Jefferson County Online

by Verda Baird
Reprinted with the permission of The Fairfield Ledger
(Underlining done by this editor)


Baird asks for information on cemetery work

This is the second in a series of six articles about Jefferson County cemeteries written by local genealogist Verda Baird.

 Among the newsletters I receive is Grave News of the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries. This group has been organized for seven years with many counties already having their county cemetery commissions established. It is interesting to learn what other counties are doing. The Fayette County Pioneer Cemetery Commission in the last three years has restored nine cemeteries. Webster County has a volunteer group taking digital pictures of gravestones and have 15 cemeteries completed.

 Union County will be purchasing reflective signs marking the locations of rural cemeteries thereby making it easier to find those not located next to a traveled road.

 There seems to be something unique in each cemetery I visit and want to share one with you from Winsell Cemetery. A small irregular shaped stone took my eye and it reads as follows: “If Tears Could Build a Stairway, and Memories a Lane, I’d Walk Right Up to Heaven and Bring You Home Again.”

 The 13 cemeteries in today’s report were walked in October or November, 2001. If there is restoration or clean up work presently under way in any of the 78 cemeteries, let me know and I will include it in this series.

- Blackhawk Township, Section 4, Blue Point Cemetery, burials 1841-present; very neat, nicely mowed; one leaning stone and one fallen stone. In November, it was noted that the moles had presented quite a problem for the mowing season.

- Buchanan Township, Section 10, Upper Richwoods, burials 1841-present. Mowed periodically; had lots of volunteer work in 1989, but needs work again to remove more brush and repair eight stones that are fallen or leaning.

- Buchanan Township, Section 16, Seitzer, burials 1857-present; nicely mowed; several leaning stones.

- Buchanan Township, Section 34, Bethesda, burials 1850-present; nicely mowed; two fallen stones.

- Cedar Township, Section 4, Bradshaw, burials 1847-1884; back in Zillman’s Hickory Hills on Glasgow Road; padlocked gate; log fence needs repair; not mowed, weeds were five feet tall in October. It needs a sign on an orange gate so visitors know where it is.

- Cedar Township, Section 10, Galliher Family, burials 1848-1895; cleaned up in 1993 and has stayed really nice since; nicely mowed and stones very neat.

- Cedar Township, Section 15, Wright, burials 1846-present; tree sprouts allowed to grow near some of the stones; nicely mowed; eight stones leaning or flat on the ground.

- Cedar Township, Section 21, Pattison, burials 1844-present; cleaned up in 1987-88. Nicely mowed; fence taken down about 1998; eight stones need repairs. The cemetery has a mail box containing a guest register for visitors to sign and state what graves they visited.

- Cedar Township, Section 36, Pioneer, one 1846 gravestone of the county’s only Revolutionary War soldier. It has a new board fence constructed as an Eagle Scout project. But because the fence is high and cannot be climbed over and because there is no gate, people cannot get in to do weed and brush control or take pictures.

- Des Moines Township, Section 4, Dunkard-Brethren Cemetery, burials 1843-present; cattle had been in the cemetery in 1999; 61 stones have fallen or are leaning and need work; mowed periodically.

- Des Moines Township, Rominger/County Line, burials 1845-present; mowed periodically; eight stones leaning or fallen.

- Des Moines Township, Fell, burials 1841-present; nicely mowed; looks good from the gravel road, but a walk through it is an eye opener. The cemetery association is short on funds and the old section is a disaster area with 101 stones leaning or fallen.

- Des Moines Township, Winsell, burials 1838-present; nicely mowed; one leaning stone; has a new entrance sign, flagpole and family-installed park bench inside.

The Fairfield Ledger – Page 3 – Tuesday, July 16, 2002

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