On The (Pioneer) Trail…

Fresh off the high of sunflower seeds and finding my favorite author’s grave stone, I looked at the time and what do you know… it was still way too early to go home. I hopped onto Highway 10 West with no particular place to go in mind but the Royalton Cemetery. It’s criminal to think it’s been better than a decade since I’ve been there seeing as I live a whopping 2.5 miles away…

I turned off on the Weyauwega exit, because that’s another cemetery I haven’t been to in more than a decade:

Wholesome, right? I bet a million dollars this is how I would’ve edited it too if such a thing existed.

What I found there pleased me. A Freemason grave! The pink granite monument towered over me, and across the base read a familiar sounding name: Meiklejohn.

HMMM. Where do I know that name from? OH yeah…

In 1850, the first sermon was preached by Elder Baxter, and in 1853 the first classes were taught, both at Manawa in the home of Peter Meiklejohn, who also kept the first store in the settlement. Once Manawa secured railroad connections (around 1910) Peter Meiklejohn partnered up with William H. Hatten from New London and formed The Little Wolf Lumber Company, named for the river the mill was on.

Next to his stone was a smaller marker that just said the name “Peter”. I did some research (right there, in my Mariner because I have no shame,) and discovered this sad article:

“The Weyauwegian – Weyauwega, WI – May 2, 1856

DIED – In this village on the 20th ult. PETER W. infant, son of Peter and Hannah Meiklejohn aged about 2 years.

In this visitation of Divine Providence the grief of the afflicted parents was more poignant than that arising from a common affliction of death. The child in the enjoyment of ordinary good health was taken from their presence with but little warning. In its play it put a bean in its mouth, which in ? unguarded moment get into his throat, causing death after 36 hours of great agony. Of the character of the child’s ailing its parents were unhappily ignorant, until a post mortem examination revealed the cause of its sufferage and death.”

Apparently, Peter Meiklejohn Sr. Actually died in Nebraska, and his remains were brought all the way back here to rest.

On that note,

Join me soon for my exciting romp through the history and beyond of the Waupaca County Hospital/Asylum/Sanitarium!*

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