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Association Meeting Minutes


May 14, 1850December 1, 1973


May 14, 1850


First Meeting

      To form cemetery association, to be called

      Oak Hill Cemetery Association.



      John Richards           Virgil Green

      Luther A. Cole          Andrew Peterson

      Wm. C. Fountain         Herber Smith

      J. W. Spencer           George Sawin

      J. A. Chadwick          Daniel Jones

      Linus Cady


First Chairman                                    Wm. C. Fountain


First Secretary                                    Linus Cady 


Six Trustees Elected by Ballot:

      Luther A. Cole          Wm. C. Fountain

      George Sawin            Heber Smith

      Linus Cady              Daniel Jones


First Special Meeting

                Luther Cole resigned as trustee.

Augustus F. Cady elected to fill vacancy.


First Officers

President               Linus Cady

      Treasurer               Heber Smith

      Clerk                   Wm. C. Fountain

      Sexton                  James A. Norris ($1.50 per Grave)


Annual Meeting

      To be second Monday in March.


May 3, 1851

Sold 28 lots on West Road cemetery to Town of Watertown, for $50.00. (Note: Evidently to be used as Potter’s Field)


May 13, 1851

Received deed from Henry Mulberger, for ten acres on West Road, and gave him a mortgage.


December 29, 1853

Lot and land deals involving Association, John Richards, Henry Mulberger, and others, were contracted and carried out.



During following years, nothing of much importance happened, except for routine business.


May 17, 1885

Set prices for lots at $5.00. Raised to $10.00 short time later.


March 19, 1857

Fenced grounds on West Road. To be five boards high, ports six feet apart. Cost $50.00.


May 18, 1865

Purchased thirteen and one-half acres in second ward of city from C. Schroeder for $500.00 plus choice of five lots including, where he had already buried. Mr. Schroeder to erect wooden fence along south line with steps to go over fence.


May 18, 1865

Resolved to purchase three and three-fourths acres adjoining Schroeder land from Mrs. C. Vestry for $100.00. Resolved to purchase land lying north of aforementioned purchases – up to Boughton Street at $100.00 per acre, maximum.


May 22, 1866

Resolved to buy from Mrs. Bouton (Boughton) parcel of land south of Bouton Street which was north of land purchased from Schroeder and Vestry (Vestey). Purchase price, $100.00 per acre. Plus reservation of 18 ft. by 18 ft. Sellers allowed to harvest present crop on land.



No wooden structures. Fence on Hall lot to be removed by June, 1870.


December, 1866

All 18 x 18” foot lots to sell for $25.00. People exchanging lots in old cemetery for new cemetery to pay $3.00 per lot and quit claim old cemetery lots to Association.


March 4, 1868

President authorized to sell special meeting Secretary authorized to buy suitable books to keep cemetery records.


May 12, 1869

Well to be dug on new cemetery by Christopher Schroeder. Treasurer and secretary requested to record all deeds before delivering to purchaser of lots. Christopher Schroeder appointed treasurer.


August 7, 1869

Lots 41 and 50 of Block 12, deeded to John Richards in payment of debt against Cemetery Association as per resolution passed on December 19, 1853. Committee appointed to make settlement with Christopher Schroeder. Dan Jones and Theo. Prentiss appointed to take action on repair and building fences at old Oak Hill.


April 5, 1873

Further settlement with C. Schroeder.


May 10, 1873

Discontinued sale of lots to Mr. Christopher Schroeder.


May 8, 1874

Received – President, secretary and treasurer authorized to sell 7 56/100 acres of old cemetery at best terms, but not less than $75.00 per acre and purchaser to build one-half of line fence. Also resolved that in case of a sale. C. Schroeder be authorized to move necessary bodies to new Oak Hill Cemetery for $30.00.


March 8, 1875 

Sale of 7 56/100 Acres.  Reported having sold 7 56/100 acres of old cemetery to Henry Mulberger for price of $543.75. Money to Wisconsin National Bank at five per cent.


June 7, 1875

$16.50 paid to Fred Harte for map of cemetery.


June 7, 1875

President Dan Jones, Ted Prentiss, C. Schroeder appointed as vault committee to bargain for building a vault.


August 28, 1875

Resolved – No burial on any lot until paid for.


February 17, 1877

President of Association authorized to contract with Luther Boughton for purchase of eleven acres adjacent to cemetery for $1,500.00



March 26, 1877

Deal with Boughton completed – ten and one-half acres at $1,435.23 including fence.


February 28, 1877

Resolved – city clergymen and church organizations allowed to purchase lots for half price.


March 26, 1877

Executive committee formed. President, secretary, treasurer of Association to have charge of cemetery grounds, all improvements, audit. Executive committee to pass on all payments from cemetery funds.


February 9, 1880

Two hundred dollars appropriated to build wooden sidewalk along south of cemetery from Eastern Ave. to west gate.


May 10, 1880

Authorized new deed register book with blank deed sheets, identical to pages in book. No deed to be valid until recorded in the book.


August 17, 1880

Invested in two $500.00 bonds for building new Jefferson County Court House at 7 per cent.


May 18, 1881

Schroeder Fired.  Christopher Schroeder was informed that he was being replaced as superintendent by Mr. Krueger. Mr. Schroeder was requested to settle up his account with the Cemetery Association.


Writer’s Note:

(From preceding minutes and records it would seem that Mr. Schroeder bought and sold cemetery lots at will. Today’s books and records bear out the fact that many of those sales were never recorded. It also shows that all records during Mr. Schroeder’s regime were poorly and loosely kept).


May 25, 1881

Resolved – No graves to be dug except on order from the secretary or in his absence, a trustee. Grave opening charges set at $1.00, $1.50 and $2.00. Fee doubled for winter graves. All money turned over to the treasurer and all bills paid by him. (Note: - evidently to correct ways that C. Schroeder handled the business). Map to be corrected and copy put in good shape.


November, 1881

Holders of old deeds issued new ones – executed by president and treasurer. Schroeder deeds issued in new forms. (Note:  they never got them all).


Caught up With Schroeder

Account against Christopher Schroeder for unaccounted for lots and unpaid for to Association was put into the hands of Henry Mulberger for possible correction and settlements.


May 1, 1882

Executive committee requested to take steps to bring about settlement with Schroeder.


May 16, 1882   BUILDING

Mr. C. Schmutzler submitted a plan for erecting a building and observatory on cemetery. Motion by Mr. Quentmeyer to go ahead with the plan. ($538.42)


May 7, 1883

Sold one of Schroeder’s lots for $200.00 towards settlement of account. H. C. Koch & Co. contacted to furnish plans for vault.


July 2, 1885

Hedges prohibited – present hedges to be trimmed to length not to exceed 2 ft. 9 inches high. Walk ways designated between lots and designated on map of cemetery.


March 12, 1885   VAULT

On motion of W. F. Quentmeyer – To buld a receiving vault as per plans on file with secretary, at a cost of $1,735.00. Motion adopted.


??? 19, 1885

Bill for vault paid.


May, 1886

Lot care set at $1.00 without hedge, $1.50 with hedge. Lawnmower purchased.


May 1886

Hereafter, all foundations for monuments shall be of cement, substantially built, under direction of superintendent.


May 3, 1887

Albert Gevers hired as superintendent at $350.00 per year. $1.50 per day to be deducted for every working day missed.


May 5, 1887

Fence authorized for old cemetery. Wm. Humphrey, secretary.


June 21, 1887

Authorized building wind-mill and placing of four tanks to hold 6 or 7 pails of water, to be placed on grounds. Also main tank of larger capacity.


April 11, 1888

Regular annual meetings to be held on second Monday of March for all future time.


??? 9, 1891

Lot owners ordered to remove all hedges from around lots. Superintendent authorized to remove all trees from lots which he thought advisable. Surveyor hired to lay out and plat new part of cemetery.


??? 9 1891

Association placed $1,000.00 from general fund into a permanent fund.



Hereafter – 25 per cent of net income of Association to be added to this fund. Jane Cole and her son, Guy Cole, borrowed $3,000.00 at 6 per cent interest on their Denver City, Colorado property.


March 14, 1892

Annual lot care set at $3.00. Adult opening, $5.00.


June 28, 1892

President appointed F. Quentmeyer, D. H. Kusel, and Wm. Humphrey to select a design for a fence on south, or front, of cemetery.


July 29, 1892

Authorized plans and specifications for 46 inch picket fence for $15.00. E. Kunert Co., Miller, Reichardt Mfg. Co. and Reliance Wire Works Co. to bring in bids.


August 15, 1892

Contract for fence awarded to Reliance Wire Works Co., of the city of Milwaukee at bid of $795.00. Association furnished paint (black), also paint for two coats on observatory.


May 8, 1893

Lots set at $60.00. Half lots $35.00. All half lots to be divided east and west.


September 24, 1894

W. K. Means engeged to lay out and stake the north part of cemetery, and to furnish a map of the whole cemetery at a cost of $500.00.


May 11, 1895

Lots in annex to Oak Hill Cemetery to be laid out as per discretion of trustees. (This part of cemetery now owned by School District). All adult graves to be six feet deep.


March 9, 1896    MARKERS

As per recommendation of W. K. Means, lot and block markets to be furnished by Mishler Bros. Co. of Ravenna, Ohio.


July 27, 1897   P.C.F.

Forty per cent of all lots sold in blocks 19 to 35, inclusive, be added to Perpetual Care Fund, and that annual accounting of fund be made to Association by secretary. Lots in old part of cemetery – blocks 1 through 17 be re-appraised. All said lots to be charged at rate of $100.00 per lot, halves or parts of lots in proportion, in addition to original purchase price. Separate contract entered into with owners (P.C. Deed). Proceeds to be added to Perpetual Care Fund.


May 18, 1899

Association purchased one safety lowering device with all equipment for $100.00.



There were numerous changes in membership of Board Trustees and officers during years 1850 to 1900. As of March 12, 1900, officers were:


President - D. H. Kusel

Treasurer - W. F. Voss

Secretary - Wm. Humphrey – J. T. Monk

Superintendent - F. C. Quentmeyer


Other board members were: Daniel Jones, Leonard Schempf, Wm. A. Beurhaus, J. T. Moak elected August, 1900, due to Humphrey’s death.


June, 1900

All foundations for monuments and markers to be set by Cemetery Association. Cost: 25 cents per cubic foot.


July, 1900

Decided to macadamize main roads in cemetery as per plan by City Engineer and get use of city equipment and advertise for someone to do the work.  Tetzlaff and Co. got the job.  Bid:  $924.25.


August, 1900

Due to death of Wm. Humphrey, J. T. Moak elected secretary.


August, 1901

Complete set of rules and by-laws drafted and adopted by Association. Complete text of rules can be found in Volume 2 of Proceeding books, page number 26.



At this date, very few of these rules still apply to the Association.


June, 1904

Committee of three authorized to build a tool house on cemetery grounds. Fred Behlke got the bid for $147.00. There were three other bids - $160.00, $163.62 and $215.00.


August, 1904    MOUNDS

All grave mounds leveled – no more mounds in future – all graves to be kept at ground level.


August, 1904

New road work completed by Tetzlaff & Co.


May, 1905   MAPS  and PLAT BOOK

Secretary authorized to procure two maps of cemetery.  Also, first plat book authorized. Secretary instructed to record each grave and grave location. Record in book to be perfected as far as he possibly can, and all future burials to be recorded in the book.  They also bought the secretary a new desk for $18.00


March, 1906   GEVERS

Paul Gevers chosen as assistant superintendent, evidently to succeed Albert Gevers, at a salary of $35.00 to be adjusted at an early future date.  P. D. Quentmeyer remained as superintendent.



J. T. Moak, who had been secretary fronm 1900, tendered his resignation.  C. H. Jacobi was chosen as the new secretary. Mr. Moak was voted a check for having done much extra service for the Association.


May, 1906   MOUNDS

Because of much dissention to the rules passed in 1904 prohibiting new, and leveling old mounds on graves, the rule was rescinded. New rule – mounds, not over four inches in height, allowed on old graves. No new mounds to be made.


March, 1907

Albert H. Jacobi made secretary. Paul Gevers, assistant superintendent at $45.00 per month.  Bought new water tank.  Purchase of rubber stamp for all deeds stating that transfers must be recorded in cemetery books in order to be valid. One hundred cedar bushes purchased, to be planted along east line of cemetery. Ordered to repair pavilion (observatory) and put it in good condition. Also to cut down four evergreen trees which were a detriment to pavilion.


July 1908   VAULT RECORD and FENCE

Albert Solliday permitted to build an above ground Vault on lot in block 12.  Treasurer paid $50.00 (or $125.00) for bringing burial record book up to date. South fence painted by Chas. David for $22.00. Other bids: 46.20, $47.50 and $48.50.


March, 1909

Copings around graves or lots were no longer allowed.



P.C.F. showed a balance of $3,216.00.


June, 1911   AUTOS

Was resolved to allow persons having automobiles to visit cemetery – except during funerals. Resolved – Keep north gate closed and locked.


April, 1912

Sexton, Paul Gevers’ salary set at $50.00 per month.


February, 1913   WATER LINES

On Motion – it was decided to apply for City water for cemetery use. Also find cost to lay water mains to upper gate of cemetery.



(At that time, main gate was directly to the south of main road or, right on top of hill).


March, 1913

Up to this point, some of the roads had been developed, according to the cemetery map and were, for the most part, macadamized. All these projects were left out on bids with the City Engineer supervising all of the work. At this time, concrete being cheaper than macadam, it was decided to cement Laurel Ave. and Spruce Ave. (cost $1,004,60).


February, 1915

Water commission was petitioned to construct water mains from corner of Main Street and Concord Avenue, east on Main, northeast on Main to German Street, then east along German Street to upper gate of cemetery.


June, 1915

Plans for water works on cemetery made by Watertown City Engineer. A. Kraeft. Plans accepted by Association and left out for bids. Mendenhall, Mayer Co. got the job at a bid of $1,895.02. Other bidders were Kehr Bros., Biefeld Co. and Schlueter and Kiefer.  City Engineer was again in charge of the work. The City Engineer charged $48.00 for his services.


Watertown Daily Times, 06 29 1915

Notice to Contractors


Office of the secretary of the board of trustees of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association, Watertown, Wis.


Sealed proposals will be received at this office until the 2nd day of July, 1915, at 3 o’clock p.m. for the erection of waterworks on the grounds of said association.


All work and material shall be done and furnished in accordance with the plans and specifications on file in said office.


Proposals shall be made only on blanks provided by said board.


All bids shall be accompanied by cash or certified check in the sum of five per cent of amount of the bid, payable to the secretary of said board of trustees as a guarantee that the successful bidder will execute a written contract with two good and sufficient sureties to be approved by said board according to form of contract on file at said office.


The board reserves the right to reject any and all bids.


Dated Watertown, Wis., June 23, 1915


February, 1916

Windmill was torn down and disposed of. Engine and water pump sold. Water storage tanks disposed of. Bought sprinkling cans and waste cans.


February, 1917

Adopted “pay in advance’’ policy for markers and foundations.  No more mounds on graves – all existing mounds to be leveled with ground.  It was decided to put rest rooms in pavilion and rebuild to make building more serviceable for cemetery purposes. Superintendent was instructed to have Mr. Arthur C. Kuenzi look over the present structure and make plans and sketches as to how to proceed. Wages for workers adopted as  follows: General grounds workers - $1.75 per day. For digging graves - $2.00 per day.


May, 1917

Mr. Kuenzi presented plans for restrooms, etc. for future decision by trustees.


June, 1917

Plans for new building adopted and put out for bids. Art Kuenzi was named to superintend the construction after a contractor was selected.


July, 1917

Five bids were opened for construction of new building:  Richard Rowlands - $803.00, H.G. Zickert - $774,.00, John Shatz - $728.00, W. Rohde - $740.00, Aug. Strassburg - $694.00. Secretary instructed to enter into written agreement with Strassburg. Bids for painting from Chas. David, Chas Helimann, J.B. Murphy, S.E. Schmutzler, Raue & Sons.


October, 1917   CHAPEL

Contract awarded to Murphy for $101.00. After completion of building there was a controversy with Wm. G. Pritzlaff and Co. who had evidently sub-contracted to Strassburg. It wound up with the Cemetery Association paying Pritzlaff an additional $224.00. Total cost, $1,019.00 plus $30.00 fee of Mr. Kuenzi.  Building was insured for $1,500.00 against fire, lightning and tornado.


February, 1918   SIDEWALK

Price increase on all foundation work. Resolved to put in cement sidewalk approach to north and south chapel doors, five feet wide. Further resolved to build sidewalk all around building.  To be 30 inches wide and eighteen inches from building. Flower beds all around building. Advertised for bids to paint iron fence and Oak Hill sign on south side of grounds. Bidders were:  W. Raue and Sons - $220.00, J.E. Schmutzler - $228.00 Scheblack and Herzog - $230.00 and Chas. David - $248.00. W. C. Raue awarded job.



List of delinquent lot owners compiled and turned over to an attorney for



April 6, 1918   PRICE INCREASE

To meet the demand of workers for higher wages, all prices were increased. For instance, whole lots up to $50.00, single graves way up to $8.00. Grave opening up to $9.00, etc. (See page 150, vol. 2 – corporate records).


April 24, 1918

Trustees added another hike in prices for lots, half lots, single graves, etc. (Page 151 – corporate records). Paul Gevers, sexton, wages raised to $55.00 per month.


May, 1918

Prices raised in new division in order to include perpetual care.


February, 1919

Resolved – Blocks 19 and up be sold only as full lots.  Deeds changed to include perpetual care, etc. Rubber stamp authorized for correcting older deeds. Set salary for treasurer at $25.00 per year.


April, 1919

Prices raised for foundation work.


May, 1919   LABOR and PRICES

Workers asked for advance on wages. The trustees decided to increase wages as requested, feeling it necessary to keep out of trouble. Two men were raised to $3.00 per day, two raised to $2.50 per day, one raised to $2.25 per day, effective immediately. Paul Gevers, sexton, raised to $60.00 per month. To meet increased labor costs, prices were again raised.


February, 1920

Paul Gevers’ salary raised to $75.00 per month. Prices for monument and marker foundations increased. Also perpetual care prices raised.


April, 1920

Transfer Deed Register established.


September, 1920

Increase in prices for full and half lots.


March, 1921

Treasurer’s salary set at $50.00 per year. Secretary’s salary at $300.00 per year. Decided to recondition Christopher Schroeder vault as it had become an eye-sore.


May, 1921

Block number 7 unsold lots reserved for future single graves. The office of vice president was created.


June, 1921

Decision to erect chain link Cyclone fence on north end of cemetery.  Cost of fence $541.97.


May, 1922

Resolved to fix up and beautify main entrance at south west of cemetery.



Voted to place one dozen bird baths on cemetery, near by water faucets. Paid $67,70 to Schmitz and Schlueter to repaint chapel roof.  Instructed Paul Gevers to remove his barn which stood on cemetery property.


September, 1924

Mr. Jacobi resigned as secretary of Association. Mr. Art Thauer was chosen to be new secretary and assistant treasurer, with stipulation that Mr. Thauer become a lot owner within sixty days. Also paid Weed Commissioner $2.00 for cutting weeds on West Road.


March, 1925

New salaries – Sexton, $85.00 per month. Superintendent, $50.00 per year. Secretary and assistant treasurer to $350.00 per year.


May, 1925

Association purchased bird houses for cemetery.


July, 1925

Lehman Bros. awarded contract to put in cement roads on south end. Approximately $1,200.00 paid.


October, 1925   SIGN-NORTH END

Placed sign at north end of cemetery main road prohibiting use of the drive through the cemetery for private purposes.


March, 1926

More birdhouses and also bird feeders.


March, 1927

Paul Gevers made assistant superintendent, as well as sexton, at a salary of $90.00 per month. Authorized purchases of half-ton truck with dump body. Cost of truck, $427.00 plus dump body.


May, 1927

Suggested purchase of small cement mixer. Raised lot prices.


July, 1927

Cemetery Association paid share of $2,500.00 for paving of Main Street – from East Water St. to cemetery entrance. Discussed placing fountain at cemetery entrance.


March, 1928

Gevers raised to $100.00 per month. Secretary Thauer to $600.00 per year.  Mr. Gevers asked that a windshield be placed on the truck for the protection of the driver.


May, 1928

Approved cement mixer on rental basis from Geo. C. Lehman. Discussed placing of fountain at cemetery entrance.


May 28, 1928

Replaced old lowering device and grass blankets. Total $249.50.


June 1928

Decision to erect suitable fountain at entrance to the cemetery. Cost $500.00 plus cost of grading, cement work and plumbing.


July, 1928

A. Kuenzi engaged to bring plans for men’s and women’s comfort stations in present chapel building.  Flowers to be planted around north and turn-around circle.  Memberships for secretary, superintendent and sexton to State Cemetery Associaition, purchased by Association.


August 20, 1928

Mr. Kuenzi instructed to make four new maps of cemetery, showing water and sewer locations.



(These maps are not to be found at this date. We do, however, have other maps, and water and sewer lines would not cause a problem to find them).


August 31, 1928

Contract for restrooms in chapel awarded to H. G. Zickert, bid price $1,729.00 with $10.00 per day penalty if not completed by October 15.


October 30, 1928

Purchase of three acres adjoining cemetery at southwest corner, from Kwapil Estate, for building tool building and storage space.


March, 1929

Salaries fixed at:  Sexton and assistant superintendent - $100.00 per month, superintendent - $150.00 per year, and secretary and assistant treasurer - $600.000 per year. Raised perpetual care prices for old part of cemetery to:  $100.00 full lots, $50.00 half lots and $10.00 single graves.


March 20, 1929

From henceforth, all markers in new division be restricted to 2-0 x 1-0 x 0-3”.


July, 1929

Purchased first power lawnmower for $285.00. It was a Jacobsen. Decision to erect building, 20 ft. by 60 ft., on property purchased from Kwapil estate.


October, 1929

Bids for new utility building opened.

Mallow and Son - $3,384.00

Maas Bros. - $3,700.00

Val Roth - $3,563.00

Louis Zoelle - $3,620.00

John Behnd - $4,570.00

After eliminating a few items, Mallow and Sons got the contract for $3,170.00.


March, 1930

Moved to revise cemetery rules and regulations.


June, 1930

Doumann vault erected on Lot #18 – block #13.


September, 1930

A request by Standard Mausoleum of Kewaunee, Ill., to build a mausoleum on Oak Hill Cemetery was laid over for further discussion.


November, 1931

Fill ground ordered for new part of cemetery.


March, 1932

Secretary empowered to act as assistant treasurer. Moved to paint truck and put fenders on it.


August, 1932

Lot prices increased – lots to be sold on square foot basis.


November, 1932

Decision that no mausoleum may be built on new part of cemetery.


March, 1935

Moved to hold monthly meetings from May through October.


June, 1935

Action begun to reclaim unused portions of lots on which lot care had not been paid for five years.


August, 1935

Reclaiming of unoccupied parts of nine lots was finalized. Proceeds to be placed in perpetual care fund.


September, 1936

Placed protecting curbing at southeast corner of Lot #60 – block #12.


March, 1937

John Thauer elected temporary secretary due to illness of his father, A. N. Thauer.


March, 1938

Sexton threatened with cut in wages.


September, 1938

Authorized getting bids on new truck to replace Model T.


October, 1938

Bought new G.M.C. truck from King & Hintz. Bid price, $685.00


November, 1939

Office of sexton, superintendent, secretary were abolished. Incumbents of these offices relieved of further duties. Salary of the president was also eliminated. New office of secretary-manager created and John Thauer hired to this new post at $1,600.00 per year salary. Dated November 19, 1939.


November, 1940

Bought oil burning stove for utility building. Purchased caps and jackets to be used as uniforms for cemetery employees.


March, 1941

Resolved – no more wooden rough boxes allowed. Burials must be in enclosed sectional concrete crypts, or cement vaults, or steel vaults. Cemetery will furnish cement boxes or crypts if so desired, at a price. Grave opening charges increased to $18.00 for crypt and $23.00 for cement boxes. Secretary authorized to buy supply of crypts and sell at cost plus $4.00


May, 1941

Moved to pay time and one-half for all work done on Sundays and holidays. Secretary given a $200.00 bonus.


May, 1941

Purchase of new casket placer.


March 9, 1942

Secretary given privilege of foreclosing on any lots to arrears in lot care. Purchased supply of sunken type vases for resale. Purchased ¼ h.p. grinder. Purchased hay mower. Purchased small cement mixer (still using it-1973)


March 1943

Secretary-manager salary, $175.00 per month. Paul Gevers ordered to deliver all records, etc. to Cemetery Association by March 9, 1943. Secretary-manager Thauer on sick leave. Thauer terminated.


May, 1943

 Harry Kuester hired to fill position of secretary-manager at salary of $1,800.00 per year. Secretary to be bonded at expense of Association.


May, 1943

Salary of outdoor man set at $28.00 per week for summer and $20.00 per week for winter.


June, 1943

Books were not in good condition. Special secretary hired to bring books and accounts up to date as Mr. Kuester wanted all in order when he would take over.


August, 1943

Resolved - no lot owner can re-sell without first offering to sell it back to the Association.


October, 1943

Trustees asked for complete inventory of tools and equipment owned by Cemetery Association.


November, 1943

Raised all prices.


May, 1944

Proceedings begun to reclaim ten more lots that were behind in lot care payments.


September, 1944

Gevers fired. R. Zier given raise.


February, 1945

New book-keeping system set up. Special or Perpetual Care accounts set up away from general accounts. Mr. Virchow P.C.A. hired to set up complete system, with general account and perpetual account independent of each other.


March, 1945

Price increases blocked by O.P.A. (war time).


1946 and 1947

Routine business.


April, 1948

Established loan committee.



The end of 1949 rounded out the first one hundred years of the operation of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association. Names of organizers of Association and men who married on Association business are listed in this brief, in year 1899. Others who served and married on through some of the first fifty years and those prominent men who served during the second fifty years were: Dan Jones, D.H. Kusel, W.T.Voss, P.C. Quentmeyer, W. Humphry, W.A. Beurhaus, Len Schempf, J.T. Moak, J. Prentiss, Al Gevers, C. Hugo Jacobi, H. Wertheimer, Albert Soliday, Paul Gevers, John Schempf, Fred Keck, Edw. Schempf, Art Thauer, Chas. Skinner, John Behnd, Oscar Wertheimer, E.J. Hoermann, Dr. A.F. Solliday, John Thauer, Richard Thauer, John Keck, Frank Koenig, Cl. Peters, Fred Kaercher, E.F. Lemmerhirt.


Officers and Directors 1949

President – Keck, treasurer – Solliday, secretary – Kuester. Directors – Koenig, Peters, D. Kusel, E.F. Lemmerhirt, F. Kaercher.


April, 1950

Set new prices for new division of cemetery. Inaugurated gasoline allowance for secretary.


May, 1950

Resolved – increase number of Board of Directors from six to seven members.


December, 1950

Annual lot care increased.


January, 1951

All prices – single graves, lots, foundations, etc., increased.


March, 1951

Wages increased – outdoor lead man’s demand for a $10.00 raise was reduced to a $5.00 raise on a take it or leave it basis. Other raises were in accordance with tradition. Purchased new mowers.


April, 1952

Association forced to borrow for general fund for the first time. Borrowed $700.00 from Wisconsin National Bank, to be paid back within the year.


October, 1953

Created two new offices, to wit: second vice president and assistant treasurer.


April, 1954

New toilets in restrooms by Reideman-Surdick, cost - $210.30.


October, 1954

E. F. Lemmerhirt elected president, at a special meeting.



(As of December 1, 1973, the present date, Mr. Lemmerhirt is still president of the Association).


November, 1954

As more and more burial vaults were being sold, the Association was being knocked out of the crypt business. Therefore, a charge of $15.00 was added to grave opening charge, for all vaults that were buried. Secretary to notify all funeral directors of the action.


November, 1954

Special meeting with funeral directors at funeral directors’ request. They asked that wording “vault charges’’ be stricken. Also designed special reduced charge for opening for all county burials.


March, 1955

Kickback and complaints on cheap vaults set-up at cemetery. Decided to wait with any action in order to see if vault company would have cemetery handle the situation.


March, 1956

It was decided to transfer fund of $1,100.00 to general fund.


March, 1957

Investment committee of four formed. To act as audit committee and also set as securities counsel, with full power to invest fund money. As a check of the books had been neglected since 1949, this committee was to make periodic checks of the books. In 1958 it was resolved that this committee be the president, treasurer, and two trustees to be appointed annually.


December, 1958

Borrowed $1,500.00 from Perpetual Care fund to pay off $900.00 note at bank. Remaining $600.00 to be used for general expenses. Raised foundation prices.


February, 1959

It became necessary to ask the City of Watertown for financial aid. Secretary ordered to draw up cemetery’s needs for presentation to City Manager.


March, 1959

Secretary Kuester presented a long list of badly needed improvements and repairs that were long overdue, not done because of lack of funds. No raises in pay granted.


March, 1959

Record of letter to City Council – not in minutes, but in secretary’s file, dated March 27, 1959. Letter request asks: Due to financial problems, request City of Watertown to take over, assume all obligations and funds, and operate Oak Hill Cemetery as a municipal project.

Answer came in form of a resolution passed by City Council, signed by Glenn Ferry, City Clerk, and Fred W. Kehl, Council President, stating Council’s resoluton and quoting from State Statute #157. The cemetery was granted $3,500.00 for year 1960. (Dated Sept. 15, 1959).



This was the beginning of the annual appropriation from city to cemetery.


January, 1960

Decided to sell off three and one-half acres at southwest end of cemetery, running into Hall Street. City of Watertown to be given preference.


July, 1960

Poor shape financially. Put borrowing limit at $2,000.00


March, 1961

First newspaper ad soliciting for sale of burial space – listed prices, etc. Published names of Cemetery Board. Asked to arrange meeting with City Council regarding finances.


October, 1961

Amended corporate record to allow borrowing additional $1,000.00 at this time.


June, 1962

Dr. Miller offered $6,000.00 for three and one-half acres of cemetery property, which was rejected, as it was far too low.

Secretary Kuester instructed to contact Mr. Leon Frey in regard to possible purchase of land on the east side of cemetery.


March, 1963

Mr. Leon Frey appeared at the meeting. Offered sale of 13 acres along east side of cemetery at a price of $20,000.00.


July, 1963

Decision again made to sell three and one-half acres on southwest of cemetery. Set price at $1,500.00 per acre and $10,000.00 for building.


June, 1964

Moved to sell three acres to school board for $6,000.00 amended to sell for $9,000.00. Amended to sell full three and one-half acres including building for $25,000.00.

Painted chapel building. David’s Sons got the bid for $294.00.


October, 1964

Badly needed road work discussed and started . Main project to cut in and develop road along east fence. Received gift from Stark Brothers for purpose of water extensions



Any money left to be used for road work. Road work was forgotten.


February, 1965

Met with Mayor White and school commissioners. Three and one-half acres, being outlot #71, for price of $6,700.00 including building. Provision that cemetery Association have right to use building, rent free, for a period of not over five years.


August, 1966

Request by school board for a right of way through cemetery’s southwest corner to put in a road for school buses and other traffic. The Cemetery Association turned down this request, as they decided to keep the original plat in tact.


August, 1966

Cemetery billed $825.00 for water main and $1,421.00 for sewer on Boughton Street. Board advised Mayor and City Council that Association could not meet the payments.


March, 1967

Secretary Kuester stated that for ten years, the Board had talked of a bonus which was just gone over. Mr. Kuester suggested that they find another man. As a resullt, his automobile allowance was raised to $720.00 per year.


Summer, 1967

City Street Department put in new east road as per plat map.


September, 1967

Decision to remodel old chapel and use south part of building as an office.


November, 1967

President and secretary to contact carpenters and others to find out probable cost of all remodeling, plumbing, wiring, electric lines, etc. Also cost to bring in above ground and etc. Also cost to bring in above ground and underground service. Also instructed to get cost on bringing up telephone and gas service lines.



Meetings, discussions, but not much in way of action.


May, 1969

First investments in Mutual Funds.

Received bid for shop and garage on northeast corner of cemetery (marked “Storage’’ on plat map). Called for more bids. Total of bids thus far, $7,196.85.



The minutes are not clear as to when the work on chapel was completed, nor when the office was moved. The disbursements show, however, that this was done mostly in 1969, completed in 1970. Moving done in 1969. Approximate cost, including equipment - $1,518.00.

New shop and garage started in 1969. Completed including cement slab for sand, etc., in 1971 – approximate cost $9,228.00. These figures also from disbursement and trial balance records.



Raised borrowing power from $3,000.00 to $5,000.00.


June, 1970

Oak Hill Cemetery named as one of the recipients in the Hermiene Flohr will. Some of the money in stocks. This was received partly in 1971 and 1972. Final payment early in 1973 brought this total to over $7,000.00 This money, as per her will, used in general fund.


November, 1970

Again raised borrowing power to $8,000.00. Had to borrow $2,000.00 at this time in order to have money to finish out fiscal year. This brought the total of notes at bank to $5,000.00 for year 1970. Moved to remove large flower bed in park area and put in grass.


April, 1971

Mr. Kuester announced his intention to retire. A new secretary was hired who agreed to take over in June. Mr. Kuester died in May. His duties were carried on by the treasurer until a new secretary could take over.


November, 1971

Architectural firm of  Durrant, Dieninger, Dommer, Kramer and Gordon requested right of way through north portion of cemetery to service apartment buildings which they were to build on east side of cemetery. This request was not permitted.

It was decided to have the secretary proceed with reclaiming 16 lots which were delinquent in lot care. It was done by public noting procedure and was finalized January 3, 1972.


January, 1972

All duties of the secretary were spelled out in writing at the request of the secretary. Secretary was to act as secretary-manager.


May, 1972

Hillman, who had worked for cemetery since 1934, quit without notice.


July, 1972

All prices increased to bring more in line with present trend. Authorized removal of wrecked fence and junk along west line of cemetery.


October, 1972

Notified of bequest to cemetery in the will of Clarence Gloger.

Entered verbal agreement with Ewald Kopplin to have all graves dug by machine, except where impossible to get machinery in.

Invoked overcharge for all after hour burial.


March, 1973

Adopted new rules for planting and setting markers and monuments. No more planting of trees or shrubs to be allowed. Authorized secretary to remove any urns not planted for two or more years.


May, 1973

Reported on increasing vandalism in cemetery. Many old markers and monuments deliberately knocked over. Some smashed. Report on much needed road work. Dogs outlawed in cemetery. Request of secretary to convert the old fountain at cemetery entrance into a planter, as it would need considerable repair to again run water through it, and also create a target for modern day vandalism. The request was granted and geraniums, marigolds, petunias, spikes and vinca vines were planted in the fountain bowls.


August, 1973

Authorized much needed water extensions – about 550 feet plus faucets. This is to be paid for with money received from Clarence Gloger estate.

Authorized planting of 125 single graves in area in block #14 where large flower bed was removed. Also to lay out extra row of single graves at west and of block #10. These layouts not on large cemetery map, but are recorded in plat book, with layout, and also in file in cemetery office safe.

Twenty-two delinquent lots added to list of reclaimed lots. Finalized in September, 1973.

All proceeds from reclaimed graves divided, with 70 per cent to general fund, and 30 per cent to Perpetual Care Fund.

Truck received much needed repair, including tires. May need new truck soon.

A lady who lives near cemetery painted fence on south end of cemetery. No charge, but we bought the paint.


August, 1973

The Oak Hill sign, which had been junked and on way to dump, was retrieved, reconditioned, and replaced over the south gateway. We hope the sanding truck doesn’t knock it down.


December, 1973

Brings these comments up to the present. More names added to list of men who were active in development in last 23 years. To round out first 123 years of Oak Hill Cemetery, we add the names of: Ray Kern, Byron Wackett, Edw. King, Carl Stallman, H.W. Hartwig, Dan L. Kusel, Chas. T. Yeomans, Carl Raue, R.J. Schmutzler, Roland Harder.

There are some names mentioned after the second 50 years, who are also active at this date: Present board members – E.F. Lemmerhirt, president; C.D. Peters, vice president; R.J. Schmutzler, treasurer; Carl Stallman, C.T. Yeomans, Byron Wackett, Roland Harder and George Zoelle, secretary-manager (employee).

This is but a brief outline of some of the more important events since the incorporation of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association. More detailed information can be found in the minutes of the Association, which are complete since the organization in 1850.