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Old 02-09-2016, 10:50 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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I enjoyed the television series Deadwood, especially Ian McShane's portrayal of the Oskaloosa native Al Swearengen. The graves of the other main characters, Seth Bullock, Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are well known and well marked, but from my Internet searching, Al Swearengen may be buried in an unmarked grave. I'm wondering if any of you can provide some light on the situation. Here's what I found so far:

Al Swearengen’s grave is said to be in County Home Cemetery, also known as Mahaska County Farm Cemetery. Take Highway 92 west from Oskaloosa, then take a left (south) on Ford Ave, just across Saint Joseph Creek just west of Ford Avenue there is a grove of trees bordering the south bank of the creek.

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.28190, Longitude: -92.76780

If there are any Oskaloosa locals (or visitors) on this board, please consider going out to the cemetery and taking a picture to give us a bit of missing history of the Wild West. Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:05 AM
 
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Why would he have been buried in the Mahaska county poor farm cemetery when he died in Denver, Colorado?

If the family had enough money to send for his body to bring it back to Iowa (which is doubtful; they weren't at all wealthy) it would be far more logical for him to have been buried near other family members in White cemetery.

Unless you don't believe the 1907 obit that said he died in Denver and think that instead Al had gone back to Iowa and was eventually buried in a pauper's grave on the county poor farm.

What's your source??
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:08 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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Deadwood Magazine - History, News, Photos and Features from the American Frontier

Albert Swearingen (1845 - 1904) - Find A Grave Memorial
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:12 AM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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Sorry, those links posted a bit oddly. Thanks for the quick reply. Your line of reasoning makes sense. If true, and you find the real grave, you'll have helped fill a gap in our historical knowledge.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,243 posts, read 17,629,648 times
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His first name was Ellis, searching that way turns up a little more information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Find A Grave
In the end he did finally go home to Oskaloosa and was buried next to his mother and father. He was fifty-nine years old.
Ellis Albert "Al" Swearingen (1845 - 1904) - Find A Grave Memorial

This article suggests that Al's funeral was held at the home of his twin brother Lem in Osky (next to last full paragraph).

Here's a picture of the building that housed Lem's meat market. The article says Lem was "suspiciously successful" as a butcher, so maybe he was involved in some shady dealings of his own.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:15 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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Thank you for the hint about White Cemetery, 601HalfDozen. Al is indeed listed as being buried in a grave adjacent to his parents, Daniel and Keziah, in White Cemetery, in Oskaloosa.

Ellis Albert "Al" Swearingen (1845 - 1904) - Find A Grave Memorial

He may have been buried in Denver, but I suspect with his brother owning an "unusually" successful butcher shop and the (in today's dollars) 10s of millions the Gem brought in over the years...along with bribes and payouts to friends and associates, he had some grateful friends that would have chipped in for the shipping cost of the coffin to Iowa.

I guess the request gets a bit simpler now...if anyone stops by the White Cemetery in Oskaloosa, please look for the graves of Daniel and Keziah Swearengen and see if there is a marker for Ellis "Al" Swearengen nearby. If the office is open, maybe they have a record of the burial in 1904.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,243 posts, read 17,629,648 times
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Here's a link to a picture of the Whie Cemetery.
Old White Cemetery :: The Chuck Russell Collection

It was the town's first and likely is not used for burials anymore so I doubt that there's an office on site, but being a city cemetery they may have records at city hall.

Another article I read stated that Al was buried in an unmarked grave. Depending on how the cemetery is laid out, if he is literally buried next to his parents it may be possible to tell if there's an extra grave there.

I don't get to Osky often, but if I am through there in the near future I will check it out.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:39 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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Based on a newpaper article about the Old White Cemetery, it looks like a local funeral home is taking the main responsibilty for maintenance and recordkeeping. I'm going to email them. Maybe they took over the old records, too. Thanks to everyone for helping. It's exciting to follow the clues and maybe we'll all inch closer to bringing a piece of Wild West history to light. I contacted the editor of the discontinued Deadwood Magazine and he's interested in the search as well.

Here's the funeral home: Home
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:18 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,516 times
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I found the grave marker for Al's mother:
William W. Swearingen (1844 - 1860) - Find A Grave Photos
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:04 AM
 
6,056 posts, read 5,651,486 times
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read the dm I sent you, lorcan
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