Lee County Genealogy

The Mennonites and the Busch Church and Cemetery

Busch Mennonite Cemetery Burials  (Partial)

      Written and submitted by Erma DeRosear and Roberta Krehbiel   04/09/2007

 Toward the end of the 1900s and after Alex Haley wrote Roots, there was sudden interest in family research and old cemeteries, where the dead had slept for a hundred and fifty or more years, were cleaned up and stones were reset with new recordings made.  Many of the old records were gone or had never existed.  The procedure of “witching” was discovered where some people were able to use two pieces of clothes hangers and if they crossed at a certain spot, it was likely to be a grave.  Judy and Ken Merschbrock were contacted and in the summer of 2004, they walked the Old Busch Cemetery and found about a dozen graves; the unusual thing was that the graves ran north and south instead of east and west, which is customary.  Ken cleaned the cemetery, and he and Judy made and placed little white crosses at each grave; on Memorial Day, Judy placed a bunch of flowers at each grave.  Herb Davison of Donnellson painted the sign saying it was the Busch Church and Cemetery – first Mennonite Church west of the Mississippi River – and he and his wife Alice helped Ken and Judy erect it.  Ken mowed the cemetery from 2004 to 2006.  In the fall of 2006, a stepping stone was placed at each grave site as crosses were being broken off by the deer in the area.  Mennonites from Kalona helped the Merschbrocks with this project. 

Local residents have become interested in this site and a donor, who wants to remain anonymous, has given money for a stone to be placed at the site in 2007 under the guidance of the Mennonite Historical Society at Kalona.  This site should definitely be designated as a state historic area.  It has been suggested that a boulder with a bronze marker could be placed and hopefully someday this will become a reality.

In 2006, Roberta Krehbiel researched and found more information in church and family records to add to the dozen gravesites that were located in the Busch Mennonite Cemetery.  The Genealogy Department asks that residents check the following list of names and if you have a relative that is not listed, please forward that name along with the pertinent information for department records.  If family records show other information concerning those submitted as being buried there, please inform Roberta Krehbiel .

Daniel Hertzler,
b. Mar 13, 1803 hus of Christina Krehbiel, son of Daniel Hertzler (1769) and Elisabetha Fuchs (1772); d. Sept 6, 1857;

 Christina Krehbiel Hertzler, his wife dau of Jacob Krehbiel (1749) and Anna Staufer b. Jan 28, 1798 Klauserhof by Ramsen, Pfalz; d.
 Aug 16, 1860;

 Dorothea Krehbiel, single sister of Christina Hertzler, dau of Jacob Krehbiel (1749) and Anna Staufer   b. Aug 1, 1794; d. (unknown);

 (Johann) Heinrich Roth, aged father, b. May 26, 1785 Marnheim, Pfalz; (present at start of church in 1849) d Lee Co. probably before 1864;

Johannes Roth, single son of (Johann) Heinrich Roth, b. Apr 29, 1818; (present at 1849 start of church); d. Feb 7, 1877;

 Barbara Specht Rings, 1st wife of Johann Rings, b. 1820; d. Dec 5, 1852;

 Johannes Weber, b. 1815; d. Jun 16, 1854 (after his death wife went to IL);

Heinrich Dester, b. abt 1800; d. 1854 (hus of Maria Schmitt who moved to Washington Co., IA with sister & Maria’s two sons in 1874);

Elisabeth Dester, b. Dec 24, 1833; d. Mar 8, 1866 (dau of Heinrich Dester and Maria Schmitt);

 David Herstein, b. Oct 18, 1804; d. Sept 20, 1866 

Anna Rings Herstein, his wife, b. Mar 20, 1810; d. Jan 8, 1867

 Elizabeth Eger Herstein, b. Aug 16, 1846; d. Jul 17, 1890 (dau-in-law of David & Anna Rings Herstein and wife of Johannes)

 Louis Springer, b. Oct 6, 1866 (stated in St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church Record Book of Franklin, IA); d. Nov 29, 1897;

Children and Infants: 

Sarah Magarathann Krehbiel, b. Mar 18, 1859; d. May 18, 1860 (dau of John Carl & Katherina Raber Krehbiel;

Jacob Weber, b. 1858; d. 1859 (son of Jacob D. & Maria Auernheimer Weber);

 Christian Weber, b. 1859; d. 1860 (son of Jacob D. & Maria Auernheimer Weber); 

Maria Weber, b. between 1865-69; d. between 1865-69 (dau of Jacob D. & Maria Auernheimer Weber); 

Infant girl, b. Apr 19, 1850; d. Apr 26, 1850 (dau of Christian, who was brother of Rev. John Carl Krehbiel, & Anna Kendig Krehbiel

Jacob Gram, b. 1849; d. between 1856-60 (son of Christian & Elisabetha Roth Gram);

 Kolb Infant, b. Den 1864 (record in St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church Record Book of Franklin, IA); d. Feb 18, 1865;

 Selma Magdalena Weber, b. Oct 10, 1863; d. Sept 10, 1864 (dau of Heinrich & Christina Eicher Weber his second wife);

 Anna A. Risser, b. Mar 22, 1858; d. Apr 6, 1858 (dau of Jacob Risser & Magdalena Mueller and the granddaughter of murdered preacher
Johannes Mueller).
  Her aunt gave the land for the cemetery);

 Nameless Infant, b. Feb 9, 1860; d. Feb 9, 1860 (dau of Jacob Schmitt & Elisabetha Schmitt);

 Sarah Mueller, b. May 2, 1872; d. Sept 12, 1872 (dau of Daniel & Anna Bergthold Mueller who was later the preacher at the Franklin
Mennonite Church)  ~

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