Gove County Kansas

Baker Township Cemetery


Northeast corner of NE 1/4 of Section 29 Township 11 Range 26

Quinter Cemetery

History of the Quinter Cemetery

The Quinter cemetery was donated by the original Town Company. I. B. Chase company of Nebraska who had bought it from the Union Pacific Railroad by means of payments and contracts lost the land by default of payment. J.H. Baker of WaKeeney, aided by his sons, became the land agent of this land. Of course the lots in the cemetery had to be repurchased. D. A. Crist, Andy Miller, and David Ikenberry helped a surveyor who lived near Castle Rock to survey the cemetery grounds, sawing oak posts, sharpening stakes, and so forth.

The following description of the cemetery was filed for record at the Gove County Court House May 8, 1906 at 11:00 o’clock A. M., W. G. Jones, Register of Deeds. Length of cemetery 826 feet Width 610 feet Length of blocks 111 feet Width of blocks 39 feet Length of lots 24 feet Length of circle 19.5 feet Width of lots 16.5 feet Width of broad streets 40 feet Width of other 15 feet Width of walks 6 feet

Drain runs across northwest to northeast of cemetery

The Quinter cemetery is located on the N. E. corner of the N. E. ¼ of Section 29 Township 11 S Range 26, W of the 6th P.M. of Kansas

I hereby certify that the above is a true and correct plat of the Quinter cemetery as surveyed by me. December 3, 1886 F. B. Cope, Surveyor

The cost of the cemetery land was $16.00.

A map of the cemetery – Scale: Eighty feet to one inch – is also recorded in Plat Book 1. Streets were named: West to East between 6 and 11 blocks Arthur St. West to East between 11 and 30 blocks Grant St. West to East between 30 and 31 blocks Garfield St. West to East between 31 and 50 blocks Lincoln St. Also in Book 6 – p 185 NE ¼ Sec 29 Twp. 11 Range 26 Sheriff’s Deed Chase, Irvin B. etal by Sheriff Quinter Town & Land Co. Also see Book 21 page 444 Quinter Cemetery Association page 136 Deed Book 29 p 254 Owen Peters to Lot 3 Block 35 $10 April 6, 1911 Pres. & Sec. D. A. Crist, J. R. McKinney

Surveying disclosed that the first person to be buried in the cemetery, a man by the name of Daur, who lived east of town about a mile, had been buried outside the cemetery, in the road to the east. His body was later moved to the Collyer cemetery where he was buried with the other Civil War Veterans. Carved on the rock marking the grave of Fannie Celesta Gardner, 1885-1887 is “2nd. Grave, Quinter Cem.” Joel Ikenberry, a young man who died with typhoid fever was one of the first two or three burials in the cemetery. There are three burials in 1887 and six in 1888. We find five inscriptions with deaths in 1886. Two of these, Sarah I. Hemby and Sadie Jane Roesch (pages 17 and 25 in “OUR HERITAGE 1886-1986 Church of the Brethren Quinter Kansas” by Chalmer Faw) we know were buried in the Franz cemetery, also known as Red Top cemetery, We presume the other three were also buried in the Frantz cemetery and later moved to the Quinter cemetery. We do not know the year they were moved. The graves of Kate L. Hargitt and baby Walter G. Hargitt, and a child Geroge A. Weeks, were moved from the Frantz cemetery to the Quinter cemetery in 1920.

In the early years there was no clear plan for consistent care. Threre was so much tall grass it was difficult to locate a grave or find the correct spot for a new grave.

Under Events of 1901, page 74, of “OUR HERITAGE 1886-1986” by Faw-“November 30, 1901 J. E. Springer and D. A. Crist were appointed to correspond with the township board in regard to getting a title to the cemetery. Though the original Town Company had donated land for this, when the Chase Land Company went under, a new title had to be purchased”. In 1902 the cemetery project was renewed after the exploratory work of the year before. D. A. Crist and J. E. Springer were appointed at the March 1 council meeting to see about the purchase of the cemetery grounds. At the September 6 meeting David and George Ikenberry were added to the committee. This committee was in charge of taking care of the business of the cemetery in a systematic way.

The trash was cleared off and fences repaired, they urged lot owners to straighten stones. Cement markers were used for wooden stakes in many places. Then the lots or plots were offered for sale. A plan to buy and hold lots for families or individuals so the stress and strain of finding a place at the last minute would be eliminated.

During this period a horse drawn hearse was secured and used for many years. Jake Blickenstaff housed the hearse at his farm and he used his team of horses when it was needed. Before that, farm spring wagons were used as farmers volunteered the service.

Committees from the Brethren, Presbyterian and Methodist churches met September 9, 1904. D. D. Bailey was elected chairman and J. R. McKinney secretary of this first meeting. A motion was made and carried to have a public meeting at the Church of the Brethren September 17, 1904 at 10:00 o’clock to organize a cemetery association. It was moved and carried that all those paying one dollar or more become members of this association. The names are the first item listed in the minute book and it shows 77 members.

At the public meeting held September 17, 1904, David Ikenberry was elected chairman. Officers elected were: President, D. A. Crist; Secretary, J. R. McKinney; Treasurer, J. J. McElroy; Trustees, D. H. Ikenberry, O. J. Wanzer, J. E. Springer, J. H. Reinecker, and D. D. Bailey. Term of office to be one year.

At the meeting held January 8, 1910 the price of lots were raised to $10.00 for a full lot and $5.00 for a half lot. Block 10 was designated to be used and known as potter’s field.

To comply with the law it became necessary to have a sexton of a cemetery. At the meeting September 2, 1911, M. K. Mathews was appointed sexton and instructed to place locks on gates to prevent parties from burying bodies until a permit was secured. Before this bodies were buried without regard to streets and lots so consequently they were not in any order and some were buried in the streets. In January 1910, Charles Earley’s offer to move bodies from the streets was accepted by the association. In February 1913, a motion was made that the trustees present a claim to the Baker Township Board for moving bodies from the streets of the cemetery.

In 1926 it was decided to pipe city water to the cemetery. Mr. Inloes was given a vote of thanks for the privilege of laying a pipeline across his land.

In 1929 cedar trees were to be planted on the main street, east and west, north and south. In 1931 it was requested that all dead cedar trees be replaced with J. F. Blickenstaff in charge. This was done again in 1933 and more cedars planted from the east gate north to the corner of the cemetery. And again in 1935. Roy A. Crist in a letter to Billie Flora on the history of the cemetery states that a small park was made at the north end of the cemetery and planted to elm trees. Jake Blickenstaff seems to have been the one in charge of this park.

The association put forth a special effort in 1943, leveling and planting grass on all graves, and removing all curbing so the cemetery could be uniform and in order.

The Quinter cemetery association had two bank accounts—the cemetery account, and the Endowment Fund account. In October 1947, it was voted to merge the two accounts as funds were needed for the upkeep of the cemetery.

At the meeting October 10, 1947, L. W. Hendricks, chairman of the City Council, was appointed to investigate the proper authorities in order to make of this, the Quinter Cemetery Association, an association to be governed and controlled by Baker township or the City, with a tax levy to support the cemetery. The Association seems to have been dissolved soon after this. Billie Hazel Flora checked the tax levy sheet of Baker Township and found the first cemetery tax levy of l14 in 1945. No cemetery tax in 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949. In 1950 a cemetery levy of .22. In 1951 the levy was .30, in 1968 - .428, 1968 - .176, township cemetery Quinter in 1977 - .1240 and Baker township, cemetery improvement also in 1977 - .0895. At present there is enough money in the treasury that they have not had to have a tax levy for several years.

Dan A. Crist was president of the Cemetery Association continuously from its organization September 17, 1904 through October 10, 1947. J. R. McKinney was secretary continuously from its organization to May 18, 1926. Dan Crist and John McKinney worked together as a team in taking care of cemetery problems in those early years. Chas. W. Custer and J. E. Springer each served seven years as treasurer, and Homer Peck five years. J. F. Blickenstaff served the most years as a trustee—from 1907 to 1939, 32 years. Cal Woodward served 15 years and J. J. McElroy 14 years.

The first sexton appointed was M. K. Mathews September 2, 1911. Those that follow are C. M. McKain, 1914 to 1917; C. R. Earley, 1917 to 1920; David Ikenberry, 1920 to 1921; C. R. Earley, 1921 to 1933; J. F. Blickenstaff, 1933 to 1940; S. R. Kesler, 1940 to 1947; Esthol DeLay, 1947 to 1948. He was hired on an hourly basis until April 15, 1947, then at $80 per month. Roy Ulrich was hired in 1948 at $400 per annum to care for the cemetery grounds, cleaning, mowing, and supervising the digging of graves. Charles Sprenkel became sexton in May 1954 and was followed by Russell Jarboe.

In the Gove County Advocate dated May 28, 1981, “Charles Sprenkel honored during the Memorial Day Services Monday May 25, at the Quinter cemetery for his services as caretaker for the past 27 years. He worked diligently and kept the cemetery in excellent condition”.

Two brick entrances on the east side of the cemetery were built by Gail Ringer and Bud Smith about 1970. Between the entrances is a row of cedar trees.

A Bicentennial (1976) project of the Quinter American Legion Post 164 placed markers at the unknown graves and some of the known unmarked graves. The two known members who helped with this project are Harry Lines Jr. and Arthur Long. They made cement blocks 10 X 15 inches, and about 4 inches above ground level. Lawrence Hendricks furnished the funeral markers, Mary Harvey placed the letters “Unknown”, or the name in each of these, and they were placed flat on the cement blocks. Charles Sprenkel, the caretaker, helped with the location of the markers. In April 1987 there were 21 with names and 30 unknown markers like this. Some of these have been made and placed recently by caretaker, Russell Jarboe. These later ones have an additional cement base that is even with the ground.

About 1977—5 acres were purchased on the sourth, and half way across the west side to the south. This has been planted to grass.

Russell Jarboe made a large map and a shelter to protect it, and placed in the cemetery for the convenience of those who came from other parts of the country to find graves of loved ones. It is also a convenience for local residents.

The Quinter American Legion Post 164 in July 1984, made plans for an “Avenue of Flags” for the Quinter cemetery. Contributions for flag poles were accepted. Donation of Veteran burial flags were received. Cloyd Ikenberry, John Davis, and Paul Dinkel were selected to take the donations.

No doubt many important events and people have not been mentioned here. We had access to the minutes of the cemetery association from its beginning in 1904 to 1948. We presume that the association was dissolved and the cemetery was managed by the Baker Township Board thereafter. Other sources of information not mentioned on these pages are: “Pioneer Reminiscences” by Mildred Cass Beason pp 53,54; “History and Heritage of Gove Country, Kansas” by Albert and Mary Tuttle; Russell Jarboe; Mildred (Mrs. Tom) Hargitt; Lawrence Hendricks; and Mary (Mrs. Ralph) Harvey.

By Ethel (Mrs. Lester J.) Harvey

April, 1987

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