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Elk Rapids Cemetery Burials

In 1851, Benjamin Williams platted the town of Elk Rapids.
The settlement flourished until 1857 when the waters of the Des Moines River carried away the mill there.
When Mrs. Benjamin (Elsie) Williams died in 1847, Mr. Williams donated the land
for her burial which was later to become Elk Rapids Cemetery.

In 1913, due to construction by a railroad company, a number of burials on the south side
of the cemetery were reinterred in various cemeteries in Boone County.

In 1973, due to the construction of the Saylorville Dam and Lake, the remaining burials were
moved to Dalander Cemetery. There are at least 20 unknown persons who were reinterred to Dalander Cemetery in 1973.

The following partial list of burials original to Elk Rapids Cemetery was gathered from death records,
cemetery records and newspaper articles. If the location of reinterrment is known, it is listed in the "Reinterrment" column.

Name Birth Death Reinterrment
Annis, Elmer E. 08 Feb 1862 20 Dec 1869 Dalander
Annis, Francis 23 Nov 1824 30 May 1864 Dalander
Annis, Mary L. 09 Mar 1856 23 Oct 1857 Dalander
Annis, Nancy 27 Jan 1845 04 Mar 1908 Dalander
Annis, Warren M. 03 Feb 1860 26 May 1861 Dalander
Annis, William Frank 13 Feb 1854 20 Dec 1869 Dalander
Armstrong, Emma C.   26 Dec 1872 Dalander
Armstrong, Peter 13 Jan 1817 14 Sep 1901 Dalander
Ballard, Martha   1854 Boone
Bernico, Joseph 1805 09 Oct 1878 Dalander
Bernico, Martha 1854 16 Jul 1875 Dalander
Cagle, Dovea (Sturdivant) 1817 1856 Fairview
Cunningham, Amy Marilda 27 Nov 1860 04 Mar 1861 Fairview
Cunningham, Bruce     Mount Hope
Cunningham, Diana   1872 Fairview
Cunningham, G. 1858 1859 Fairview
Cunningham, George B. 11 Feb 1865 1867 Fairview
Cunningham, James A. 1821 05 Mar 1901 Fairview
Cunningham, John H.   1850 Hull
Cunningham, Rebecca J.   1871 Fairview
Cunningham, Theodore 1862 1863 Hull
Dennis, Emma (Bernico) 13 Apr 1846 25 Nov 1910 Dalander
Detrick, Martha   1855 Hopkins Grove
Fuller,   13 Jan 1874 Dalander
Fuller, Willie   31 Jan 1874 Dalander
Grable, Infant Son 1859 1860 Hull
Grable, Nancy   1861 Hull
Green, Julia Ann Jan 1867 13 Feb 1874 Dalander
Green, Mary A. 10 Aug 1856 29 Sep 1857 Dalander
Gulick, John 16 May 1844 19 Apr 1900 Mount Hope
Gulick, Libbie     Mount Hope
Gulick, Mary 06 Aug 1850 04 Aug 1890 Mount Hope
Gulick, Mary E.     Mount Hope
Hardy, B.R. 1850 08 Sep 1873 Dalander
Hardy, Celia J. 1825 04 Sep 1873 Dalander
Hardy, Elias 02 Jan 1819 08 Apr 1869 Dalander
Hardy, Joseph S. 1856 21 Sep 1859 Dalander
Helm, Annie 1876 03 Apr 1895 Fairview
Higgins, Infant Female 1896 06 Jan 1897  
Hively, Delmaty 21 Sep 1866 07 Feb 1895 Dalander
Hively, Rossetta   10 Jun 18?2 Dalander
Hoof, Mary 1810 15 Nov 1880  
Hughes, Caroline 1872 1896 Dalander
Hughes, Isaac 1823 1885 Dalander
Hughes, John William 05 Mar 1870 24 Sep 1934 Dalander
Hughes, Sarah 1831 1904 Dalander
Hurley, Catherine   1861 Hull
Hurley, John   1866 Hull
Jones, Mary E.   19 Dec 1856 Dalander
Jones, Mary J. 1822 05 Sep 1855 Dalander
Long, Esther     Fairview
Long, Jessie     Fairview
Long, Leslie     Fairview
Long, Mary   1877 Fairview
Long, Peter     Fairview
McCall, Montgomery Warren 04 Mar 1786 15 Feb 1855 Dalander
McIntosh, Elizabeth   1867 Boone
McPheeters, John 1840 17 Dec 1874 Dalander
Mills, Edwin W. 1861 31 May 1861 Dalander
Murphy, Sarah   1865 Mount Hope
Nutt, L. Jane   26 Dec 1856 Dalander
Pepples, Abraham 28 Feb 1851 09 Nov 1928 Dalander
Pepples, Abraham 1805 07 Dec 1894 Dalander
Pepples, Amy Bell 1878 1881 Dalander
Pepples, Ann 24 Oct 1858 13 Jan 1933 Dalander
Pepples, Jacob 17 Aug 1854 04 Mar 1921 Dalander
Pepples, John P. 11 Mar 1885 22 Mar 1887 Dalander
Pepples, Laffie P.   19 May 1901 Dalander
Pepples, Rosa Nov 1879 Nov 1879 Dalander
Pepples, Sarah J. 20 Feb 1883 25 May 1884 Dalander
Ritchhart, Elizabeth O. 1867 15 Aug 1869 Dalander
Ritchhart, John 1825 23 Dec 1867 Dalander
Ritchhart, Joseph A. 09 Jun 1862 19 Mar 1863 Dalander
Ritchhart, Joseph E. 1869 1869 Dalander
Ritchhart, Mary E. 1867 15 Feb 1870 Dalander
Ritchhart, Willis H. 1865 20 Feb 1866 Dalander
Robertson, Robert     Mount Hope
Rutherford, Infant 1874 1874 Dalander
Rutherford, John N. 1853 1862 Dalander
Rutherford, Marion G. 1866 1874 Dalander
Rutherford, Mary M. Dec 1861 26 Oct 1862 Dalander
Rutherford, Susan A. 1851 1862 Dalander
Saunders, Joseph E. 1858 1859 Boone
Saunders, Perry S.   1876 Boone
Sharp, Mary E. 1880 13 Apr 1884  
Soderland, Bertina   27 Sep Dalander
Stoneburner, Eva Pearl (Hively) 14 Feb 1893 20 Apr 1915 Dalander
Stover, Charlotte J. 1867 19 Oct 1871 Dalander
Stover, Sarah   29 Oct 1871 Dalander
Straughan, Obedience   1869 Hopkins Grove
Sturdivant, Esther B. 1892 1892 Dalander
Sturdivant, John J. 12 Oct 1836 15 Jun 1912 Fairview
Sturdivant, Johnnie 09 Mar 1892 07 Apr 1892 Fairview
Underhill, Agnes 1814 27 Apr 1863 Dalander
Underhill, W. H.     Dalander
Vestal, Margaret (McPheeters) 07 Mar 1844 31 May 1891 Dalander
Wheeler, Benjamin     Mount Hope
Wheeler, Infant Daughter     Mount Hope
Wheeler, Infant Son     Mount Hope
Wheeler, Joshua   1890 Fairview
Wheeler, Mary 1880 16 Oct 1880  
Wheeler, Mrs. Benjamin     Mount Hope
Wheeler, William   1902 Fairview
Widner, Caroline E. 20 Mar 1849 30 Dec 1853 Dalander
Widner, Henry 11 Nov 1827 14 Jan 1858 Dalander
Widner, Mary M. (Ritchhart) 09 Nov 1824 29 Jan 1895 Dalander
Williams, Alfred E. 1829 07 Nov 1894 Dalander
Williams, Algie   1873 Boone
Williams, Amy 17 Jul 1800 12 Oct 1847 Dalander
Williams, Amy 09 Oct 1833 12 Oct 1845 Dalander
Williams, Betty 1802 1866 Dalander
Williams, Elsie   1847 Dalander
Williams, Henry 1803 07 Apr 1864 Dalander
Williams, John 1842   Dalander
Williams, Margaret E. 28 Feb 1872 22 Mar 1876 Dalander
Williams, Nancy 27 Jan 1845 04 Mar 1908 Dalander
Wilson, Moses B. 1860 1861 Boone

Excerpt from Perry Daily Chief, July 13, 1912, regarding construction of the new Milwaukee bridge

Cemetery to Be Moved

Right in the path of the monster grade is the old Williams Cemetery, grown rank with weeds and wild flowers. Headstones dating back to 1858 mark graves of men and women whose death occurred in that year. It presents a problem which the legal department of the road must solve. The company has purchased one hundred feet to the north of the little city of the dead and has secured permission from as many relatives as can be found for the removal of graves to the other side of the cemetery. The company needs fifty feet of the south end of it. A plat is being prepared locating each of the graves and the new part of the cemetery will be platted just as the old part is. The legal question of the change will be completed in a few days. When completed there will nestle along the side of the grade a neat burying ground, a monument of the past in comparison with the enterprise and ingenuity of modern man.

Perry Daily Chief, Aug. 2, 1912


C.L. Lucas Tells of Famous Old Place Near Elk Rapids Which Milwaukee Road Is Moving

C.L. Lucas, the pioneer of Boone County and Madrid tells an interesting story of the old cemetery which the Milwaukee railroad is moving to make way for its mammoth bridge across the Des Moines River.

"It was the first spot of ground dedicated to a cemetery in Boone County," says Mr. Lucas. "The much decayed old fence that surrounds it, encloses less than two acres of land. To look at it now one is forced to the conclusion that it is a sadly neglected cemetery. It has never been taken charge of by any association of people for its care and protection. It is not known that it was ever so much as platted."

But notwithstanding all this neglect the remains of many prominent people rest within its borders. Of those he mentioned Benjamin Williams the man who donated the land on which the cemetery is located. Judge Montgomery McCall who was prominent in those early times. Joseph Bernico, John and Albert Williams, Joshua Wheeler and L.L. Wheeler, and three soldiers of the civil war, Isaac Hughes, Robert Robinson and John Gulick.

"The first burial in this cemetery was that of Mrs. Elsie Williams, wife of Benjamin Williams, who died June 10, 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Williams settled on a claim here in the spring of 1816. John Green and his band of Mesquake Indians were camped on the claim he took when Mr. Williams and his family arrived. They had just finished making maple sugar for that year. Their sap troughs became the property of Mr. Williams which he used for a number
of years. When the land came into the market about the year 1850, Mr. Williams bought it of the government at $1.25 per acre. It recently sold for $200 per acre."

"When Mr. Williams sold his farm to John Dalander some time in the sixties he reserved the cemetery. The title to it is now in his heirs."

"It is now very necessary that an association be formed and a quit claim deed be made to it by the heirs, so that the association may look after and take care of the cemetery. This is an absolute necessity."

"Some time ago a Perry paper seemed to be puzzled because the name Elk Rapids is applied to this cemetery. This comes from the fact that there is a rapids in the river nearby, which has from the earliest white settlement borne the name of Elk Rapids. The wild elk which were very numerous were in the habit of crossing the river at the rapids because the water was shallow there and from this the name originated."

The Perry Daily Chief, Saturday, July 24, 1913


Elk Rapids Cemetery one of the Oldest in Central Iowa - Many Pioneers Are Buried There

The removal of bodies from the Elk Rapids Cemetery near the Des Moines River crossing of the Milwaukee road is being rapidly completed and within a short time it is expected that the change will be completed and the old cemetery extended to the north and south end disappear beneath the huge fill which the railroad company has to make to protect the big grade up to the famous high bridge.

This cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds in central Iowa and among the graves opened are those of early Boone and Dallas County settlers. According to the records on the tombstone, the remains in one of the graves were laid away in 1855.

The following is a list of the bodies now being removed, and the names, age at time of death, dates of burial and the cemeteries to which the bodies are being removed, are as accurate as it is possible to secure them:

John Hurley, aged 80 years, buried 1866; remains moved to Hull Cemetery.

Catherine Hurley, aged 40 years, buried 1861; remains moved to Hull Cemetery.

Nancy Grable, aged 23 years, buried 1861; remains moved to the Hull Cemetery.

Infant son of Nancy Grable, aged 1 year, buried 1860; remains moved to Hull Cemetery.

John H. Cunningham, aged 35 years, buried 1850; remains moved to Hull Cemetery.

G. Cunningham, aged 1 year, buried 1859; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

A.M. Cunningham, aged 1 year, buried 1861; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Rebecca J. Cunningham, aged 15 years, buried 1871; remains moved to Fairview Cemetery.

J.A. Cunningham, aged 72 years, buried 1901; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Diana Cunningham, aged 8 years, buried 1872; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

George Cunningham, aged 2 years, buried 1867; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Theodore Cunningham, aged 1 year, buried 1863; remains moved to Hull Cemetery.

John Gulic, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Mary Gulic, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Libbie Gulic, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Mary Long, aged 14 years, buried 1877; remains moved to Fairview Cemetery.

Martha Detrick, aged 27 years, buried in 1855; remains moved to old Hopkins Grove Cemetery.

Obedience Straughan, aged 81 years, buried 1869; remains moved to Hopkins Grove Cemetery.

Sarah Murphy, aged 74 years, buried 1865; remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Martha Ballard, aged 20 years, buried in 1854; remains moved to Boone Cemetery.

William Wheeler, aged 70 years, buried in 1902; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Joshua Wheeler, aged 90 years, buried 1890; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Johnnie Sturdivant, aged 1 year, buried 1892; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

John Sturdivant, aged 76 years, buried in 1912; remains moved to the Fairview Cemetery.

Robert Robertson, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Algie Williams, aged 14 years, buried 1873; remains moved to the Boone Cemetery.

Moses B. Wilson, aged 1 year, buried 1861; remains moved to the Boone Cemetery.

Joseph E. Saunders, aged 1 year, buried 1859; remains moved to the Boone Cemetery.

Perry S. Saunders, aged 19 years, buried 1876; remains moved to the Boone Cemetery.

Elizabeth McIntosh, aged 76 years, buried 1867; remains moved to the Boone Cemetery.

Mary E. Gulick, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Peter Long, remains moved to Fairview Cemetery.

Esther Long, remains moved to Fairview Cemetery.

Jessie Long, remains moved to Fairview Cemetery.

Leslie Long, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Dovie Cagle, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Bruce Cunningham, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Benjamin Wheeler, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Mrs. Benjamin Wheeler, remains moved to Mt. Hope Cemetery.

One son and one daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Wheeler removed to Mt. Hope Cemetery.