East Lancaster Township


Brater Cemetery, or Hall as it is sometimes called, is east-southeast of Lancaster approximately four miles. Take the Lancaster-Ollie paved road as if going to Ollie, but at the last turn south before crossing the South Skunk River (about 3/4 mile from the river), continue on the gravel road east for about one-half mile and turn north into the field. Go one-fourth mile north and about one-fourth mile east. This last distance, during growing and harvest seasons, may not be possible for driving. The cemetery visitor would then have to walk over the crop ground to the cemetery.

Physical Features:

The cemetery is fenced, but the fence is not in the best of condition. The area is overrun with briers, weeds, poison ivy, and shrubs. This handicap plus broken tree branches make it impossible to reach all the areas of the cemetery. Many of the stones are no longer standing, but have fallen over and been partially or perhaps completely covered with branches and decaying vegetation.

Land Description:

No deed could be found on record in the County Recorder's Office showing this cemetery ground transferred to Township Trustees, nor was the cemetery ground excepted from deeds given for the Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Sec­tion 35, Township 75 North, Range 11 West of the 5th P.M. The exact description and size of the cemetery, therefore, could not be obtained. It is possibly about one to one and a half acres in size.


No specific history of the cemetery could be obtained. It apparently started about the time that H. L. Hall or George Brater owned the Forty.


There likely never was a plat to the cemetery.


On page 2 [at the end of this web page], there is a Headstone Relationship Chart to show the approximate location in the area where the headstones were found.

1. (Base with the top fallen) Frankie Kinzel, d. Apr. 4, 1880; age 10 yrs. 6 mos.

2. Monument with three names:

Mary, wife of Cyrus Mitts, b. Mar. 24, 1851; d. Oct. 11, 1888

Albert Mitts, b. Aug. 27, 1888; d. Jan. 19, 1889

Bertha Mitts, b. Aug. 27, 1888; d. Sept. 29, 1888

3. Children of John M. and Martha Shirkey:

Minnie B., 1897-1898

Charlotte M., 1911-1912

Infant, 1899 (only date)

Infant, 1901 (only date)

4. Enclosed plot with gas pipe fence. Large Blattner monument:

Barbara A., 1836-1909 (This is likely the mother)

Elizabeth, 1873-1879

Ellabell, 1875-1879

Lida, 1878-1879

Samuel, 1880-1880

5. Sarah L., dau. of G. and K. Brater, d. Aug. 22, 1870; age 7 mos. 15 das. (this stone was standing against            another)

Kathrine, wife of G. Brater, d. May 26, 1877; age 31 yrs. 6 mos. 13 das.

6. George Brater, 1835-1910

7. Rufus M., son of J. R. and M. C. Shirkey, d. Jan. 11, 1863; age 9 yrs. 23 das.

(stone against tree)

8. (Base; fallen top) Martha C. Shirkey, d. July 24, 1869; age 35 yrs. 24 das.

9. (Base; fallen top) Jonathan R. Shirkey, d. Feb. 16, 1891; age 65 yrs. 8 mos. 17 das.

10. (Base; fallen top) Mary A. Shirkey, wife of J. R. Shirkey, d. Oct. 4, 1895; age 59 yrs.

Brater Cemetery Photo

These pages were designed and are maintained by IAGenWeb solely for the  use and benefit of the  IAGenWeb Project, a part of the USGenWeb Project.
Copyright © 1997 by IAGenWeb & Other Contributors        
Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions, & Disclaimer  --all of which apply to Keokuk Co.

Back to top of page                             Return to Keokuk Co. IAGenWeb                             Back to top of page

Photo background collage is made from penny postcards of Keokuk County, donated to the USGenWeb Archives