By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — An account has now been set up at Bremer Bank in Colfax for anyone wishing to donate toward the memorial stone for the founder of Colfax, J.D. Simons.
As was reported in the article in the April 2, 2014, edition of the Colfax Messenger, J.D. Simons is buried in an unmarked grave at Hill Grove Cemetery west of Colfax on county Highway BB.
Colfax historian Troy Knutson is coordinating an effort to raise funds to pay for a gravestone for J.D. Simons.
J.D. Simons died in Bellingham, Washington, on May 6, 1918. His grandson, Alvin Running, traveled to Washington to accompany the remains back to Colfax for the funeral and burial.
Mr. Simons died of injuries sustained when the milk truck he was riding on swerved to avoid a car and overturned in a ditch.
No one knows if there ever was a stone placed at Hill Grove for J.D. Simons, or if there was a stone, what might have happened to it.
Mrs. Simons is buried at Hill Grove Cemetery, and there is a family stone and an individual stone for her.
Knutson says he is operating on the assumption that J.D. is buried next to his wife.
Resetting the family stone and the stone for Mary Simons, along with engraving a memorial to J.D. Simons and an individual stone for J.D. will cost about $1,500 all together.
Knutson said he will need to have at least a down payment for Johnson Monument by early in May so the work can be completed in time for the Colfax Sesquicentennial in July.
A dedication service will be held at Hill Grove Cemetery for J.D. Simons on Saturday, July 19, at 9 a.m.
Anyone wishing to donate money toward the gravestone can send — or drop off — his or her contribution to Bremer Bank, 301 Bremer Ave., Colfax WI 54730. Be sure to write “J.D. Memorial Stone” in the memo line of your check.