Digital Exhibits Purchasing and Clearing the Land

At the suggestion of the Ladies’ Mite Society members, the Austin Cemetery Society purchased five acres from William Baudler for $100 (over $2,000 today) later that month.  The land was located just north of his house.  They had the land surveyed and laid out in lots.  People were not usually eager to sell land to become cemeteries, but the committee noted that they were pleasantly surprised that Mr. Baudler was willing and eager. 

Mrs. L. A. Sherwood (formerly Alta Albro, daughter of Mrs. Harriet Davidson) wrote about the initial clearing of the land in the 1884 Mower County history book: “The women of Austin have always been foremost in work for the betterment of our town…The men, hearing of what we had done, thought it was time for them to get to work.  This they did, and they purchased the ground that is known as the old part of the cemetery.  A very small portion up in front was surveyed and laid out in lots.  The ladies took the work of fencing the ground.  The men did nothing more towards finishing the survey or laying out the rest of the blocks.  Several years passed.”

Otto Baudler pointing to the possible location of the first cabin in Austin, built by Austin Nichols in the early 1850s. This is part of the land sold by the Baudler family to the Austin Cemetery Association in 1862. Mower County Historical Society, 02.500.0412
Mower County Register, July 28, 1874

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