Evergreen Cemetery in Colfax could be renamed

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  Everyone in this area knows it as Evergreen Cemetery, but as far as the plat maps are concerned, it is the Colfax Cemetery.

Since the sign at the cemetery says Evergreen but the maps all say Colfax Cemetery, the Colfax Village Board’s parks committee is wondering if the cemetery should be renamed.

Maybe it could be called “Colfax Evergreen Cemetery,” said Annie Schieber, village trustee and chair of the parks committee at the March 23 meeting.

Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer agreed that referencing both names might be the best solution.

“We do not want to ruffle any feathers by changing the name,” Schieber noted.

Ron Jasperson, a surveyor with Cedar Corporation who has been working on the plat of the cemetery, said that the plat maps all refer to it as Colfax Cemetery.

The third addition to the cemetery is on land that was previously used as a school forest.

Peoples State Bank deeded 28 acres to the Colfax school district in 1943 to be used for a school forest.

According to the warranty deed, the land was to be used by the school district for “reforestation purposes” and when the school district was no longer using the land for trees, the land could only be used for the cemetery.

The trees were removed from that area within the last ten years, and even though village officials had initially assumed that the village owned the new cemetery addition, the land still officially belonged to the Colfax school district.

The Colfax Board of Education approved deeding the property to the village in 2013.

The third addition to Evergreen Cemetery adds 2,450 burial lots and 480 cremation lots.

Find-A-Grave

A website called Find-A-Grave references the Colfax Cemetery but then links to Evergreen Cemetery.

Find-A-Grave is a project that includes cemeteries all across the United States. Volunteers have painstakingly photographed headstones, have recorded information and have entered that information into a database so that people who are looking for a specific grave in a specific cemetery can go on the Internet to find it.

When it was mentioned that Evergreen Cemetery comes up on a Find-A-Grave when searching for the cemetery in Colfax, parks committee members wondered about adding a sign to the Evergreen Cemetery sign to the effect, “Also known as Colfax Cemetery.”

The cemetery in Menomonie by Lake Menomin listed on the National Register of Historic Places also is called Evergreen Cemetery, and committee members wondered if people, when researching family histories and genealogies, ever mixed up the two cemeteries and ended up coming to Colfax when they really wanted to find the Menomonie cemetery or vice versa.

If so, then perhaps calling it Colfax Evergreen Cemetery would be a way to distinguish the two cemeteries, they said.

Sheila Riemer, deputy clerk, will be taking over administration of the cemetery in Colfax.

Schieber and Riemer agreed to visit the cemetery to look at the existing sign and to perhaps make recommendations for a new sign incorporating “Colfax Evergreen Cemetery” or “Also known as Colfax Cemetery.”

The Third Addition to Evergreen Cemetery includes a spreading garden for ashes measuring 167 feet  long by 36 feet wide.

Parks committee members discussed the possibility of putting in a bench in the spreading garden and perhaps planting some bushes and installing a fence around it.

New plat

The Colfax Village Board approved a contract with Cedar Corporation in the amount of $7,950 for surveying the cemetery in July of 2012.

Judge James Peterson approved a new plat for the second addition to Evergreen Cemetery in Colfax during a hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court in November of 2014.

The new plat of the cemetery was necessary to correct discrepancies between the plat map of the cemetery and what actually exists out at the cemetery.

According to the petition to the court, a number of discrepancies existed between the plat map and what is “on the ground” at the cemetery.

The second addition to Evergreen Cemetery was recorded at the Dunn County Register of Deeds office on July 24, 1945.

One problem with the old plat is that existing roadways did not match up with the roads indicated on the map and the road at the back of the cemetery covered several burial plots that had never been sold.

Another problem is that lot numbers established by the plat in Block 2 of the Second Addition did not match up with lot numbers used by the village. There were a total of 18 mis-numbered lots.

The petition also specified that the lots located in the roadway be vacated.

In addition, the village created and sold certain lots that did not exist in Block 2. The petition specified that the lots be renumbered and placed into the Third Addition.

The renumbering of the lots did not change their physical location.