Marker stands test of time, but man's significance is lost

Rachel Bagley grave site in Udolpho Cemetery.

About 10 miles north of Austin stands what might be the biggest memorial to a Civil War veteran in the region, although the soldier was a private who served fewer than three months at the end of the war.

Udolpho Cemetery is on a gravel road, within sight of U.S. 218. The gravemaker is tall — maybe 15 feet — and honors Henry Bagley.

Why Bagley is so honored — there are several graves of other Civil War veterans in the cemetery — is a mystery. No one's quite sure who made the marker, or why.

Tom Mauer of Plainview, who has found about 9,000 Civil War veterans' graves in this region, said most other markers of veterans graves are small and often made of limestone, which is weathering away. Some are at even at ground level so they're hard to see.

Not Bagley's.


The base and statue are carved in granite so it's withstanding time and weather. Next to it is the smaller, though still impressive, grave of his wife, Rachel Bagley..

According to the web site Find a Grave, Bagley was a pioneer who journied with his parents from New York state to the Udolpho area in 1857; another part of the biography says he was born in Iowa. He married Rachel Green, who also came to the area from New York state.

Bagley enlisted Feb. 15, 1865, as a private in the 1st Minnesota heavy artillery unit; he was discharged on May 4, 1865.

He returned to the farm and lost his right hand while threshing in 1875. He moved to Minneapolis in 1884 to work in the mercantile business, but returned six years later. In 1902, he moved to Washington state where he bought a fruit ranch. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage on Feb. 13, 1906. His wife died two years before him.

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