Sand Point Cemetery

Mahaska County

Jefferson Township

Sand Point
Cemetery Status: Lost/Abandoned

"Located just northeast of 275th Street & Ashland Avenue, this abandoned site is only 1/4 mile north of Sand Ridge Cemetery. Sand Point was known as Old Pioneer, or Pioneer in the WPA records of the 1930s & as Smith's in the Bicentennial era of the mid-1970s, but this confused it with the Smith's Cemetery on the north side of the Des Moines River. Sand Point is on a ridge above Cedar Creek. It may have been started as a smallpox cemetery to keep burials separate from Sand Ridge, a still active cemetery with burials going back to 1846. Earliest known burial in Sand Point is 1851. The nearest town is Tracy, in Marion County. Sand Point is now a jungle of poison ivy, cat briar, and small trees. Coneflowers and daylilies were planted near the entrance 15 years ago near the gravestones of the three Jones women. Exploring beyond this point is an adventure. There are many footstones and fieldstones. Photography is difficult due to shade & brush enveloping most stones." Source:

"Sand Point (formerly called Smith Cemetery). There is also a Smith cemetery nearby in Scott Township. The Smith families were not related. Jefferson Township, Mahaska County, Iowa SE 1/4 Sec 31 (North). No records. This cemetery is less than 1/4 mile north of Sandridge Cemetery. It lies at the north end of a bluff bordering Cedar Creek, southeast of the bridge over the creek." Source: Russell E. and Barbara Hetherington, March 21, 1975. [Index for Mahaska County Cemeteries, Oskaloosa Public Library]

"This Cemetery is presently being restored by Benjamin J. Mayer of Oskaloosa. It is on Mahaska County Conservation [MCCB] property. I have located 34 graves as of May 7, 1992. Probably more. A plat and other info will be kept at the MCCB hedquts. as soon as I make it." Source: [signature illegible, handwritten in Index for Mahaska County Cemeteries, Oskaloosa Public Library]

I located this cemetery on November 17, 2023, and virtually all of the stones are unreadable at this point in time. The cemetery itself is fenced, with saplings and briars throughout. I am currently attempting to locate the plat maps referenced above, but I believe that the property is now on private land and not under the auspices of MCCB. - Susie Keller-McCain

Bk Rcd Pg Name Sex Race Age
Y    M    D
Birth Date Death Date Cause of Death Notes
Griffis, Alexander D. M 9 May 1803 30 Sep 1854                                       
Griffis, Horace Fremont M 17 Feb 1862 1 Apr 1863 Son of Joseph R. & Sarah L.
Jones, Rachel M 66 00 xxx 1791 3 Apr 1857
Jones, Roxsylana F 19 10 11 Jul 1844 11 May 1864 Wife of G.R. Jones
Jones, Sementha Waldrup F 20 8 12 1 Mar 1831 12 Nov 1851 Wife of G.R. Jones
3 279 Smith, George M W 48 7 27 8 Jun 1898 5 Feb 1947 Coronary Failure *hypothesis* gravestone at Sand Point lists George's dates as 1897-1947.
Cremation/burial @ Forest Cem., re: GVA funeral home & county death record.
Wife Pearl.
Thomas, Earnest
27 Aug 1894 7 Nov 1894
Thomas, William 18 Jul 1892 25 Oct 1892
Wharton, Marie L Mann F 38 6 21 7 Mar 1818 28 Aug 1856 Wife of W.S. Wharton
Wharton, Thomas M 17 Aug 1845 24 May 1854

Notes: Columns labeled "Bk"=Book, "Rec"=Record, "Pg"= Page refer to information contained in County Death Record Books. "NDR" = No Death Record found

Mahaska County Death Records, Mahaska County Courthouse
Index for Mahaska County Cemeteries, Oskaloosa Public Library
Garland Van Arkel Langkamp Funeral Records Index, 1882-1999, Oskaloosa Public Library
Cheesman/Powers Funeral Chapel Funeral Records 1891-1997, Oskaloosa Public Library
Mahaska County Death 1880-1889 Part 1 of Book 1 (1880-1895), compiled by Keo-Mah Genealogical Society, Published by Iowa Genealogical Society, 1992
Mahaska County Death 1880-1889 Part 2 of Book 1 (1880-1895), compiled by Keo-Mah Genealogical Society, Published by Iowa Genealogical Society, 1992
Index for Mahaska County, Iowa Cemetery Records. Original report created by Iowa American Revolution Bi-Centennial Commission, 1976. Transcribed by Lloyd Patterson, March 1999.
Compiled by Susie Keller-McCain; November 2023 for

Iowa Gravestone Photo Project
Iowa WPA