IAGenWeb Project

Shelby County

Poplar, Iowa


Polk Township, Section 36 (T80, R37)

Floral Divider Bar

Transcribed from pages 22-24 of "Poplar Iowa 1985"

As the town grew and prospered, residents of the village and the surrounding community recognized the need for a church and cemetery. On June 29, 1906, the Danish Lutheran Evangelical Society of Poplar purchased three acres of land at the top of the hill to the north of the village. The chosen site was in Polk Township, Section 26. The land was bought from Chris N. and Anne Jensen for the sum of three hundred dollars.

Since that time this quiet, serene cemetery has become the final resting place for thirty persons who at one time [??]

 1907Niels Sorenson, son of Martin and Anna Sorenson, was born October 24, 1904. The child died December 20, 1907. Services were held at the new Poplar church, with burial in the church cemetery. Four little neighbor girls were casket bearers. This was the first burial in the Poplar Cemetery. The headstone, now sunken into the ground, once read "Gone but not forgotten". [*See "Casket Bearers" at bottom of page.]

 1909Johannes Nielsen was born in Denmark on December 23, 1822. He was a farmer who lived his retirement years just east of the village. When the fund drive to build a church was begun, he was one of the first contributors. He contributed in the months that followed, then lent the church body $400,000 to proceed. His son was Mike Nielsen. Johannes died Feb. 7, 1909 at his home in Poplar.

 1909(Unmarked grave) Soren Sorensen's son was born on November 7, 1909, and died on November 8, 1909. He was buried in the Poplar Cemetery on November 10, 1909. later, his parents, Soren and Martine, moved to Montana.

 1911Emil Christensen was born Nov. 12, 1885 in Alborg, Denmark. He worked as a farmhand for Andrew Raasch of Polk Twp. Emil died on May 14 at the age of 25 years.

 1911Anna Albertsen was born Oct. 14, 1887, the daughter of Clemmen and Karen Christoffersen. In 1905 she married Hans Albertsen, a farmer. They lived half a mile west of Poplar. They had three daughters. Anna died oct. 7, 1911, at the age of 24 years.

 1914Mrs. Knud Rasmussen was born in Denmark in 1834, coming to America in 1890 with her husband, Knud Rasmussen, and their family. She lived on a farmstead north of the church at the base of the hill. She died April 20, 1914.

 1914(Unmarked grave), Sorensen Infant, born May5, 1914 in Sharon Township, to Martin and Annie Sorensen. He died June 14, 1914, and was buried in the Poplar Cemetery on June 17, 1914.

 1915Samuel Johnson was born in Jylland, Denmark on Sept. 12, 1849. He emigrated to America and married Anna Smidt at Davenport, Iowa in 1873. Later they decided to move westward, locating on a farm 1 mile west and 1/4 south of Poplar. Mr. Johnson passed away at his farm home on Jan. 12, 1915.

 1915Paul Otzen was born in 1854 in Sonder, Jutland, Denmark. Mr. Otzen lived on a farm 1/4 mile south of Poplar, in Sharon Twp. He suffered a stroke which left him unable to speak. He had difficulty getting around. He died at his farm on Oct. 15, 1915 at the age of 61 years.

 1916Harvey Johannes Lindstrom was the son of Anton and Gena Lindstrom. He was born Feb. 15, 1915. He died March 19, 1916.

 1917Mrs. Johannes Nielsen was born April 20, 1836. She helped in the care of two granddaughters after the death of their mother. She died Jan. 9, 1917 at an Old People's Home in Brush, Colorado. Her body was returned to Poplar for burial.

 1917May Bisgaard Petersen, daughter of Soren and Stena Petersen, was born May 17, 1917 and died September 16, 1917 at 4 months of age.

 1919Knud Rasmussen was born at Pedersborg, Sjaelland, Denmark, on June 27, 1834. In 1890 he emigrated to America with his wife and family. He lived just north of Poplar where he farmed and did blacksmithing and repair work. He died January 16, 1919, in Omaha, Nebr.

 1921Mrs. Anna Johnson, wife of **Samuel Johnson, was born June 29, 1838 in Denmark. At the age of 35 she emigrated to America, locating at Davenport, Iowa. She was the mother of three children. Mrs. Johnson passed away at the home of her son, Hans, on November 9, 1921, at the age of 83 years. [**Church funeral records list the funeral of Mrs. Soren Johnson in 1921, not Mrs. Samuel Johnson. ??]

 1922Harvey Nielsen Lindstrom was the 5-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Lindstrom. Mrs. Lindstrom was visiting in the Hans Nielsen home when Harvey was taken suddenly ill. He died of diphtheria on January 7, 1922.

 1922Mads R. Wolters [Surname spelled "Volters" in church funeral records] was born in Schlesvig, Germany in July, 1872, and emigrated to America at an early age. In March of 1903 he married Anna Marie Rasmussen Beck. They were the parents of 7 children. The family lived on a farm near Mt. Zion school when Mads died on Feb. 4, 1922 from pneumonia.

 1925Raymond James Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson was born at the farm home February 25, 1911. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Poplar and received his early education in Jackson #1 school. He became ill with tuberculosis, receiving treatment at his home and also at Brush Colorado Sanitorium. He died at his home on July 14, 1925 at the age of 14 years. Displays of floral offerings were carried by children from the church to the graveside.

 1926Christena Petersen, wife of Soren Bisgaard Petersen, was born in Jackson Twp., Shelby County, March 18, 1882. She married Soren B. Petersen, the Poplar harnessmaker, and became the mother of 11 children. She died unexpectedly at her home on April 5, 1926 at age 44 years. Cause of death was heart failure. Ten children survived, the youngest was a two-year-old daughter.

 1932Karen Christoffersen was born November 14, 1858 in Jylland, Denmark. She came to this country in 1882, marrying Clemmen Christoffersen the same year. She was the mother of 9 children, two dying in infancy. She lived in Kimballton 13 years prior to her death on August 29, 1932.

 1936Little Mary Lou Johnson passed away November 10, 1936. She was the daughter of Clarence and Leona Johnson. Since her birth on October 23, the baby had not been strong but her condition had not seemed grave until the day before her death. Services were held from Poplar Church and were conducted by Rev. Alfred Jensen.

 1945Soren Bisgaard Petersen was born March 28, 1869 in Jutland, Denmark. He emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 19. For nearly forty years he was the village harnessmaker. At the time of his death he was a resident of Salem Homes. He died suddenly on January 29, 1945, following a visit to the dentist.

  Karen Jensen Otzen was born October 6, 1857 in Jutland, Denmark, and came to America at the age of 18. She was married to Paul Otzen on April 4, 1882. She was the mother of 7 children. In 1920 she moved to Jacksonville where she made her home until her passing on July 19, 1945, at the age of 87 years.

  Annie Sorensen was born Annie Otzen, daughter of Paul and Karen Otzen, on July 11, 1881, in Shelby County. She married Martin Sorensen on June 8, 1904. Six children were born to the Sorensens, two sons dying in infancy. Anna died October 13, 1945 at the age of 64 years.

 1949Clemmen Christoffersen was born July 16, 1857 in Jylland, Denmark. In 1881 he came to this country, marrying Karen Andersen the following year. He farmed in the Poplar area, moving to Kimballton in 1927. He died January 6, 1949 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James Johnson.

 1953Hans Albertsen was born August 16, 1881, in Aero, Denmark. In 1900 he and his brother, Jens, came to America. He worked as a farmhand until acquiring his own farm. In 1905 he married Anna Christoffersen. They moved to a farm 1/2 mile west of Poplar. When his wife died in 1911, he was left with three small daughters. He was a member of Poplar Church from its organization until it closed. He died of a heart ailment on March 30, 1953.

 1963Martin Sorensen, son of Nels and Maren Sorensen, was born June 3, 1883 at St. Ojstrup, Denmark. He came to America with his parents at the age of nine. Martin and his wife, Annie, lived on a farm 1 1/2 miles south of Poplar. He died January 21, 1963.

 1966Marie Wolters was born Anna Marie Rasmussen Beck in 1882 in Denmark. She came to America in 1901. She married Mads Wolters. After his death she raised their seven children. When the children were grown she moved to Audubon where she lived until her death in 1966.

 1977Hans Otzen was born March 6, 1900, south of Poplar, to Paul and Karen Otzen. He farmed in Audubon and Shelby counties. In 1952 he moved to Jacksonville and worked for Petersen Brothers for 10 years. He moved to Salem Retirement Home in 1969, residing there until his death on July 2, 1977.

 1978Peter B. Petersen was born January 3, 1908 at Poplar, the first child of Soren B. and Christine Petersen. He grew up in the village of Poplar, but spent many years in Cass County. He never married. At the time of his death on January 7, 1978, he resided at Massena, Iowa.

One child's grave (Unmarked) - supposedly a child of Soren and Martine Sorensen.


When Martha (Hansen) was a young girl she, along with Esther and Margaret (Lindstrom) and Johanna (Nielsen), were casket bearers at the funeral of three-year-old Niels, son of Martin and Anna Sorensen. The girls wore white dresses and carried the little white coffin. The services were in the Poplar Church and the burial was the first in the Poplar Cemetery.

Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass from "Poplar Iowa", 1985, pg. 22-24.