MARY'S GENEALOGY TREASURES
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Seven Persons' Cemetery

Seven Persons - Once Hundred Sixty Acres and a Dream

Chapter 32

Of course the community had a cemetery. It was south-east of the village on the south-east quarter of 3 - 11 - 7 - 4. Mr. John Meyer gave the acre of land from his holdings for this burial ground. During the years of greatest immigration, that is, from 1908 and on until 1939, burials were made here. The grounds were fenced and the grounds were cared for by Mrs. Emma Bergman, the Missionary Society, the Ladies' Aid of the local church, the Junior Section of the Farmers' Union of Alberta and others.

It is believed that over sixty-five persons were interred here. Bereaved families came from the district about, often in horse-drawn rigs, to bury their dead. Some hadn't finances to pay for grave-stones or commercially built coffins. On occasion bodies were but wrapped in blankets and interred. There were quite a few babies and children's graves among these. Every year former residents come back to this cemetery to remember their dead.

The village had church ministers, kept a church and at one time had two undertakers, Mr. Yokum and Mr. Posey. One man's funeral service, that of Mike Strand, was performed in the railway station. Some services were performed in Medicine Hat and the burials were here. The last interment made was on January 25th, 1939, when Mr. Herbert James Ingram was laid to rest.

For several years Mrs. Emma Bergman, widow of the late Hank Bergman, looked after the registration of deaths and after the cemetery. She kept up the fence, removed weeds and gopher mounds and cared for the graves. She was surprised one day to note that several gravestones were missing. "Who could wish to take a tomb stone?" When she remarked about this to Clint Campbell, he said, "Oh I know where those went. There is a farmer over south-east of here who has them. I saw them. He needed some square rocks to block up the house he moved in and these were what he was looking for." Even then, there were those who would steal from a graveyard.

There are other stories of these grounds. Arthur Dinnetz, who had taken his own life in a tragic act, was buried in a grave in the north-west section. Several year’s later, a sheepherder was found frozen to death, following a blizzard. He bore no identification so was laid to rest in the same area. The Birger Hoseth baby was buried in the south-west part of the ground, in 1932. In 1912, Mrs. Christina Knight's baby girl, Doreen Kathleen, was interred in the south-east section so near to the road allowance that the grave may be beyond the perimeter. Many of the graves were marked by mere metal crosses bearing a plastic-like name card. Over the years these have vanished and no marker remains. Those who sleep here in their final resting place must have peace as God and country have given it.

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Mary Tollestrup