Friday, May 25, 2007

First Cemetery

Marcy Johnson also sent along this bit of info on that other - and first - cemetery in St. Vincent. Very few know where it is. I hope someone who does shows the next generation...

Additional Burials in St. Vincent Township

Christ Episcopal Church in St. Vincent was the first church in Kittson County. The first service was held on Christmas Day in 1880 and the church was duly organized on 10 June, 1881. According to information from the Ryan family, Bob Cameron and the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, there was a cemetery located north of the church which was used until the present St. Vincent Cemetery was established in 1887. Copies of the baptism records and parish burials from 1881 to 1933 are on file at the Kittson County Historical Society. The original records are in the archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Two of the parish burials refer to the place of burial as the Church Yard of Christ Church. They are: Ray Mena who died 26 Oct 1884 at 25 years of age and Robert William Johnson who died 16 Jan 1885 in St. Vincent at 8 months.

The Works Progress Administration Report from March 1937 listed the following [additional] three burial sites:

"In St. Vincent Township, section 1, owner Great Northern Railway Company. No marker to show exact location of grave. Member of construction gang who was laying a new track to the Canadian border and he was killed between two handcars and buried in the same spot that the accident happened. Name unknown, Italian section hand.

"In St. Vincent Township, section 12, along Red River, on John Griffith farm. At least three burials. Hans Maxwell, 8 Oct 1881; Matilda Ann Balderson, 1882. When the railroad was torn up, this piece of land was purchased by the father of the present owner; these graves are about 200 feet south and east of the owner's home.

"Block 91, St. Vincent, along the Red River in the former William Powner lots. Baby boy Powner, 1886; Baby girl Powner, 1886. Main St. runs by the front of these lots and the burial was made in the back of the house next to the alley. Main St. is now known as Highway 59. Since these twins were buried there, the land has changed hands several times and their home was torn down a number of years ago; the lots used as a burial ground have been used as a garden the last 12 years and a house stands on the adjoining lot to the east. The property is owned by a party living in Emerson, Manitoba."