This blog is a continuation of Geographic Place Names that was posted previously.
I’m going to concentrate on Griggs County Cemeteries and burial places here.
A fairly complete list of cemeteries and burial places is:
………….Cemetery Name Township Section
1 Addie Township Brent Grave Addie 29
2 Addie Township Wanemaker Grave Addie 29
3 Ball Hill Township Johnston Grave Ball Hill 23
4 Ball Hill Township Peterson Grave Ball Hill 29
5 Bethany Willow 33
6 Binford Addie 7
7 Clearfield Township Clearfield 20
8 Clearfield Township Clearfield 12
9 Cooperstown Washburn 18
10 Eidfjord Dover 24
11 Faith Lutheran Greenfield 5
12 Hannaford Presbyterian Greenfield 6
13 Hero Tyrol 33
14 Iverson Family Bryan 21
15 Knudson Ranch Washburn 27
16 Lyster Menighed Bartley 12
17 Mabel Lutheran Mabel 20
18 Mildred Hartman Memorial Helena 7
19 Naeroen Rosendal 33
20 Ness Lutheran Washburn 36
21 Opheim Washburn 12
22 Ottawa Pilot Mound 25
23 Pilot Mound Pilot Mound 13
24 Ringsaker Romness 22
25 Riverside Cooperstown 1
26 Romness Methodist Romness 16
27 Saron Evangelical Sverdrup 20
28 St. George Catholic Cooperstown 13
29 St. Lawrence Catholic Tyrol 18
30 St. Olaf Lutheran Greenfield 29
31 Sverdrup Sverdrup 12
32 Swedish Lutheran Cooperstown 20
33 Tabernacle Willow 33
34 Union Lutheran Greenfield 2
35 West Prairie Pilot Mound 30
36 Westley Sverdrup 17
37 Willow Willow 4
38 Zion Rosendal 29
39 Zion Lutheran Clearfield 8
Of course there are innumerable Native American graves missing.
C. P. Bolkan mentions that:
- As to battlegrounds the only one I know of was located on the Ben Johnson farm north of the Opheim schoolhouse, where our pioneer road meandered between the graves for some distance but the only information I have is what Omund Opheim had gotten from a half-breed by the name of Pete Grant, who with others were camping at Stump Lake in 1879 when Opheim was building his log cabin and on their way to Valley City the half-breeds stopped one night there (at Opheim’s). All that I can remember is that the fight had taken place 24 years previous to that time, which would be 1855, –that it was a fight between two bands of Indians, and may have been half-breeds, and that this Pete Grant was with one of the bands, and that he was 15 years old at the time and that he helped to take core of the ponies.
Ole Bolkan writes that:
Mr. Bolkan did not experience the thrill of seeing “wild” Indians, but he did see some who traveled back and forth digging snake root, which they sold for medicinal purposes, also he saw some who canoed down the Sheyenne, whose waters were much larger than now. They traveled between Standing Rock, South Dakota, to Devils Lake, North Dakota, which was a reservation where the government had given them land. However, he did see the results of an interesting happening. Two Indian tribes who were enemies had been out hunting. They met and immediately a battle followed. Twenty-eight graves mark the place where this happened. These graves were very evident when Mr. Bolkan first came here. He personally counted the mounds, also a half breed who used to be a trapper, not taking active part in the battle but had been stationed in a ravine tending horses while the fight was on, told him.
It is Mr. Bolkan’s belief that we can find Indian graves on top of the hills all along the Sheyenne River. He has seen parts of skeletons brought to Cooperstown found on Martin Ueland’s farm, also on the Aaretad farm. Indians brought remains all the way from the Red River Valley to be buried here. Their belief was that the body would come to life again. This vicinity was considered a very fine hunting ground, therefore they buried their dead here, where upon awakening they should be happily surrounded, and dear to the heart of the Indians, hunting would be possible at once.
The 28 graves should definitely be a historical marker. We could even try for some partial funding from the local Indian Nations.
I’ve read several stories that either French, Indians or Métis were buried on or near Butte Michaud. I’ll post some of them here in a future blog.
Mrs. Freer and Mrs. Newman also mention in their book Cemeteries of Griggs County Volume 3A that there is one grave under stonepile in section 12 of Clearfield Township. This would be north of where Gordon Ashland used to live. I’ve looked, but couldn’t find any trace of a grave.
I’m looking forward to hearing replies from anybody who has any additional information on any graves or burial places. We’ll also need to get the latitude and longitude of each one before they can submitted to the BGN.
- Cemeteries of Griggs County
- Griggs County Library – Cemeteries of Griggs County Volume 3A by Mrs. Claude M. (Myrtle Bakken) Freer And Mrs. R.E. (Rhoda Freer) Newman
- C. P. Bolkan at Griggs County Musesum Online Archives
- Ole Bolkan at Griggs County Museum Online Archives