Photos: Herb Price

Berry Cemetery has been designated a Lost Pioneer Cemetery by the Des Moines County Pioneer Cemetery Commission.

Berry Cemetery is located in Franklin Township, section 27. From the intersection of the Iowa City Rd., and 160th St., follow a fence west about 1/4 of a mile to a concrete wall in the fence. Then go about 250 yards northwest across a farm field to the north edge of the field.

The area is dominated by a very large oak tree. To the north of this oak, on the edge of the woods is a walnut tree with a split trunk. It almost looks like two trees growing together, but it is only one tree. Going about 25 yards into the woods you will find grave markers for three Berry children.

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(aka Thie Farm Plot)


Members of the Pioneer Cemetery Commission went to Berry Cemetery Thursday evening, April 25, 2013, to put up a sign at the sight of the cemetery. On earlier visits all we could find were three stones for the Berry children. On this visit, because the ground vegetation was not up yet, we discovered eight markers standing upright in rows near where the Berry children's markers were. We also saw perhaps four other stones which could also have been used to mark graves. All these additional markers were simply flat stones, perhaps removed from the creek bed nearby, and placed in the ground in an upright position. All of these grave markers are within an area of ground about five hundred square feet and all under the trees which surround the area. The lower right photo above shows a line of five stones beginning near the cemetery sign and running towards the camera.

There were originally more than 50 graves here. The following information, transcribed from Burlington library records by Karen McAtlin, 24 Nov 2011, no longer applies and is presented for historical purposes only.

Thie Farm Plot

Thie Farm Plot is located in the South East corner of Sec 27 Franklin Township, Des Moines County, Ia. To find the cemetery go North out of Burlington, Ia, on Highway US 61 from the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Roosevelt, go six miles turn West (at Franklin Hills School 1978) and go one half mile, turn North and the first house on the West side of the road turn into the Jerry Miller's farm (Route #1, Sperry).

Ask Mr. Miller permission to go to the burial plot. Go West for one fourth mile along the southern boundary fence, until you come to gate in the fence that has cement posts go about sixty feet more, then go straight North for one eighth mile. You will find the burial plot on the brow of a very high bank.

There are only three stones with names and they are lying flat on the ground. There are about 15 lime stone rocks sitting on edge, some are in rows, some flat on the ground. Mr. Miller said that Mr. Donald Thie who lives Southwest of him said that there were about sixty graves in this plot. He didn't think anyone knew who was buried there. Mr. Miller has lived here about seven years and had stumbled upon the burial plot by accident. He has done some researching as to who lived there and started the cemetery, he hasn't had much success to date. The plot was copied and checked by the Des Moines County Genealogical Society, Burlington, Ia. Oct 1978.





BerryJoseph H. Mar 1, 1862Age 3y 5m 24d. Son of W. C. & M.
BerryMary E. Oct 31, 1853Age 1y 10m. Daughter of W. C. & M.
BerryEllen Aug 20, 1845Age 1y 7m 16d. Daughter of W. C. & M.


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