Fackler's Grove Cemetery Restoration

The Ely Community History Society, along with Robert Hach, Jr. of Ely, and the Big Grove Township Trustees are planning a project to restore the old Fackler's Grove Cemetery located near the intersection of Seven Sister’s Road and Polk Avenue south of Ely.  This is a pioneer cemetery with some of the earliest settlers of the area buried within it, but it is in a sad state of disrepair. 

We are looking for individuals and organization, youth or adult, interested in helping with this project.  Once the weather clears in the spring of 2013 we plan on organizing an informational meeting for interested parties.

Please call Barb Horak at 319-848-4074, Clary Illian at 848-4963 or contact us via e-mail or mail if you wish to be involved in this project either with physical work or financial donation.
Ely Community History Society
P.O. Box 191
Ely, Iowa 52227

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ECHS said...

We have had some results from our first attempt to get the word out about the Fackler's Grove Cemetery Project. So far we have the support of the Big Grove Township Trustees, the land owner, a number of people interested in volunteering, as well as Ely's St. John Lutheran youth group. We are looking at possible funding sources.

At some point in the future we plan to have an information meeting. Again - if you are interested in this project, either physically or financially, please contact us!

ECHS member, Ed Vavra, compared the 1930's WPA survey of the cemetery to a walk-thru done in 1975 and found that the information is nearly identical. He is also anxious to compare the two surveys against the plot map (if and when it becomes available). However, even without the plot map he feels confident that we have a fairly complete record of the burials.

Comparing the photos Ed took from the cemetery in 2006 to what is documented online he thinks most, if not all, stones are exposed and documented. He would guess there may be less than 5 that are actually missing and probably lying under the grass somewhere.

Some facts about the cemetery:

-Number of those interred there: 40

-Number of different families names: 11 (Dennis, Duro, Fackler, Haynes, Heidt, Hieber, Kershner, Startzer, Vornholt, Walther, Zobel)

-On average there was a burial there every 2 years

-First burial in 1839

-Last burial in 1917

-The Startzer family used a "family stone" that was the center of the family burials. This stone contained the names and birth/death info on them. The actual burials around these stones were marked with smaller, rectangular stones often inscribed with only the persons initials.

-Despite being called the Fackler Cemetery (since it was on Fackler owned land) there are only 6 Facklers buried here.

-Some family names are not well known in the local history of the area. Some seemed to be passing through.

-Many relatives of these families are buried in the Oakland Cemtery just outside of Solon, IA

GypsyDi said...

Hi, I watched the video and contacted Barb and look forward to working with you all on the project. Looks like a beautiful cemetery and will be a terrific project to document. Look forward to meeting and getting started.