The city speaks: A history of Hillside Cemetery
By Mike Baltus
Hillside Cemetery Coordinator
Most people know the Blodgetts, Uphams, Purdys, and the Connors, some of our more prominent residents here at Hillside Cemetery. Today we will look at some of the history of Hillside Cemetery.
The Upham Mausoleum was built in 1923 at a cost of $5,700. The Blodgett Mausoleum was built in 1926 at a cost of $5,000. It is not clear when the cemetery and the location were decided on, but the oldest resident here is William Woodman, who passed away Nov. 6, 1881, and is located in Section B of the cemetery.
The first cemetery sexton was Jacob Adler, appointed April 15, 1904. The road in front of the cemetery was originally named Cemetery Road, a catchy name, but when Saint Joseph’s Hospital was built, they petitioned the city of Marshfield to change the name. Imagine a hospital not wanting to be located on Cemetery Road. On March 6, 1903, Cemetery Road was changed to St Joseph Avenue.
Have you ever gone to a cemetery for a service or for a visit? Take a close look at the markers, and notice the lettering is all in capital letters. The reason behind that is before there were sand blasters, computers, or laser stone cutters, all stone cutters had were their right and left hands, a hammer, and chisel. Capital letters are straighter and easier to cut than lower case letters.
If you are a genealogist looking for a family member or have a friend here at the cemetery, you can go to the city of Marshfield website at ci.marshfield.wi.us, click on “Department,” “Cemetery,” and on “Interactive Cemetery Viewer.” Then search for the person’s last name. This will give you a map of all three cemeteries and show you on the map where to find the site in the cemetery. You can also go to the library genealogy department, and it will give you obituary information.
In Hillside Cemetery there is a marker that reads, “Lived in God’s country the later three fourth of the 20th century. The greatest ever from oxen to smart rockets.” What more can be said, other than enjoy the ride?