Forest Mound Cemetery receives $400 donation to repair gravestone of President’s grandparents

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WAUPUN — A piece of Waupun history is finally getting restored in Forest Mound Cemetery.

Former Historical Society president Jay Graff met with Forest Mound Cemetery Association president Steve Buchholz and Mayor of Waupun Rohn Bishop Friday morning to present a check to repair the broken gravestone of Sophia Crawford, the grandmother of the 29th President of the United States Warren G. Harding.

The stone had been laying on its back since it had been found broken after a large storm in 2018. That, on top of being a rough stone from the Victorian era, had put them in dire need of restoration.

But now with the funds donated by Jay Graff, the Cemetery will finally be able to fix the damage to the historic gravestone.

“It’s important to recognize, commemorate, and preserve history,” Jay Graff said. “Important people like this don’t have the capacity to fix things that break that are meant to honor and commemorate their existence and contributions to not only Waupun but the United States. I’m very happy I could help with this small project.”

The $400 will go towards hiring a restoration contractor to repair the stones, which the Forest Mound Cemetery Association will work with in cases like this.

“The cemetery appreciates the goodness of people’s hearts to help in our cemetery operation,” Steve Buchholz said. “Jay helping the grandparents of President Harding is a neat thing to do for our cemetery and our whole area here.”

Mayor Bishop has tried bringing attention to the broken marker for several years, and last year honored them along with other historically significant former Waupun residents by placing miniature City of Waupun flags by their gravestones.

“It’s kind of a unique and cool thing that the great grandparents of a President of the United States are buried here in Waupun,” Mayor Bishop said. “It’s unfortunate that their grave sites got damaged in the tornado and I’m thankful for people like Jay who want to help preserve Waupun history.”

Sophia Crawford died in 1870, following her husband Joshua Crawford who died in 1868. There are no known relatives who still live in Waupun.

Last March, the Forest Mound Cemetery Association received a total of $1,260 in a meat raffle held at The Other Bar in downtown Waupun to go towards various projects.

From left to right: Steve Buchholz, Jay Graff, Mayor Rohn Bishop.