IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
new content added 08/17/2021

Cemetery Index

St. John's Cemetery
(aka Niehaus or Dittmer cemetery)
Located on Jolly Ridge Road, Jefferson twp., Sec. 30, NE/SW

St. John's cemetery - photo by Helen Jennings
St. John's cemetery - photo by Helen Jennings

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Located on Jolly Ridge Road, Jefferson Twp., Sec. 30, NE/SW, rural Guttenberg, Iowa.

St. John’s Cemetery was officially recorded at the Clayton County Courthouse on January 23, 1864, but earlier burials were conducted prior to this date. A number of monuments were dated as early as 1863 and a schoolhouse was built a few years before this also. Most of these records were never written down or lost through the passage of time.

The official description of St. John’s Cemetery recorded by the courthouse states: Graveyard District Number 1 Jefferson Twp. St. Johannes Graveyard Society purchased this property from Henry and Anna Mueller for the sum of $10.75.

The president of St. Johannes Graveyard Society was Mr. Ernst Dittmer and he appointed Mr. Fred Mueller to clear the remaining portion of the cemetery which was wooded laying to the north. Prior to the 1930’s, the cemetery took on many different names, derived from the people who were buried there. Some of these names were Dittmer Cemetery, Niehaus Cemetery, Minger Cemetery, Jolly Ridge Cemetery, and today it’s called St. John’s Cemetery.

Since its early days, the care of this cemetery has been poorly maintained. It is assumed the relatives of the deceased took part in cutting and trimming this cemetery by the use of hand sickles and mowing scythes, twice a year. We assume the Friedlein, Anderegg, Niehaus, Dittmer, Becker, Minger, Mueller, and Meyer families, to name just a few, were those who lent a hand in keeping this cemetery up. As time went on, Mr. Henry Niehaus would take care of your lot for $1.00 a year until the late 1930’s.

Troubled Times of St. John’s Cemetery

Since early times, corruption was a part of this world and it crept into the cemetery financial situation. For example: the treasurer embezzled approximately $300.00 from the cemetery fund for his personal use and essentially made the cemetery without any funds for improvements or maintenance causes.

Another example: regular meetings were held and in one situation, a discussion turned into a very heated argument between one of the Board of Directors and the sexton and that dampened the regular meetings that spanned for 10 years. If there were any meetings, they were usually very brief and few and far between.

Last, but not least, was the incident where a neighbor’s farm animals ventured into the cemetery and grazed it off due to the poor condition of the fence. Because of this, the cemetery had to be reseeded and the grass grew back even better.

These are only a few examples of the problems which bestowed this landmark; there are surely others which we haven’t mentioned.

1930’s to the Present

Following the consolidation of the country schools in the early 1950’s, the Jolly Ridge School was moved to Guttenberg around 1953. The building site was re-landscaped by volunteers and the fence was put up again. The property which the school building sat on was transferred back to the cemetery in 1954.

People mowed the cemetery at regular intervals since the late 1930’s. Prior to this, the old grass was burnt off. Ed Niehaus headed up this group which included raking and hand cutting the taller, denser grass which was mowed thereafter. Records were kept on who mowed this cemetery and their names are the following:

William Troester
Jerry Conley
Charley Troester
Ed Niehaus
Ernst Niehaus
Carlyn Meyer
Allyn Meyer
Irvin & Larene Niehaus
Lola Meyer

In 1977, Irvin & Larene Niehaus, with the use of their tractor and loader, landscaped the entrance to the cemetery and reseeded this area. In 1981, they donated two trees and two trees the following year. Two more were donated to the cemetery – one from Daniel Meyer in 1985, which was a spruce tree, and the other one was from Larene Niehaus the next year.

On February 9, 1984, serving for 56 years, Ernst Niehaus retired from being secretary and treasurer and transferred this position to Curtis Meyer. One of the last tasks he did was hiring Lola Meyer to mow the cemetery. One of Ernst’s requests was having an arch over the gateway to the cemetery.

In the spring 1984, a group gathered to help improve the cemetery as we see it today. This is only a brief description of what took place during the spring of 1984. These improvements were headed up by the sexton who spent many hours bringing this altogether.

The old fence was taken out and cleared by Rodenberg Construction from Elkport, Iowa. In the process of clearing, two stones were unearthed on the north side of Herman Kickbush and Carl Walter lots. These two stones were repaired by Herman Kickbush and Irvin Niehaus and placed back in the cemetery again. It took approximately a month to replace the old fence with a new hog-tight netting fence on three sides and chain-link fence in the front. Later, an arch was added to complete this project. The arch and lettering were constructed by Mr. Gary Noack of Guttenberg High School industrial art classes. On May 25, 1984, the volunteers gathered for a picnic in celebrating the finishing of the fence. It wasn’t until April 21, 1985, that the lettering was put on the arch by David and Daniel Meyer.

On May 25, 1985, a flag pole was donated by Lester Borcherding and a flag was given to the cemetery by the American Legion from Guttenberg, Iowa. Upon installing the flag pole, a picnic was held and it was well received and continuing this picnic as an annual event came about.

The first veteran to be buried in the cemetery was Paul Friedlein in January of 1984 and two more that same year which was Carl Kickbush and Alton Minger. As of 1987, there were 67 monuments in this cemetery.

These dedicated individuals hope the future generations will take interest as the past generations have done. What you see today was through cooperation and hard work of volunteers to beautify this historic landmark and we can cherish this for future years.

Information was obtained from Ernst Niehaus, Irvin & Larene Niehaus, Harold Walke, William Anderegg, Curt Meyer and the Clayton County Courthouse. It was compiled and typed by David G. Meyer.
. Lola Meyer, caretaker 1985-1995, then Jefferson Twp. took over.
. LeVerne & Jeff Nieland dug graves 1984-1992.
. Gary Westhoff dug graves 1999 -
. Bob Hinzman mowed grass 1996.
. Osterhaus family mowed grass 1997-1998.
. Dan Miller and son mowed grass 1999.
. Hoffman and Smith mowed grass 2000-2001.
. Dan Miller mowed grass 2002-2006.
. Nick Ashline mowed grass 2007.
. Eric Thiese mowed grass 2008.
. Cody Brandel mowed grass 2009.
. Dan Duwe mowed grass 2010 -
. Lola Meyer, Pres., V.P., Secretary, Treasurer 2010-2013.
. Diane Dickson, President 2013 –
. Judy Walke, Vice President 2013-2016.
. Lyndon Meyer, co-Secretary, Treasurer 2011 –
. Lola Meyer, Secretary, Treasurer 2013 –
. Carlyn Meyer, Vice President 2016 –

There have been picnics in the cemetery every year since 1984, weather permitting, on Memorial weekend. Otherwise, the picnic is held at the Lee and Diane Dickson home. Generally this picnic includes an annual business meeting.

Lee Dickson donates the cemetery flag as needed.

This history has been retyped by Julie (Meyer) Adams in October 2018 with updated information.

~The above information is posted at the entrance to the cemetery and was contributed to Clayton Co. IAGenWeb for posting by Phyllis Owings, Secretary of the Clayton County Genealogical Society, Elkader, IA



Survey of gravestones by Jessica Klein, May 2013
Photo survey of gravestones by Reid R. Johnson, May 2015
Gravestone inscriptions
WPA records
Newspapers, Census records, biographies, SSDI, Death Certificates & misc. other records

Search for obituaries: Clayton co. Obituary Index
Gravestone Photos from this cemetery

Name Birth Death Remarks
unknown, Sarah Roslyn     name is 'best guess'
unknown, F.W. Frederich     s/o D & D; surname may be Milles, Villes
unknown, Herman   07/19/1868 s/o Wm?
Anderegg, Alfred Charles 06/28/1874 1944 h/o Carolina; s/o William
Anderegg, Amelia C. 05/26/1860 07/04/1863 d/o John & Magdelena
Anderegg, Carolina M. 'Lena' nee Friedlein 1885 1953 w/o Alfred; d/o Emil & Louisa (Fischer)
Anderegg, Gertrude H. nee Groth 09/18/1915 - w/o Otto; d/o William & Helen (Hoyer)
Anderegg, Josephine Pearl nee Hankes 09/09/1910 09/25/2006 w/o Oakley; d/o John & Elizabeth (Pierce)
Anderegg, Magdelena Amalia 10/10/1825 05/13/1884 w/o John (he's buried Guttenberg City cem.)
Anderegg, Miriam Anna nee Behrend 09/09/1919 01/02/2005 w/o William; d/o Frederick & Henrietta (Horsch)
Anderegg, Osgar 07/28/1861 10/23/1884 s/o Ulrich & Verena
Anderegg, Otto D. 06/28/1916 12/16/1994 h/o Gertrude; s/o Robert & Lillian (Gull)
Anderegg, Robert 'Oakley' 11/18/1909 07/07/2004 h/o Josephine; s/o Robert & Lillian (Gull)
Anderegg, Ulrich 04/29/1829 06/22/1899 h/o Verena
Anderegg, Verena nee Steffen 02/26/1839 05/23/1918 w/o Ulrich
Anderegg, Victoria Jo 10/27/1944 -  
Anderegg, William H. 05/19/1920 04/16/2004 h/o Miriam
Becker, Albert C. 1900 1983 h/o Dorothy
Becker, Augusta 1863 01/09/1883 d/o Johann & Wilhelmine
Becker, Barbara Helen nee Kauffman 06/16/1850 01/16/1932 w/o John
Becker, Dorothy D. 1906 2002 w/o Albert
Becker, John 07/07/1848 01/19/1899 h/o Barbara
Becker, Johann F. 02/26/1828 04/05/1897 h/o Wilhelmine
Becker, Rosa 02/20/1883 04/08/1916 w/o Wm
Becker, Sada H. 04/27/1888 05/12/1907 d/o John & Barbara
Becker, William 06/01/1884 01/28/1963 h/o Rosa
Becker, Wilhelmine 1819 09/28/1892 w/o Johann
Dickson, Diane F. 04/29/1942 -  
Dickson, Lee H. 11/11/1937 -  
Dickson, Richard Paul 1966 2000  
Dittmer, Friederike Henriette 09/07/1842 02/10/1895 w/o Gustav
Dittmer, Gustav F. W. 09/04/1835 06/09/1919 h/o Friederike
Dittmer, Louis Daniel 01/27/1869 10/07/1896  
Fischer, Johanna 09/16/1827 06/04/1905 w/o John; her obit gives Dittmer cemetery as burial place, no gravestone found
Fischer, John   1896 h/o Johanna; Note: burial in this cemetery is presumed
Friedlein, Emil 02/13/1859 08/23/1934 h/o Louise; s/o John & unkn.
Friedlein, Paul J. 12/28/1887 01/20/1984 Cpl, U.S. Army, WWI
Friedlen, Louise nee Fischer 10/08/1859 02/21/1920 w/o Emil; d/o John & Johanna
Helmuth, J. Frederich 1828 1907  
Homann, August 01/01/1835 06/13/1905 h/o Louise Beerman (died 1895 & may also be buried here)
Kickbush, Carl 06/07/1917 10/27/1984 h/o Ula; PFC U.S. Army, WWII
Kickbush, John Carl 'William' 12/25/1829 01/30/1892 h/o Sophia
Kickbush, Sophia Marie Johnana 08/29/1829 03/08/1909 w/o J. C. William
Kickbush, Ula Mae 02/10/1921 05/06/1980 w/o Carl
Lundt, Dora 05/22/1850 04/13/1887 w/o Fred
Mardauss, Frederich 1843 10/09/1908 h/o 1st Louise, 2nd Mina Kulper
Mardauss, Louise nee Mueller 1844 10/13/1878 w/o Frederick
Meyer, Amanda 1903 1905 d/o Otto & Mary
Meyer, Curtis C. 11/29/1937 01/02/2010 h/o Lola
Meyer, Lola I. 02/13/1944 - w/o Curtis
Meyer, Mary nee Kregel 08/21/1880 12/02/1956 w/o Otto
Meyer, Otto 1874 10/06/1915 h/o Mary
Minger, Albert R. 11/08/1879 01/30/1930 h/o Blanche; s/o John & Elizabeth
Minger, Alton E. 'Jack' 11/01/1916 12/20/1894 h/o Marguerite; s/o Albert & Blanche
Minger, Anna nee Hofer 1797 1881 w/o Johann
Minger, Blanche nee Penhollow 01/02/1887 08/10/1952 w/o Albert; d/o Ansel
Minger, Charlotte M.   04/05/1883 12y 11m 11d; d/o John & Elizabeth
Minger, Elizabeth nee Hassig 08/30/1834 03/19/1922 w/o John
Minger, Johann 1800 10/01/1863 h/o Anna
Minger, John SR 09/07/1827 08/25/1908 h/o Elizabeth
Minger, John William 05/09/1856 04/08/1948 s/o John & Elizabeth
Minger, Marguerite L. nee Wilson 1921 -  
Minger, Maymie E. 01/10/1920 08/29/2009 d/o Albert & Blanche
Minger, Sarah Louisa 1859 11/04/1866 d/o John & Elizabeth
Mohrmann, Fred 1871 12/15/1901  
Moser, Anton 1795 11/18/1875  
Moser, Sophia nee Klaehen 10/??/1837 12/13/1915 w/o 1st Johann H. Mohrmann, 2nd Tobias Moser
Moser, Tobias 1828 08/24/1897 2nd h/o Sophia; s/o Anton
Muller, Ernstine nee Buchholz 07/18/1840 06/23/1901 w/o J.J.
Muller, Heinrich 1803 06/15/1877 ssa Margaretha
Muller, Helmuth 08/14/1881 04/30/1937 ssa J.J. & Ernstine
Muller, J.J. Frederick 06/25/1828 05/17/1907 h/o Ernstine
Muller, Dorathea L. 04/25/1830 01/11/1891  
Muller, Margaretha 1801 06/14/1880 ssa Heinrich
Niehaus, Edward H. 1892 1975 h/o Elizabeth
Niehaus, Elizabeth H. nee Geuder 1888 1974 w/o Edward
Niehaus, Ernestine 1868 01/10/1922 w/o Henry
Niehaus, Henry 12/21/1859 01/19/1946 h/o Ernestine
Niehaus, Irvin G. 01/29/1912 05/12/1991 h/o Lorene; s/o Ed & Elizabeth
Niehaus, Lorene L. nee Clefisch 02/17/1919 04/20/2014 w/o Irvin
Patrick, Gene Leslie 10/30/1925 08/25/2016 h/o Vera; s/o Leslie W. & Bertha D. (Hyde)U.S. Army, 7th Infantry Division & 44th Engineer Construction Group of the 434th Engineer Construction Battalion, Korea
Patrick, Vera W. nee Minger 02/17/1926 06/29/2013 w/o Gene; d/o Albert & Blanche (Penhollow)
Rausch, C.H. Wilhelmiene 06/17/1870 10/09/1876 d/o C. & H. (parent initials are 'best guess')
Walter, Carl - - broken stone, no visible dates
Walter, Christoph 1823 10/03/1884 h/o Dorethea
Walter, Dorethea 1823 07/15/1895 w/o Christoph
Walter, Friederich 'Fred' 03/28/1858 10/15/1893 h/o Christina Kregel, d. Feb. 1917, buried Loveland, Colorado cemetery
Walter, Martha 10/30/1887 12/12/1911 d/o Fred & Christina
Walter, Willi 10/14/1886 12/10/1886 s/o Christoph & Dorethea
Walter, Willi 04/25/1885 05/01/1885 s/o Christoph & Dorethea
Wernicke, Mary 09/26/1826 06/30/1884  
Yaberg, Anna Barbara 'Barbary' 1836 1878 w/o John
Yaberg, Anna Caroline 1858 06/25/1863 d/o John & Barbary
Yaberg, John 1851 07/03/1857 h/o Barbary
Yaberg, John William - - dates illegible; s/o John & Barbary


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