Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
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Jefferson Township, Ringgold County, Iowa

Photograph contributed by Tony Mercer

Quinn Cemetery is located in Jefferson Township of Ringgold County, Iowa [SE 1/4 Section 15, T70, R30]. The cemetery is located approximately 5 miles west of Tingley and about 50 yards from the road up an unmarked path (follow the cut evergreen trees). It is on the top of the hill and is fenced with cattle panels.

Quinn Cemetery was was established in 1857. The last burial was made in January of 1902 and the cemetery was discontinued in 1904.

A more indepth history of Quinn Cemetery may be found in the 2015 newspaper article at the bottom of this webpage.

  Feature Name: Quinn Cemetery
quinnmap.jpg Feature Type: cemetery
State: Iowa
County: Ringgold
USGS 7.5' x 7.5' Map: Jefferson Twp.
Latitude: 405130N
Longitude: 0941655

Map provided by google maps


The cemetery was recorded for the Ringgold County Historical Society in 1978 by Betty Ruby and Ruth Bailey of Diagonal, Iowa. Raymond Banner and Bryan Cook recorded the cemetery again in 2002. In 2007, Rick WIley cleaned up the cemetery and flagged possible gravesites. Tony Mercer revisited the cemetery in 2015 to take photographs for us.


Very few original gravestones remain at the present day in Quinn Cemetery. Before her death in 1941, Clarinda Bell (QUINN) BAKER (daughter of William Knight and Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN) recorded what she remembered of the interments at the Quinn Cemetery, stating:

On the west side - graves of 3 HOLT children, then the twin sons of William and Susan CASNER. On the south - the baby of George and Addie HAYS, next Mary R. QUINN, the first person buried there in 1857. Then Joseph and Deborah (HARSIN) QUINN, next the children of William and Sarah (HUNTER) QUINN: Albert, Mary, Frank, Ward, and Johnny. Then on the north - the children of G. W. WILLIAMS, Mr. WATTS and Mr. KELLER and his sons. Continuing on the north side near the KELLER graves are the children of Mordicia SMITH. Mr. McHARRY is buried on the extreme east side.

The Ringgold County Pioneer Cemetery Commission has errected several replacement stones to mark the graves within Quinn Cemetery who are known to have been buried there.

Quinn Cemetery, September 25, 2017

ANDREW, W.R. 1825
03 Nov 1870
aged 45 years
Ringgold, IA
son of Wells & Mary E. (BLIZZARD) ANDREW
Aged 45 years
Replacement stone
Infant Twin Sons
    sons of
William & Margaret (KELLER) COSNER
HAYS, Joseph     Replacement stone
son of
George & Addie HAYS
HOLT, Carolina S. 19 Feb 1855
Ringgold, IA
12 Aug 1860
Ringgold, IA
daughter of Thomas & Jane (FORD) HOLT
HOLT, George 26 Dec 1857 Jan 1858
Ringgol Co.
son of Thomas & Jane (FORD) HOLT
Replacement stone
HOLT, Infant Daughter 1861 12 Jul 1861 daughter of Thomas & Jane (FORD) HOLT
KELLER Sr., Jonathan   26 May 1791
Eugene, IA
father of Margaret CASNER
Replacement stone
KELLER, David   1835
  Ringgold Co. son of J. & M.E. (BYERS) KELLER
Replacement stone
KNIGHT, Andrew     Replacement stone
KNIGHT, William     Replacement stone
KNIGHT, Mrs. William     Replacement stone
McHARRY, Samuel R.   1816
West Virginia
  Replacement stone.
QUINN, Deborah Ann (HARSIN) 02 Sep 1797
Fleming KY
03 Aug 1885
AE 87y
Replacement stone
daugher of
Andrew & Elizabeth (DOUGHTY) HARSIN
married 1st 15 Feb 1811
Greenup KY
married 2nd 26 Apr 1825
Fleming Co. KY
Joseph QUINN
QUINN, Frank Emery 14 Jul 1874
Ringgold Co.
Jan 1876
Ringgold Co.
Replacement stone
son of William Knight & Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN
QUINN, John Wilson 1879
Ringgold Co.
Replacement stone
son of
William Knight & Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN
QUINN, Joseph Albert   22 Jan 1869
AE 1y 10m 17d
son of
William Knight & Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN
QUINN, Joseph Henry
Grave #3
19 Apr 1799
01 Apr 1886
Replacement stone
son of
Samuel S. & Mary Ann (YOUNG) QUINN
married 26 Apr 1825
Fleming Co. KY
QUINN, Mary Louise 1868
Replacement stone
daughter of
William Knight & Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN
QUINN, Mary R.
Grave #2
1827 16 Mar 1857
AE 29y 8m 9d
daughter of
Joseph & Deborah (HARSON) QUINN
1st interment in Quinn Cemetery
QUINN, Sarah Jane (HUNTER) 25 Jan 1838
21 May 1885
AE 47y
Replacement stone
daughter of
Andrew & Mary (KERR) HUNTER
married 21 May 1862
William Knight QUINN
QUINN, Ward   1881
Ringgold Co.
Replacement stone
son of
William Knight & Sarah Jane (HUNTER) QUINN
QUINN, William Knight 29 Sep 1830
Fleming Co. KY
02 Jan 1903
last burial
Replacement stone
son of
Joseph & Deborah (HARSON) QUINN
married 21 May 1862
Sarah Jane HUNTER
SMITH, Jonas Josiah
Grave #4
  10 Aug 1867
AE 5m 9d
son of
Mordecai & Elizabeth Ann (WILLIAMS) SMITH
WATTS, Mr.     Replacement stone
WILLIAMS, Francis M.
Grave #1
  08 Apr 1858
AE 6y 4d
son of
George Washington & Henrietta G. (NULPH) WILLIAMS
Mary Frances

Grave #1
  19 Feb 1862
AE 2y 23d
daughter of
George Washington & Henrietta G. (NULPH) WILLIAMS


Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, June 11, 2015


Quinn Cemetery is rich with history
By Angie Hynek, Chair of The Ringgold County Pioneer Cemetery Commission

The Quinn Cemetery is where the Jefferson Township heart stopped beating for the first men and women who carved out the center of the township.

In 1855 25-year-old William Knight Quinn moved to Ringgold County with his parents and siblings and bought 100 acres in Section 15 of Jefferson Township from the Chariton Land office. His father Joseph Quinn also bought 40 acres in the same section in 1858. The land was virgin and untamed. With perseverance and hard work, they converted their land into well-cultivated farms with stock. This area became known as Quinn Grove with a post office located in Quinn's Store, and Joseph Quinn was appointed postmaster on May 8, 1876.

When Joseph's daughter and William's sister Mary R. Quinn died in 1857, the family set aside land for a cemetery near the top of a wooded hill. Mary R. Quinn, 29, became the first burial in the Quinn Cemetery.

William married neighbor Sarah Jane Hunter in 1862. Eight children were born to their union, but only three survived to adulthood: William A., Clarinda B., and Minta. The other five children were buried in the Quinn Cemetery. With germs not yet discovered and vaccinations not yet developed, illness took may lives, especially those of children. Nearby neighbors burying loved ones in the Quinn Cemetery were Williams, Smiths, Kellers, Casners, Hays, Holts, Knights, McHarry, Andrews and Watt.

In 1855, 47-year-old Sarah Quinn died. Now a widower, William lived out his elder years with William A. Quinn's family. Dying January 2, 1902, William Knight Quinn was the last burial in the cemetery. The Quinn Cemetery had become the resting place of the first pioneers from the 1860's who were lured to Jefferson Township with dreams of homesteading and farming their own ground. They built log cabins where they birthed their babies, many dying of diseases. They chopped wood and chinked their cabins to keep warm. They hunted for meat, ground available for flour in their coffee mill, including acorns, and prayed for a bountiful garden.

When the Civil War came, the men answered the Iowa 29th Infantry call and left their children and crops in the hands of their wives. Sarah and William's daughter, Clarinda Bell (Quinn) Baker had the foresight to record what she remembered of the interments in the Quinn Cemetery before her death in 1941. Burials number between 30 and 40 with only a few gravestones remaining.

Quinn Cemetery is located in Jefferson Township in the S.E. 1/4 of Section 15 (Latitude: 405130N, Longitude: 0941655). Over the years, many have worked to preserve the cemetery. Bonnie Fletcher of Diagonal and her 4-H group cleaned up the cemetery with Zane Kilgore making wooden information signs many years ago. Betty Ruby and Ruth Haley recorded the cemetery in 1978, and Bryan Cook and Raymond Banner recorded it again in 2002. Rick Wiley cleaned up the cemetery and flagged possible graves in 2007. In 2014, the Ringgold County Pioneer Cemetery Commission installed Quinn name gates and signs. It is a constant battle to keep the cemetery from reverting back to the wild.

The torch is now held by current land owner, Daniel Origer from MaCallsburg. On Saturday, May 30, with the help of Quinn's Pioneer commissioners Tony Mercer and Brad Smith, Dan Origer's son Wyatt led his Boy Scout BSA Troop 101, who had traveled from Story City to clean up the over grown cemetery and install a cement bench, earning his Eagle Scout badge. Armed with shovels and loopers, the eight Boy Scouts, two leaders and two commissioners worked until the neglected cemetery is once again a pretty wooded historic resting place.

Go to www.iagenweb.org/Ringgold/Cemeteries/QUinn for more information.

Wyatt Origer, who completed the cleanup as his Eagle Scout project, is the son of Dan and Kathy Origer

Submission by Tony Mercer, June of 2015

Clearing Quinn Cemetery, May 30, 2015

Click on thumbnail photograph below to view enlargment;
click on your browser 'back' button to return to this webpage.

Quinn Quinn Quinn
Quinn Quinn Quinn
Quinn Quinn Quinn
Photographs courtesy of Tony Mercer, May of 2015

Quinn Cemetery Page
at IAGenWeb's Gravestone Photograph Site

Early Quinn Cemetery interments may be found
on WPA’s searchable database for Ringgold County located at:

IaGenWeb Gravestone Photograph Project
To submit your photographs to the Iowa GenWeb Gravestone Photo Project, click on link directly
above, or go to IAGenWebs Gravestone Photo Project’s submission page


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