Austin man discovers 19th century tombstone in backyard

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Austin man got a surprise visit from the past Monday when he found a headstone in his backyard.

The 41-year-old man was working in his yard at 306 South Main St. when he uncovered the tombstone under a pile of brush. Although he has lived in the house for three years, he had never seen the mysterious stone.

The headstone dates back to 1893 and once sat on the grave of Clara Maria Houg, who died at the age of six.

Email newsletter signup

Police Captain Dave McKichan researched the headstone’s history and discovered Houg is buried at First Lutheran Cemetery in St. Ansgar, Iowa.

McKichan contacted First Lutheran Church and told church officials he is sending the tombstone back with a Mower County Sheriff’s deputy who lives in St. Ansgar.

Houg’s headstone will likely be placed back on her grave in the coming weeks.