|About 28 (of 99)
Iowa counties have an official Pioneer Cemetery Commission that has
been authorized and made legal by the County Board of supervisors.
Fayette County is one of the
fortunate counties to have a Pioneer Cemetery Commission,
which was authorized on July 15, 1998 to go into effect
December 1, 1998.
For more information on
the Fayette County Pioneer Cemetery Commission and how you can help or volunteer
your talents contact:
% Fayette County Historical Center
100 North Walnut Street
West Union, IA 52175
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You ask ... "What makes a pioneer cemetery?"
According to Iowa law "Pioneer cemetery" means a cemetery where
there have been twelve or fewer burials in the preceding fifty
The Pioneer Cemetery Commissions have no paid
lobbyist to help push laws through the Iowa legislature, laws that
would help assist the volunteers is saving and preserving Iowa
cemeteries. Because of this they must
depend on those members of the Iowa General Assembly who favor the
restoration and saving of older cemeteries and are willing to listen
to State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries members from their
districts. The SAPIC is strictly a non-partisan organization
with their personal politics left at the 'door'.
State Association for the Preservation
of Iowa Cemeteries is
an ‘umbrella’ volunteer organization giving one strong voice
to many small groups. It is a 501 (c)(3), with
contributions being deductible under sections 170,
2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. The
Pioneer Cemetery commissions, some county Historical and/or
Genealogical Societies, as well as other interested persons, and does the
‘lobbying’ for pioneer cemetery interests.
With the hard work of the SAPIC as well as
their supporters in the legislature, four major (to the SAPIC and
it's members) bills have been passed in the last 16 years. The Bills
have never involved state appropriations in any way. Those
1) The original Bill giving the counties the
right to established Pioneer Cemetery Commissions.
2) A Bill guaranteeing access to cemeteries
3) A Bill raising the number of burials in the
past 50 years from six to twelve in the presiding 50 years.
4) A the 'no use of adverse possession' to keep
the Pioneer Cemetery Commissions out of a cemetery that met the
criteria of a pioneer cemetery.