Sinclair Cemetery

Saint Charles, Winona County, Minnesota, USA
Memorials 91 added (68% photographed)

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In the summer of 1854, Joseph Sinclair, his wife and their son Alexander, his wife Betsy, and their children: 7-year-old Clarissa, and 2-year-old Ann came to Minnesota. They arrived in Winona on the 19th of August and, within a few hours, Mrs. Sinclair died of cholera. She was buried in a cemetery near the levee and two days later Joseph and the remaining family proceeded to St. Charles Township where they homesteaded a claim. Joseph died at the age of 67 in 1859 and was buried across the road from their log cabin in the southeast corner of the farm. Ann Sinclair, then 11 years old, died in 1863 and was buried near her grandfather. Two neighbors were also buried nearby, William Russell in 1863 and William Boyd in 1864. By 1874 the need for a cemetery became evident and on April 7, 1874, a group of neighbors met. Alexander Sinclair offered to deed ½ acre in the southeast corner of his farm for the cemetery since it his father, daughter and two neighbors were already buried there. On April 13, 1874, a deed from Alexander Sinclair to the Ridge Cemetery Association was filed along with a plat of the cemetery. Sixteen family plots were sold in 1874 and seven more plots were sold between then and 1903. In his deed, Alexander reserved a large family plot and set aside a section for those who could not afford to buy their own lot. Each plot contained 6 lots and sold for $5.00 with all owners participating in the care of the cemetery. No assessments for cemetery care were made until 1915, when an annual charge of $2.00 for each occupied plot was assessed. A similar assessment was required each year until 1925, when fewer families remained and the association asked for donations from each family to cover maintenance costs. During the 1930's a strawberry and ice cream social was held for several summers to raise money for the cemetery. Records show that an old fence was removed and a new one built in 1880. In 1889 that fence was replaced. Again, in 1908, a new fence was built and, in 1916, maple trees were planted along the fence line. The association stopped meeting in 1936, when Hugh Groger served as the last president. He continued to handle contributions and the maintenance of the cemetery until his death in 1952 when his wife Maude continued until her death in 1969. In 1970 Chester and Emma Groger established a care fund at the St. Charles bank asking for annual contributions from families with occupied plots. Lots are still available for sale. There are 79 known burials. (text by C. Kay)


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GPS Coordinates: 43.9414, -92.0397

  • Added: 2 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #83593