Derrynane Lutheran Church Cemetery

Photo added by JARG

Derrynane Lutheran Church Cemetery

Location
19288-20098 310th Street
Le Sueur County, Minnesota, USA
Memorials 16 added (19% photographed)

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This cemetery is known locally as the POMERANIAN CEMETERY but
it was recorded in the land records as the Derrynane Lutheran Church and Burying Ground, aka the Derrynane Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery of Derrynane Township.

This church and cemetery was organized in Derrynane Township, Section 13, in 1867 but Le Sueur County did not begin to keep records until 1870. The original deed for the land was recorded January, 24, 1870 which gave the description and that the land was bought from Ferdinand and Frederica Tietz for $11.00 by Ferdinand Schlendenoff, Philip Huber and Edward Dalke in trust for the Derrynane Lutheran Church and Burying Ground.

Another deed was recorded again on the 18th of October 1871 between the same two parties. On 13th February, 1884, a third deed was executed which was recorded In Le Sueur County Book of Deeds between Erhardt E. Tietz and Ella Tietz, husband and wife and Minna Tietz, a widow, and the Trustees of the Derrynane Lutheran Church. The deed further states that it was being given at that time to clear up title to that parcel of land.

A handwritten note on a letter mentions the two earlier deeds and also a portion of this land was sold to the Tietz’s for $150 in 1971. We assume that this was land where the little log church had stood at one time but the church and its records were destroyed by fire in 1884. After this fire several members of the congregation joined the Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lanesburgh Township; St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Le Center, or the German Evangelical Salem Church in Tyrone Township.

The nearby Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church began in 1864 and was originally called Salems Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Lanesburgh Township, (Le Sueur County, Minnesota). This church was usually called “die Hanoversche Gemeinde” (the Hanoverian congregation) and the Derrynane Lutheran Church which began in 1867 became known as "die Pommersche Gemeinde" (the Pomeranian congregation).

In 1964 the Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church celebrated its 100th year and published a little paperback book titled, “100 Years of God’s Grace 1864-1964". On page 20 and 21 this book included the following information. “ A few years after Salems congregation had come into existence in 1864, another congregation was organized several miles to the south-west during the year 1867. This congregation went by the name: 'Die Pommersche Gemeinde', the Pomeranian congregation. Its little log church stood on a tract of land purchased from Ferdinand Tietz, now owned by Herman Tietz. Close to the road, a little west of the Herman Tietz residence, you can still see today a little cemetery with several tombstones. The members of that congregation were: Ferdinand Tietz, Carl Hoefs, Carl Dahlke, Ed Dahlke, August Genz, Friedrich Schlauderaff, Mr. (Karl) Mueller, (Christian) “Fritz” Mingo, Gottlieb Schemm, Friedrich Schulz, Phil. (Philip) Huber, John Bartel, August Ehmke, Carl Ehmke, M. Greder and Karl Lange. The congregation was served by the pastors of Salems congregation, then usually called 'die Hanovershe Gemeinde', the Hanoverian congregation. In about 1884, according to the information received, during Rev. Wm. Dreher's pastorate, the consolidation of the two congregations was brought about. The members of the Tietz or Dahlke church, as some called it, were received into membership with the Salems congregation and the 'Pommersche Gemeinde' ceased to exist. The baptismal and other records of that congregation were lost in a fire, which also destroyed the log church." (Note that not all members of this Pommersche church were from Pomerania.)

On Thursday, May 25, 1977 the Mankato Free Press of Mankato, Minnesota had an article on page 24, “Cemetery restored after 100-year period” along with photos. At this time descendants of original church members who had family buried in this cemetery, worked to restore the cemetery that had a broken-down fence, brush, weeds and a few broken pieces of gravestone scattered around but nothing else.

This article mentions that at the time the church and burial grounds were established 100 years earlier epidemics of black smallpox, diphtheria and scarlet fever “raged through this neighborhood. Many children died as kindly neighbors inadvertently spread the disease in their efforts to help one another. Many were buried in this cemetery, their graves now unmarked.”

At some time in this cemetery’s history, the cemetery was no longer used and was forgotten. “The wooden crosses rotted away, but the gravestones remained there in rank weeds until a few years ago, when pigs entered the area and destroyed everything.”

“Suddenly, some interested members of the third and fourth generations of these early Pomeranians* awakened and showed a concern by wishing to erect a simple monument in this cemetery to preserve the resting place of the dead and commemorate this historical event . . . . “

“This project was led by Mrs. Walter Scheffert, secretary of the Old Settlers Assn. of Le Sueur County and Mrs. Chris Huber of Minneapolis.
Letters of explanation were sent to most of the known descendants of the charter members with responses of donations from 29 individuals. . . .”

Besides cleaning up the grounds, a granite memorial stone was bought and dedicated. The engraving on this stone says, “In Memory of the Pomeranian Lutheran Church and Cemetery, 1867 – 1884.”

From the article in the Frieden’s Evangelical Lutheran Church centennial book and again on the granite marker, the Derrynane Lutheran Church and Burial Grounds became known as the Pomeranian Lutheran Church and Cemetery.

A new fence enclosed this area with a double gate in the front by the memorial granite marker. The care and maintenance was given over to Le Sueur County for the mowing and maintenance of this little cemetery

Besides some bits and pieces of gravestones found in the ground, only two gravestones remained, both broken into two pieces but very legible at that time. They were set against one of the trees in the cemetery. The first stone was for 15 year old Elizabeth “Eliza” Mingo, daughter of Gottlieb Christian “Fritz” Mingo and wife Caroline Luedke Mingo. The other gravestone was for Christiane Augst Schemm, second wife of Gottlieb Schemm.

During a visit to this cemetery in 2016, we found that the fence and gate had been removed but the area had been neatly mowed and maintained. The stones leaning against the tree were still there. Several other pieces of stone had been added around this tree, two were foot stones with initials but the others were only pieces of the old gravestones.

At some time between 1970 to 1985, Mrs. Walter (Esther) Scheffert (with some information added by Mrs. Arthur [Susan] Augst) put together a two-page summary entitled, “The Pomeranian Church & Cemetery, 1867-1884, located N W of Heidelberg, Derrynane Township.”

They wrote about the early pioneers who were members of the church and put together a list of people who they knew were buried in this cemetery. It is from this list and research on the families in the area from which the memorials of burials in this cemetery was taken for Find A Grave.

If anyone has had family members buried in this cemetery or have more information on any of these people or families, please contact me. Thank you. Those buried in this cemetery should not be forgotten.

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GPS Coordinates: 44.50139, -93.65361

  • Added: 11 Oct 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2652954