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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Wardell’

“Who Dyed?” “What is next to Which?” “Who”'s on First?” *

“Who Dyed?” “What is next to Which?” “Who”'s on First?” *

By Sue Hunter Wier Uncle Peter first? Joan Wardwell second?, all at Hodsdon”'s at Bloomington and Lake Farm next to Layman”'s In the late 19-teens and early 1920s several newspaper articles claimed that “Uncle” Peter Wardell (sometimes Wardwell or Waddell) was the second (or even the first) person buried in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. He was buried, so the stories go, either under what is now the bus stop at Cedar Avenue and Lake Street or in the far southeastern corner of the cemetery at Lake Street and 21st Avenue. Supposedly, Uncle Peter was an employee of Martin Layman who had moved to Minnesota with members of the Layman family in 1853. There”'s only one problem””“Uncle” Peter didn”'t exist. The confusion about this imaginary man is understandable, though. There is a person with a similar name who was among the earliest burials in the cemetery. Her name was Joan Robbins Wardwell. Mrs. Wardwell died from cancer in 1858, supposedly the first recorded case of cancer in Minneapolis. Although one of her granddaughters claimed that Mrs. Wardwell was the second person buried in the cemetery, that isn”'t true either””there were at least two dozen people buried in the cemetery before she was. What is true is that her husband, George Wardwell, worked for Martin Layman, the cemetery”'s original owner. George Wardwell surveyed the section of Layman”'s farmland that became the first municipal cemetery on the west side of the river. In return, he was given two burial plots. (more…)

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