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A Marker of History

Mullally, Matt. "A Marker of History." Pierce County Tribune, 17 September 2010, 2.


Rugby's Dale Niewoehner has begun crisscrossing the Pierce County countryside with a specific purpose in mind - locate and document every cemetery peppered throughout the 30 townships.

It's an ambitious project, but when finished will provide a valuable record for years to come.

Hardly a week goes by when someone researching family history doesn't contact county officials seeking information on grave sites.

While the location of many are known, thanks to early records kept at the county recorder's office, there are some which are not documented and that's where Niewoehner hopes to fill the gaps.

He plans to take a photo of every cemetery and include some information about each one, as well as known single grave sites.

This history will eventually be given to the county recorder's office as well as be included in the planned 125th history book which will be published in time for next year's Pierce County-Rugby quasquicentennial.

These cemeteries are often forgotten about, but provide an important link to the past, said Niewoehner, who owns and operates Niewoehner Funeral Home.

His knowledge and familiarity of these cemeteries and his interest in local history made him the right person for the project. However, it's one that will take time to complete, he admits.

Some of the prairie cemeteries are well-kept and easily visible along township roads while others are not so easy to spot. Trees and bushes have overtaken the grounds and the headstones are hidden.

Many of those buried were early settlers to the region and the cemeteries tell a sad tale of the trials and tribulations of prairie life in Pierce County at the turn of the century. Many cemeteries contain markers of many infants who died shortly after birth.

Surprisingly a good number of the cemeteries remain active and hold burial services. Others, however, are no longer active.

In addition to locating cemeteries, Niewoehner is also interested in documenting single grave sites. If landowners know of any on their land, they are encouraged to contact Niewoehner at 776-6222.

Cemeteries in Pierce County

1. Barton Lutheran Church Cemetery - Barton Township 158-74 NESE Section 14 (NA)

2. Barton Free Lutheran ( East) Cemetery - Barton Township - 158-74 Section 23 (A)

3.Barton Denney Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery (West) - Barton Township - 158-74 - NENW Section 22 (A)

4. Zion Scandinavian Church Cemetery East Barton Township - 158-73 NENE Section 10 (A)

5. Norwegian Baptist Church of Barton Cemetery - Dewey Township - 157-74 NWNW Section 4 (A)

6. Marker Meninghed of the United Lutheran Church Cemetery - Dewey Township 157-74 NWNW Section 14 (A)

7. Wolford Cemetery - Wolford Township - 158-70 SWNW Section 21 (A)

8. Egeland (Emanuel) Norwegian Methodist Episcopal Church of Rugby Cemetery Torgerson Township 157-72 SWSW Sec. 24 (NA)

9. Hurricane Lake Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Free Cemetery Hurricane Lake Township 157-69 SESE Section 15

10. Zion Lutheran Cemetery - Ness Township - 156-74 - NENE Section 27 (A)

11. Tunbridge Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery - Ness Township 156-74 NESE Section 12 (A)

12. Bethel Lutheran Church Cemetery Christenson Township 156-73 SESE Section 28 (A)

13. Persilla Watts Cemetery - Christenson Township - 156-73 - SENW Section 2 (A)

14. Private Cemetery - Christenson Township 156-73 Section 14 (NA)

15. Little Flower Catholic Cemetery (St. Cyrinus) (Also containing graves in a Greek Orthodox Syrian Cemetery).- Meyer Township 156-72 NWNW Section 6 (A)

16. St. Anselm's Cemetery (Fulda) - Jefferson Township - 155-74 - SENE Section 7 (A)

17. Highland (Sand Lake) Lutheran Meninghed Cemetery - Reno Valley Township - 155-72 NWNE Section 11 (NA)

Township 155-72 SESW Section 30

18. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery - Balta Township - 154-73 - NWNE Section 16 (A)

19. Old abandoned Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery Balta Township - 154-73 NWNW Section 6 (NA)

20. Silva Trinity Lutheran Cemetery - Elverum Township 154-72 NWNW Section 14 (A)

21. Sacred Heart Cemetery (Orrin) Elling Township - 153-74 NWNW Section 10 (A)

22. Sacred Heart Cemetery (St. Mathias) (Orrin) Elling Township - 153-74 SWNW Section 15 (NA)

23. Strasburg (St. Maria's) Cemetery - Alexanter Township - 152-72 NESE Section 31 (A)

24. St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery Martin White Township 151-74 NESESW Sec. 34

25. Evangelical Reformed Salems Congregation Martin White Township 151-74 SWSESE Section 25

26. St. Boniface Odessa Church - Hagel Township 151-72 NESE Section 24 ..cemetery in Benson Co.

27. Eden Valley Lutheran Cemetery Hagel Township - 151-72 SESE Section 7

28. St. Anthony Cemetery - (Selz) Hagel Township 151-72- NENE Section 33 (A)

29. Blumenfeld - McHenry County Smokey Lake Township 154-75 Section 30

-Single Grave: Alie Ellery Lockwood Ellery Park 3rd St. S.W. Rugby

Single Grave: Polly & Allen Wesley Olive Reno Valley

-Single Grave: Elizabeth Werth - Hagel Township - 151-72 NE Section 30 in the ditch

-Indian Burial Mounds - No indication of burials. Girard Township 153-73 Section 16

A = Active Cemetery

NA = Non Active Cemetery

Reprinted with permission of the Pierce County Tribune

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