Window to the past; Cemetery tour highlights those veterans who have served our nation

Published 8:18 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018

On Sunday afternoon, a group of 13 got an up close tour of history.

The Mower County Senior Center, in conjunction with the Hormel Historic Home, took two groups through Oakwood Cemetery for a second Oakwood Cemetery Tour. This year, the tour focused on those prominent Austinites who served their country in the military.

Historical society curator Jaimie Timm led the group through the cemetery, pointing out the graves and talking about 16 different veterans either buried at Oakwood or elsewhere.

Email newsletter signup

The reason for the second tour was popularity.

Mower County Historical Society curator Jaimie Timm tells the story of Persons “Percy” Bump during the Oakwood Cemetery Tour Sunday.

“Well, when we did the first one last October, it was pretty popular,” Timm said prior to the event. “We wanted to do another tour, but I didn’t want to do the same thing over and over again.”

As the group walked, Timm related not just the history of each soldier or memorial, but told the stories behind the man or woman so the group could really come to know each soldier buried in Oakwood.

“I like to learn about these people,” Timm said. “You don’t always hear about those regular Joes.”

The range of veterans featured on the tour served in wars from the Civil War all the way through Vietnam and included such people as Allan Mollison.

The marker of Ethan Earl, one of Austin’s Civil War veterans as well as one of those featured on Sunday’s Oakwood Cemetery Tour.

Mollison fought in the Civil War and saw action in the First Battle of Bull Run, Antietam and Gettysburg. He was wounded twice and was a prisoner of war for three weeks.

Mollison then came back to public service in Austin before dying on July 6, 1906.

Timm said that the opportunity to really get to know these soldiers is what allows the tour to grow.

“Everybody was really positive,” Timm said. “A lot of people comment that they learned things they didn’t know before.”

And as more people get to know and come to the events, the more tours could be given. The tours provide an opportunity to get to know their town’s history.

“[I’m] really happy and want more walking tours,” Timm said. “People appreciated getting out into the community and learn about the community, learn about something different.”

The Millison family plot, where Civil War veteran Allan Mollison is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. It was the first stop on Sunday’s Oakwood Cemetery Tour.