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BEAR CEMETERY TRANSCRIPTION and HISTORY

Monroe Township, Ringgold County, Iowa

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The Bear Cemetery was created by Solomon (better known as Sol) BEAR in about 1864 on part of his farm. The first person in the cemetery was Lincoln BEAR, the year-old son of Sol and his first wife Sarah E. (WALKER) BEAR. About six years later Sarah and her second son, George, were also buried in the Bear Cemetery. The other people in the cemetery are close relatives of Sol except for Margaret Ann ARMSTRONG who was a friend of the family.

There are only three early stone markers for the graves: Sol and Amandaís (Solís second wife) shared stone, Lincolnís stone, and Margaretís stone. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided individual stones for the two Civil War veterans, Adam and John Bear, who were brothers of Sol. In 2004, a communal stone marker with all of the names of the remaining people buried there, but without an early marker, was placed in the cemetery near that of Sol. The communal stone was purchased using the funds from the Theola (Bear) Barbour Memorial Fund, donations gathered during the sixth Solomon Bear Family Reunion in June 2002, and later donations. Theola was the granddaughter of Sol and Amanda.

The Bear Cemetery locally is described as being a little southeast of Ellston, Ringgold County, Iowa, about a mile south of Oliver Cemetery along a dirt road to the start of gravel on the road and then a quarter mile east through the pasture.

The Bear Cemetery was surveyed during the WPA works in the 1930's. Recorded for Ringgold County Historical Society in 1978 by Betty Ruby and Ruth Haley; updated by Rick Wiley in July of 2001; Raymond Banner of Mount Ayr, Iowa, completed the updating in 2002. The officers of the Solomon Bear Family Reunion further updated the information in both 2002 and 2003. Angie Hynek and family have made significant improvements to the cemetery fencing, sign over gate, and markers.

Bear Cemetery
Photograph by Ramon (Ray) Bear

gold star designates a Veteran
NAME BORN DIED COMMENTS
ARMSTRONG, Margaret Ann* 01 Aug 1845 20 May 1881
36y 9m 19d
friend of BEAR family
wife of T. E. ARMSTRONG
BACH, Anna "Frata" 15 Mar 1915
Kellerton IA
19 Oct 1994
Sacramento CA
ashes scattered at Bear Cemetery & Rose Garden, Chapel of the Chimes, Santa Rosa CA
daughter of William Franklin "Frank" BEAR
granddaughter of Sol and Amanda BEAR
gold starBEAR, Adam** 22 Mar 1837 19 Jun 1864
died of wounds during Civil War
Camden AR
brother of Solomon "Sol" BEAR
1st husband of Mary A. (CHANCE) BEAR DAY
BEAR, Amanda Elvina (DULY) 19 Sep 1850
Harrison Co. MO
10 Jan 1922
Ringgold Co. IA
2nd wife of Solomon "Sol" BEAR
gravestone shared with Sol BEAR
BEAR, Anna Maria "Mary" (KIEFER) 13 Feb 1815 11 Jan 1904 wife of Lewis BEAR
mother of 14 children
mother of Solomon "Sol" BEAR
Obituary
BEAR, George 1869
Ringgold Co. IA
1871
Ringgold Co. IA
son of Sol & 1st wife Sarah E. (WALKER) BEAR
gold starBEAR, John*** 16 Oct 1838 08 Mar 1880
due to health problems received while serving in the Civil War
son of Lewis & "Mary" (KIEFER) BEAR
brother of Sol BEAR
Obituary
BEAR, Lewis 06 Mar 1791 13 May 1872 husband of Anna Maria "Mary" (KIEFER) BEAR
father of 14 children & Sol BEAR
BEAR, Lincoln 03 Sep 1863
Ringgold Co. IA
09 Oct 1864
Ringgold Co. IA
son of Solomon "Sol" BEAR & 1st wife Sarah E. (WALKER) BEAR
1st interment at Bear Cemetery
BEAR, Sarah E. (WALKER) 03 Jun 1842 00 Jan 1871
in childbirth
1st wife of Solomon "Sol" BEAR
mother of 3 children, 2 interred at Bear Cemetery
BEAR, Solomon "Sol" 16 Aug 1832
Somerset Co. PA
25 Oct 1913
81y 1 m 9d
Ringgold Co. IA
gravestone with Amanda, 2nd wife
Obituary
LOCKE, Infant Daughter 21 Jun 1880 21 Jun 1880 daughter of Mary (BEAR) & Frank S. LOCKE****
niece of Sol Bear
LOCKE, Infant Daughter 01 Sep 1881 01 Sep 1881 daughter of Mary (BEAR) & Frank S. LOCKE****
niece of Sol Bear
later research showed interment was at Oliver Cemetery, over 1 mile N.W.
LOCKE, John Homer 04 May 1884 29 Jan 1886 son of Mary (BEAR) & Frank S. LOCKE****
nephew of Sol BEAR
burial at Oliver Cemetery, over 1 mile N.W.

 

Left: GRAVESTONE of SOL & AMANDA BEAR   Right: GRAVESTONE of LINCOLN BEAR

 

BEAR FAMILY COMMUNAL STONE
Sarah BEAR, George BEAR, Lewis BEAR, Anna "Mary" (KIEFER) BEAR, Infant Daughter LOCKE, Infant Daughter LOCKE, John Homer LOCKE

GRAVESTONE of MARGARET ANN ARMSTRONG

GRAVESTONE of FRATA (BEAR) BACH

* Margaret Ann ARMSTRONG was the step-mother of Thomas E. ARMSTRONG, first husband of Dollie Ann (BEAR) ARMSTRONG MAGGARD. Dollie Ann was the first-born child of Solomon "Sol" BEAR and his 2nd wife, Amanda Elvina (DULY) BEAR.

**Adam BEAR enlisted at the age of 26 on December 25, 1863 and served as a Private in Company G of the 29th Iowa Infantry. He was wounded and held as a P.O.W. on April 2, 1864 at Terre Noir Creek, Arkansas. Pvt. BEAR died of his wounds at Camden, Arkansas, on June 19, 1864.

***John BEAR enlisted at the age of 24 years on October 14, 1862. He was mustered into service on October 18, 1862 with Company C, 3rd Battalion of the Souther Border Brigade. He later enlisted with Company D, 8th Iowa Cavalry. The regiment was on the move to Atlanta, Georgia, with the Army of the Cumberland when John developed chronic bronchitis and a heart problem, brought on by the bitterly cold winter. John was hospitalized at Nashville, Tennessee, later transferred to Keokuk, Iowa. Eight months later he was mustered out of service on May 27, 1865.

****Frank S. LOCKE was a local doctor and preacher.

HISTORY SOURCE: Ramon L. "Ray" BEAR, great-grandson of Solomon Bear, secretary and historian of the Solomon Bear Family Reunion

SOURCES: www.censusdiggins.com/ringgoldcw.html
Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers Vol. 6. 1911.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, 2008; updated August of 2009

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Other Ringgold County webpages that may be of interest are:

    BEAR Family

    Bear Cemetery, Monroe Township, Ringgold County, Iowa.

    Civil War Gravestones of Adam and John BEAR

    Solomon BEAR Biography
      Pages 252-53, Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, 1887

    Solomon "Sol" BEAR Biography.

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To submit you Ringgold County gravestone photographs, go to

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http://iowagravestones.org/submit.php

or

To submit your Ringgold County gravestone photographs,
contact Sharon R. Becker at srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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