Sheridan cemetery tour
Date posted: September 13, 2013
Sheridan County Fulmer Library will host a tour and informational program about the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery on Sept. 17 beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The tour will begin at the Inner Circle of the library with a presentation by Sheridan High School teacher and local historian Tyson Emborg about the city’s Master Cemetery Plan.
It will be followed at 5:45 p.m. with a tour of THE Wyoming Room by director Judy Slack.
Slack said she will show attendees how to access and use various resources in the room, including obituaries, local history books, biography files, microfilm and more. She will also touch on the work being done by THE Wyoming Room to digitize obituary records, a project that started 18 months ago and is only halfway complete.
Afterwards, attendees will travel to the cemetery for a guided tour by Emborg from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.
Emborg has spent considerable time researching the history of the cemetery as well as individuals buried there.
“It will be a highlight of who is there and what significant role did they play in our community and even nationally,” Emborg explained.
Emborg began his interest in the cemetery several years ago. While teaching about the Civil War, someone mentioned that there were two Civil War-era cannons at the cemetery. He visited the site and then learned that there were a handful of Civil War veterans buried at the cemetery. From there, his interest expanded and he is now working on a walking guide for the cemetery pointing out interesting people and stories from the cemetery.
“I enjoy history, but I also enjoy history with relevance and personal interest,” he said. “I like to find some sort of connection. I am just trying to get people to view the cemetery as a link between the past and the present and for people to see it as an indicator of the vitality of the community. I think our cemetery is fairly unique because we seem to have more national links than most. It is just significant in that way.”
Some of the gravesites featured in the guide include the burial site of the first person to die in a vehicle accident in northeast Wyoming, the first woman to cast a ballot in Sheridan County, the grandson of President William Henry Harrison, a female Civil War veteran who served as a nurse in the Shenandoah Valley and the son-in-law of Buffalo Bill Cody who committed suicide in the Sheridan Inn.
“Of course the big find was the realization that this was not the original cemetery,” said Emborg, noting that the town’s first cemetery was located at College and Jefferson. “So there are people buried (in town) but not in any area we would recognize today.”
He said though many bodies were exhumed and reburied at the current site when it was established in 1890, some bodies were unable to be located because of the disintegration of wooden markers, including the first person to be buried in the early cemetery, a cowboy who broke his neck after a fall from his horse.
Emborg said the tour will last about an hour and will cover some of the stories and background of research he has done. He will also point out various sections of the cemetery, such as the section where many victims of the 1918 flu are buried, the Japanese section and a section with unmarked graves of murderers and other criminals from Sheridan’s early days.
Participants are welcome to join in the tour at any point during the evening. For more information, contact Kevin Knapp at the library at 674-8585 ext. 29.