The oldest church in Madison county is the Primitive Baptist church located a mile northeast o Winterset, and the cemetery which adjoins the church is one of the oldest in the county.
The Rev. John Evans, who came to Madison County in 1846, was the first minister, a Hardshell Baptist and he helped organize the church in 1847 at the home of John Butler in Union Township.
Vivian Robbins Debutts of Sioux City, daughter of Mrs. Caleb Robbins of Winterset, and granddaughter of Elizabeth Crawford Banks wrote a history of the church, its early members and the dates of the burials in the cemetery.
James P. Crawford was thought to be the first person buried in this cemetery, which is in Section 30 of Union Township. He and his family came to Madison County May 15, 1855 and he died December 6, 1855.
Other early burials listed alphabetically were as follows:
Butler, Julia Elizabeth, died September 8, 1874, age 1 year, daughter of James and Anna (Crawford).
Dorrell, Charles F., died February 7, 1877, aged 4 years.
Evans, Robert A., a trustee of the cemetery, who came to the county in 1848 and died June 6, 1880 and his daughter, Amanda Jane, died October 8, 1861, aged 14 years.
Farnsworth, Frankie, died December 29, 1867, aged 7 months and Elmer E. died September 8, 1867, aged 1 year. They were the children of H. C. (Henry) and A. (Adeline Hood) Farnsworth.
Gentry, William, died April 16, 1862, at the age of 47 years. He and his wife Sarah came to Madison County in 1847.
Guye, Everett O., died March 31, 1869, aged 4 months, Serena, died May 19, 1869, at 37 years and Levi died December 16, 1887, aged 23 years, children of J. W. and S.
Hood, Mary (Gifford) (Mrs. Alfred), died 1869, aged 54 years.
Kellogg, Monroe, died June 27, 1859, aged 1 day, Sylvester died January 23, 1876, aged 18 years. These are children of Miles and Elizabeth (Smith) Kellogg.
Moore, Frederick, died September 20, 1873, aged 2 years, son of Phil C. and Mary Ellen (Crawford) Moore.
Osborn, Anna (Fidler), died in 1874, at the age of 85 years, son, Moses, died August 30, 1861, ages 48 years.
Poffinberger, Samuel W., died December 18, 1882, his wife, Hannah Smith, died October 4, is buried at the Trester Cemetery.
Shaw, John T., son of John T. and Nancy M., died October 13, 1862, aged 9 months.
Smith, Aquilla, died October 1, 1865, aged 77 years, and his wife, Elizabeth Collier, died December 23, 1862, aged 62 years.
Smith, Margaret, wife of Levi, died August 1857, aged 21 years. Her children, John C. died Septermber 9, 1857, aged 6 years and Anna E., died November 20, 1861, aged 3 years.
Thornburg, Delila, died February 23, 1875, aged 67 years, wife of Absalom
Thornburg, who died January 23, 1865, and children Vervie, died September 9, 1875, aged 4 years, Albert Clifton, died April 21, 1879, 4 years, and Sarah died December 5, 1875, 3 years.
Tannehill, Elder Dennison, died September 29, 1861, aged 47 years.
Tedford, Henry, died September 11, 1870, aged 1 year, and James A. died September 1868, aged 10 months.
Woolery, Mary (Mathias), wife of Eli, died November 6, 1869, aged 41 years. Her children buried in this cemetery are Anderson, died September 6, 1857, aged 1 year, Agnes, died October 1861, aged 17 years, Ida May, died April 11, 1870, aged 8 months, Flora, died March 4, 1868, aged 7 years and a third daughter died as an infant.
Young, Infant, son of J. W. and K. E. Young, died November 19, 1861.
Falls Into Disrepair - 1901
the Winterset Reporter, June 13, 1901
A great many of the readers of the Reporter are aware that there
is a country graveyard situated about a mile north of Winterset
depot, and we thought perhaps a little sketch concerning this
little city of the dead might be of interest to some of our
Years ago somewhere in the fifties this spot was chosen to lay
away the remains of some of the pioneers of this county in and
eventually a church was built on the spot by the sect known as the
Primitive Baptists. John Evans then owner of the land wishing to
make arrangements to give the land for cemetery purpose offered to
deed that corner of his farm to the church and to make the deed
valid, the church appointed three trustees and the land was deeded
to them and their successors and thus it stands to the present
But during the time of the war the church was destroyed and the
little band moved their meeting place up to the
, where they still hold regular monthly meetings. But owing to the
inability of the trustees to attend to the cleaning up and mowing
of the grounds the resting place of some of the oldest settlers of
Madison County has been allowed to grow up in weeds and brush and
become a byword and reproach to the community. But Mrs. Mahala
Osburn has taken it upon herself to raise funds to hire someone to
clear this away and make this place a little more sightly. Many of
the families that have dear ones laid away there have left the
county while others have grown careless and we believe that a
great many would be willing to contribute a small amount if they
knew where to give it and that it would be judiciously used.