University Hill 1837
The first non-native burials in Madison were here in the 1830s on what we now know as Bascom Hill. The hill was used as a burying ground from ~1837 to 1846 when the Village cemetery opened.

In 1909 the Lincoln Statue was first placed on University Hill. Later it was decided to move the statue closer to Main Hall, and that a terrace would be built around it. On July 13, 1918 while excavating the site human bones were found.

The skeletons were identified as William Nelson and Samuel Warren, two men who died in Madison’s very early beginnings and were buried here. Rusty nails were also found among the bones so it’s believed they were buried in wooden coffins that rotted away. Markers were put into the terrace with their initials and the year of their death. The bones are still there.



William Nelson:
Died of typhoid fever in 1837

Samuel Warren:
Struck by lightning in 1838. Construction worker here to work on Madison's first Capitol building



Two others that were burried here, Tabitha Burgoyne Bird (mother of Augustus A. Bird) and her son Zenas Henry were moved to the Sun Prairie Cemetery.