CHAMBERS, MCKAY, BLUE, YOUNG, PEASE, LORIMOR, PATTERSON, HEIN, BARGER
Posted By: Karyn - volunteer
Date: 4/26/2017 at 20:26:14
The Chambers Cemetery
A copy of your paper of July 27, 1933 has been given to us by a friend who is a subscriber, because of an erroneous statement in regard to what you call the "Singleton Grave Yard". To be exact we quote the paragraph "verbatim" from your article; "The Singleton Grave Yard was started by the drowning of a man in Walnut Creek in the early days." First, there never was a Singleton Grave Yard on Walnut Creek. It is and always has been the Chambers' Grave Yard. The man drowned in Walnut Creek was buried there but others were buried there before him.
Our Grandmother, Gartra Chambers was the first one to be buried there on their own farm. The story is this: Grandfather was away in St. Louis buying machinery for a saw-mill near Thurman (Fremont City then). The farm stable, a thatched roof, caught fire and trying to rescue the horses, Grandmother was so badly burned that she died later of the burns, May 1857. Being unable to reach Grandfather, the children buried her body on the farm where she now lies.
On his return Grandfather decided to leave the body where it was. It was his sons Harlow (our Father) and Will (only recently deceased) and his sons-in-law William Blue, Milton Young, D. B. McKay, who staked off a plot to be used as a private family cemetery. Not long after this a terrible storm occurred in that Region and Grandpa Pease was struck by lightening and killed. As there was no chance of getting to Sidney with the corpse Grandfather allowed it to be buried temporarily on his farm.
Returning home from Mr. Pease's burial, Mr. Barger, a friend of the deceased (owning the farm where Walter Lorimor now lives) fell from a foot log on which he was crossing Walnut Creek and was drowned. His body when recovered was also buried temporarily on the Chambers' farm. The same summer a fourth interment was made a child whose parents camped in the neighborhood because of its sickness died. Again Mr. Chambers was asked permission for a burial site, a permanent one, which he gave.
After thinking the matter over and discussing it with his children, Mr. Chambers finally decided to donate land from his farm for the neighborhood graveyard including the portion already so used. This donation was made at a public meeting of the men of the settlement (on election day we think it was) Then the ground now included in the Chambers Cemetery was presented to the neighborhood for a burial purposes on the condition that all burial lots should be free, no lot should be sold, and that the general upkeep expenses should be defrayed by the community. Later when civic matters became more definitely settled, the land under the same conditions was transferred to Prairie Township Officials to be called in the honor of the giver's beloved wife, the first one buried there, the Chambers' Cemetery.
Respectfully we sign ourselves a group of granddaughters of Ezekiel and Gartra Chambers.
Miss Effie Chambers
Mrs. C. S. Patterson
Mrs. C. J. Hein
August 1933 Evening Sentinel, Shenandoah, IA
Comment by the Editor, Evening Sentinel -- we are glad to publish this correction and addition to the early history of Fremont County. The item in the Sentinel of July 27 was taken from given the press years ago and quoted no doubt from the memories of early settlers. Only the early settlers can make corrections or statements given by other early settlers. The tome "Singleton Cemetery" has been in use for many years but we can assume the Chambers' descendants know the correct name and the circumstances of the origin.
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