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The Clow Cemetery


Larry Dexter

Senior High Division


For years it stood abandoned, no one knew or cared aboutit or who was buried there until last summer. A group of 4-H'ers from theHumboldt Stick-to-it 4-H Club decided to do something about it, as a projectto help improve the community, so the 4-H Club decided to clean up the cemetery.

After they began the work, they found out that it was alot harder work than they thought it would be. When they were able to startworking, the grass had grown three or four feet high. There were hardlyany stones left standing, and there were branches and holes all over theold cemetery.

The reason for most of the mess was that no one cared,and also lack of respect. Most of the stones were tipped because the ownerof the property didn't care if his cows were in the cemetery or in the pasture.Several of the markers were covered over by blow dirt and were not found.It is said that two veterans are buried there but the markers were not found.

The graveyard was in such a mess that it was almost impossibleto work. The 4-H'ers had to pick up sticks, the old tipped stones, and theyeven had to pick up parts from an old wooden harrow that was found there.

When the work was first started, everything had to be doneby hand because an ordinary power mower couldn't handle the job. After halfof the cemetery was cleaned up, Mark Baldwin went back to his place andbrought back a brush cutter to mow the rest of the cemetery. The work wentquite a bit faster but they still had to find and clean around all the stonesbefore the mower so that it wouldn't chip any of the stones.

At the end of the first day of work, everyone was prettybeat and kind of glad that they could go home and sleep.

The next time they met at the cemetery they didn't havequite as much to do. This time the 4-H'ers had two mowers and could cutgrass very rapidly. Since they had more time to work, they started to liftthe stones back into place. Even though they were several able bodies itwas still hard to put upright the stones. First, the stones had to be dugup so they could be lifted. After they were dug around, came the problemof lifting them. This wasn't as easy as it looked because the stones wereheavy. It took at least two or three people to put the stones in place.A couple of the stones were so heavy they could not be set up properly.

In the middle of the cemetery is a hold where someone hadtaken the remains of the person buried there and did not bother to fillin the hole. Even though the hold was an eye sore, it gave the people workingon this project something to kid each other about while they worked.

After the second session, they met about every week tomow the cemetery so they wouldn't have to start all over again. Even thoughthe cemetery was cleaned up, it still looked like something you would seein an old horror movie because of a couple of old dead trees that were inthe back of the cemetery. At the end of the summer, Lyle Dexter cut downthe trees with his chain saw. After he did it, he said that he could notbelieve how hard the trees were to cut. The trees were believed to be oldelms which might explain why it was so hard to cut the trees down even thoughthe saw was just sharpened before he did the cutting.

Although no records of who was buried there were found,the names of all the people were taken from the stones, at least the namesof all the people whose stones were found. They are as follows:

Annie Mitchell, Born June 30, 1872, Died October 16, 1930

Mary E. McLeod, Born August 9, 1868, Died May 6, 1905

George Clow, Sr., Born in 1825, Died April 20, 1903

Henrietta Clow, Born in 1862, Died August 26, 1882

Nellie Clow, Died September 22, 1895

Daisy May Jenkins, Born March 4, 1894, Died August 29,1899

Dwight Mitchell, Born January 10, 1909, Died October 18,1929

Margaret Ross, Died August 1, 1908

Myles Ross? March ?

Donald Ross, Born June 5, 1853, Died January 5, 1924

Samual B. Jury, Born June 20, 1821, Died August 7, 1902

Flora Monro, Died June 21, 1898

Percy S. Matthew, Born 1912, Died 1916

Harvy O. Matthew, Born 1914 Died 1916

Martha J. Yates, Born 1911, Died 1916

James ? 1930 - 1931

Gordon Christensen, 1908 - 1931

Baby Pollack 1914 - 1914

Osvald Warner Clow, Born January 15, 1914, Died March 11,1914

Cleve Clow 1889 - 1932

George Clow, Born March 21, 1846, Died November 24, 1912

Charlotte Ethell Christenson, Born October 12, 1892, DiedOctober 25, 1918

Alfred Ray ?? 1897 - 1938

Marquerite G. Larter, Born November 19, 1904, Died September23, 1919

William L. Matthew, Born July 26, 1919, Died April 19,1920

Maggie M. Johnston, Born March 21, 1910, Died August 14,1917

James A. Johnston, August 15, 1905, Died September 30,1915

Lile Clifford Brown, Born June 1, 1913, Died September2, 1914

Clifford Roy Johnson, Born June 13, 1906, Died February25, 1907

Walter C. Clow, Born January 22, 1899, Died January 24,1899

Laura I. Clow, Born February 26, 1897, Died February 28,1897

John E. Clow, Born March 11, 1894, Died March 12, 1894

Franklin M. Clow, Born May 29, 1903, Died October 24, 1903

Peter L. Christenson, Died April 18, 1897

Charles W. Goodier, Born September 20, 1904, Died December2, 1927

Martin Christensen, Born July 14, 1883, Died November 5,1905

Laurinda S. Hurkle 1909 - 1946

William Brown, Born February 8, 1839, Died February 20,1916

Emily R. ? 1844 - 1918

Loreng E. Croaker, Born June 5, 1916, Died April 25, 1918

Johanna Nelson, Died November 21, 1902

Bessie Mays Clow, Born September 9, 1868, Died August 11,1915

Tryphena Mellet, Died December 18, 1897

Bertha M. Monson, Born March 20, 1870, Died October 24,1908

William T. Clow, Born February 14, 1867, Died May 27, 1947


As you can see from the list of people buried there whyit is called the Clow Cemetery.

At the end of the summer, the rewards for cleaning up thecemetery were many for the 4-H'ers. Several people heard of the work theyhad done and sent donations to the club which was used to have a picnicfor everyone that worked at the cemetery. One of the members even won atrip to the cities as part of a Community Pride Project. The lucky personwas Larry Dexter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Dexter. He was picked from hisclub because the leaders thought that he should be the one to representtheir club.

As a result of a lot of hard work, the cemetery lookedbetter at the end of this summer than it has for a long time. The 4-H clubhas decided since they had to put so much hard work into the cemetery theywouldn't want it all to go to waste so they decided to clean it up nextyear if the township would not.

We all must die!

All leave ourselves, it matters not where, when,

Nor how, so we die well; and can that man that does so

Need lamentation for him? (2)

Because sooner or later we all must die, it seems onlyfair that we all show a little respect for the dead so that when we diesomeone will show some respect for our graves. This might help insure usfrom having to be disgraced by having our remains left in a cemetery noone wants any part of.

(1) A special project set up to improve the communities.

(2) Beumont and Fletcher - Valentinian. Act. IV Sc. 4



Bahr, Beatrice, Humboldt, MN, Interview, January 24, 1975

Dexter, Jane, Humboldt, MN, Interview, February 1, 1975

Dexter, Lyle, Humboldt, MN, Interview, February 1, 1975

Roberts, Kate Louise, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of PracticalQuotations, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1940


Dexter, Lyle, Humboldt, MN, Interview, February 1, 1975

Roberts, Kate Louise, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of PracticalQuotations, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1940