The National Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will conduct a dedication ceremony 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the New Richmond Cemetery to honor Alonzo Kibbe, who was last Civil War soldier of St. Croix County. Kibbe spent most of his adult life in New Richmond and is buried in the cemetery.
Alonzo Kibbe died Oct. 22, 1943, at the age of 99. He received full military honors and was laid to rest beside his wife, Emma,in the New Richmond Cemetery.
The National Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War has embarked on a project to mark the graves of the last Civil War soldier buried in every county of every state in the U.S. The St. Croix County Historical Society in Hudson was contacted and began the process of setting up a dedication ceremony for Kibbe.
LaVonne McCombie and Wayne Haut of the SCCHS began the process by getting in touch with the Wisconsin commander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and later, Doug Ubanski, the Minnesota commander to complete the process. The organization also purchased a grave marker. Members reached out to the New Richmond Heritage Center, who also got involved with the planning of the ceremony.
American Legion Post 80 will, present arms, fire the salute and perform taps during the ceremony.
Alonzo R. Kibbe
Alonzo Kibbe was born in Jefferson County, N.Y., Sept. 22, 1844, to Pell C. Kibbe and Tabitha Livingston Kibbe. He came west with his parents in the spring of 1855 on the first boat through that year.
The family settled on a farm near Janesville, Wis., but moved to another farm near Monroe, Wis., the next spring. In 1856 they again moved, this time to West Union, Iowa. Early in 1862, Alonzo left his family and came to Wisconsin to visit relatives at Janesville. Here on Aug. 15, 1862 he enlisted in the 12th Wisconsin Battery a month before his 18th birthday.
Kippe's main Civil War engagements were at Iuka, Corinth, Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, Allatoona and Savannah. While at Vicksburg he was ill and granted a furlough to go back to his parent's home in Iowa. After two months he returned to his battery, serving until Dec. 15, 1864, when he was wounded in the right shoulder and left arm at the siege of Savannah. Kibbe was transferred to the hospitals at Beaufort, South Carolina, Fort Schuyler, New York and finally to the Swift U.S. General Hospital at Prairie de Chien, Wis. Kibbe was discharged from service on May 10, 1865.
In June 1865, he came to the town of Warren in St. Croix county where his relatives were living and bought land there. He married Martha Davis of West Union, Iowa. In November 1868, they moved to New Richmond. Martha Kippe died in 1869. On July 22, 1871, Alonzo married Emma Kidder. To this marriage there were three children, Mae Kibbe Duer, George and Delia.
In the early days he worked on the construction of the first Methodist Episcopal Church, which stood on the land now east of Main Street and north of the Soo Line tracks. He made all the pews by hand from rough lumber. The pews for the first Congregational, the first Baptist and the first Catholic churches of New Richmond also were handmade by Kibbe.
At one time he operated a sawmill at Brookville, which was seven miles southeast of Baldwin. With the Bixby brothers and Alfred Pierce, he built a grain elevator of 40,000 bushels capacity. This business was later sold to C.W. Mosher. He also built the first bank building for J.W. McCoy.
For several years, Alonzo was in the contracting and carpentry work and operated a general woodworking shop which was located east of Main Street and north of the road bridge across the Willow River. Later he served as New Richmond's justice of the peace for 25 years.