There are over 43,000 names listed for the more than 67 cemeteries located within Portage County. The reason for the uncertainty as to the exact number of cemeteries is that one of Stockton’s private cemeteries is not included, so it is possible there may be other private cemeteries within Portage County not included in that count.
The Town of Stockton has seven cemeteries within their boundaries. The cemeteries are not all maintained by the Town nor by Portage County. Some of the cemeteries are family maintained and are private. A brief description of each of them is indicated below:
- Arnott Cemetery - Through the years, this cemetery has been referred to as Greenwood and/or Richmond Cemetery. Today, it is known as Arnott Cemetery and has about 76 graves. It is an old cemetery in which time and vandals have destroyed a number of monuments. In earlier years, there was a church nearby and some of its members are interned here. This small cemetery is located just east of County J on the north side of 4th Street almost across from the Lions Park. The park is north of the little community known as Arnott. This cemetery, one of the oldest, is the final resting place of many of those early settlers of Stockton.
- Cate Cemetery - This is a very small private cemetery which is located on the northeast corner of County HH and Stockton’s Burbank road. There are seven graves, all members of the Cate and Brown families. The Cate family homestead was across the road, south of the cemetery and much land in that area was owned by the Cate family at the time. Henry Cate was a lumberman who eventually became a farmer. Mr. Cate was also busily involved in both Town and County government. His death occurred during his term as Stockton’s Town Chairman.
- Higgins Family Plot- This cemetery was not mentioned on the county Find A Grave site. Not much is known about it except that it exists and it is located in Section 7 town 23, north side of Porter Road. There is a monument in the woods and it is believed that there are only a few graves. The first Town plat available lists the property to H. Higgins. Hiram Higgins was one of the earliest settlers coming to the area but research has not lead to any substantial information of him or about this grave.
- Lombard Cemetery – This is a private cemetery of the Lombard family. There are 27 known graves listed here. The first burial here was in 1853 and the last were in 1908. The Lombard’s were prominent in the area during those early years and owned property on both the east and west sides of that road. As with the other old cemeteries, time and vandals have marred its beauty. Today, this road is named Custer Road. To get to the cemetery one must go south on Custer Road until it intersects with town road D. You will see the cemetery on the north-east corner of that intersection.
- Morrill Cemetery – This cemetery is also one our oldest cemeteries. It is believed to have been named after the Morrill family that donated the property. One of the earliest residents settling there, Geo. W. Morrill came to this area in 1851 and this cemetery was near the Morrill family homestead. Here, too, this is an old cemetery that has been damaged by time and vandals. There are 149 known graves with the oldest legible gravestone dating back to 1832 and the last internment in 1932. The cemetery is located on Kennedy Avenue. Kennedy Avenue is west of Arnott or east of Plover, Wisconsin on County Road B. Turn south on Kennedy, go for a distance and watch for the cemetery on the left side.
- St. Mary’s Cemetery - Custer – Near the little community of Custer, you will find St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. It is located about ½ mile north of State Hwy 10 on County Road K with a left turn onto Esker Road. In 1875, The Church of the Immaculate Conception was built on land donated by Mr. Timothy Leary, one of Custer’s oldest resident. The church was first part of the Green Bay Diocese. A number of years later it became part of the La Crosse Diocese. The cemetery’s location is to the in back of the Church. There are about 517 graves in the cemetery and it is maintained by the Parish. .
- St. Mary’s Cemetery – Fancher – St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery is located south of the church. First known as St. Mary of the Scapular de Monte Carmelo, it was organized at Amherst Junction in the year 1884. The church was built in 1885 and also began as part of the Green Bay Diocese. After several disastrous beginnings, located there today is St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church, beautifully designed like the old Polish Cathedrals. The fairly large cemetery has about 1,248 graves and is maintained by the Parish. Its location is midway between Stevens Point and Amherst, Wisconsin on State Hwy 10. From Hwy 10, turn on Smokey Road going south to the intersection with Lake Thomas Road. Turn east and in about ¼ mile you will see the church with the cemetery in the back.
There is more information about all the cemeteries in Portage County on the Find A Grave website listing names, dates of internments, along with some photos.
(Research courtesy of Sue Stremkowski via Find A Grave-Town & County Records & The History of the Catholic Church in Wisconsin.)