Pioneer Cemetery Commission

Posted in ,    |   Back to All Articles
Back to All Articles

“Honoring the Courage of our Early Settlers”

A Pioneer Cemetery is a cemetery that has had less than 6 burials in the preceding 50 years. Most in the county are over 150 years old. We owe it to the early settlers and to those who passed away on their way West, the respect of maintaining their burial sites.

These pioneers met the loneliness of a new country, crossed streams, cleared fields by hand, and bested the Iowa winters in nothing more than log cabins or other crude shelters. Some lived on to become our great grandparents, but others passed on from illnesses, accidents of their hard labor, child birth, and they should not be forgotten.

The Commission welcomes any assistance with the restoration of these grave sites, whether it is helping to clear brush, stone repair, or by furnishing records of the names of people interned in each cemetery. The records may be the most important, as with the interest today in genealogy many people can not find where their great grandparents were buried or their contributions to opening up Iowa to settlement.

Cemetery Locations in Buchanan County

  1. Derby – Buffalo Township
  2. Payne – Byron Township
  3. Clow – Byron Township – moved
  4. Bethel – Byron Township
  5. Pine – Byron Township
  6. Kier/Union – Fairbank Township
  7. Beachler – Jefferson Township
  8. Shady Grove – Jefferson Township
  9. Greenwood – Jefferson Township
  10. Public Burying Ground – Liberty Township
  11. Buchanan/Mudville – Madison Township – moved
  12. Upper Spring Grove – Newton Township
  13. New Haven – Sumner Township
  14. Poor Farm/County Home – Washington Township
  15. St. Joseph’s/Mt. Calvary – Washington Township – moved
  16. Independence Cemetery – Washington Township
  17. Middlefield – Middlefield Township – moved

When the State of Iowa made into law the establishment of the Pioneer Cemetery Commission, they also attached a law stating that no-one could harbor or keep unknown cemetery stones. The BCHS has four partial stones, given to the Pioneer Cemetery Commission the summer of 2004 for safe keeping and to locate the graves, if known.

BCHS 2000-1.85 Artifact List

  1. Whitmore – 1911-1912
    Grey/polished granite
    Taken to Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton
  2. Mary, wife of James Hubbartt – d. 9/8/1870
    Early stone/marble
    Taken to Oran
  3. Infant son of Jacob & Mary Kessler – stillborn 11/20/1885
    Early stone/marble
    Taken to Solon
  4. Broken off but can read 1866
    Early stone/marble