In 1904 the Orange Township Cemetery Association was formed and Articles
of Incorporation were secured. On October 18th of that year the Board of
Trustees of the church of the Brethren met and organized, with the following
officers: S.A. Maust, Pres.; Jacob Lichty, Sec'y; Jacob W. Miller,
Treas. Later the offices of Secretary and Treasurer were combined.
At this meeting the Board appointed Ephraim Lichty overseer of the cemetery. The report further
stated that he should have charged of letting lots, digging graves or seeing that they were dug,
mowing the cemetery, etc. It was further agreed that J. W. Miller and S. A. Maust should solicit endowment, donations, etc. in accordance with Article 4 in the Articles of Incorporation.
A report of the first annual meeting of the Orange Cemetery Association in 1905 shows that they
met at the J. W. Miller residence. It was decided to "pay $3.00 for grave digging when the ground
is not frozen, $4.00 when not frozen over 12 inches, and $5.00 when frozen more than 12 inches. All
persons wanting to pay for the work please see sexton, Eph Lichty." It was customary to dig the
graves as deep as the coffin was long.
Some years after incorporating, the Association purchased the land to the north and to the west of the former boundaries, up to and including the corner of the farm, making the size of the cemetery approximately five acres. They also purchased a strip of land 24 feet wide along the entire north side
of the eighty, to be used as a road leading from the highway to the cemetery.
A good fence was built along the south side of the road, the cost being shared equally by the
Association and the owner of the farm, Mr. Olsen. Now the public has access to the cemetery
without any opening or closing of gates. In 1928 an iron arch was erected at the highway. In 1934 the road, which had
been previously graded, was graveled. Since then additional gravel has been added.
No one was ever denied the privilege of burying friends here, and no small number have been laid
away without so much as a pine slab to mark their resting place.
Seven sextons have served the Association since its organization:
Eph Lichty, Jonathan Whipkey, John Cornelius, Elwood Irish, L.A. Sanderson, H. B. Raudabaugh,
and W. S. Brown. Previous to the organization, anyone obtainable would dig the graves.
Usually neighbors or friends of the family of the deceased would volunteer to do the work. Seldom
was there any money consideration. In case a grave was to be dug for someone residing outside of
the community, would be sent to William or Matthias Miller, and those men took it upon themselves
to dig the grave or secure someone, usually without renumeration.
Since the cemetery Association became incorporated, arrangements have been made whereby lots
can be purchased for $60.00 with room for six burials on a lot, or half lots in proportionate amount.
The money from these sales, along with solicited funds is used as perpetual endowment, and the
earnings are used for the upkeep and improvement of the cemetery.
The association is to be commended for planning toward the future as well as the present. We owe
a debt of gratitude to the fine spirit of William Miller who so generously deeded the original plot,
and to those who throughout these 88 years have borne the responsibility of maintaining and
perpetuating this beautiful cemetery.
We who live in this community can be happy to have such a beautiful place in which to lay away
our loved ones.
At least eight deaths were caused by drowning.
Tommy Goughnour, a boy of eight, drowned in 1879 and his marker is one
of the few that records the cause of death.
Elias Dull, a lad of five, wandered away alone from school in Waterloo,
and drowned in the Cedar, in 1855.
Roy Harbaugh and John and Bert Hoover were drowned July 2, 1899.
Following a baptismal service at the Cedar River, by Rev. Gillin. A
joint funeral was held for the three victims in the old church. Russel
Mumoor, and Ralph Kimmel (of Sheldon) also met death by drowning.
Ed Miller, son of Fred Miller, drowned in 1942 while rescuing two
children from the waters of the Wapsie.
Quite a number died of heart trouble.
Perhaps the earliest victim was Wallace Will who died in 1862. He had
been married one month to Sally Buechley, daughter of E. K. Buechley, and
was stricken while attending a love feast in John Hoff's new barn, dying
instantly. The farm on which this barn was located is the one recently
owned by Ed. Buxton, and used as a Catholic cemetery.
In 1879 Charles Heller, father of six children, living on the present
Orville Hamor farm, was found dead in bed from a heart attack.
Fred Miller, our genial German brother, died in 1903. U. S. Blough died
in 1934, Max Maust in 1946, and Jerry Wolf in 1947.
Silas Miller, 19 year-old son of Matthias Miller, fell beneath the wheels
of a train while attempting to catch a ride on the way from the Waterloo
school to his boarding place in 1874.
Henry Buechley, son of E. K. Buechley and his second wife, died in 1864
from the kick of a horse.
Galen Gnagey met a similar death in 1897.
David Walker met death from swallowing a needle, which had been
accidentally dropped into a pan of frying potatoes. The needle lodged in
his throat, puncturing a blood vessel and he died of hemorrhage.
John Fike, husband of Sally Fike, died from the effects of being gored
by a bull.
Edward Lichty, son of H. J. Lichty, was a victim of appendicitis in
1889. In those days this disease was called inflammation of the bowels.
His death occurred during a revival meeting held by Rev. T. T. Meyers.
Edward was buried on his 18th birthday. His untimely death caused much
serious thinking on the part of the young people of the community, and
thirty-four membrs were added to the church during that revival meeting.
Samuel Flickinger was another victim in 1897 of appendicitis before
surgery was practiced. He desired baptism before his death, and the rite
was performed in a tank of water prepared for the occasion.
Emma Fike, sister of Noah Fike, met her death from the same disease
while visiting in Benton County.
Superstition played its part in pioneer days. There was the story of
one token of approaching death when a lamp flared up three times in
succession; and there were whispered stories of mysterious lights, strange
sounds, and apparitions -- stories which the children of today never hear.
The winter of 1899 a very severe one with but little snow, and the
ground froze to a great depth. Mrs. L. R. Peifer died during the month of
March. Friends began digging the grave Monday noon, expecting to complete
it by evening. Frost was encountered all afternoon. Tuesday forenoon,
one man at a time picked away until noon, when it was time for those to
leave whom wished to attend the funeral in the city church. Some of the
men continued digging, and the grave was completed by the time the funeral
procession arrived. The ground was frozen the entire five feet they had
dug. The roads, which had previously thawed were frozen again and extremely
About the same time James Reed, who lived on the Ernie Wright farm, passed
away. Neighbors laid the corpse out and one neighbor was given a $20.00 bill
with instructions to purchase a casket with it. He did so, hauled the casket
out to the and conveyed the remains to the cemetery in his spring wagon.
But when the funeral procession arrived the grave, which, was being dug by
other neighbors, was not completed, so the casket was left by the
unfinished grave and the friends departed. It was not until the Sun had
set that Samuel Sweitzer and his helpers completed their task. The entire
cost of the burial in 1899 was $20.00.
John A. Lichty, the originator of the "Blue House" lies buried
in this cemetery.
Joe Forney, was the builder of the old church, and many bank barns. He's
remembered as the owner of many dogs that were all named Fanny. There was
Old Fanny and Young Fanny, Big Fanny and Little Fanny, but the were all
Three doctors are buried in this cemetery:
Dr. Ed Blough, of Pennsylvania, died in Iowa City in 1888 of typhoid
fever. He had been associated with Dr. Gabriel Beekley as a student,
before going to Iowa City. His remains were brought to Dr. Beekley's
, and since there was fear of contagion from the body of a typhoid
victim, the casket was kept on the porch until funeral services were held.
Dr. John Gillin was born in 1851 and died in 1879.
Dr. W. H. Bickley, a well-known Waterloo physician, represents the fourth
generation of the Abraham Bueghley family. His death occurred in 1942.
N. J. Miller, professor of science at Mt. Morris College, is interred here.
A bronze plaque commemorates the life of Anna Blough, missionary to
China who died there in 1922.
A double plaque perpetuates the memory of Jennie Blough Miller and Mary
Speichers Shull, foster sisters, both of who were missionaries and who
passed away on the India field in 1932 and 1935.
Another bronze plaque honors the memory of Jack Graham who died in an
airplane accident in Africa in World War II. His remains were brought here
for reburial in 1949.
An urn containing the ashes of James Clark of California is interred here.
Sally Fike, whose life span was from 1823 to 1923, is the only
centenarian buried in this cemetery.
Abrahsm Bueghley, born in 1780 has the birth date farthest in the past.
Six others have birth dates in the 1700's.
The names of Jacob Schrock and wife recall the incident of their walking
from the Root River vicinity in Minnesota to Waterloo to look up prospects
for a new location.
Samuel Smith, well known as a carpenter, as well as a farmer built many
barns. Among them was the one on the Lester Parris farm, recently razed,
for which he received $85.00 for his labor.
Jonas Sweitzer underwent an amputation of leg in his own .
Bessie Peifer, a promised bride, died of typhoid fever while attending
Mt. Morris College.
Clair Grady met death by falling beneath the wheels of a wagon.
Kenneth McRoberts was run over by a truck.
O. B. Glossner's little son met death by strangling when he fell across
a cord that held the drinking cup at the pump.
Nora Smith-Hillock died from childbirth among strangers in Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Nannie Glessner Wills was struck by lightning in a harvest field at
her on the Blue House Road.
Mrs. Lloyd Miller died in Kentucky from injuries received in an auto
accident, while returning from a visit in the south.
Milan Blough met death instantly in a motorcycle collision in 1946.
And thus we might continue. We have not touched upon the contributions
toward church and community life made by many of these 675 personages whose
remains are at rest here. That is another story. But may we who represent
the present "so live that when our summons comes to join that
innumerable caravan..." we too may "wrap the drapery of our
couch about us and lie down to pleasant dreams."