Lest We Forget - a History of Haskell County Cemeteries

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Colusa |  Dudley Township |  Haskell County |  Ivanhoe |  Canaan (Kleinegemeinde) |  Lockport

Colusa Cemetery

Colusa Cemetery is located 1 mile north and a half-mile east of the Channel 13 TV Station in the northeast part of the county. Just south of there, at one time, was the small unincorporated town of Colusa consisting of a sod community building, general store, school and possibly a blacksmith shop. The Colusa Community 1885 to 1900 included settlers in Haskell, Gray and Finney Counties.

A cemetery association was formed in 1910. Its first and only president was Dale Moore on whose homestead the cemetery was located. Mrs. John F. Josserand served a secretary. From their written records and the memory of their sons, Warren Moor and Guy D. Josserand, a complete list of names of persons buried there was compiled. In prior years Colusa 4-H and EHU clubs maintained this little cemetery and cement markers were made for graves without stones. Now, a part of the Haskell County Cemetery District, it is cared for by that agency. The location is marked by a lone tree, and 58graves are presently there. A few have been moved to Garden City and to Copeland, and records show some of the interments were "moved from a homestead." Four Civil War veterans lie at Colusa Cemetery. The earliest grave is that of Virgil G. Summers who died of typhoid fever in 1888 at the age of 26. The last service held there was for Dale Moore who died in 1949.

A little-know story is associated with the grave of Ruth Masterson, who died about 1890. She was the paramour of one of Bat Masterson’s four brothers, then of Dodge City. When it was learned that she was to have a child she was brought by him to the Colusa area where she made her home in a dugout while she awaited the birth of her child. Unfortunately she died in childbirth, and the baby was also lost.

Dudley Township Cemetery

Dudley Township Cemetery land was originally purchased from the United States by William and Sarah Rhodes who sold it to Review Township (original name) in 1889 for $485. Ownership passed to the City of Satanta and back to Dudley Township during the Depression (1931). The 20-acre plot was incorporated January 29, 1945. Ralph Wallace was sexton in 1948.

Early records were lost in 1959 during the Charles Leslie fire. Rex Miller took over as sexton and reconstruction of lost records was begun. In some cases it was necessary to probe area of the cemetery to be certain they were not in use. The north section of the cemetery was plotted during this period. H. Tom Ungles was instrumental in collecting the private funds used in purchasing the large entry monument. Ashland provided the flagpole. Miller was succeeded as sexton by Alva Decker. Charles McDonald took over in 1973.

Frank Arredondo became cemetery caretaker in 1958. Though a backhoe is now used, graves were then dug by hand. The Santa Fe Railroad and United Producing Gas Company generously allowed their employees to assist Arredondo.

Haskell County Cemetery

The largest of the county cemeteries is located just south of Old Santa Fe Feeders on U. S. Highway 83 and originally served the town of Santa Fe. The first block was acquired from Margaret S. Frisbie, and the original cemetery plat was filed August 28, 1888. The balance of land to the highway was purchased from James Patrick in 1921 for $25 an acre. Four blocks are platted, numbering 1600 plots and nearly all have been used or sold.

Records have been carefully kept of the cemetery since 1914. Lots containing four plots were sold for $5 at that time. To raise revenue in addition to the sale of lots, dinners were served and food sales and bazaars held. These netted as much as $83. Donations of $1 and $2 were often made. Mrs. Meredith made a generous gift of $2,000 in 1943.

In 1941 an election was called to give a deed to Haskell Township to legalize a levy; the cemetery is now tax supported. The first well was drilled in 1929, and a new fence was constructed in 1939, replaced in 1951 by the present fence and brick entrance. The metal arch was moved near the highway at that time from its previous location about midway in the cemetery. Many, many hours of volunteer labor have been donated to help keep the cemetery up over the years. The most recent improvement made was a second flagpole placed at the front entrance just before Memorial Day 1984.

In the earlier recorded minutes, plans for Memorial Day were extensive. They included parades, speakers, musical numbers, flowers, flag raising and selection of a high school student to recite the Gettysburg Address. Memorial services are now provided each year by the Sublette American Legion Post #205 and Auxiliary with a speaker, color guard, placement of a wreath at the flagpole and taps, all honoring approximately 70 veterans buried at the cemetery. A flag is placed at each of their graves by the Legion.

The earliest known burials are several in 1887 near the west fence. Side by side are two cement-covered graves whose markers bear that date F. M. Rosenberry, age 12 and Ella Collins, age 15. Two stones marked "unknown" and many other old stones can be found in this area. One inscription tells of a tragic death: Willie Pryor, 1899-1914 "Willie tried to swim the Cimarron River at low flood stage."

Many names no longer familiar can be found, but some have been remembered: Mrs. Gillespe "Died August 1893 at A. J. Trimbles." Her story has ben passed on by the McCoy family. She was traveling through the area when she became too ill to go any farther and the family stopped at the Trimbles who took them in and helped care for the sick woman until her death. Their kindness did not stop there. Years later one of the Trimble sons, who was in the monument business, erected the stone in memory of the lady who died at his parents’ home.

Abraham Bushey, a bachelor, died in 1906 at the age of 38. He hauled freight from Garden City for the Rutledge Hotel and, when the wagon was filled with ice, the trip was made at night. On one of these late-night trips, while still in Finney County, he apparently went to sleep and slid to the ground. His neck was broken whe he fell beneath the wagon and died instantly. Mr. Rutledge brought him back to Santa Fe, arranged for his burial and erected the monument.

John L. Taubman, 1848-1918, and his sister Meta Taubman, 1865-1946, came from the Isle of Man, a small island located in the Irish Sea midway between England and Northern Ireland. It is believed she originally came to New York as a maid and that he carried the mail in this area at one time. How and why they came to Haskell County is not known. Several Sublette residents remember Meta who stayed on in Her little two room house a block east of Sublette’s main street until her death.

Where are all of these people’s relatives? They do exist. J. K. Stanley who died in 1921 at the age of 83, was a Civil War veteran who homesteaded here with his wife Margaret (Hanston) Stanely (1848-1898) and also served as Register of Deeds at Santa Fe. A few years ago a Stanely descendant in California wrote a letter of inquiry about them for her genealogy research.

Each person buried in the Haskell County Cemetery has his or her story and all should be remembered for their numerous contributions to our community. For nearly 100 years our Kansas winds have swept this plot of ground as those who lie there rest undisturbed.

Ivanhoe Cemetery

Ivanhoe Cemetery is located on U. S. 83, 10 miles north of Sublette, about three-quarters of a mile south of the townsite of Ivanhoe. Although no longer used, it has bever been forgotten, and caring people of the community have kept it up for many years. The original woven-wire fence was heavily damaged by drifting dirt during the 1930s and some 30 years later it was replaced with a cable fence and gateway by the Valley Grange. At the same time, this organization made cement stones for previously unmarked graves and drew a plat showing the location of all burials. Lakeview EHU also put in hours of service over the years to help keep the cemetery in better condition. In 1967 a deed was given to the Haskell County Cemetery District which took over maintenance.

There are 67 known graves at Ivanhoe and the grave of Joe Mayette Pierce, a three-year-old child, dates back to 1886, probably the earliest marked grave in the county. Eleven stones are simply inscribed "unknown." Following the high infant mortality rate of the period this cemetery was used, it is the resting place of 29 infants and children. Enclosed by a wrought-iron fence is the grave of Sarah E. Russell who died in 1887 at the age of 19. At least one Civil War veteran is buried there with his stone marked "C. C. Hill, Company B, 10th Illinois Cavalry." There are no dates shown. His grave site is also enclosed with a wrought-iron fence. Most dates of death are prior to 1920. Probably the last burialwas a cremation moved there in the 1960s, a relative of John Adams of Finney County. Two new markers have been erected in recent years.

Few people remain in the county who remember services at Ivanhoe. Samp Kells recalls that his father, Robert F. Kells, often helped at funerals with his spring wagon as a hearse, and the 1-inch butt lines were used to lower the caskets. An occasional inquiry is made about a particular grave, and letters from relatives expressing appreciation for the upkeep have been received by the Grange in the past.

Flowers appear each Memorial Day, most placed by area people who have loved ones buried there, but flowers are also seen at headstones with unfamiliar nemes inscribed on them. Grange members leave a small cross at each gravesite every year.

Canaan Cemetery

Kleinegemeinde, now Evangelical Mennonite Conference, Cemetery is located in the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 26-28-34, 10 miles north and one mile west of Satanta.

The Mennonite settlement was established in 1915. The Mennonite Church building began in 1925, and on October 8, 1929, and the Church of Canaan Cemetery (Kleinegemeinde) was register.

Familiar names from the Satanta Mennonite community are found there: Plett, Friesen, Reimer, Doerksen, Koop and Brandt.

Lockport Cemetery

One the Haskell-Gray County line, two miles north of Kansas Highway 144, the ruins of this cemetery are located near the site of the old town of Lockport. Long abandoned, there are three marked graves to be found. One reads "T. D. G., 1850-1892." A second stone is that of Elizabeth G. Van Wye, 1844-1888. The large marker is the Will family stone, marked on the north side with "Daughter, died April 17, 1887, aged 9 days." On the west face of the stone is the names of her father, Samuel, who died in November that same year at the age of 28.

Regretfully, no further information or records of this cemetery could be found.

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