of the Spanish American War.  So much history, so many stories.   Please be respectful when you visit cemeteries.   Gordon

No comments:

Post a Comment