The 1912 Grave Desecration of the Milwaukee County Institution Grounds Poor Farm's Cemetery
Author(s): Alexander Anthony
This research looks at the institutional desecration of graves at the Milwaukee County Institution Grounds as overseen by Superintendent Ferdinand Bark, the reaction of the surrounding community to that disturbance, and the ensuing investigation. The paper also explores the relationship of this historical event to the evidence from the 1990s and 2013 archaeological excavations conducted at the location of the cemetery. The event will be viewed within the historical context in which it happened including a basic background of Ferdinand Bark and the circumstances of the Milwaukee County Grounds when he assumed control in 1904. The increasing need to find space in which to inter a growing number of deceased individuals from on the County Institution Grounds as well as the surrounding community within very limited cemetery bounds posed a significant problem for Bark. The paper also explores the community reaction to this desecration as related through local newspapers of varying readerships. Finally, the archaeological correlates of this event are examined, as are the difficulties in interpreting the archaeological record of expected mortuary behavior on the Milwaukee County Institution Grounds.
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This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- People that no one had use for, had nothing to give to, no place to offer: The Milwaukee County Institution Grounds Poor Farm Cemetery
Cite this Record
The 1912 Grave Desecration of the Milwaukee County Institution Grounds Poor Farm's Cemetery. Alexander Anthony. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396092)
North America - Midwest
min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;