PRAIRIE GROVE CHURCH AND CEMETERY
The society that used to meet at Prairie Grove Chapel in Wayne Township was organized in 1888, but is really a reorganization of an older class, possibly the United Brethren Society, which dates back to 1854.
In the late 1800s the United Brethren Church built the Prairie Grove Chapel on Old Trail Road, which is still standing. The ground was donated by Joseph and Catherine Mason.
The first written information on Prairie Grove Cemetery was on June 1874 when the citizens of Pleasant and Wayne townships met at the Prairie Grove Chapel to adopt measures for the erection of a church in Pleasant Township, which would be used by any denomination.
The Prairie Grove Cemetery Association was organized on April 11, 1907. This was to care for the cemetery. There was no money available so it was decided that the trustees would solicit the patrons of the cemetery for funds. The men who did the work were the trustees, John Greider, John Corson, and Jesse Dalman. At the April 1907 meeting John Greider and Jesse Dalman were chosen to see Mr. S. R. Alden and attempt to buy two more acres. After many trips and a lot of persuasion this was accomplished. The purchase price was $500. Mr. John Miller offered to loan the money to the association if Mr. Dalman would co-sign the note…consent was forthcoming. Much volunteer work was done. There was a deep basin in the road and a big hill to remove. John Miller, John Greider, and Warren Hoke brought their teams of horses and equipment and donated 2 days labor.
Preparations for a sale included $1.50 for advertising cemetery lots. At the May 1914 meeting it was decided to not solicit any money for maintenance expense. It was determined that Dalman had given his time without any pay. The trustees decided to pay him $20 per year for the previous seven years.
In the May 1921 meeting it was decided to buy more land. Mr. Alden refused to sell, but after the board pestered him all summer he agreed to sell just one more acre. There were two stipulations. One, that the association would never ask for any more land, and two, that it would be surveyed showing the Richardville Reservation Line. The purchase price was $600.
This history shows the community pride and service that prevails today by President Homer Kinnerk, Treasurer Homer Hoke, Secretary Janice Hoke-Baber, and board members Tom Rodak and Noel Henschen.
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