Hello Forest County Residents!
Everyone knows about the large town cemeteries located around the county but not everyone is aware of the smaller burial sites that are no longer used. Cemeteries hold valuable information for researchers and genealogists. The gravestones can give the person’s birth and death dates and the location of the person when they died. This information can be used to conduct more in-depth research into county records and the archives.
Recently, a research request was made for information about a small burial plot outside of Crandon known as the Gibson Cemetery. With further investigation I learned that it was actually a burial site not a cemetery because the town never owned the property. According to research done by a Forest County Historical Society member the Gibson Cemetery began when a lumber jack working on the George Gibson farm as a laborer for the summer suddenly died. The man’s name and date of death were not recorded. As time passed the Gibson family allowed the area to be used by their neighbors as a final resting place for their loved ones. The burial site has approximately twenty graves but not all of the people have been identified. Some of the graves were marked with wooden crosses and field stones except for one grave that is marked with a headstone. The woman with the headstone was Clarinda Smith and she died eighty-seven years ago today. My hypothesis is that she died in child birth because a baby girl was buried with her that shared the same death date. Not much is known about the individuals who were laid to rest on the former Gibson Farm. I could not find an obituary or census information for any of them. This must have been an isolated community that formed outside the town of Crandon. It is a common belief that is community was mostly made up of migrants from Kentucky.
Around 1996 a small group of Forest County community members banded together to clean up the Gibson burial site and replace the deteriorating wooden crossed with metal ones. Since this time the cemetery has again fallen into disrepair. The land is now owned by the county and I think it would be in the county’s best interest to form a task force to once again clean up the cemetery area. If anyone is interested in being a part of this group please let me know. If you have any information on the individuals buried in the Gibson Cemetery or know any other small cemeteries in the county please contact the Crandon Public Library.
People Buried at Gibson Cemetery
Clarinda Smith B. December 1, 1888-D. May 1, 1928
Baby Girl Smith B. May 1, 1928-D. May 1, 1928
Sara June Pence B. October 5, 1912-D. September 25, 1914
Lula Smith Pence
Charles Reva D. September 28, 1922
Eliga McPherson D. July 7, 1931
Mrs. Columbus McPherson
Robert McPherson December 12, 1923
Baby Roda Gibson
Baby Girl Westimayer B. May 4, 1941-D. May 4, 1941
Baby Eckart B. December 5, 1919-D. December 5, 1919