Newspaper Story about Liggett Cemetery,
from Nashua Reporter newspaper
Liggett Cemetery No Longer Used,
But Riverton Keeps It in Shape
DRIVE WEST OF Nashua on the blacktop a few miles to the so-called Todd Quarry corner, turn south a mile, turn to your left, and there is the Liggett cemetery [Note: those directions are in error].
CONCRETE POSTS PROTECT GRAVE IN OLD CEMETERY: This view across the old Liggett cemetery, southwest of Nashua in Riverton township of Floyd county, shows at once the beauty and the loneliness of the site. The grave marker in the foreground marks the burial place of three Meier children. The stone, and the protective concrete posts, were caused to be placed about 15 years ago by Ernst Meier, now of St. Paul, Minnesota, as a memorial to his brothers and sisters. Ernst plans to thread a chain through the holes in the posts this summer.
The only other headstone in the cemetery is almost directly east of the Meier marker, as pictured elsewhere.
Today, the cemetery is well-kept, for an old cemetery that is. But once, this little lot, 15 rods square, was not so well-maintained. Founded in 1864, the last burial there, according to the grave markers, was in 1890, although Charles Liggett of Nashua, of the family which owned the adjacent farm over 100 years, thinks there may have been a burial as late as 1893.
The only grave markers to be seen today are those of three Meier children, buried respectively in 1883, 1884 and 1890, and of Hannah Shannon, who died in her mid-teens, of diptheria.
The Meier children were brothers and sisters of Ernst Meier, formerly of Nashua and now of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Harvey Shannon, of Nashua, does not know who the parents of Hannah Shannon were, nor does Mr. Liggett [See notes at bottom of page]. The latter does recall that the Shannon family lived north of the cemetery on the place now owned by Charles Goodner.
THE CEMETERY was founded by residents of the area because there was no cemetery in the township of Riverton. The Pleasant Hill church nearby did not exist at that time.
Worship services, however, were held in the Charles Schallock school house, Ernst Meier recalled. A Rev. Mr. Weltner, a Lutheran minister who lived in Greene, served the congregation. He baptized Mr. Meier.
Land for the cemetery was purchased on June 6, 1864. All conveyances of title to the land ever since have specifically reserved the ground for burial purposes.
Wesley Brownell and George Cairns bought the cemetery land.
IN ANALYZING why the cemetery was abandoned, Ernst Meier thinks that no doubt people feared it would not be taken care of in later years. The Pleasant Hill church, meantime, had established its own cemetery, which doubtless was a major factor in disuse of the Liggett cemetery.
THREE DIED IN INFANCY: This handsome headstone in the Old Liggett cemetery, established in 1864, marks the resting place of three brothers and sisters of Ernst Meier of St. Paul, and formerly of Nashua and the Pleasant Hill community. Louise died at age two; Ernest J. in the year of birth; and George A. when a year old.
The cemetery did fall on evil times, said Ernst, as it grew up to brush of all kinds, and weeds shut off the view from cars approaching from the north.
About 1952, Ernst said he consulted the late Ernest Wagner about clearing up the cemetery, as Wagner was one of three on the township board. The board hired a crew and tractor to pull up brush, etc., for $60, and they did a good job, Meier said.
The cemeery has since been cared for on a regular basis. It presents a lovely but lonely sight, with the three Meier graves at the west end, protected by concrete posts, and the lone Shannon marker at the east end, a small stone standing beside a tree. No other headstones are visible.
HANNAH SHANNON'S GRAVE at the east end of the cemetery: The grave of Hannah Shannon, who died in 1879 at the age of 16 [SIC], is the only other grave still marked by a headstone in the old Liggett cemetery west of Nashua in Riverton township. Her parents are not identified on the headstone, but old timers recall the family lived on the present Charles Goodner place. The old Liggett farm, in that family for more than a century, lies beyond the cemetery.
There are many more graves however. Meier and Liggett once drew up a plat, which is on file in the Floyd county courthouse in Charles City. At least 13 corpses are known to have been buried there.
Liggett said several of those buried therein were first cousins of his, a youth by the name of Krumrey, another by the name of Hunter, and three of the late James Liggett's children.
It is popularly supposed that most of the children died of diptheria.
It is not true, said Liggett, that only children were buried in the cemetery. In the southwest corner, he recalled, a woman and her son are buried, but the headstones are long gone.
And two rods north of these graves, and a rod out from the fence, is the grave of another woman. It was enclosed once in a board fence, but the fence has been gone a long time, Charley said.
Charley Liggett recalls the day the last of the Meier children was buried, in 1890. He said he and his brother, Fred, sat on their barn roof and watched the ceremony.
THE LIGGETT farm was originally a federal land grant farm. Title to the 120 acres was conveyed January 15, 1858, to Ezra Allen, a private in Capt. Alden's Company, Massachusetts Militia, in the War of 1812.
Allen sold the place, the southwest quarter of Section 20, Riverton township, to John and Caroline Graham.
The cemetery site was purchased by Wesley Brownell and George Cairns.
The Grahams sold the farm to Charley's grandfather, and the place was in the Liggett family for more than a century, until being sold to Clyde Boveia of Nashua, the present owner, in the spring of 1966.
THE GRAHAMS moved to Nashua and lived for many years in a house at the south end of Main street, across from the entrance to Oak Hill Cemetery, Charley Liggett said.
The newspaper article above was probably written about 1970.
Hannah Shannon was not 16 years old. She was only ten. Her tombstone says "Hannah, daughter of W. and C. Shannon, died October 18, 1879. Aged 10 ys and 16 ws [hard to read but 16 weeks makes sense]."
According to Kathy Kendrick (Oct. 2011), Hannah's parents were William and Cordelia Shannon, who also died in Floyd County. Hannah was born in about August 1869 (she was 10/12 of a year old on the 1870 Census, listed with her family).
The addendum to the 1880 census has information regarding persons who died in the year prior to May 31, 1880. Hannah was listed there: "Page 1, Enumeration District 216, Riverton township, Floyd county, Iowa -- Shannon, Hannah, age 10, female, born in Iowa, father born in NY and mother born in Iowa."
Copyright 2016, Tod Hannemann
Webization by Kermit Kittleson, 8/16/2016