Muscatine County Iowa
Cemetery Records


Also known as
High Prairie Cemetery, 1st Methodist Episcopal Church
Vannatti / Vanatta Cemetery

Directions to the cemetery: From Muscatine, turning off Route 61 on 231st Street, formerly known as Lord’s Ferry Road or G-28, and go west for six miles. The cemetery will be on the right hand side of the road. It is fenced but there is no sign.

This cemetery database was compiled for you, by Larry Beik, who walked thru this cemetery on September 22, 2001. Dave Dunston converted this database over to html so it could be put online. January 25, 2008 Eleanor McCleary added the following cemetery history and information from WPA records.


Back in 1854 the First Methodist Episcopal Church had a circuit rider minister who served the congregation who lived in Lake, Seventy-Six and Cedar Townships in Muscatine County. Services were held in homes and little schoolhouses.

The land, for which to build a church in Lake Township, was acquired by the Trustees of Methodist Episcopal Church at High Prairie in 1863.

There were two acres from Thomas M. Isett, recorded in the Muscatine County Record of Lands - Book Z, pages 601 & 602. It is titled: Isett to M.E. Church Deed.

Then another acre was acquired from Mary and Lindley Hoops(es) in 1864. This deed was titled Hoopes to M.E. Church and was recorded in Muscatine County Record of Lands - Book Z, pages 600 & 601.

There were two cemeteries established by this congregation. One was located next to the chapel building. Its plat map was filed for record in December, 1864. It may be found at the Muscatine County Recorder’s office in the Book of Lands, Book Z on pages 580 & 581. It is titled: “Cemetery grounds 1st Methodist Episcopal Church High Prairie”, located on Main road South in Lake Township. To learn more about this cemetery and some history of the High Prairie Methodist Church click here

Another parcel of land was purchased by the church trustees for the purpose of a cemetery from Leonard and Sarah Houtz. It was located on Lord’s Ferry road in Seventy-Six Township. This transaction may be found in the Muscatine County Record of Lands, Book Y on pages 438 and 439, titled as: Houtz to M.E. Church Deed.

    Know all men by these present that Leonard Houtz and Sarah Houtz, his wife of the county of Muscatine State of Iowa in consideration of the sum of Ten Dollars in hand paid by the incorporate Trustees of church property of the M.E. Church of Muscatine circuit Iowa Conference according to discipline of Muscatine County State of Iowa the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge do by their presents assign Bargain Sell and convey unto the said Trustees aforesaid and their successors forever the following described premises situated in the county of Muscatine and State of Iowa.

    To Wit: One Acre in the south East corner of the west half of the North East of Section No. four Tp Seventy Six North Range No. Three West of the 5th P.M. State of Iowa and bounded as follows beginning at South East corner of said Lot Thence North three chains fifty links Thence West Two chains and Eighty Six links Thence South Three chains & fifty links Thence East ten chains and Eighty Six links for beginning.

    To Have and to Hold the said premises unto the said Trustees and their Sucessors forever And the said Leonard Houtz and Sarah Houtz do hereby covenant with the said Trustees and their successors that they lawfully seized of said premises that they are free from incumbrance that they have good right and lawful authority to sell the same And they do freely covenant to warrant and Defend the said premises against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever And the said Sarah Houtz, wife of the said Leonard Houtz does hereby relinquish her Rights of Dower in and to the above described premises In Witness where above have hereunto set our hands and Seals this Eleventh day of February AD 1863.....

    Lewis J McGrew, Justice of the Peace
    Filed for Record March 5th A.D. 1864 at 1 O’Clk PM.
    D.Darington Recorder by E.C.Darlington Deputy
The plat map for this cemetery is on file in the Muscatine County Record of Lands, Book Z on pages 582 and 583. It is titled: High Prairie Cemetery 1st M.E. Church. It was located on Lord’s Ferry road in Seventy-Six Township. The description of the plat is as follows:
    High Prairie Cemetery Commencing Thirty feet North from the S.E. corner of the W ½ of the N.E. ¼ of Sec. 4 Township 76 M R3 West: thence North Two hundred feet, thence West one hundred & eight nine feet: Thence South two hundred feet Thence West one hundred & eighty nine feet: Thence South two hundred feet, Thence East one hundred & eighty nine feet to beginning and laid out into Cemetery lots running N & S. E & W. Streets & Alleys all marked as exhibited on the within plat. Course and distance given on the line. Scale 20 feet to an Inch. Surveyed March 3, 1864 by G. Bumgardner Sur.

    State of Iowa, Muscatine County }ss
    Be it remembered that on the Fifth day of March A.D. 1864 before the undersigned county Judge of said County personally appeared before me. George Bumgardner, Thomas Bowlby, Wm. H Miller, W. H. Helm & John Fletcher who acknowledge as Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church at High Prairie Chapel in Lake Township Muscatine County, Iowa that the dissasetion of the above land as shown by the map is with their free consent and in accordance with their desire. In testimony where of the said Trustees have hereunto subscribed their names....
    Witness my hand & the seal of said County, J Carskaddan County Judge.

    Filed for Record Dec. 23, 1864 at 2 o’clock P.M
    B. Darlington Recorder By E C Darlington Depty
Few members of the High Prairie Methodist Church had any knowledge as to the origins of this cemetery. There was an entry in the High Prairie Church Cemetery Lot Owner book that pertained to money spent for a fence repair in 1910 at the Houtz Cemetery. No records have been found of the cemetery management, Lot Owners or burials. The only information that is known was taken from grave markers that had dates that ranged from 1850 to 1902.

Found in obituaries of those interred here, this cemetery has been referenced as Houtz cemetery, Bowlby cemetery or just as “the family cemetery”. In the WPA listings the burials were said to be at the Vannatti Cemetery, in Cranston, 76 Twp.

Today the Seventy-Six Township Trustees of Muscatine County are responsible for maintaining the grounds. No new burials are accepted.

The abbreviations and meanings are as follow:
s/o=son of, d/o=dau. of, w/o=wife of, y=year, m=month, and dy=days.

SurnameGiven NameBirth DateDeath DateComments
Unknown Eliza J.   19 Sep 1863 Age 1 yr 1 mo 11 dys
Barger Elizabeth 10 May 1812 25 Feb 1899 Wife of J. H. Barger - Also listed in WPA, age 77 yrs 11 mos 15 dys
Barger Jacob   12 Jan 1859 Son of J.H. & E, age 3 yrs 6 mos 15 dys
Barger Jacob H.   2 Feb 1893 Also listed in WPA, age 75 yrs 4 mos 6 dys, husband of Elizabeth (Hellems) father of Nancy, Mary, Mrs. E.E. Finn, possible Veteran
Brannan T. J.     Civil War Vet: Co. F. 25th IA Inf., stone near west fence. Also listed in WPA.
George Frances   2 Mar 1853 Wife of Adam George, age 22 yrs 10 mos 22 dys
Hagan Joseph 6 Aug 1800 13 May 1880 Born in PA., died in Muscatine, IA
Hagan Rachel   1 or 4 May 1883 Age 77 yrs 9 mos 6 dys
Helm Catharine   20 Jun 1858 Age 76 yrs 25 dys. Also listed in WPA.
Helm John D.   1 Apr 1851 Age 81 yrs, back of marker lists F.C. Helm. Also listed in WPA but date is d. 1 Apr 1854.
Helm Sophiah M.   1851 Dau of J. C. & C.. Also listed in WPA but spells Sophia M. d. 6 Oct 1851, age 50 yrs 10 mos 24 dys
Houtz Amanda 3 Nov 1827 5 Jun 1879 Listing per WPA,Wife of Peter - no marker found
Houtz Peter 2 Nov 1851 2 Jun 1871 Listing per WPA - no marker found
Houtz Leonard   8 Jan 1864 Age 80 yrs 8 dys. Also listed in WPA, gives age 80 yrs
Houtz Sarah   14 Mar 1874 Age 82 yrs 5 mos 29 dys. Also listed in WPA.
McGrew Charlotte   25 Jun 1851 Wife of Wm. Age 61 yrs 3 mos 21 dys. Also listed in WPA, gives age 61 yrs
McGrew John D.   1889  
McGrew Lewis T.   6 May 1864 Also listed in WPA, names Lewis McGrew, age 53 yrs 8 mos 27 dys
McGrew Nancy   15 May 1864 Dau of L.T. & A. Age 19 yrs 1 mo 5 dys. Also listed in WPA, gives name as Nancy M. McGrew age 13 yrs 1 mo 15 dys
McGrew Orlando   1864 G.A.R. marker 1861-1865. Also listed in WPA: b. 1 Oct 1840 d. 9 Apr 1864, Co. I 11th IA Inf. Civil War
McGrew William   23 Jun 1851 Age 102 yrs 3 mos 12 dys. Also listed in WPA, gives age as 61 yrs
Price Michael   9 Mar 1866 Age 55 yrs 1 mo 25 dys. Also listed in WPA, gives b. 1831 d. 9 Mar 1886 with notation buried at Greenwood Cemetery but Muscatine Journal 12 Mar 1886 states burial at Vanatti Cemetery in Cranston, 76 Twp. A Probate record for Michael Price is on file at the County Clerk's office dated 1866.
Randleman Charlotte & Infant   18 Jun 1864 Buried with her infant, Wife of D.R. Randleman and dau of T. & A. McGrew, age 27 yrs 4 mos 7 dys. Also listed in WPA, however names McGrew Charlotte Randleman & Infant
Randleman D. R.   18 Jun 1864 WPA lists McGrew, D.R. Randleman, age 27 yrs - no marker found
Stoker Charles W.   2 Apr 1851 Age 8 mos 10 dys, Son of G & J. Also listed in WPA.
Stoker Gritten   30 May 1865 Age 39 yrs 3 mos 6 dys. Also listed in WPA
Tracy Gerogiana   26 May 1871 Age 26 dys, child of Sarah Tracy
Tracy Theo. M.   11 Jan 1870 Age 14 dys, child of Sarah Tracy
Vanatta James   30 Sep 1888 WPA listing - no marker found
Vanatta John 30 Aug 1840 18 Apr 1894 Also listed in WPA.
Vanatta John   1867 No idea where this came from. No stone found or reference in WPA
Vanatta Katy Ann 21 Dec 1817 18 Apr 1902 Also listed in WPA.
Wiles Edward G.   18 Oct 1850 Age 2 yrs 8 mos 20 dys, son of A.B. & J. Wiles
Wiles Harriet L.   2 Sep 1850 Age 8 mos 18 dys, son of A.B. & J. Wiles

Page updated October 17, 2021 by Lynn McCleary

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