Unnoticed All His Worth, a Dog Burial at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery

Author(s): Emily Epstein; Patricia B. Richards

Year: 2017


One dog (Canis lupus familiaris) was recovered from a six-sided wooden coffin among the human interments identified during the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery Removal Project of 2013.  Milwaukee County used the cemetery (ca. 1880 – 1920) to bury people who died at institutions located on the country grounds or to bury individuals with survivors unable to afford burial elsewhere. The cemetery is contemporaneous with the establishment of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Wisconsin Humane Society, and the increasing popularity of pet cemeteries in the U.S. The authors have not identified documentation of dog interments in comparable settings, suggesting the Milwaukee Country Grounds Cemetery case is novel. In this paper, we present the bioarchaeology of the dog’s interment and explore its position within the broader context of human-animal relationships at alms houses and within Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Cite this Record

Unnoticed All His Worth, a Dog Burial at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery. Emily Epstein, Patricia B. Richards. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435193)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 285