There are three historic pioneer cemeteries on the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant land: the Miller family cemetery, the Pioneer cemetery, and the Thoelke cemetery. When the federal government bought the land for the ordnance plant in 1942, no more burials were allowed and the U.S. Army assumed responsibility for the care and maintenance of the cemeteries. Click on a photo to access burial records for each cemetery listed here.
Oldest and largest of three cemeteries inside Badger Ordnance Plant. Deeded Nov 23, 1864 but burials were much earlier than that. Cemetery association dissolved. It is well kept by the plant. When the Government bought the land for Badger Ordnance in 1942, no more burials were allowed.
There are records of 234 burials in the Pioneer Cemetery
The Pioneer Cemetery
As one walks through these cemeteries and looks at the crumbling monuments, fascinating stories come to mind of the early days on the Sauk Prairie and the lives of the immigrants and their children who settled the area, plowed the land for farms, built homes, churches and schools.
Around 1854, land was set aside on the Thoelke farm for burials. Theland remained in the family until acquired by the Immanuel Church Evangelical Association, but it kept its original name.
The property was adjacent to the home of John Thilke, who is buried in the cemetery. The last burial was in 1934.
Carl Bachschmidt, a Civil War veteran, was buried here in 1879. Total burials in the Thoelke Cemetery are 37.
Little is known about the Miller family cemetery except that three children were buried here from 1852-1862, all under the age of three.
You can help preserve these cemeteries
The Badger Oversight and Management Commission of Sauk County has appointed an Ad Hoc Cemetery Committee to develop a long term maintenance and preservation plan for care of the cemeteries when federal funds are no longer available for the care of the cemeteries. The U.S. Army at Badger has done an excellent job in protecting and maintaining the cemeteries, however, many gravestones are weathered, worn, and illegible.
The Badger Cemetery Committee is reaching out to the community to identify descendants or relatives of those individuals buried at Badger, or citizens who are interested in working with others to protect, maintain, and care for the cemeteries. Preliminary plans for a "Friends Group" or Foundation have been initiated to join together in honoring, respecting, and protecting those early pioneers and their families who settled on the Sank Prairie in the early 1800's, and are buried on the Sauk Prairie. A Badger Cemetery Fund has been started at the Sauk County Historical Society to meet these goals.
Please help the Badger Cemetery Committee by identifying yourself as a descendant, by volunteering, or by donating to assist in the care and protection of the three historic cemeteries at Badger. If you, or someone you know, is a descendant of individuals buried at Badger, or if you are a concerned citizen who would like to participate in this venture, please fill out the form on the link below and send to the indicated address. Thank you.