HISTORY OF THE GLASS VALLEY (GREENWOOD VALLEY) CEMETERY
The Greenwood Valley Cemetery was organized on November 30, 1863 to provide a final resting place for settlers and their families. At that time, the City of River Falls was called “Greenwood”. Later the name was changed to “River Falls”.
The last recorded sale of a lot was in 1936. On April 6, 1948 the Board of the Town of River Falls agreed to take over the Cemetery due to it’s abandoned and neglected state.
During the spring of 1959, the newly organized Town and Country 4-H club approached the Town Board with a request to clean up and mow the Cemetery. The Town Board arranged with the Fire Department to carefully burn off the long grass and sumac bushes without harming the large trees and monuments. The Town Chair, Mr. Richard Meents provided his own tractor and black dirt to fill in depressions.
The Town and Country 4-H Club has provided upkeep for the Cemetery since 1959. They’re now on the third and fourth generation of 4-H’rs providing this Community Service.
In 2010, the Town received a request by the family of Linda Dusek for her burial at the Cemetery. Linda’s infant son had been buried on his grandfather’s grave in 1974 and Linda wanted her ashes buried next to her son. This request prompted Jerome Rodewald and Diana Smith to organize a group of volunteers to explore the potential use of unused graves in the Town.
The volunteer group spent about a year reviewing the history, lot sales, burials, Wisconsin Statutes regarding cemeteries, and mapping the gravesites.
We found that of the original 720 gravesites, there were only 143 recorded burials. Over 200 gravesites could be sold without question and the remainder would require additional research.
On May 5, 2012, the Town Board created a formal Cemetery Committee comprised of 7 members with Jerome Rodewald as Chair, Diana Smith and Leroy Kusilek as Board representatives and committee members Richard Wells, Peggy Jensen, Elizabeth Terlinden and Al Pechacek.