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Knoll/Poor Farm

The Story County Knoll Cemetery, a small square plot, can be remembered as being bordered by the distinct tall pine trees. The burial ground goes back to the time when the county supervisors purchased a farm in 1869 from C B Stetson in Sec 35 of Milford Twp for a Care Facility known as the "poor farm." The plot was just to the left of the entry to the facility's main entrance where the long drive led to the beautiful setting of buildings housing the patrons and care givers. See page 46, 252. J.H.Howard was the first internment in 1870. The first nine graves were literally marked numbers only, one through nine, each by a small concrete post. A list of those buried is found in Allen's "History of Story County," which was published in 1887 and listed those buried prior to 1887:

        [1]  J H Howard   died 1870
        [2]  Tobias Tierson   44  1 Jan 1886
        [3]  Knudt Thompson
        [4]  Ada  Underwood
        [5]  Jacob Wilson
        [6]  Hollis
        [7]  Mike Mooney   34 yrs
        [8]  M  B  Nash   80 yrs
        [9]  Mrs Jane  Thompson   84
        also a 10 mos old child is laid in that row:
             Charles VanDusen
Early County Death Records list these burials:
     Dundas, Louisa   75y  4m 12d   Mar 31 1892
     Gassaman, Joseph    87   Aug 2 1891
     Grosclose, Wm   44y   Jan 5 1883
     Mooning, Nicholas   45   Jan 24 1882
     Nelson, Hans   20y  6m  14d   Nov 11 1892

Then the institutional policy changed and for a decade, those deceased that were not taken to their homes, were interred in the area referred to as "Potter's Field' section of the Nevada Cemetery.

---no other records between 1882-1918??

East edge of County Cemetery area:
     Eckard, H L  1859-27 Oct 1919
     Huffman, James  1839-16 June 1919
     Jones, Thomas  1841-13 Dec 1918
     Walters, John   died 2 March 1919
     Ward, Joseph  1882-16 June 1919

--no other records between 1919-1921??

Found in County Farm Records:
     Croswer, Levi  1840-5 Feb 1922
     Hapness, Julie  1859-23 Dec 1922
     Kettlewell, Martha  1835-l Oct 1922
     Milne, John  1845-21 Sept 1923
     Rice, Charlie  1849-13 April 1921
     Vance, Henry  1858-26 Feb 1922

--no records between 1923-1956??

The gap in the Knoll Cemetery ended on July 17, 1956. The Valles grave, as well as others since that time, are marked with the occupant's name and burial date. The burial records of Elbert Stoope tells the story that he had lived at the County Home, as it was later known rather than the Poor Farm, for a number of years and had worked in the laundry.

Interned between 1956-2002 are listed below:

No explanation of who qualifies for a county burial have been found, yet there have also been some since the County Home closed in 1991.

Alcott, Kenneth  1911-1960*   See page 77.
Bailey, Harry   1889-1963
Bradburn, James A  1916-1974
Cartwright, Horace  1878-1960
Chatfield, Henry  1876-1964
Cochonour, Lucinda H  1914-1966
Davis, Arthur   1876-1962*
Easte, Blanche   1900-1962
Johnson, Perry O  1900-1970
Kazmierczak, Philip Tofil   died March 29 1957
Kern,  James   1904-1972
Knapp, Emma   died  July 15 1962
McColley, Edwin L  1903-1973
Myers, Gertrude E  1916-1961
Myers, Larry W  1942-1960
Overgaard, Amelia  1899-1964
Severide, Ellen  1909-1983
Simmons, Lillian  1879-1960
Stoops, Albert  1918-1976
Swanson, Elsie  1913-2002               

Burials for indigent persons are now provided for in government-regulated estate laws.


This cemetery is in a part of McFarland Park and is actually in Sec 13 of Franklin Twp, however it is in the area that is isolated between the east side of the Skunk River and Sec 18 of Milford Twp so it had been used for internment of a few Milford Twp people.

In 1859 Adam L. Grove sold two acres of land for one cent to Franklin Township Trustees for use as a free burying ground for the pioneer community. Adam Grove was the father of three girls and four boys, two of whom were killed in the Civil War. Adam died in 1869 and is buried in the Ames Cemetery.

Between 1863 and 1878 some nineteen people were buried in the area. It is known that some were later moved to town and to nearby church cemeteries as they became established. It is believed that the following nine people are still buried in the original burial grounds.

Their markers have long deteriorated:

Adams, Philura A.  1830-1867
Arrasmith, Sara A   dates unknown
Brown, Anna  1869-1873
Brown, H W  1832-1873
Carr, Fanny  1834-1868
Cochran, Mary   dates unknown
Lewis,  Anna Walker  1863-1865
Rich, Elizabeth   1831-1867
Spencer, Lucy   1787-1870

Bob Sanders, a kin of Lucy Spencer, made arrangements with Steve Lekwa and the Story County Conservation Board to have the permanent memorial put in place in May of 2009. The rock was a typical glacial rock deposited in the area centuries ago and selected for the project.

McMichael Pioneer Cemetery Engraving

“Adam L. Grove sold two acres of land for one cent to the Franklin Township Trustees in 1859 for use as a free burying ground for the pioneer community. The cemetery was located next to the only road connecting pioneer settlements, a stagecoach trail that followed the river valley. William McMichael was one of the trustees who cared for the cemetery. Nineteen people were buried between 1863 and 1878, but some were later moved to town and church cemeteries as they were established. It is believed that the following nine people are still buried here: Philura A. Adams 1830-1867; Sara A. Arrasmith unknown; H. W. Brown 1832-1873; Anna Brown 1869- 1873; Fanny Carr 1834-1868;Mary Cochran unknown; Anna Walker Lewis 1863-1865; Elizabeth Rich 1831-1867; Lucy Spencer 1787-1870.”

This Cemetery predates Pleasant Grove by perhaps two decades and some burials that occurred here were later moved to other cemeteries including Pleasant Grove. Ruth Hughes, daughter of TR, who died in 1866 at the age of 26, was moved to Pleasant Grove after its founding in 1877.

Page 329 of 354

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