The Hillside Circle was organized by a group of ladies in the year 1913.   The ladies were:  Mrs. Bertha Hass, Mrs. Elsie Lauck Dengler, Mrs. Bertha Hanson, Mrs. Lottie Wick and others.  Their purpose was to clean up the cemetery which was in an appalling state of disregard, and to hire a caretaker to do the  work.  One was engaged at the sum of twenty-five cents an hour.

The women met once a month.  Attendance was at least 40 ladies per meeting.

One lady "served" the lunch and one lady furnished the "house".  Whoever was the hostess had an attack of housecleaning before she entertained Hillside Circle.  (Some ladies called it Cemetary Society!)  "She" usually painted her walls with a shiny paint, shiny varnish gleamed from every possible bit of woodwork, and the nail holes were cleaned out with neeedles.  The house had to shine for these meetings.

Heavy trays were passed from one hostess to another.  The menu never varied:  one piece of dark cake, one piece of white, one dark sandwich and one light.  You did indeed take one of each.  These were laid on the tray "sans" plate, "sans" fork, "sans" doily.  But this was the epitome of society in Lester.  And the lunch cost fifteen cents!

Shortly after four p.m. the teachers came!  There would be a flurry of excitement, and fresh pieces of cake were cut--but still no plates!--and it was their presence that gave it the ultimate class.

No program was necessary as the ladies brought their own fancy work.  It may have been the same piece month after month but their hands were not idle.  Business meetings were brief but the ladies initiated a perpetual care system for the cemetery which is intact today.

The ladies mentioned above and many of their friends all rest in the Hillside Cemetery which is still well kept and attractive due to their fine original work.




The Object of this Society shall be:
  1. To provide a caretaker for the Hillside Cemetery.
  2. To see that the cemetery is properly taken care of.

Everyone is invited to be a member and meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at two p.m.

This organization was formed in 1913 with the leadership of Mrs. Claudius (Bertha) Hass as its first president. Early membership was approximately 36 increasing to 72 by January 1930.

The first caretaker was Mr. Chris Dickman at the fee of 25 cents per hour. Mr. Chris Kock was the next caretaker.

Each member paid $1.00 for yearly dues.

A constitution of by-laws was read and accepted in June 1963. They were written by Evelyn Grotewold (deceased) then president.

After perpetual care was established for the lots in the cemetery, it was agreed that this would replace the yearly fee.


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