Forbes Cemetery, Oakland Twp, Louisa Co IA
Forbes Cemetery
Section 10, Oakland Twp
Louisa County, Iowa

Little is known of the exact number of burials at Forbes cemetery.  Virtually all the stones are either gone or illegible.  The cemetery is now marked by a hand painted sign nailed to a pole near its entrance.  Initial cleanup efforts were begun by Betty Bekker Forbes, wife of Gerald Forbes.  Others have since continued to keep an eye on this little cemetery to insure its survival.

The WPA records for Forbes Cemetery yielded the following listings for Forbes Cemetery:
John D. Forbes, died 1855, age 65
Paulina A. Forbes, no dates
Dr. E. I. Sabin, died 16 Oct 1879, age 61

"The Fork of the Rivers: History is People" published 1978 also lists 4 children of Dr. Sabin as buried here; Galon, Hannah N., Jacob and one illegible looks like Sacamp.  Additionally the book lists the following as probable burials at Forbes:
Francis Asbury Forbes, born abt 1816 in Ohio, died between 1860 and 1870
Millie (Millia) Dyer or Dyers Forbes born abt 1827 in Indiana, died prior to 1870

According to the 1978 publication "The Fork of the Rivers: History is People" by the late Mabel Estle Brown, it is noted the following regarding the family of Francis Asbury Forbes:

"This family lived in Oakland, Sec 10.  The land is still occupied by a great, great, great grandson Leroy (Bub) Forbes.

The 1870 cs (census) shows Millia living with the John Woods family, probably on the old home place after Francis Asbury Forbes was gone.  The Forbes cemetery is nearby.  The first school house in Oakland Twp was also just south of the home and east of the family cemetery.  It was a small log cabin built by neighbors on the west bank of what is now the Cone Marsh in Section 10."  (Bear in mind the publication date)

On Paulina A. Forbes, the book shows her to be the daughter of Francis Asbury Forbes and his second wife, Millie.
Paulina was born about 1853 and died before 1870.  In regard to John D. Forbes, found on the WPA list, Fork of the River indicates he was born abt 1790 in New York, and died 1855, buried at Forbes Cemetery and shows his middle initial as G.  The book further indicates that John's wife Annie b. 1811 in PA, no death date listed, is also buried at Forbes.

In regards to Dr. I.E. Sabin, the book gives us the following information:
"Isaiah E. Sabin, M.D. born circa 1814 (19) in Ohio, died 16 Oct 1879, buried Forbes Cemetery.  It is thought that Dr. Sabin was the first doctor in the fork of the rivers.
wife Mary D. (surname unknown) b. ca 1824, Ohio.
Buried with the father are four children, but no dates are given. The Sabin monument is the sole monument left in 1977 in the Forbes Cemetery
Children buried with the father :              Galon O.  no dates
                                                                   Hannah N. b. ca 1855/56
                                                                   Jacob        b. ca 1855/56 (Twins?)
                                                                   Sacamp? (illegible)
(the estimated dates are from the 1856 State and 1860 Federal Census of the area)

In summary, the list of those known or  believed buried at Forbes Cemetery are:
John D or G. Forbes, died 1855, age 65
Annie Forbes, wife of John, no dates
Paulina A. Forbes, no dates, dau of Francis & Millie Dyer Forbes
Dr. E. I. Sabin, died 16 Oct 1879, age 61
Francis Asbury Forbes, born abt 1816 in Ohio, died between 1860 and 1870
Millie (Millia) Dyer or Dyers Forbes born abt 1827 in Indiana, died prior to 1870
Galon O.  Sabin, no dates, son of Dr. I.E. Sabin
Hannah N. Sabin  b. ca 1855/56 dau of Dr. I.E. Sabin
Jacob Jezrell Sabin  b. ca 1855/56 (Twins?) son of Dr. I.E. Sabin
Sacamp? Sabin, child of Dr. I.E. Sabin (illegible)

There appear to have been several other graves but it is not known as to whom they may belong.  There are several tiny stones which cannot be read which appear to be the markers of children.

As can be seen in the photographs, a few of the stones have now been recovered but most are not legible.

Our thanks go out to Pat Hoback, daughter of Mabel Estle Brown, for giving us permission to place information from this book online.

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