|IOWA CEMETERIES, KEOKUK COUNTY|
SOUTH PLANK TOWNSHIP
South Plank Township
To reach Stoermer Cemetery, drive three miles east of Sigourney on Highway 92, turn right (south) on gravel road for one mile to the old Stony Point Schoolhouse, turn left (east) on gravel road and go a little over one-fourth mile to a gate going into a field on the north side of the road. In good weather one may drive over the pasture ground diagonally to the northeast to a small clump of hedge and brush and one large oak tree.
The cemetery is on level ground at the top of a knoll. The size of the burial plot as of 1974 is approximately 30 feet by 60 feet. There are only hedge-like trees, wild plum growth, and one large oak tree growing there. The evergreens that once grew there are gone. The cemetery is fenced and there have been repairs made to the fence in recent months, but the wire is old and may not long be stock proof.
There is no specific statement in the Keokuk County deed records to show the size of the cemetery. The cemetery is specifically mentioned in the following deed: Peter V. Kerkove and Warranty Deed Sarah J. Kerkove, husband and wife, Dated Mar. 2, 1916 Recorded March 3, 1916 to Deed Record 49, page 240 William Mayer
Description: (Other real estate is described but only that related to the cemetery is given here) The South Half of the Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter except (?) 22 feet in equal width thereof, all in Section 4, Township 75 North, Range 11 East of the 5th P.M.
The description is followed by a statement pertaining to partition fences and the further statement that pertains to the cemetery: "It is further uncertain that a certain small cemetery situated on said premises shall at no time be disturbed, in accordance with a certain contract between these grantors and Jacob Pfannebecker and wife, and grantors agree and are to keep said cemetery property fenced at all times."
A search of the Keokuk County records did not reveal a recorded contract between Jacob Pfannebecker and Peter V. Kerkove.
On March 22, 1939, William Meyer and Christina Meyer, husband and wife, deeded to the Federal Land Bank of Omaha the South Half of the Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter, except the West 22 feet thereof and except the cemetery of Section 4, Township 75 North, Range 11 East of the 5th P.M. (other land is also deeded but only that which relates to the cemetery is shown). Deed Record 65, page 527, recorded June 22, 1939. On December 28, 1943, the Federal Land Bank of Omaha, by Leo E. Manion, Vice President, Attest: Wayne E. Smith, Asst. Secretary, deeded to Lyle J. Shaneyfelt and Margaret Ruth Shaneyfelt, husband and wife, the South Half of the Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter, except the West 22 feet thereof and except the cemetery of Section 4, Township 75 North, Range 11 West of the 5th P.M. (together with other lands). Deed Record 69, page 87, recorded Feb. 23, 1944.
Lyle J. and Margaret Ruth Shaneyfelt are the present owners of the real estate surrounding the cemetery and Orel Dyson is the tenant farmer.
Jacob Stoermer was an immigrant from Germany and on September 2, 18?3, he acquired the East Half of the Southwest Quarter of Section 4, Township 75 North, Range 11 West of the 5th P.M., from John C. Culbertson who had entered the land from the Government. Mr. Stoermer planted a few evergreens in this area and he was very proud of these trees growing among the native timber. As some of his friends and neighbors lost members of their families in death, his kindly spirit showed itself in his inviting his friends to bury their loved ones under those trees.
As a child, Freda Bruns remembers her grandmother, Lisette Goeldner commenting about Mr. Stoermer's generosity as a neighbor giving burial space for the children of her and her husband, Henry Goeldner.
Grace Sanderson, a great granddaughter of Jacob and his wife, Lizette Henrietta Stoermer, relates that she remembers her parents speak of the time when they passed away and were buried in the cemetery. Until recent years there was always a headstone at their graves.
Neighbors in the vicinity of the cemetery recall that there as many as twelve to sixteen headstones there in the early 1900's. There is only one headstone there today, 1974, though there were two headstones when the listers were there in 1972. The size of the cemetery is much decreased from its original size as recalled by several of the former neighbors in the vicinity who were well acquainted with the burial plot. The size the cemetery has been estimated at 60 feet x 60 feet or possibly larger. Those who have discussed the cemetery's history with the listers are Mrs. Lydia Wallerich, Ray Cassens, Mrs. Louis Stanton, Frank Pfannebecker, and Harvey Cassens, all of whom either grew up or lived in the neighborhood.
A hired farm laborer who had come from Germany was employed by Grandfather William Hinneh. When the man died, he was buried in the Stoermer Cemetery, but Mrs. Stanton, who gave this information, was not certain of his name. The most recent burial likely is that of Fredrech Meusel, who according to the headstone found in 1972, died June 25, 1876. Whether or not Fredrech Meusel was the name of the hired man is not known.
There is no definite information about whether there were Stoermer children buried in the Stoermer Cemetery. There seems to be no way of getting any more specific information at this time.
Jacob Stoermer (birth and death dates not obtainable; headstone no longer there)
Lizzette Henrietta Stoermer (birth and death dates not obtainable; headstone no longer there) These are the grandparents of Frank and Gus Pfannebecker; the great grandparents of Grace Sanderson, Fern Lucas and Glen Clubb; and the great great grandparents of Ergo Iosbaker and Dan Lucas.
Maria "Mary" Goeldner, b. Mar. 6 (year of birth and death date not known)
Emil Goeldner, b. July 9 (year of birth and death date not known)
Carl Wilhelm Goeldner, b. Sept. 2 (year of birth and death date not known)
Ewald Goeldner, b. Sept. 6 (year of birth and death date not known)
Hulda Goeldner, b. Nov. 14 (year of birth and death date not known)
Mina "Minnie" Goeldner, b. July 9 (year of birth and death date not known) These are the infant children of J. Henry and Lisette Goeldner. There is no record of the year of birth, the date of death, or the age of the child at the time of death. They died between the years 1870 and about 1878 or 1879. There never were any headstones for these children. Henry and Lisette Goeldner are the grandparents of Freda Bruns.
Johanna Elisabeth Meusel, d. Mar. 15, 1875; age (?) yrs. 2 mos. 12 das. There was also a footstone slab with initials "J.E.M." (Headstone still there)
Fredrech Meusel, d. June 25, 1876; age 65 yrs. 10 mos. 11 das. This headstone was in the cemetery in 1972 and 1973, but is no longer in the cemetery. There was also a footstone slab with initials "F.A.M." Apparently Fredrech and Johanna were husband and wife.
(The above listing would only account for four of the 12 to 16 headstones that were there originally. After much inquiry from persons living around Sigourney, no one can enumerate other burials)
Transcribed by Diane Muir. Thanks so much, Diane!
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