HIGHWAY, WANDA - Dawes County, Nebraska | WANDA HIGHWAY - Nebraska Gravestone Photos

Wanda HIGHWAY

West Ash Creek Road Cemetery
Dawes County,
Nebraska

Inscription:
WANDA
HIGHWAY
1923
S. SWINBANK COM’RS (County Commissioner)
D. MCMILLAN “ (County Commissioner)
H. T. Braddock “ (County Commissioner)
J.J. RASMUSSEN SUR (County Surveyor)
R.E. BACON ROAD O’R SEER (County Road Overseer)

Comment:
The oral history of this stone follows: A young woman by the name of Wanda was the cook for the road construction gang. Some say she was an American Indian. After her death the Dawes County Commissioners placed a gravestone alongside the road, and presumably the burial was here also. Since no one knew Wanda’s last name, the stone was inscribed “WANDA HIGHWAY”

Despite the often repeated oral history noted above, perhaps a more accurate account comes from the July 4th Bicentenial (1776-1976) Chadron Record Supplement:

"While grading for the Ash Creek road in 1923 the skeleton of what was believed to be an Indian woman was uncovered in the roadway. Residents of the area built a wooden coffin, lined it with satin and reburied the remains atop a hill along the road, conducting a regular burial ceremony and erecting a stone on the grave. In later years the wind and rain erosion caused the grave marker to topple, but the grave is still there. In the accompanying photos, the coffin with the remains is pictured above, while the lower photo shows the grave and marker with the group that gathered for the reburial ceremony. The photos were furnished by Mrs. Elwin Wohlers, who is the little girl with her finger in her mouth at the left upper photo."

The stone was moved in 1959 from the high road bank on the west side of the road to the current location on the east side of this sandy-dirt road.

Contributed on 11/14/05 by JimNebraska99
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Record #: 1994

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Submitted: 11/14/05 • Approved: 12/6/05 • Last Updated: 2/16/13 • R1994-G0-S3

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