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Fayette County Pioneer Cemetery Commission

Support Our Fayette Pioneer Cemetery Commission
About 28 (of 99) Iowa counties have an official Pioneer Cemetery Commission that has been authorized and made legal by the County Board of supervisors. Fayette County is one of the fortunate counties to have a Pioneer Cemetery Commission, which was authorized on July 15, 1998 to go into effect December 1, 1998.   For more information on the Fayette County Pioneer Cemetery Commission and how you can help or volunteer your talents contact:


Steve Story

% Fayette County Historical Center

100 North Walnut Street

West Union, IA  52175


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You ask ... "What makes a pioneer cemetery?" According to Iowa law "Pioneer cemetery" means a cemetery where there have been twelve or fewer burials in the preceding fifty years."


The Pioneer Cemetery Commissions have no paid lobbyist to help push laws through the Iowa legislature, laws that would help assist the volunteers is saving and preserving Iowa cemeteries. Because of this they must depend on those members of the Iowa General Assembly who favor the restoration and saving of older cemeteries and are willing to listen to State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries members from their districts. The SAPIC is strictly a non-partisan organization with their personal politics left at the 'door'. 


State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries is an ‘umbrella’ volunteer organization giving one strong voice  to many small groups. It is a 501 (c)(3), with contributions being deductible under sections 170, 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The SAPIC represents Pioneer Cemetery commissions, some county Historical and/or Genealogical Societies, as well as other interested persons, and does the ‘lobbying’ for pioneer cemetery interests.


With the hard work of the SAPIC as well as their supporters in the legislature, four major (to the SAPIC and it's members) bills have been passed in the last 16 years. The Bills have never involved state appropriations in any way.  Those Bills are:

1) The original Bill giving the counties the right to established Pioneer Cemetery Commissions.

2) A Bill guaranteeing access to cemeteries

3) A Bill raising the number of burials in the past 50 years from six to twelve in the presiding 50 years.

4) A the 'no use of adverse possession' to keep the Pioneer Cemetery Commissions out of a cemetery that met the criteria of a pioneer cemetery. 


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