IAGenWeb Bremer County Cemeteries

Notes about some of the cemeteries


Alcock Cemetery is located on Highway 63 approximately 2 1/2 miles southwest of Frederika. The physical address is 1280 Larrabee. On November 3, 1870, Elizabeth (Peacock) Alcock died of typhoid fever. Her daughter, Hannah, died on November 21, 1870. It was Elizabeth's wish to be buried on the Alcock homestead. Upon her death, she was buried on the farm. At the same time Charles Alcock donated three and a half acres for a cemetery and it became Alcock Cemetery. Eight of their ten children were buried in the cemetery. William died at 1-1/2 years and is buried in the Hillside Cemetery in Platteville, Wisconsin and Ambrose, who is buried at Groveland Cemetery in New Hampton, Iowa.

Andrews Cemetery is located in the southeast quarter of section 15 of Lafayette Township and was platted in 1865. The first burial was Emma, infant daughter of Joseph Brown, who died December 30, 1865, aged three months and fifteen days.

Fremont Township Cemetery was first located on the southwest quarter of section 11 on land belonging to J. O. Buckman. The first burial was John Franklin, Sr. who died October 7, 1860. The cemetery was moved to the southwest quarter of section 15 in the fall of 1878. Andrew Carstensen donated the first land. On May 3, 1902, they bought a piece of land for $45. In 1917 Charles Franklin sold them 1,493 acres for $251.28. The first coffins were made of black walnut by D. P. Welling and Son. The first death in the township was an infant of Mr. and Mrs. John Hall in 1859. The bodies were moved to the present location in the fall of 1878. Martin Thomas, an ex-slave is also buried here. He worked on the railroad in Tripoli. In 1904 a cemetery association was formed and did various projects to make money to maintain the cemetery. Several years later a committee of five ladies adopted a constitution and by-laws. During this time the Sexton worked for $1.25 a day and opened a child's grave for 50 cents. In 1909 a member was taxed fifty cents extra a year for extra work which needed to be done at the cemetery. In 1924 a sign was purchased which read "Fremont Cemetery" and was placed on the arch over the gate. In 1925 a permanent fund was established from two gifts of $25 each. This may have been the beginning of the perpetual fund. Now the lots are sold with the perpetual fund added. The cemetery receives a levy from the township along with the interest from the perpetual fund in order to maintain the cemetery. Every three years the Commemorative Service is held at Fremont Cemetery, located one mile south, one mile east and one third mile south of Tripoli.

Grove Hill Cemetery is located in Franklin Township, section 4 on Highway 3. Simeon Peck of Dayton Township died on April 15, 1855 and is buried in the cemetery.

Harlington Cemetery was platted by H. S. Hoover by direction of Henry Harlington Couse and his wife Caroline, owners of the property. The plot was recorded October 30, 1865. Mr. Couse died in 1880; his son-in-law Mr. S. H. Curtis purchased the cemetery. In 1921 the city of Waverly purchased the cemetery from the estate of S. H. Curtis. If you need to contact someone at the cemetery, please call or write: Harlington Cemetery, 200 1st St NE, Waverly, IA 50677-2604, Tel: 319-352-6263.

In 1858 George Lease donated the land for Horton Cemetery. The land was covered with oak, black walnut, and elm trees. A board of trustees managed the business affairs but did nothing to beautify the cemetery or make it a fitting placed for loved ones to be buried. They only cleared brush as needed for burials. The first burials were the daughter of A and H Showalter in April 1858 and the daughter of Chancy and Jane Lease in July 1858. The bodies of several who had died and were buried north of Smith Grove were later moved to Horton Cemetery. In 1875 a woman named Mrs. Nancy Haines became very interested in the improvement of the cemetery. She called on the women in the community, putting in many hours with her horse and buggy. At this time, she called a meeting of these women, which was the first cemetery meeting. There has been land added to the cemetery at different times. In 1945 Caroline McDonald donated land on the west and south in memory of her deceased husband, Charles McDonald, whose parents and grandparents were early settlers and are buried there. One doctor and four ministers: Dr. Moody, Rev. Jacob George, Rev. David Terry Rev. D. N. Thompson and Rev. Spencer Summerlin are buried in the cemetery. Also buried here are 57 veterans: 32 Civil War veterans, 18 World War I veterans, one Black Hawk War veteran, one World War II veteran, two Korean War veterans and four peace time veterans. The Horton Cemetery Society has been managed by a board of nine women for many years. Officers in 1985 were President, Ruby Carpenter; Vice President, Mary Wood; Secretary, Mildred Dietz; Treasurer, Elizabeth Liddle; Directors: Grace Ihde, Geraldine Johnston, Norma Biekert, Marie Zwanziger and Darlene Hemmingson.

Jackson Township or Sewell Cemetery is located two miles west of Highway 218 on the old Air Base road, situated high on the southeast corner of a T intersection. The exact location is 1200 250 Street. According to the 1983 cemetery book, the cemetery began in 1857 with one acre of land in the northwest corner of section 21 which Matthew Rowen sold to the Jackson Township trustees. However, according to the 1985 History of Bremer County, the land was sold for burying grounds on June 30, 1855 by Soloman W and Cynthia Ingham to Thomas Sewell, Andrew Daily and Henry P. Moore, Bremer County trustees. It was sold for six and one-fourth dollars. Which version of the cemetery's origin is correct isn't known.

Mentor-Fay Cemetery is located in Leroy Township. Hattie Parkhurst, wife of Andrew Parkhurst, who died in October 1856, is buried there.

Messenger Cemetery was set aside as a burial place in section 25 of Jefferson Township, south of Denver. It consists of a half acre of land and was deeded to the township by E. J. Messinger/Messenger.

Oakland Cemetery is located one mile north of Janesville. The first burials were Charles and Chancey Thomas, two young boys who drowned on August 19, 1851.

Spring Lake Cemetery is located in Lafayette Township. Mrs. W. O. Edgington was buried there in January 1855. Two other burials are Betsy Cockman, wife of John Cockman, who died May 7, 1880, aged 47 yrs 5 mos and Charles Cockman (Sept 8, 1864 - March 11, 1915.

St. John's Maxfield Cemetery was created in November 1857 when Charles and Angeline Bruns sold five acres of land in the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 19, township 91, range 12, to three trustees of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, F. Notger, John Kehe, and Conrad Oltrogge. The price was $20.

St. Paul's Artesian Cemetery was laid out in 1871.The first burial was John Frederich. It is owned by St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Artesian.

The land for St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery, Waverly, was purchased with $300 collected by the women's society of the church, which was organized in 1872.

The first burial in Town Line Cemetery was a son of Proctor Smith in the summer of 1856.

Until S. F. Cass privately opened the Union Mound Cemetery in 1892, families in the area had to travel to Wilson Grove to bury their dead. Mr. Cass chose a site on the northwest corner of Sumner to establish the new cemetery. It was an area where drainage created no problems and the soil was sandy. The cemetery included 480 lots of 12 by 20 feet and additional acreage for expansion. A border of 87 fir trees and a picket fence surrounded the cemetery. The fence might surprise some today as it was painted red, white and blue. According to Mr. Cass, this was because of the Union name. In 1914 an association was formed to see to the maintenance but the property itself remained in the Cass family. An effort to deed the cemetery over to the city of Sumner in 1930 failed because the city did not wish to increase its financial load during the Depression years. In 1948 the Cass estate deeded the cemetery to the Union Mound Cemetery Association in return for perpetual care for the family plots. The city took over ownership of the land in 1964.

Walling/Fifield/Gillett Cemetery, now abandoned, consisted of an acre of ground, donated by Mrs. Olive Gihlett/Gillett. The first burial was the son of Mr. Robinson in the fall of 1853.

Warren Evangelical Cemetery was laid out in 1875. The first burial was the wife of John Yojrs in 1875, although her name is not in the 1983 cemetery book listing for the cemetery.

West Point Cemetery is located on top of a knoll about four miles west of Janesville in the southwest part of Jackson Township. The land was purchased for $5 from Isaac West on October 10, 1863 by the Union Ground Burying Society. At that time Waverly Junction, a railroad junction connecting Waverly with the Rock Island line, was still a community, and the cemetery was known as the Waverly Junction Cemetery. The cemetery was neglected until May 22, 1922 when a group of neighbors and friends formed a cemetery organization. They cleaned it up, planted perennials, and changed the name to West Point Cemetery. A transcription of burials in this cemetery will be found in the USGenWeb Iowa Archives for Bremer County.

Between 1862 to 1865, the cemetery that would become Willow Lawn Cemetery, was started two miles north of the present town of Plainfield in a community called Syracuse. The town of Plainfield was platted October 16, 1866, and in 1872 the cemetery was moved to this town. The cemetery was privately owned in the early years, located on the J. Roach Sons farm. On July 18, 1913, a group of citizens formed the Willow Grove Cemetery Association. The name was later changed to Willow Lawn.

Begun in 1858, Wilson Grove Cemetery was the first land set aside for the dead in the Sumner area. At a meeting in February of that year, Abel Perkins was appointed chairman and Wm. G. Gabe, secretary, of the cemetery association. They began to clear the land in March and plot the lots, which were sold for $1.50 each. By 1885 approximately 150 graves had been dug at Wilson Grove. The cemetery was enlarged in May 1919 and again in October 1953. The oldest section is the westernmost part of the cemetery. At the time of the cemetery's founding, Sumner had not yet been established, and Wilson Grove was the center of a small local population, which explains its name.