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Old 02-12-2016, 05:36 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
Reputation: 31

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I asked Shawn if there was a fee for his work and if he would take photos of the undertaker's records. He sent the photos to me for free and didn't even comment on a fee. Plus, he's doing the legwork today to get the section and plot number for us. I don't want to ask him to go to the local / regional library or LDS church to try to find the newspapers until we see if anyone here (especially anyone local to Oskaloosa) who may be following or participating in the thread has a few days to read this and volunteer.

I'll continue posting all the info I get, since my purpose is to solve the mystery and preserve history. I'm using a free service to host those images and I don't know how long they'll host them, so download your own copies just in case. I think there is a lot more information out there to find. The game is afoot, as Sherlock would say.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:49 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duster1979 View Post
Forest's online burial records show an Eliz. Swearingen in Section 17, Plot 52 5. One would assume that Eliz. would be short for Elizabeth, but maybe it's a mis-spelling of Ellis. It will be interesting to see what Shawn comes up with for a location.

Shawn wrote and said they only show an Eliz Swearingen, but since that's the only Swearingen listed in Forest Cemtery and the undertaker's records say he was buried there and Eliz is so close to Ellis, especially if transcribed from an old hand-written document, it's worth checking the burial date, which I don't have yet, but I asked Shawn to see if he can get the date. The online record doesn't have the date, but maybe there is a tombstone.

Name: Eliz. Swearingen
Birth Date:
Death Date:
Burial Date:
Section: 17
Lot: 52 5
Arrangements:
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:20 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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Correction: Shawn, who provided the photos is from the Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel, not the Mahaska Historical Society. We're still trying to track down the date of the "Eliz" Swearingen burial at Forest Cemetery and any newspaper articles. If there are any Oskaloosa locals on this thread, if you can stop by Forest Cemetery and check Section 17, Lot 52 5 for a tombstone, that would help confirm or deny that "Eliz" is a mis-transcription of "Ellis" when the hand-written records were digitized.
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:26 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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I left a voicemail with Forest Cemetery asking if they can provide more information about the "Eliz" Swearingen grave. No response yet. If there are any locals to Oskaloosa, please consider stopping by and checking Section 17, Lot 52 5 for a tombstone. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:11 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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I left a voicemail and sent an email with the funeral home record. Hopefully, either they will reply or someone on this message board will visit the cemetery and let us know.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:46 PM
 
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I received a call back from Forest Cemetery. The "Eliz" Swearingen burial was on July 29, 1883, so it's definitely not Al. Al died on Nov. 15, 1904 in Denver and was buried on November 22, 1904, a week later in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

The woman I spoke to is going to check the handwritten records at the cemetery and call me back. Hopefully, mystery solved or maybe a clue will turn up.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:44 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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Well, we have our answer. Forest Cemetery has a hand-written book (alphabetically-listed) but not the original source materials. There is a line for Al:

Ellis A Swearigen
Buried: November 21, 1904

The rest is blank. No section or lot number, no marker information.

I had a long talk with the cemetery manager and the conclusion we came to is that the grave is unmarked by design and because of Al's reputation, bringing attention to his grave site was not desired.

It's a fitting end of the search from my perspective. The actor Ian McShane portrayed the harm Al caused in the world, but gave him charisma and gave the audience the chance to show him a bit of empathy. Reading about the historical Al, maybe it is fitting that he made it home, at rest near his family, but in an unmarked and semi-anonymous grave. Thanks, everyone, for the help.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:49 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 5,656,126 times
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Thanks for pursuing this and sharing what you learned!
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Iowa
2 posts, read 447 times
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Default Al's Grave

Is this thread still active? I'm an Iowa relative of Al's and found his gravesite about a decade ago. His parents (Daniel John and Keziah Montgomery) are my ggggrandparents, so Al is family.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:49 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,576 times
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Default New book with updated info

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASwearingen View Post
Is this thread still active? I'm an Iowa relative of Al's and found his gravesite about a decade ago. His parents (Daniel John and Keziah Montgomery) are my ggggrandparents, so Al is family.
Unfortunately, Jerry L. Bryant, the consultant for the HBO show passed away, but Barbara Fifer took his notes and published a new book:

Deadwood's Al Swearingen: Manifest Evil in the Gem Theatre

This book includes photos of the records of the burial that he originally discovered as documented in this thread. There is a cemetery map of the plot where the unmarked grave is.
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