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.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
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)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;