Stewart Allis Cemetery Also known as Allis Street
Source: This article is from the copyright work of John Utzat
Stewart Allis Cemetery, formerly unnamed, was located on Milwaukee's South Side in Bay View. Its southern boundry was E. Lincoln Avenue, western boundry between S Kinnickinnic Avenue and Allis Street. It was approximately one square half acre, possibily larger. The remains from this cemetery are reported to have been removed. However there is evidence some remains may still exist. It is no longer in existance as a cemetery. It was given the current name of Stewart Allis Cemetery by South Side and Bay View author and historian John Utzat and by Robert Felber of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society.
Pioneer settler Alexander Stewart [see also Alexander Stewart Biography in marriages] was stated to have been born in Scotland in 1799, although U.S. Census records state Ireland. In 1835 he arrived in this area when Wisconsin was still the Michigan Territory and Juneautown was the city. Stewart claimed 160-acres of land in the area. Stewart was listed as a farmer, but he also sold firewood to Great Lakes ships. In 1838 he built his home on a 111-foot lot at what today would be 2030 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, (S. Kinnickinnic at Stewart St.) his home sported a wooden picket fence and stately pine trees. It was said to be the oldest existing home in Milwaukee when it was razed about 1950. He donated land for a school, and one square half acre for use as a burying ground in 1835-36.
In April of 1849, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management the property was acquired by James B. Cross who would serve as Milwaukee's mayor between 1855-57. On April 25, 1856 Cross sold the land to pioneer industrialist Edward P. Allis,who acquired 20-acres of land for industrial use. The deed had a clause reserving one square half acre "Hereby conveyed for use as a burial ground."
Stewart Allis Cemetery was one of the earliest cemeteries in Milwaukee County. According to pioneer historian James Buck, there were numerous burials from 1836 well into the 1840s at the cemetery. It was during the 1850s that the last known burials took place. Probably because the family no longer owned the land, when Alexander Stewart passed on July 12, 1865 his sons, John and Robert, purchased family lots at the relatively new Forest Home Cemetery, located about two-miles west of Stewart Allis.
In 1870, Allis St., named for E.P. Allis was built over part of cemetery acreage. On December 3, 1879, still under the ownership of E.P. Allis, a road grader working on Lincoln Avenue at Allis St unknowingly unearthed a row of graves strewing skeletal remains against the old wood cemetery fence. On July 14, 1881 seven Stewart family members or relatives who were buried at Stewart Allis were removed and transferred to the Stewart's lot at Forest Home. During this period of time historian James Buck stated that many of those buried at Stewart Allis were being removed to other cemeteries. Again in 1884 workers making an excavation in Allis St. discovered a number of human remains.
In October of 1885 Allis had sold his property. Paul Gauer, Bay View's Socialist Alderman from 1920 through 1936, often walked through the abandoned cemetery on his way to the new St. Augustine's Catholic school in 1888. He stated the abandoned cemetery had not yet been built upon. Bay View historian William Donahoe noted the abandoned cemetery had become a popular picnic site.
Again in November of 1897 workers excavating ground for realtor Herman Hafemeister's new building at present day 422 E. Lincoln Avenue found a large number of human remains. Although the site has been long built upon, there is a good possibility that graves still exist in the area.
Source: Milwaukee Daily Journal, (Milwaukee, WI) Tuesday, August 04, 1885; col G
Odd Playthings for Children
The Result of Digging up an Old Cemetery on Lincoln Avenue
There is still a great deal of complaint because the bones dug up in the old cemetery at the corner of Lincoln and Kinnickinnic avenues have not been removed and property cared for. They came to the surface during grading operations some weeks since, and since then skulls have been the common playthings of school children. They were finally boxed up, but should be removed. The tract ought really to be public property, as it was donated to the county in the cholera times of 1848, but when a portion of the town of Lake was taken into the city, it was erroneously asscessed and went on a tax title.