new content added 08/17/2021
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
Go to burial list
HISTORY OF ST. JOHNS CEMETERY
Located on Jolly Ridge Road, Jefferson Twp., Sec. 30, NE/SW, rural Guttenberg, Iowa.
St. Johns 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. Johns 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 1930s, 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 its called St. Johns 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 1930s.
Troubled Times of St. Johns 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 neighbors 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 havent mentioned.
1930s to the Present
Following the consolidation of the country schools in the early 1950s, 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 1930s. 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:
Irvin & Larene Niehaus
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 Ernsts 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 wasnt 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
Newspapers, Census records, biographies, SSDI, Death Certificates & misc. other records
|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|
|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|
|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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