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Sons of Union Veterans hope to donate flagpole to cemetery

June 7, 2011

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is charged with caring for the graves of Civil Wars veterans, and the local chapter wants to do just that by donating a flagpole to Oak Hill Cemetery.

The cemetery at 114th Street and Capitol Drive is home to two Civil War veterans: Private Johann Bahler of Company I, Wisconsin Infantry, and Levi Halsted, surgeon with the 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery. Halsted also is known as the Wauwatosa pioneer who built the Little Red Store in 1854, the community's first railroad station and post office.

For the past 15 years, the Col. C.K. Pier Badger Camp One and Auxiliary have helped maintain Oak Hill Cemetery, group chaplain Deacon Dean Collins explained in a letter to the city. With the help of Boy Scout Troop 61 from Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Parish in Milwaukee, the group has trimmed hedges, pulled weeds, planted flowers, picked up garbage and remounted fallen gravestones. The cemetery has been the site of five Eagle Scout projects, including one that erected the wooden fence that surrounds the property.

Prior to work sessions, the groups raise a flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance - and each time, they use a makeshift flagpole fashioned from plumbing pipes.

After fundraising, the groups want to donate the nearly $1,800 it will cost to buy and install an aluminum flagpole to Wauwatosa.

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