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Cemetery rich with settlers' history
By Jerry Turnquist | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 10/17/2008 12:05 AM

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Most people passing the Schroeder Cemetery on Route 72 west of Randall Road in Dundee Township have no idea the land is actually a cemetery. There are no signs, no headstones, no fences.

But the place is rich with history.

Linda Eder and Jane Smith, longtime members of local genealogical societies, have studied such properties for years.

The Schroeder Cemetery dates from 1845 when Isaac and Sara George deeded one acre in the southeast corner of their farm for a "burying ground," say Eder and Smith. There were likely burials there unofficially before that time, but they say the evidence is inconclusive. The name "Schroeder" came from later property owners adjacent to the cemetery.

The "grantees" or purchasers of the property were 20 men and one woman who paid a total of $10 for their lots. The George family made it clear that they wanted the land to remain a cemetery forever when they added language to the deed that read: "the exclusive uses and purposes of a burying ground and none other to be held and used by them in the manner following ... ."

Unlike many other pioneer cemeteries, the deed was also quite involved, say the women. It named 21 people who purchased property from the Georges and assigned specific lots to each. Because Isaac and Sarah George preserved lots in the cemetery, 22 families were ultimately connected to the property. Thirteen of the families had farms that surrounded the cemetery.

Unfortunately, no known burial records for the cemetery exist, the women explain. But from the 1840s until about the 1870s, when many burials took place at Schroeder Cemetery, there were also other cemeteries in the area including Old Starks, St. Mary's on Tyrell Road south of Route 72, Buena Vista, and West Dundee Township Cemetery on Route 31. An examination of records of interments for these cemeteries that still exist will help eliminate names that might otherwise be considered as Schroeder burials.