IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


– Millville Township – 35041 Mesquite Road

written by
Francis Behrend


January 1855 – The following deed was recorded in 1855 at the Clayton County Court House:

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: That I, John Walker and Agnes Walker, wife of John Walker of Clayton County Iowa, in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid by School District #2 in Millville Township of Clayton County, Iowa, do hereby sell and convey unto the said School District #2 the following described premises to wit:
Commencing at a Black Oak Stump about four rods west of the school house in said district, two feet in diameter and running thence northeast ten rods, thence southeast sixteen rods. Thence southwest ten rods, thence northwest sixteen rods to the place of beginning containing one acre more or less. To have and to hold the same for the use of said district for school purposes and for a BURIAL GROUND BUT FOR NO OTHER PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.

SIGNED THIS 18TH DAY OF JANUARY A.D. 1855 in the presence of J.W. Griffith by John W. Walker and Agnes Walker.

State of Iowa, Clayton County on this 18th day of January A.D. 1855 before me, John W. Griffith, a Notary Public in and for said county, personally came John W. Walker and Agnes Walker personally known to be the identical persons whose names are affixed to the above Deed as Grantors and acknowledge the same to be their voluntary act and deed. J.W. Griffith, Notary Public Clayton County Iowa.

Filed for record January 25, 1855 by Semford L. Reh, Recorder by B.F. Fox, Deputy


April 19, 1869 – A deed was recorded on this date whereby George and Margaret Friedlein, now owners of the Walker farm sold this same one acre of land for one dollar to the Millville Township School District (later known as the Friedlein School).

By this date the area had been surveyed and section markers had been buried so trees were no longer used for markers on deeds. By now the lower part of the one acre now used for a burial ground contained monuments. Dates on the markers showed deaths of 1847, 1852, 1853, 1857 and 1858. In other words, the burial grounds were sold to the district.


December 13, 1877 – Realizing the error, new deeds were issued, quote: “to correct a deed given by George Friedlein and wife to Sub District #2 in Millville Township on the 19th of April, 1869”.

For one dollar 17/100 of the acre was sold to the Millville Township School District #2 and the remainder was sold for $1 to the Friedlein Graveyard Association, John Collins, John Friedlein and P.S. Ward trustees of said association. In other words, the cemetery and the school parted.


February 17, 1894 – Wanting more playground, another acre adjoining on the north was sold to the school district by George and Margaret Friedlein for $10. (This land has never been transferred to anyone.)


August 30, 1956 – Guttenberg Consolidated School District sold for $25 for quit claim deed to Charles and Darlene Troester only the 17/100 of an acre.


The cemetery was first known and called the Richardson cemetery according to Oscar Bolsinger whose grandparents, John and Leah Hart lived in the area at that period of time in the 1850’s. Chas. Richardson’s wife Edna Penhollow Richardson at age 40 died September 19, 1853, according to her marker in the cemetery. Mr. Richardson apparently had some connection with the cemetery and the land in that location. After his wife’s passing he traveled west.

According to the markers, the burials in this plat of land started in the northeast corner of what is now the enclosed cemetery and lay in a northeast-southwest line. Later on when the cemetery was laid out in lots it was done square with the enclosed fences.

Prior to 1920, according to word handed down, relatives of ones buried in the cemetery were expected to keep their graves free of brush, trees and grass, which eventually caused problems. Some graves were not kept clean. So 1920 found area ladies organizing the Friedlein Cemetery Association, holding box and letter socials and picnics to raise funds. An old record book reveals on April 24, 1920 and envelope social for the Friedlein Cemetery was held at the Friedlein schoolhouse. It netted $77.65. The same evening they elected Lizzie Behrend president, Mrs. Josie Troester vice president, Lillie Friedlein treasurer and Lizzie Ward secretary. They bought a new reel type lawn mower (no power mowers then) and hired someone to mow the entire cemetery for .25 cents per hour. The men cleared the cemetery of trees and brush, a rock wall was built on the west side next to the road where the bank was caving away. Labor was donated , teams and wagons hauled rock to the site. A fence was built on three sides of the cemetery.

Throughout the years, it was a struggle to accumulate enough funds to pay the person mowing the cemetery. In 1947 there were insufficient funds to pay William Troester, the mower. In 1948 we had a fund drive. In 1949 we were still unable to pay all what was due Mr. Troester, so had another fund drive in 1950 and all bills were paid.

Then the township gradually increased the funds we received from them through taxation. In March, 1977 a $500 gift from the will of Mrs. Josie Troester Weber was received. In May of 1999, Mrs. Elva Ward Troester’s will bequeathed a $1000 gift toward the cemetery. Other generous giving as well as many smaller donations and memorials were received through the years and added to the perpetual care and this invested, so that in time this resulted in a better financial condition for the association.

November 1, 1977 the cemetery association voted to withdraw $170 to pay for the new cemetery letters that were installed on the cemetery gate.

On May 25, 1983 the Friedlein Cemetery Association removed the old cemetery fence, installed in 1927and 1929, and started building a new one, the material bought from Baumgartner Gate Factory, Manchester, Iowa. A pot luck dinner was held at noon. The following participated: Lester Troester, Adrian Ward, Gary Geick, Henry Geick, Oakland Becker, Elmo Behrend, Bob Behrend, William Behrend, Ida Mae Behrend, Rita Behrend, Herman Kickbush, Ernest Kickbush, Richard Duwe, Mike Duwe, David Duwe, Daniel Duwe, Diana Duwe, Marie Duwe, Eugene Krieg, Lydia Krieg, Myrtle Hansel, Marie Ward, Arthur Graybill, Rueben White and Francis Behrend. Also on the afternoon of May 26, May 31 and June 1 some of the above returned and donated their machines, tools and labor again. It was completed on June 1, 1983. Adrian Ward donated the aluminum paint to paint the entrance gate, corner posts and gate posts. All finished on 3 sides of the cemetery.

In 1986 material was bought to finish the fence on the west side next to the road. So, on May 8, 1986 the following returned and participated in the construction: Oakland Becker, Adrian Ward, Carl Friedlein, Henry Geick, Eugene Krieg, Ernest Kickbush, Herman Kickbush, Lester Troester, William Behrend and Francis Behrend.

~Written by Francis Behrend. Contributed to Clayton co. IAGenWeb, March, 2010


Friedlein cemetery interments

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