"Lost" Pioneer Cemeteries

Jewell Family Cemetery

In 1936 a crew digging a ditch for a new sewer in La Crosse unearthed a grave of two small children and a marker 50 feet south of Pearl street on the Milwaukee Road right-of-way, approximately five feet below the surface. The three-foot marker was inscribed on three sides:

Sons of C. H. and A. T. Jewell. Two little buds plucked from earth to bloom in heaven. Willie G. died Sept. 9, 1859 age 1 year and 9 months; Willie H. died March 8, 1860 age 8 months and 12 days

The wooden boxes used as coffins and the bones were very decomposed, but the remains were left in their original grave.

Stray Remains

The remains of an unknown woman was unearthed in La Crosse near the southwest corner of Third & La Crosse streets in 1872 by children playing in the sand near Hirshheimer & Barclay's plow factory about six inches below the surface. Since she was buried with her feet to the east, it was presummed by spectators that she was a white woman. A large tuft of bright brown hair was found, worked into a three-string braid. The coffin was made of plain pine boards and was somewhat decayed. After examination by some spectators, the remains were again "gathered together" and reburied at the site.

Pioneer Cemetery

The History of La Crosse County (1881) contains several references to an Indian burial ground in La Crosse on a sandhill near the corner of Third and Badger streets, in the vicinity of the present La Crosse County Administrative Center. This hill was also used by the earliest Euro-American settlers for their first settlement: "The early residents of La Crosse made use of what was doubtless an ancient Indian burying place, situated on the (northeast) corner of Third and Badger streets."