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Abandoned Cemeteries
Decatur County, Iowa

What is an abandoned cemetery?

An abandoned cemetery is one that is located near the site of a present-day ghost town or on the site of a family homestead. If the cemetery was affiliated with a rural church, the cemetery becomes abandoned when the church closes its door. Sometimes an abandoned cemetery falls into a state of neglect because there is no longer any active and regular care.

A Pioneer Cemetery, as defined by the State of Iowa, is a cemetery having less then six burials during the last fifty years.

ABANDONED CEMETERIES:

    Allen Scott Cemetery     Becker Cemetery    Campbell Cemetery
    Campbell Cemetery    Chase Cemetery     Clinton Cemetery
   Cowles Cemetery     Fugate Cemetery    Hamilton House Cemetery
    Hatfield Cemetery     Hazen Cemetery     Kline Cemetery
   Lewis Cemetery     Madarasz Cemetery     McDaniel Cemetery
    Millsap/Grand River Cemetery    Millsap/Indian Graveyard     Mormon Cemetery
   Newman/Doze Cemetery     Sage Cemetery    Salem Mennonite Cemetery
   Waller Cemetery    West Cemetery    Westervelt Cemetery
   White Oak Cemetery     Winters Cemetery 

Allen Scott Cemetery
Hamilton Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Pleasanton
No tombstones

History: Allen Scott, one of the first settlers in Decatur County, was an Indian agent and operated a trading post, post office and mill near what is now Nine Eagles State Park. This cemetery was located near a grove of black locust trees and had several tombstones at one time. A road was built in the 1890's through the area and the cemetery destroyed.

Allen Scott, who lived in Section 19, buried several members of his family on what was later known as the Duncan Campbell farm. (See also Campbell Cemetery.)

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Becker Cemetery
New Buda Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Davis City
No tombstones

History: The story goes that "Old Lady Becker" was buried in the trees across the stagecoach road from her house. There may have been another grave before hers. There are no tombstones, but a flat stone was found nearby. According to Becker family history, Anthony (Anton) Becker (born 1813, Germany) and his wife, Sybella (Sibilla, born 1823, Germany, but alive in 1895) along with Sybella's mother, Mrs. Theodore Klein, and Sybella's sister, Gertrude Scheifelbush, came to Decatur County in 1853 to live on the Becker farm located on the Iowa-Missouri line in New Buda Township. The "Old Lady Becker" could have been the mother, although names, places and dates of burials are unknown.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Anton Becker was born about 1813 to 1814 at Koblenz, Germany, known as Prussia then. He married Anna Sybella Klein, birth about 1820/1824. They came to America June 13, 1853 on the Emblem to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi River to Burlington, Iowa, where they had been promised land. They settled in New Buda Township, near Davis City, in Decatur Co., Iowa. Their sons, Peter and Joseph, were listed on the Emblem ship's manifest with them. There was no listing of the sons on the 1854 Iowa State census so they must have died in the cholera epidemic. Son Francis Benedict Becker was born in 1856, and died in 1930, Daviess Co. MO. Another son, Willis Becker, was born after Francis.

Becker Family: First Generation in America, Chapter One.

Campbell Cemetery
Eden Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Leon
Family plot, No tombstones

History: Caroline "Carrie" (Boyer) Campbell, wife of James Kidd Campbell, died at her home and wanted to be buried under the peach tree in the front yard (off the northeast corner of house). It was marked by a cement slab, "Caroline (Boyer) Campbell 1901."

In 1975 the house was torn down and burned and the land plowed. The cement slab was lost. Her husband was buried in the Leon Cemetery in 1931. There is a small, individual marker on the Campbell lot there: "In Memoriam Caroline Campbell 1863 - 1901". An additional W.P.A. listing is that of "Campbell, Carrie (Boyer) died 1906, aged 39".

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Campbell Cemetery
Hamilton Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Pleasanton
No tombstones

History: A large area is mowed along the south side of the road, with lovely flowers. A large red boulder (4x6 foot) has a bronze plate (14x20 inches) on the west side of the boulder: "Campbell Memorial Garden".

A 1915 History reports that Allen Scott, an early settler in Hamilton Township, lived in Section 19. A wife and daughter, whom he had deserted in Indiana, visited him. They were frozen to death in a snowstorm after leaving his store and were buried in the orchard of what later was known as the Duncan Campbell farm.

Himena Hoffman's book reported that Allen Scott buried a little daughter who died of burns, near her grandfather and baby brother's graves near their home. At one time there were tombstones (names unknown) marking graves in this area.

W.P.A. Records for Campbell Cemetery:

NAME
BORN
DIED
COMMENTS
CAMPBELL, Duncan
husband of Lida Hulse
Ordained Elder, RLDS Church
29 Nov 1846
Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
16 Mar 1922
Cedar Falls IA
Gravestone at Hamilton Cemetery
Decatur Co. IA
CAMPBELL, Aldia "Lida" (HULSE)
wife of Duncan CAMPBELL
11 Aug 1848
Mentz NY
03 Jul 1900
Pleasanton IA
daughter of Herman & Elizabeth HULSE
SCOTT
daughter of Alan Scott
unknown unknown 
SCOTT
son of Alan SCOTT
unknown unknown 

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Chase Cemetery
Hamilton Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Pleasanton
No tombstones

History: This cemetery is listed in the WPA Records as abandoned. There are no tombstones. On a map of Hamilton Township in 1894, the owner of land in Section 4 was Helen J. Chase although there is no known connection with her to this cemetery.

WPA Records state:

"Chase, ------ , (Father of Dick and Reuben) died 1860"

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Clinton Cemetery
Long Creek Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Van Wert
Earliest burial (gravestone): Emily J., dau. of G.A. & L. Hamilton, d. 04 Feb 1858, AE 2y 11m 12 d
Last burial (gravestone): Olley, dau. of W.C. & M.A. Hunt, d. 03 Feb 1869, AE 21d

History: There was once an early community located in Section 22 called Clinton. (This was probably in the 1850's or 1860's.) There are no records of the settlement except for this small graveyard.

The cemetery was located on the top of a hill northeast of the William H. Hall home. The area is clearly defined but is unfenced and uncared for, with most of the stones fallen over.

Photograph courtesy of Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

Clinton Cemetery interments:

NAME
BORN
DIED
COMMENTS
CRAFT, Mary Ann
dau. J. & M.A. CRAFT
21 Feb 1858 14 Nov 1860
AE 2y 8m 24d
"In Loving Memory"
DeVORE, William
Civil War Veteran
unknown 25 May 1863served with MO troops & Home Guards
injured during the war, died shortly after returning home
GIBSON, Dison
Civil War Veteran
Co. C, 3rd IA Calvary
1815 16 Apr 1865
AE 50y
"In Loving Memory"
GIPSON, Moses
daughter of Alan Scott
  20 Mar 1863
AE 28Y
"In Loving Memory"
GUY, J. A. unknown unknownhand-carved rocks surround the child's grave
HAMILTON, Emily J.
dau. of G.A. & L. HAMILTON
23 Feb 1855 04 Feb 1858
AE 2y 11m 12d
"In Loving Memory"
HAMILTON, Generva
dau. of J. & L. HAMILTON
04 Mar 1861 04 Mar 1861
AE 2m 15d
"In Loving Memory"
HAMILTON, John
son of G.A. & L. HAMILTON
26 Apr 1859 05 Nov 1859
AE 6m 10d
"In Loving Memory"
HUNT, Olley
dau. of W.C. & M.A. HUNT
13 Jan 1869 03 Feb 1869
AE 21d
"In Loving Memory"
PALMER, Infant
child of John & Maggie (COLLINS) PALMER
13 Jan 1907 23 Jan 1907
AE 10d
no gravestone
from Courthouse Records
PALMER, J.
 
unknown unknowna rock marks the gravesite
STAPP, Infant
child of M. & E.A. STAPP
1861 10 Oct 1861"In Loving Memory"
VAUGHN, Anna W.
wife of J. D. VAUGHN
1821 1864
AE 43y
no gravestone
W.P.A. Records
VAUGHN, Clara M.
dau. of J.D. & M.A. VAUGHN
unknwon 09 Feb 1867
AE 10m 21d
"In Loving Memory"
VAUGHN, Colonel
son of J.D. & A.W. VAUGHN
unknown 06 Nov 1863
AE 3y
 
VAUGHN, Hiram S.
son of J.D. & A.W. VAUGHN
1844 16 Apr 1864
AE 20y
"In Loving Memory"

 

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach


Visit Clinton Cemetery Page

at IAGenWeb's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project Site.

Cowles Cemetery
Hamilton Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Davis City
Family Plot: abandoned

Earliest burial (gravestone): Austin Cowles, d. 15 Jan 1872, AE 79y 8m 12d
Last burial (gravestone): Irena H. Cowles, died 4 May 1876 AE 68y 10m

History: Austin and Irena H. (Elliott) Cowles came to Hamilton Township in 1854 from Ohio. On a little hill not far from the west bank of Little River they built one of the first frame houses in the township. When Austin died he was buried on his own land as he had requested. A daughter, Helen, died at about 14 years of age, but there is no family information on the place of her burial. An infant grandchild (name unknown) was buried on this lot because the river was too high to cross to New Salem Cemetery. (The infant's parents, Henry Austin and Rosie Cowles, are buried in New Salem Cemetery.)

Originally one acre of land was set aside as a cemetery. This now small area is high on a hill and appears to be abandoned. It is hard to see from the road; enclosed by an iron pipe 2 feet off the ground. Since a large, newer monument has both names on it and a broken old stone inside the enclosure with Irena's name, then the old unreadable stone outside the fence could be the original stone for Austin.

Photograph courtesy of Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

Cowles Cemetery interments:

NAME
BORN
DIED
COMMENTS
COWLES, Austin
"Father"
  15 Jan 1872
AE 79y 8m 12d
inside row
COWLES, Austin & Irena
2nd gravestone
   "They chose virture as their truest guide, lived as Christians as Christians died."
COWLES, Irena H.
wife of A. COWLES
  04 May 1876
AE 68y 10m
original gravestone
unknown
stone is illegible
unknown unknownsite outside of pipe
COWLES, Infant
child of Henry Austin & Rosie COWLES
unknown unknown 
COWLES, unknown unknown unknown 

 

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach


Visit Cowles Cemetery Page

at IAGenWeb's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project Site.

Fugate Cemetery
Morgan Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Lineville
No gravestones

History: The Fugate Cemetery is located along the river bluffs on a farm where the Fugates lived, later known as the Drake farm. There are eight graves in this abandoned cemetery along the north fence. There are no tombstones, but there are limestone rocks, taken out of the bluffs, used as markers.

Fugate Cemetery was discontinued when the Moore Cemetery was started just across the line in Missouri. Mrs. Keith Moore, owner of this land in 1974, stated that someone has been digging for relics there, mistakenly thinking it was an Indian burial ground.

Known interments at Fugate Cemetery:

NAME
BORN
DIED
COMMENTS
BRIGHT, Hannah Jane (HART)
1st wife of Steven BRIGHT
21 Nov 1828
Augusta Co. VA
24 Oct 1858
Morgan Twp., Decatur Co. IA
W.P.A. Records
MOORE, Mrs.
1st wife of Bobby MOORE
  1852 

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Hamilton House Cemetery
Eden Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Leon
No gravestones

History: There are reports of burials at the Hamilton House. Some say 1 or 2 or 4 burials, but all agree that one was a baby. Supposedly these were along the fence at the northwest corner of the house.

The A. Hamilton house was located about 1/2 mile east of Blockley, a community consisting of a post office, stockyard and tank along the railroad. Neither Blockley nor the railroad exist now. The Hamiltons would serve meals and provide lodging for those coming through by train. No one knows the names or dates of those buried there.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Hatfield Cemetery
Eden Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Leon
No tombstones

History: There is no evidence of this cemetery left to be seen. At one time there may have been 20 to 25 burials. Some tombstones were moved along side a wire fence; some ended up in ditches; others covered by farm land.

One man remembers seeing broken tombstones which he ran over while hauling hay from the field. Another man, Art Campbell, lived on this farm and said a former owner, Barney McDaniel, was probably the last burial (before 1894). He remembers the name GRAVES written on one stone. No one knows where the Hatfield name came from, except that there were Hatfields living southwest of the area and may have been buried there.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Hazen (a.k.a. Old Funk) Cemetery
Grand River Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Grand River
No tombstones

History: This old cemetery (also called Old Funk) is listed in the W.P.A. cemetery records. On a wagon trail south of Funk's Mill (built in 1853) a pioneer family was traveling through, and buried a child, the first burial.

In the early 1850's land was secured for a new cemetery one mile east of this one. 11 or 12 graves (and 7 or 8 stones), names and dates unknown, were moved to the newer Oak Hill Cemetery.

One man remembers that when he was a boy, someone showed him where the cemetery had been. No tombstones, but that the ground looked like grave spaces.

Not much is known about the name Hazen but a 10 year old boy, Charles L., son of J.F. & M.J. HAZEN, was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in 1876.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Kline Cemetery
Franklin Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Weldon
No tombstones

History: The land for this cemetery was given by John P. Kline who was the first settler in Weldon. Weldon was laid out in 1880. There was only one known burial on the land sometime between 1881 and 1885, the 3-year-old daughter of a Methodist minister, name unknown.

A fence surrounding the grave was knocked down and a cement slab placed over the grave, which was fairly close to the road on the west side. The slab, which had no inscription, cannot be found. It was last seen in the 1930's.

Weldon and LeRoy are the only 2 communities in the county without a cemetery close to the city. Once before Weldon had set aside another section of land south of the Weldon school for a cemetery. Old Mrs. Ruffcorn was buried there, but when no one else used this cemetery, her body was moved after 2 years to the Green Bay Cemetery in Clarke County. The land was returned to farmland.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Lewis Cemetery
Franklin Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Leon
No tombstones

History: Two stillborn girls of John Frank and Alice LEWIS were buried on the west side of the house about 1900. In 1993, Larry VANDERFLUTE lived in this house. The grandson of John and Alice, Bill GARDNER and wife, Katy, told about these burials. His address in 1993 was: Box 274, Granby, CO 80446.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Madarasz Cemetery
Richland Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Grand River
No tombstones

History: This abandoned small family cemetery is not visible today, but was near the east side of the road in the SE 1/4 of Section 36. It had four graves of which two were babies. Once there were small stones, a lilac bush and a fence.

Ladislaus MADARASZ was born in Hungary, September 22, 1811 and became Secretary of State in Hungary. His first wife died in 1843 and he came to New Buda in Decatur County in 1851. Second wife, Sibila OSOLOCK, who was born in Germany in 1836, were married in Decatur County before 1862. They bought 340 acres of  land in Section 36. Their oldest daughter (Note from Janet KOZLAY: "Bela is a common boy's name in Hungary", possibly this should read oldest son), Bela L. MADARASZ, was a school teacher born in 1862 and died in 1886 and was buried in the Munyon Cemetery located one mile to the east.

It is presumed that the burials are Ladislaus and Sibila MADARASZ and two of their children, although no death records or dates can be found.

UPDATE, July of 1915: We have been informed that Ladislaus Madarasz was interred at Goodhope Cemetery, Douglas County, Missouri, which is located near where he was residing upon his death. His daughter, Hermina "Mina" (Madarasz) Bray is also interred at Goodhope Cemetery.

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

McDaniel Cemetery
Eden Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Leon
Family plot, No tombstones

History: Daniel McDANIEL and his 2nd wife, Mary Jane (KINDRED) McDANIEL, buried 2 infant daughters (one was named Fannie) on their own 40-acre farm. When Mary Jane died in 1888 she was buried next to her children.

Daniel McDANIEL was buried next to his wife in May 1901. Daniel's first wife, Mahalia, was buried in Eden (Meek) Cemetery.

Bad roads may have been the reason for burying on the farm instead of Eden Cemetery.

There were never any tombstones, but the burial plot used to be enclosed by a rail fence, now gone. Only a tree remains to mark the plot.

W.P.A. Tombstone listing: McDANIEL, Daniel, age 60 Died 1901. However, the Decatur County Courthouse lists: "Daniel McDANIEL 66 years. Died May 22, 1903 in Eden Township - buried on farm."

Source: Slade Cemetery Book

Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

Millsap/Grand River Cemetery
Grand River Township, Decatur Co., IA

Nearest town: Grand River
No tombstones

History: There are no tombstones left in this cemetery. James and Eliza Hanna MILLSAP came to Decatur County in 1851 and owned this land. Some of the family burials on this land were moved to other cemeteries, although some graves were left undisturbed.

One stone was found near a creek about 1948 by Lorine WARRICK, present owner of the land, but it cannot be found now. Someone also remembered broken stones about 1900.

One of the burials was a 10-year-old Negro boy of a neighboring family, Duane THOMPSON.

On a 1904 map, the main east/west road (now gone) ran close by this cemetery.

WPA Records state:

  • 1. "No Vets"

  • 2. John W. MILLSAP AE 49y d. 1884 "Millsap Cemetery, Decatur Township

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Millsap Child and Indian Graveyard
    Decatur Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Decatur City
    No tombstones

    History: There was an Indian Graveyard on a rise above the banks of the river, south of what was soon to be Woodmansee Cemetery.

    Joseph MILLSAP, who came to Decatur County in 1850, married Mary Ann MILLER, a Terre Haute girl, in 1851. Their second child, Columbus MILLSAP (1857 - 1861) died in an accident at the age of 4 years and he was buried in or near the Indian graveyard, back a short distance from what is now the Moses YODER, Jr. house. The little boy may have been the second person to die in the Woodmansee Valley.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Mormon Cemetery
    Garden Grove Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Garden Grove
    No tombstones

    History: On April 24, 1846 the Mormons settled Garden Grove to form a stopover settlement for thousands of Mormons moving west. Their cemetery, 1/4 mile west of town, was no doubt the first in Garden Grove Township. According to an account from the book, Discovering Historic Iowa, 1975 edition by the Iowa Dept. of Public Instruction, the cemetery contained 6 graves and the 16 foot square area was surrounded by a picket fence until about 1910. After that the cemetery was neglected and the grave markers disappeared. The Mormons left in 1852.

    There are no stones now, although 2 small lot markers with initials "E" and "C" were located. There is no fence, but one man remembered it being enclosed by a barbed wire fence. Another reported that there might have been up to 100 burials made here.

    There are several reports on what happened to the tombstones that were once located here. Some of the stories are as follows:

  • That about 1925, two men in a car with Utah license plates loaded a stone into their car and drove away -- supposedly it was the marker for a sister who was 7 or 8 years old when she died.

  • That markers were put in a ditch north of the water tower on the east side of the present mile-line road.

  • That tombstones were moved to line a cave in Wayne County.

  • Other stones used to build a basement for a house in Leon on the west side of Highway 69.

    According to the Mormon Trek West by Joseph E. Brown, 1980, "The dead were buried in a small wooded cemetery at Garden Grove; the funeral ceremonies were brief, because the pioneers worked long days in preparing their wagons for the continued march ahead."

    This cemetery land was made into a Trailside Historical Park, April, 1968 and was dedicated by the Mormons and the Decatur County Conservation Board July 15, 1973 when the Mormons erected a large granite memorial stone which reads:

    "The Latter-Day Saints at Garden Grove."

    It now has a small shelter house and picnic table and a breath-taking view from this hill in all directions.

    Mormon Cemetery Interments, W.P.A. Records:

  • BENNION, John, born 09 Nov 1786, Hawarden, Waled; died 1846, AE 50y
        son of William & Elizabeth (IBALL) BENNION; husband of Elizabeth ROBERT

  • CAMPBELL, Ann (Mrs. Wm.), died 25 Aug 1851, AE 57y

    Deaths occurring in Garden Grove according to the private journal of Elder Orson PRATT:

  • BENT, Elder Samuel, President of Garden Grove, b. 19 Jul 1778, Barre, MA; d. 16 Aug 1846, Garden Grove; Son of Joel BENT; Married 1805 Mary HILBOURNE

  • BENT, Mary (HILBOURNE), b. 1785, Vermont; d. 16 Aug 1846, Garden Grove

  • EDWARDS, William, d. 12 May 1846 of bilious fever

  • THOMAS, Samuel, d. 2 May 1846 of consumption

    From Hosea STOUT'S Journal:

  • STOUT, Hyrum (or Hirum), d. 9 May 1846 of whooping cough and black canker (scurvy). AE 18m

    From The Gathering of Zion, The Story of the Mormon Trail by Wallace STEGNER, 1964:

    "On May 4, William HUNTINGTON noted that William EDWARDS had gone out out of his head and was thought dangerous."

    Additional information received from Karla GUNZENHAUSER, Garden Grove, Iowa: "The Mormon Cemetery west of Garden Grove probably contained about 140 graves. This information is based on using "wires" to find areas of disturbed ground. The Mormons left Garden Grove in May, 1851. This is probably due to the fact they had made rope out of hemp, and were called west with the rope to prepare ferries for the greater calling to the west of all Mormons still in Iowa in 1852."

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    The inscription on the memorial plaque reads as follows:

    THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS
    AT GARDEN GROVE

    Early in 1846 thousands of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) left their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois, bound for the Great Basin in the Rocky Mountains.
    Moving Westward across Iowa, their advance company made camp here April 25, 1846, calling the site Garden Grove.
    Within two weeks, 359 men under the leadership of President Brigham Young cleared 300 acres of land, planted crops, built log houses, and cut 10,000 surplus rails for fencing and enough logs to build 40 additional houses.
    Garden Grove thus became a stopover for the many emigrant wagon trains and handcart croups that followed later. Death overtook some, however, these were buried here.
    Refreshed by their stop at this place, the Mormon pioneers went on to the Rockies where they founded cities and towns and made the desert to "Blossom as the Rose."

    Newman/Doze Cemetery
    Garden Grove Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Garden Grove
    No tombstones

    History: This unmarked grave was a single burial in a pasture. Ruth A. NEWMAN was the daughter of Lyman B. and Elizabeth (MEAD) CHASE whose farm home was located in Section 17 where this grave was located. Ruth became gravely ill. Evidently sensing her numbered days, she said as she looked out a window ... "If I die bury me over there under that oak tree in the green pasture." According to History of Decatur County (CHASE biography, p. 662) she died in her 19th year, and left a husband and one son.

    About 1955, this land was bulldozed and the tombstone was found and placed along a fence. Today the marker cannot be located.

    W.P.A. Cemetery records show a Doze Cemetery in Section 17, but no one has ever heard of a Doze Cemetery. (Victor DOZE was elected a judge of Garden Grove Township in July 1850 and may have owned this land at one time.) The name of the woman buried here has also been called "OSBORN".

    W.P.A. Records state:

  • NEWMAN, Ruth CHASE, d. 186_ AE 23. Doze Cemetery on Chas. ROE farm, Garden Grove Twp.

    Additional information from Karla GUNZENHAUSER of Garden Grove, Iowa: "The Doze and Newman Cemeteries are the same cemetery. The Doze or Newman cemetery is on land that was first owned by Victor DOZE. It was the first piece of land sold in Decatur County by the U. S. Government. It was purchased in 1849.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Sage Cemetery
    Grand River Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Grand River
    No tombstones

    History: The Sage Cemetery is listed in WPA cemetery records although no section number was given nor tombstones listed.

    Supposedly two children (names unknown) were buried on the farm in the northwest part of Section 16. This land belonged to James SAGE and his wife, Martha, who came to Decatur County in 1869. They are buried in Elk Cemetery along with an infant son who died in 1872.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Salem Mennonite Cemetery
    Center Township, Decatur Co., IA
    Note: This Cemetery is Now ACTIVE Again

    Nearest town: Leon

    Photograph courtesy of Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

    History: The first Mennonite family, the Wayne MILLERS, came to Decatur County in 1958. Others soon followed. The first church house was the Franklin Church northeast of Leon. (See Franklin Cemetery) The building now serves as the Mennonite school.

    A 1 1/2 year-old girl was the first burial in the cemetery located just north of the church.

    In 1972 a new frame church house was built 2 miles east of Leon. A wedding was held soon after it's completion.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Salem Mennonite Cemetery Transcriptions


    Visit Salem Mennonite Cemetery Page

    at IAGenWeb's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project Site.

    Waller Cemetery
    Decatur Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Decatur City
    No tombstones

    History: Catherine (SMITH) WALLER and Rev. Thomas WALLER (married 10 Dec 1842 in Green Co. IA) bought this land in 1854. Catherine died of a broken neck after falling down steps. She was buried, December 1860, in the orchard next to her 2 or possibly 3 children who had died of diphtheria. The plot is located south 1/2 mile of Highway 2, south of Keith WILLIAMS house (HAMANN Ranch). It is enclosed by an iron pipe fence. Keith WILLIAMS said, in 1979, that the plot would be maintained.

    W.P.A. Records state:

  • WALLER, Elizabeth (Mrs. Thos.) died 1860, age 30.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    West Cemetery
    Long Creek Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Van Wert
    Earliest tombstone burial: 27 Jan 1865
    Last tombstone burial: 13 Jul 1893

    History: This is a pioneer family plot with only 3 gravestones. William & Elizabeth WEST came to Decatur County in 1854 from Ohio. The small area (10' x 10') is enclosed with a rusty iron fence & gate; overgrown with day lilies and weeds. The cemetery is very close to the road.

    On some county maps, 2 cemeteries are shown (one north, and one south of the road). As far as we know, there is only the one cemetery on the north side of the road. The road was changed several years ago and may have been marked twice at that time.

    One Decatur County woman remembers that when a girl, her older brothers would take her by this cemetery which they called "slaves cemetery" to scare her. There are reports that there were 2 black people buried here.

    Known West Cemetery interments:

  • WEST, Elizabeth, wife of William WEST, d. 13 Jul 1893, AE 70y 6m 21d
  • WEST, William, husb. of Elizabeth WEST, d. 11 Jun 1881, AE 63y 2m 13d
  • WEST, Lincoln, son of W. & E. WEST, d. 27 Jan 1865, AE 1y 6d
        stone was found propped against mother's stone
  • Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Westervelt Cemetery
    Richland Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Grand River
    Earliest tombstone burial: 25 May 1862
    Last tombstone burial: 24 July 1882

    History: This abandoned burial plot has only three tombstones left in an unfenced area of pastureland. There is no road. The land was owned by Theron WESTERVELT and his wife, Angeline, who came from Ohio in 1853. Four of their children are buried here.

    There are reports of 12 burials made here between 1861 and 1882, and any other tombstones at these burials have since disappeared. When the Westerville Cemetery to the southeast was started, burials were made there and the old Westervelt Cemetery abandoned.

    Children of Theron and Angeline WESTERVELT:

    NAME
    DATE of BIRTH
    DATE of DEATH
    COMMENTS
    WESTERVELT, Annette  02 May 1868AE 11m 18d
    WESTERVELT, Genevra  00 May 1871AE 11m 14d
    WESTERVELT, Fremont  05 May 1862AE 1y 2m 9d
    WESTERVELT, Henryette  23 Mar 1866AE 1y 3m 15d
  • Known burials:

    NAME
    DATE of BIRTH
    DATE of DEATH
    COMMENTS
    BROWN, Charlie R.
    son of E. & D. BROWN
      11 Mar 1877AE 10y 13d
    CARRELL, Ira A.
    son of E. & A. CARRELL
      24 Jul 1882AE 5m 3d

    Known burials, no tombstones:

    NAME
    DATE of BIRTH
    DATE of DEATH
    COMMENTS
    BAILEY, Christopher Shipman
    son of Jacob H. & Rebecca (SHIPMAN) BAILEY
    06 Mar 1857 18 Dec 1861Family Information
    BAILEY, John Avastus
    son of Jacob H. & Rebecca (SHIPMAN) BAILEY
    27 Dec 1858 00 May 1871Family Information
    BAILEY, Mary Arminta
    dau. of Jacob H. & Rebecca (SHIPMAN) BAILEY
    05 Jun 1864 22 Jun 1865Family Information
    McCONNELL, James  1870W.P.A. Records
    McCONNELL, Mary  1870W.P.A. Records

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    White Oak Cemetery
    Morgan Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Lineville
    Earliest tombstone burial: 21 Oct 1865
    Last tombstone burial: 1926

    Photograph courtesy of Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

    History: The WASSON family were early settlers in Decatur County. The mother, Sarah, died in 1867. Her son, Miles A. WASSON selected 1000 acres in 1843.

    The first marked burial in White Oak Cemetery was a 4-year-old daughter of her 2nd son, Joseph Delp WASSON. The land probably belonged to the WASSON family.

    There are many oak trees in the area.

    On a 1904 map, the cemetery is on the south side of the road. Since then the road was angled and the cemetery is on the north. It is newly fenced.

     

     Known interments at White Oak Cemetery:

    NAME, ROW#, STONE#
    DATE of BIRTH
    DATE of DEATH
    COMMENTS
    Unknown   
    BARDWELL, Infant
    son of David & Mary BARDWELL
    29 Jun 1925 01 Jul 1925
    AE 3d
    no gravestone
    from Courthouse Records
    CHILES, Ida May
    dau. of M. D. CHILES
    3 - 3
      22 Aug 1873
    AE 8m 29d
    Surname spelled "CHILDS" on gravestone
    CHILES, James
    3 - 6
      03 Feb 1880
    AE 18d
     
    CHILES, Jennie
    3 - 4
    15 Jan 1880 15 Jan 1880 
    CHILES, Margaret D.
    3 - 5
      22 Jan 1880stone is broken
    DULEY, John W.
    son of U. & M.E. DULEY
    2 - 1
    &nsp; 03 Aug 1888
    AE 1y 6m 14d
     
    HAMMOND, Della F.
    dau. of B.F. & L. C. HAMMOND
    5 - 2
      06 Nov 1873
    AE 1y 6d
     
    KINDREN, Minnie  12 Apr 1882
    AE 4m 18d
    no gravestone
    from Courthouse Records
    LOCKE, Leonard
    1 - 1
    1909 1911 
    LOCKE, Mary E.1866 1926W.P.A. Records
    1866-01 Jul 1926
    LOCKE, Pearl
    1 - 2
    1893 1911 
    LOCKE, Thomas
    1 - 3
    1864 1921 
    MAPES, E.  19 Oct 1879
    AE 70y 7m
     
    MAPE, E. F.
    son of E. & S. MAPES
    3 - 2
    15 Aug 1834 19 Jan 1868
    AE 33y 5m 4d
     
    MAPES, Sarah
    3 - 1
      20 Jan 1880
    AE 73y 8d
     
    POLLAND, Mary
    wife of W.H. POLLAND
      13 Dec 1885
    AE 87y 3m 4d
     
    POLLAND, Ruth
    "Dau. of Sarah POLLAND"
    2 - 2
      15 Aug 1894
    AE 4m 4d
     
    SHOBE, Mary E.
    wife of C. C. SHOBE
    4 - 2
      13 Nov 1897
    AE 52y 10m 3d
     
    WASSON, Ann M.
    dau. of J.D. & M.E. WASSON
    5 - 1
      21 Oct 1865
    AE 4y 17d
     
    WASSON, Sarah
    wife of Wm. WASSON
    5 - 3
      11 Jun 1867
    AE 72y 1m 3d
     
    WILKIE, Eunity
    wife of T. WILKIE
    4 - 1
      12 Apr 1869
    AE 53y 2m 11d
     

    NOTE: There are several stone/rock markers in this cemetery.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach

    Winters Cemetery
    Garden Grove Township, Decatur Co., IA

    Nearest town: Garden Grove
    Earliest tombstone burial: Mary C. dau of Wm. R. & E. HENSLEY d. 26 Jul 1853 AE (broken) y 2m Last tombstone burial: Henry W. SPARLING 1839 - 1919

    Photograph courtesy of Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

    History: The Rev. Daniel WINTERS came to Garden Grove in the fall of 1849. He was the minister of Missionary Baptist Church (Gospel Ridge). He gave the land for a cemetery and a church (which was never built) on a hilltop sloping east.

    In 1932 Dan McBROOM, age 10, was killed by a falling large tombstone while he and a cousin were playing around it. He is buried at Metier Cemetery near his father.

    The area of Winter cemetery is large, but only a few stones. All but 3 stones have fallen, some broken.

     

     

     

      Known interments at White Oak Cemetery:

    NAME, ROW#, STONE#
    DATE of BIRTH
    DATE of DEATH
    COMMENTS
    Unknown   
    DARNIELLE, Henry B.
    son of E. & H.S. DARNIELLE
      unknowngravestone is broken, illegible
    HELMICK, Leah (GRAHAM)
    wife of C[ornelius]. HELMICK
      23 Dec 1864
    AE 49y 11m 27d
    gravestone is broken
    W.P.A. Records
    Cornelius HELMICK
    1809 - 1894
    inter: Caneyville Cemetery
    Cedar Vale KS
    HENSLEY, Elizabeth (OSBOURN)
    wife of Wm. K. HENSLEY
    3 - 2
    Scott Co. VA 11 Jan 1899
    AE 79y 4m 2d
    BIOGRAPHY
    HENSLEY, John E.
    son of Wm. K. & E. HENSLEY
      10 Nov 1856
    AE 6y 11m 18d
     
    HENSLEY, Mary C.
    dau. of Wm. K. & E. HENSLEY
    2 - 3
      26 Jul 1853
    AE _y 2m _d
    stone is broken
    HENSLEY, Minnie Belle (LEMONS)
    wife of Arthur HENSLEY
    05 Sep 1868
    North Carolina
    20 Nov 1897
    AE 26y 2m 15d
    OBITUARY
    HENSLEY, William K.
    3 - 2
    27 Feb 1815
    Estillville VA
    28 Jun 1898
    AE 83y 5m 1d
    BIOGRAPHY
    OBITUARY
    SPARLING, Alexander  29 Aug 1907
    AE 76y 8m 18d
    no gravestone
    from W.P.A. Records
    SPARLING, Anna (HEPLER)
    wife of Henry SPARLING
    2 - 5
    Lawrence Co. OH
    dau. of Jacob & Nancy HEPLER
    Sep 1893
    AE 86y 11m 20d
    stone has been broken, but repaired
    SPARLING, Elbert G.
    son of H.W. & J.J. SPARLING
    2 - 7
      16 Mar 1898
    AE 15y 6m 24d
     
    SPARLING, Elmira M.
    dau. of H.W. & J.J. SPARLING
    2 - 6
      03 Mar 1897
    AE 19y 5m 14d
     
    SPARLING, Henry
    husb. of A. SPARLING
    2 - 4
      23 Jul 1874
    AE 71y 9m 22d
     
    SPARLING, Henry W.
    2 - 8
    1838 1919 
    SPARLING, Infant
    son of H.W. & J.J. SPARLING
    2 - 2
    04 Oct 1871 04 Oct 1871
    AE 70y 7m
     
    SPARLING, Joanna J. (TRULLINGER)
    wife of Henry W. SPARLING
    2 - 8
    1847 1917 
    SPARLING, John
    son of H. & A. SPARLING
    2 - 1
      30 Sep 1853
    AE 22y 10m 2d
     
    WINTERS, Rev. Daniel
    1 - 1
    1805 11 Jul 1886
    AE 80y 9m*
    "Erected by many of his friends"
    Winters, Rebecca (LAMBERT)
    wife of Rev. Daniel WINTERS
    1 - 2
      29 Apr 1872
    AE 68y 11m 4d
     

    * Rev. WINTERS died in Wayne County at age 81. ~ History of Decatur County. Vol. II, p. 385.

    Source: Slade Cemetery Book

    Courtesy of Carla Rae Perks Lauttenbach


    Visit Winters Cemetery Page

    at IAGenWeb's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project Site.

    Sources: Cemeteries of Decatur Co. IA; compiled by Lois Slade
    and transcribed for our site by Leah Sue Price Walling.
    Additional transcriptions from WPA Records and obituaries.


    Visit Decatur County Cemetery Index Page

    at IAGenWeb's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project Site.

    Submit your gravestone photos

    The information on this page was transcribed from the original records, without corrections. Although, if you believe there should be any corrections, changes, additions, or find that any links provided on this page are not functioning properly please contact us and your submissions will be noted with the original information.
    Page copyright Carla Rae Perks 1999-2002, Stacey Dietiker 2003-2006. Updated by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2013.
    Page information is in public domain.