South Plank Township

Roy Cassens, Emma Cassens Fairchild, and Helen Bakehouse White have given information about the burial spot on the farm of the early pioneer, Karl Bakehouse. The lister had previously heard of this burial plot through other sources.

A man by the name of Fritz Humpke, who died in 1846, was buried under a large oak tree on the Karl Bakehouse Farm. Also buried at this spot is the stillborn child of Humpke's widow. The bones, except the wrist bone, of Dora Humpke, the little daughter who met her death in the night in the timber, are also buried here.

Helen White reports that she had heard that the Christian Duensing and the Fritz Humpke families had a few children who passed away in the severe winter and who were buried at this spot. Emma Fairchild reports that her mother told her that a Strohman child was buried there. These facts about the other families could not be verified. Helen White reports further about little Dora, whose bones were buried under the oak tree. Dora went on an errand with her dog to a neighbor and on the return trip home it is said that she was attacked by wolves and killed. Some persons question that she was killed by wolves and think that because of the severe storm she may have been struck by lightning and later devoured by wolves. Twenty-one days after her disappearance, bones of her body were found in the timber and the mother in her intense grief kept the wrist bone and a piece of the dress she had worn the day of her disappearance. The bones were buried under the tree at the burial spot, but the mother kept in her wooden chest the wristbone wrapped in a piece of the homespun cloth of the child's dress. The mother requested that this bone be buried with her and Helen Bakehouse White, her granddaughter, reports that fifty-six years later she was a witness to the fact that the bone saved by Mrs. Humpke, then Mrs. Bakehouse, was placed in the casket with the mother's body.

At the present time (1975) the tree is gone. The graves were never marked because all the "old timers" knew exactly the spot where they were buried and could direct anyone to the place. Formerly there was a rail fence around the burial plot, but after the farm was no longer in the Bakehouse family name, the fence was removed and the spot farmed.

Mr. Humpke's widow married Karl Bakehouse and they are the parents of Dick (who lived in Oklahoma), Will (Bill), Mary Bakehouse Fritz, Charley, and Sophia Bakehouse Kleinschmidt.

Transcribed by Diane Muir. Thanks so much, Diane!







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