|Muscatine County Iowa|
Directions: From the 61 bypass, west side of Muscatine, follow Hwy 22 for 6.3 miles to Independence Ave., then turn left (south) for 2.6 miles. OR, go from the 61 bypass, west side of Muscatine, following 231st Street to Independence Ave., then turn right (north) for 0.3 miles. The cemetery is hidden from the road, perched on top of a hill.
September 17, 2001 Larry Beik walked through this cemetery and recorded what was written on the remaining stones.
Dave Dunston, converted the data over to html so it could be put online.
August 22, 2010 Eleanor McCleary added information from Church Secretary's Minute Book and information from
the Muscatine County Death Record Books on file at the Recorders Office.
Click Here to view gravestone photos posted on the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project.
Last Name Given Name Birth Date Death Date Comments Altekruse Rudolph, Sr 13 Feb 1891 Burial 15 Feb 1891. Dates per church record. Altekruse Mrs. Rudolph Body moved to this place from Altetruse Cemetery 18 Feb 1891 per church record. Altekruse Sophia 6 Nov 1891 Burial 8 Nov 1891 per church record. Altekruse Samuel Body moved to this place from Altetruse Cemetery 18 Feb 1891 per church record. Chapman Mrs W. A. 23 Nov 1890 No Marker found. Body moved to this place from Altetruse Cemetery 18 Feb 1891 per church record. Death Record Book 1, pg. 196: Mary Chapman, age 39 d. 23 Nov 1890. Harolf David 24 Mar 1842 16 Sep 1897 WPA records: Father of James, Ella, Ida & Sue. Possible vet. Harolf Elizabeth 21 Apr 1892 Age 80 yrs 8 mos 25 dys. Harolf Peter 8 Jan 1901 Married to Elizabeth; parents of John, David, William, Elizabeth, Sarah, Eva, all born in Ohio except Eva who was born in Iowa. Jesse Albert O. 31 Jan 1885 26 Mar 1911 Info from WPA records. Death Record Book 1911, pg. 25. Age 27 yrs . Jesse August 29 Jul 1885 26 Mar 1911 Info from WPA records. Jesse Freddie 31 Aug 1893 12 Jul 1908 Death Record Book 3, pg. 84. Age 14. Jesse Matilda 6 May 1853 27 Nov 1946 Death Record Book A, pg. 335: Matilda Schroeder Jesse, age 93. Riggs Bessie No surname on marker. Body moved from Brick Church to this place. Church records name Bessie Riggs dau of W.M. & Anna Riggs. Riggs Eliza 5 Nov 1891 Burial on 7 Nov 1891. Dates per church records. Riggs Infant 26 Oct 1883 No surname on marker. Death Record Book 1, pg. 55. Riggs, Female. Age 1 hour d. 26 Oct 1883. Riggs John S. 15 Oct 1897 Aged 85y 7m 7d, Death Record Book 3, pg. 5: John Summer Riggs, Farmer, Widow, b. Dayton, OH. Cause of death Lung Fever. Burial 76 Twp. WPA records: Possible vet; Husb. of Eliza (Longstreth); father of Maria W. of Rev. Jacob Casebeer, John Wilson, William Miller and Dayton M.; Newspaper: News Tribune, 10/17/1897, pg. 1 col. 4 Riggs Father No surname. Believed to be Riggs. Riggs Oliver S. No surname on marker. Body moved from Brick Church to this place. Church records name Oliver S. Riggs son of J.S. & Eliza Riggs. Rowland Otto 22 Feb 1872 26 Apr 1896 Death Record Book 2, pg. 90. Unknown 7 others Seven Bodies moved to this place form Altetruse cemetery 18 Feb 1891 per church record. Not named. Unknown Base of Monument only. No markings. Unknown Small white stone. No markings. Wilcox Martha E. 12 Jan 1866 25 May 1880 Daughter of Isaac and Martha Wilcox; WPA records show birth as 12 Jan 1856.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH and CEMETERY AS RECORDED
IN THE SECRETARY'S HANDWRITTEN MINUTE BOOK
Transcribed by Eleanor B. McCleary, submitted August, 2010
Pg. 1-3: Article of Incorporation of the High Prairie Church of the United Brethren in Christ, State of Iowa, Muscatine County was recorded in Book “B” of Incorporations on pages 323 & 324. This document may be found at the Muscatine County Recorders Office. It was filed for record on August 10, 1889. This church has also been referred to as St. John United Brethren Church and St. Johns Chapel.
For more information on the history of St. Johns United Brethren Church click here.
Pg. 4: St. Johns Chapel was Dedicated to the Worship of God Dec. 15th 1889.
First Funeral Preached in St. Johns Church was Mrs. White by Rev. C.N. Brooke Jan. 1890.
2nd Funeral Mrs. W.A. Chapman Nov. 25, 1890 Preached by Rev. C.M. Brooke
3rd Funeral Mr. Rudolph Altekruse Feb. 15, 1891 Preached by Rev.__ Fath assisted by C.M. Brooke
St. John’s Cemetery was established Feb. 11, 1891. Including one acre of ground bought of W. R. Riggs for $50.00
Deed Record of Lands Book 33: Muscatine County pg 494
From Riggs, W. M. and wife to Trustees of St. Johns Church}
Filed for record the 22nd day of December A.D. 1891, at 9 O’clock A.M.
J. B Hudson Recorder
This Deed of Bargain and Sale, Made and executed this 27 day of August A.D. 1891 by and between W. M. Riggs and Anna N. Riggs of the County of Muscatine State of Iowa of the first part, and the Trustees of St. John Church of United Brethren Church, and to their successors of the second part, Witnesseth: That the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Fifty Dollars, in hand paid by the said parties of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted and sold, and do by these presents Grant, Bargain, Sell, Convey and Confirm, unto the said second parties & their succeessors and assigns forever, the following Real Estate, lying and being situated in the County of Muscatine, and State of Iowa, to-wit:
A part of the North West Quarter of the North West Quarter of Section Four (4) in Township Sevenity Six (76) Range three West. Commencing Six & 42/100 chains North of the south west corner of said tract, thence North on the section line four chains, thence East two & 50/100 chains, thence south four chains, thence West two & 50/100 chains the same to the used for Cemetery purpose, the present Trustees of the property of said church and the grantees herein being, John S. Riggs, Jacob J. Legler and John Weaver but the title to pass to their successors, and be conveyed in accordance with usages and regulations of the United Brethren Church, from twice to twice adopted.The intention being to convey hereby An Absolute Title in Fee to said Real Estate, including any Right of Homestead had therein. To Have and to Hold, The premises above described with all the appurtenances thereto belonging, unto the said second parties and successors. The said W. M. Riggs hereby covenanting for himself & his heirs, executors and administrators, that the above described premises are free from any incumbrance.
Pg. 33 cont.
First Interment Rudolph Altekruse Sr. Died Feb 13, & was buried Feb 15th 1891.
Age of Deceased 77 yrs 6 mos. & 20 days. Funeral services conducted by Rev. Fath
Feb. 18th ’91 ten bodies moved from the Altetruse Cemetery to St. Johns Cemetery namely
Mrs Rudolph Altekruse Sr Mr Samuel Altekruse Mrs W. A. Chapman (the other seven were not named)
Nov. 5th 1891 Eliza Riggs died and was buried the 7th . Age 76 yrs 10 mo 10 ds
Funeral Services conducted by Rev. L.B. Hix
Sophia Altekruse died Nov. 6, 1891 and was buried the 8th.
Funeral services conducted by Rev. Fath
Nov. 14, 1892 Two bodies were moved from the Brick Church Cemetery (believed to be in Iowa City) to St. John Cemetery namely
Oliver S. Riggs son of J.S. & Eliza Riggs Bessie Riggs Daughter of W.M. & Anna Riggs
Dec. 4th, 1891 - Trustees of St. Johns Chapel met for laying out and settling for St. John’s Cemetery.
Lots to be twenty feet square the aisles running north and south four feet wide and the aisles running east and west five feet wide excepting the main aisle which is six feet. Set Value of each Lot @ $8.00 & half Lots. $5.00.
Trustees settled with W.M. Riggs for the one acre of ground amt fifty dollars ($50.00)
Expenses of fencing cemetery $45.89. Total cost $95.89
Acct of Lots Sold & Paid for are as follows
R.J. Altekruse $8.00 Henry Altekruse $8.00 W.A. Chapman $8.00 Adolph Geertz $8.00 W.M. Riggs $8.00 J.S. Riggs $8.00 Peter Haroff $8.00 John Weaver $8.00 J.J. Legler $8.00 David Legler $8.00 Milton Rice $8.00 August Jessee $8.00
Pg. 35 - Dec. 4th '91. Donations revd for St. Johns Cemetery
John Weaver $1.65 J.W. Riggs $2.00 R.J. Altekruse $2.00 P. Geertz $1.00 W.M. Riggs $2.00 W.A. Chapman $1.00 J.S. Riggs $2.00 Peter Haroff $2.00 total $13.65 Amt recvd for Lots $80.00 total $93.65
March 6th 1894
Amt Recvd for Lots & donations to date $100.00 Amt expended for cemetery to Date $116.15
Dec. 23 ’94
Amount in Treasury $14.50
Pg. 36 - Mch 7th 1894: Trustees of St. Johns U.B. Church met at the house of J.S. Riggs for the transaction of such business as may come before the board of Trustees which were as follows:
Settling acct of Cemetery which was found to be expenditures amt to $116.15
Amts Recvd for Lots sold $100.00
After which the election of Trustees for the coming year was proposed. On Motion of Mr. Weaver that the same Trustees be retained for the coming year to settle unfinished business which motion was carried by a two thirds vote of Trustees.
J.S. Riggs Pres. J.J. Legler Sect
This little church had a tough life. In September 1894, it got hit by lightening and burnt to the ground. By December of the same year, it was re-built. Then, due to the changing demographics of the community, in 1915, it was decided to move the parish meeting place to Cranston in Cedar Township, Muscatine County. The St. John Church of United Brethern Church property was sold and the unused portion of the one-acre cemetery was sold back to the surrounding landowner. This transaction was recorded in Record of Lands, Book 59, page 442 and filed for record on October 25, 1915.
Few grave markers remain today. Sadly, many are toppled from their base. However the grounds are mowed, paid for by the Seventy-Six Township Trustees.
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Page last updated August 24, 2010 by Lynn McCleary