About Pioneer Cemeteries
Question: What is a pioneer cemetery?
Answer: Iowa law defines a "Pioneer Cemetery" as one in which there have been no more then twelve (12) burials in the past 50 years. (Used to be six burials, law changed in 2009 to 12 burials)
Question: Where are Pioneer Cemeteries?
Answer: All over the United States. As people traveled westward, they needed to bury family members and strangers who died of disease, childbirth, injury or just old age. Because cemeteries hadn't been established, people selected their own burial spots and the many of the sites eventually grew into a large or small burial ground.
Many of these burial sites are in wooded areas or on pastures, and usually difficult to get to because of the advance of civilization. Others of these burial sites grew into larger community cemeteries that are still in use today.
Question: Who takes care of Pioneer Cemeteries?
Answer: Some are cared for by the trustees of the township in which the cemetery is located and others by civic organizations like Kiwanis, grange, 4-H clubs or church groups. However many of these cemeteries have simply been forgotten and have grown up to weed patches.
In 1996 Iowa joined other states in passing legislation regarding Pioneer Cemeteries. Essentially the law defines Pioneer Cemetery and authorizes the County Board of Supervisors to appoint a Cemetery Commission of volunteers to assume jurisdiction and management of the Pioneer Cemeteries in the county. This law and further explanation is located on the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries web site.
About Jasper County Cemetery Commission
Question: Does Jasper County have a Pioneer Cemetery Commission?
Answer: Yes. Jasper County has had a cemetery commission for a number of years. However the Commission was given the responsibilities for Pioneer Cemeteries when the state passed legislation to set up the Pioneer Cemetery Commissions.
Current (2015) members of the commission are:
Work of the Jasper Co. Cemetery Commission
Pioneer Cemeteries in Jasper County
|Buena Vista Township
Jasper Co. Burying Ground
|Des Moines Township
|Elk Creek Township
| Lynn Grove Township
German Society Methodist
| Mound Prairie Township
| Rock Creek Township
This site designed and maintained by Barbara Lane Hug, Cemetery Commissioner. Updated March 2005, July 3, 2009, August 2009, June 2015
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