Historic Brookside Cemetery
Brookside Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in the State of Michigan. Located on the west side of North Union Street it is very scenic with lots of beautiful trees and paved pathways that meander through the cemetery. Tecumseh’s original cemetery was located on the south side of town where the current Elliott Park is on East Kilbuck. In the 1850’s as the village grew a larger cemetery was needed and those graves were moved to Brookside.
Some of Tecumseh’s original settlers are buried in Brookside including Abi Evans who lies with two of her small children whom died in the early years of the settlement. Abi came from the East as did many of the original settlers. She came with her young family and husband Musgrove Evans who had surveyed the area. Her older brother General Jacob Brown had commanded the U.S. Army in the War of 1812. Another brother Joseph would move to Tecumseh also. He would lose two of his children on Christmas day when they fell through the ice with their new skates. While taking care of her own family Abi helped house and feed the original settlers. When she died in March of 1832 she was only 43. A local settler wrote of her:
No one ever solicited her advice without being deeply impressed with the intellectual strength and gentleness of her nature. When she left the whole community wept and mourned like children who had lost a dearly-loved mother.
After Abi’s death her husband Musgrove moved to Texas with their remaining children. One son Samuel Brown Evans would lose his life at the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.
There are some beautiful monuments in the cemetery including one for those killed in the American Civil War. The Monument depicts a bearded soldier, musket in hand ready to meet the foe. Surrounding the monument are graves of veterans who survived the war including Patrick Blair of the 42nd United States Colored Infantry who fought for his freedom and Civil War nurse Marion Bannister one of only two nurses from the state that received a pension for her services.
There is an obelisk monument in the front of cemetery the honoring those that died in World War II and the Spanish American War. On the back of the monument is a little bronze plaque made from the Battleship Maine and another listing all those that graduated from Tecumseh High School killed during World War II. Behind the monument is a large boulder honoring those who served in the Great War the war to end all wars World War I. It was donated by Henry Bissell who was a veteran of the Civil War. Henry served with the famed Tecumseh Volunteers of the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was in 42 battles and wounded four times. He is also buried in Brookside.
Brookside is listed as a Michigan Historic Site and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. It has many fascinating stories to tell all them wrapped throughout the fabric of Michigan and American History.