|Supplement to Mercer County
Cemetery Index now Available
Tandberg, Kathy. "Supplement to Mercer County Cemetery Index now Available." Hazen Star, 27 March 2008.
Berniece Scheid, Leona
Brecht, Mal Miller and Vi Schielke are pleased
to present the finished product, a supplement
to the Mercer County Cemetery Index. Both the
original and supplement are now available.
Family historians and genealogy lovers should take
note: the long desired supplement to the Mercer County
Cemetery Index is hot off the press and available.
The supplement is an endeavor from the heart of the
creator, Vi Schielke, the creator of both the supplement
and the original 488 page index of burial and cemetery
records compiled and first published in 1989.
Like the first index, the supplement is filled with
useful and valuable information for those seeking
records of burials in Mercer County.
The supplement includes 127 pages with approximately
1,651 new entries. The first index offers 6,253 entries
that include about 2,000 unmarked graves on the prairies.
The records also include when possible, the mother’s
maiden name, full birth date and full date of death.
No records are repeated in the supplement although
corrections and additions may include spouses in some
The new entries also include any known cremation
information, although not many records have been available
in that area.
Another pleasing addition to the supplement is 70
pages of photographs of each cemetery, including the
name of the cemetery, maps, GPS longitude and latitude
location and legal description. This information was
offered courtesy of the Mercer County Shop.
Beginning with the work of the first index, Vi has
clipped and saved every obituary printed in Mercer
County of people who have been buried in the county,
including of those people who died elsewhere but were
returned to the county for burial.
Vi said the book is as complete as it can possibly
be for one searching for hard to find records.
For years her basement has been full of these records
as the work continued.
Others have helped her along the way, both with the
first index and now again in the supplement.
Unlike the original index that was funded by Vi and
presales of the book, the printing of the supplement
has been sponsored by the area Germans from Russia
Heritage Society Chapter, Die Deutsche Stammhalter.
The project seems to be an appropriate one for the
chapter with a German name that in English means “The
German Tree Holder.”
Vi said the supplement would not have been possible
without the help of three society members, Mal Miller
and Leona Brecht, both of Golden Valley, and Berniece
M. Scheid, Beulah.
The trio volunteered their time to proof the work.
Vi is grateful for the hard work and long hours they
spent toward the project.
“They did a wonderful job, a very thorough
job. They each put in about 30 hours of proofing,”
Mal said the proofing committee worked well together
because they each had a different area of expertise.
“I wrote down most all the people who have
died since the first book was done and I still found
some that were missing. Toward the end there were
some obituaries I was missing so I went to the Hazen
Library and went through the old newspapers and made
copies,” Mal said, a family genealogy buff and
Berniece said she corrected anything she saw that
was wrong, like spellings.
“I read and corrected deaths, births and marriages
and whatever I found,” she said.
Vi said it has not been uncommon to find more than
one spelling for the same surname in the same family.
She used the name Landsiedel, who had a son, as an
Landsiedel’s records and documents and headstone
have the spelling one way.
His son’s records and documents and headstone
have it spelled Landseidel.
“I noted these things in the supplement records,
but I can’t change it because the headstone
reads that way,” Vi said.
Leona Brecht said her greatest challenges were the
cremations buried in the cemeteries and the people
who died out of state and were brought back to the
“I was one of the first to urge Vi for a supplement
about five years after the first one was started,”
In addition to the Chapter and many volunteers over
the years, Vi appreciates help from her son, Brian
Schielke, for being her computer expert; Darcy Thompson
for her work with the county mapping and photos; and
Lani Meyhoff for help in gathering many obituaries
and putting them on cards for easy access.
The book went to press for 200 copies a few weeks
ago (70 were pre-ordered sales). They came back with
a warm yellow, newly designed cover drawn by Vi’s
husband Ervin, who designed and drew the first cover.
The cover depicts Wuerttemberg St. John Lutheran Church,
Six copies of the book have been donated jointly
by Vi and the local Chapter to the Mercer County Museum,
Hazen Library, Beulah Library, Germans From Russia
Heritage Society Headquarters in Bismarck, the North
Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck, and to Michael Miller,
North Dakota State University Library – Germans
from Russian Heritage Collection.
The supplement will sell for the cost of printing
with no payment for the work. It was, after all, a
labor of love.
The supplement will sell for $22 each, plus $8 shipping
for those who can’t pick it up. The first edition
is still available at the same cost of $22 plus shipping.
“This second book was printed and paid for
by the treasury of the Chapter, but the treasury is
now broke so we need to sell these,” Vi said.
The book can be obtained by calling these Chapter
members: Vi, 873-2319; Delores Chase, 748-6602; or
Mal, 983-4669. Orders by mail can be sent to Mal Miller,
211 Second St. N.W., Golden Valley, N.D. 58541.
Vi has already said there will not be a third edition
to the book, at least not by her.
“A friend of mine who has done a similar project
once said this is just like having a baby. You go
through all the pains and it’s just like letting
go. And I’m ready to let go,” Vi said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hazen Star.