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Re: Grave for Sydney Rockwood


Posted By: Ted Hill (email)
Date: 5/21/2017 at 10:19:04

In Response To: Re: Grave for Sydney Rockwood (JONATHAN D. GUYNN)

In May 2015, I visited the cemetery looking for Sidney's grave. While in the cemetery, I called the cemetery sexton on the phone. As I recall her phone number was posted somewhere at the cemetery.

She asked if Sydney had died a pauper; because if he had he might have an unmarked grave. At that time I did not know what his circumstances of death had been. As I remember she said there was no mention of Sydney in the burial records.

I went to the public library in Waverly and was able to find references to his death on microfilm for old newspapers. What I recall is that for a few (or maybe several) years before his death he was an invalid and the township was paying his wife a small monthly amount for his keep.

So presumably he had died a pauper.

I also recall reading somewhere that at the time of his death, the Fremont Cemetery had a different location. A few years later the cemetery was moved to its present location and that the existing graves were dug up and also moved to the new site.

So whether or not unmarked graves were also moved is a question.

May 10, 2015 I spoke with Joyce Cummins (descendant of Sidney’s son George) on the phone. She was living in Laurel MT.

She has done quite a bit of research on the Rockwood and Wait families.

She said that Sidney was buried in the Fremont Township Cemetery in Bremer County close to Tripoli IA, but that it is now not marked.

She also says:
1870 Census shows Sidney living in Frederika IA
1850 Census shows Sidney living in IL close to Rockford.

According to her, Rockwood is not a common name and she thinks that all current Rockwoods in US descend from a Rockwood that was living in MA in the 1600s. She said that she tried to trace outward from that original family, but was not able to positively link our Rockwoods to that family.

Here is some information on the Fremont Cemetery:
Fremont Township Cemetery was first located on the southwest quarter of section 11 on land belonging to J. O. Buckman. The first burial was John Franklin, Sr. who died October 7, 1860. The cemetery was moved to the southwest quarter of section 15 in the fall of 1878. Andrew Carstensen donated the first land. On May 3, 1902, they bought a piece of land for $45. In 1917 Charles Franklin sold them 1,493 acres for $251.28. The first coffins were made of black walnut by D. P. Welling and Son. The first death in the township was an infant of Mr. and Mrs. John Hall in 1859. The bodies were moved to the present location in the fall of 1878. Martin Thomas, an ex-slave is also buried here. He worked on the railroad in Tripoli. In 1904 a cemetery association was formed and did various projects to make money to maintain the cemetery. Several years later a committee of five ladies adopted a constitution and by-laws. During this time the Sexton worked for $1.25 a day and opened a child's grave for 50 cents. In 1909 a member was taxed fifty cents extra a year for extra work which needed to be done at the cemetery. In 1924 a sign was purchased which read "Fremont Cemetery" and was placed on the arch over the gate. In 1925 a permanent fund was established from two gifts of $25 each. This may have been the beginning of the perpetual fund. Now the lots are sold with the perpetual fund added. The cemetery receives a levy from the township along with the interest from the perpetual fund in order to maintain the cemetery. Every three years the Commemorative Service is held at Fremont Cemetery, located one mile south, one mile east and one third mile south of Tripoli.
Would the above info indicate that Sidney who died in 1876 would have been moved from the old to the new cemetery?

On the web, no Rockwoods or Waits listed for this cemetery. There is an entry for a death from 1875: Hanna Rosina Scharschmidt with a photo of her headstone. So she presumably was moved from the old cemetery to the present location.

Fremont Township covers an area of 36.82 square miles (95.4 km2) and contains one incorporated settlement, Tripoli. According to the USGS, it contains three cemeteries: Fremont, Grace, and Saint Johns Lutheran.

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