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Dunkard church releases more cemetery information

Contributing writer

New information from Sandy Robinson of Lawrence concerning the Dunkard Church Cemetery says the Church of the Brethren or Dunkard Church was built in the 1880s just west of the cemetery site. According to Maurice Meirowsky, the building, which was sometimes used as a community meetinghouse, was still standing in the late 1950s to early 1960s, but had not been in use as a church in many years.

A plot of the cemetery found in Robinson’s father’s papers has 54 sections with some sections showing as many as four marks — the assumption being that the marks indicate where the deceased are buried. Some of the names in the cemetery are Duboise, Ogle, Rarigh, Rerrigh, Wise, and Yoder.

Evan Yoder reports a family member is supposed to be buried there, but the location is unmarked. Sandy Robinson’s relatives include Wes Rowland and David and Susan Rowland. Robinson appears to be the only visitor to leave flowers each Memorial Day.

Maurice Meirowsky is a fountain of information for the Catholics of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Spring Branch, which dates the beginning of their parish to 1872. This was the year when “a little band of eight Catholic families took up homesteads in the new country about Spring Branch.”

They were not able to undertake the building of a church until 1883. Father Nicholas Fowler inspired them to build a church, a 20 x 30-foot frame structure. It took them three years to complete the building.

The church site was on five acres of land donated by Gerhard Henn, one of the pioneer settlers. He also donated the church bell. Other family names include Winkley, Wegerer, and Black.

The original frame church was eventually moved to the Lou Wegerer place when it was replaced by the new brick church. The cemetery and church site are owned by the Wichita diocese and are not on the Marion county tax rolls.

Teresa Huffman of Marion deserves credit for the upkeep of the Cedar Rest Cemetery as a “labor of love.” She says, “but for the grace of God, I might be a pauper and it deserves care.” The old Marion County Poor Farm, is indeed, largely forgotten.

History buffs able to “travel across the waters” this summer might want to take part in the special event planned by Peabody Township Library at 1 p.m. May 26 to show off the old painting done by Jack Logan around 1919.

Included in the painting are the names of local men who served in World War I and, in gold, those who did not come home. There are American cemeteries in France where American soldiers are interred. There are fascinating cemeteries all over the world.

Last modified May 24, 2012

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