In 1848, William Horner, a planter from Virginia, moved to southwestern Wisconsin with his family and several of his slaves and their families who had been given their freedom - the Shepards. Other freed slaves followed and established their own homesteads. These families included the Grimes family, the Greens and the Richmonds.
After the Civil War, more freed and escaped slaves made their way to Pleasant Ridge. Soon an integrated rural community consisting of over 100 former slaves and their European immigrant neighbors built one of the first integrated schools in the US. They also built and shared the United Brethren Church and a community hall.
Over time, the younger members of the community and their descendants began to move away in search of opportunity in cities and Pleasant Ridge faded away. Today, only the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery survives.
The last African-American descendant of original Pleasant Ridge settlers, Mrs. Ollie Green Lewis, descended from the Green and Shepard families, passed away in 1959. She joined her ancestors at Pleasant Ridge for eternity.
GPS Coordinates: 42.8308, -90.8133
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #88751
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