Where the Journey Ends Intro, Map & Audio Links
O'Brien County Cemetery Tour Book
The approximately 50 page book includes a map and stories of many whose journey has ended. Also included is a CD with audio tracks that describe the cemeteries throughout the county and give directions to help visitors find grave markers within the plots.
We have decided to publish Where the Journey Ends here on obriencounty.com to encourage the public to embark on a self guided your of the cemeteries in O'Brien County.
The book can be also purchased at O'Brien County Economic Development Corporation, Prairie Heritage Center, and Sheldon Chamber Office.
The O’Brien County Tourism Committee would like to recognize the following people and organizations for their contributions towards this project. Without their assistance this endeavor would not have succeeded!
Past & Present of O’Brien & Osceola Counties, Peck, Montzheimer, Miller, 1914
Numerous newspapers both past and present
Many families who have graciously donated pictures and stories
O’Brien County Tourism Representatives include: Clara Black, Charlene Elyea, Steve Hartong, Denice Hicks, Kiana Johnson, Pam Lux, Shanelle Matus, Sandy Rehder, Faye Schall, and Denise Steffen.
The people and events included in this edition were chosen as a random sample of the captivating past of O’Brien County. We encourage you to embark on a journey of your own to wander our less traveled roads and to discover more about your own history!
The Journey’s End
Easy living would not describe the lifestyle of the 1870-1880 settlers in those early years of O’Brien County, as life and death struggles were almost a daily occurrence. Disease (typhoid, scarlet fever, diphtheria & TB/consumption), prairie fires, childbirth, drowning, blizzards and accidents wrecked havoc on countless lives. Medical services were scarce or non-existent, and the scattered settlers did what they could to assist each other in all situations. Coffins were built and lined with materials at hand. Organized cemeteries were the exception rather than the rule. A cluster of graves in Waterman Township was referred to as “the cemetery near the Waterman place,” but most often the place of burial was not mentioned.
The Daniel Inman family of Grant Township lost Claude Elmo, their beloved 19 month-old son on April 17, 1874. The funeral was conducted two days later by a Cherokee minister and the “remains were interred where birds will sing and flowers bloom above the little grave.”
Death notices in the O’Brien Pioneer appeared only when the news reached the editor and were often sketchy. The terms “infant, young child, or ‘about’ so many years” were frequently the only information provided regarding age; sometimes the cause of death was mentioned.
Early in 1873, the citizens of Waterman Township held two public meetings which focused on providing a suitable burial ground. The outcome of those gatherings was not immediately evident, but as time passed and the area population increased definite steps were taken toward organizing formal resting places.
What follows is a brief overview of those sacred sites, the Cemeteries of O’Brien County.
The Cemeteries in O’Brien County are as follows:
Map number corresponds to the location on the following map.
Track number corresponds to the accompanying audio CD. When arriving at a location, click on the link to the corresponding audio track for an audio recording of information about the cemetery and general directions to the burial markers. Track 1 provides an overview.
• Calvary Cemetery - 418 S HiView Dr, Sutherland
Map Number 17 Track Number 2
• Covey Church Cemetery, Grant Township - 6597 - 400th St
Map Number 13 Track Number 3
• Doyle Cemetery, Highland Township - 4046 Tyler Ave
Map Number 12 Track Number 4
• East Lawn Cemetery - 1801 E 9th St, Sheldon
Map Number 1 Track Number 5
• Fred Fieldman Grave on Waterman Prairie - 5044 Wilson Ave
Map Number 21 Track Number 6
• Friends Cemetery - 4476 Silver Ave
Map Number 14 Track Number 7
• Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Center Township - 6350 - 370th St
Map Number 9 Track Number 8
• Liberty Cemetery, Liberty Township - 6051 - 500th St
Map Number 20 Track Number 9
• Pleasant Hill Cemetery - 5841 - 380th St, Primghar
Map Number 10 Track Number 10
• Pleasant View Cemetery - 680 S Central, Hartley
Map Number 6 Track Number 11
• Prairie View Cemetery - 5520 - 470th St, Paullina
Map Number 16 Track Number 12
• Randolph Cemetery - 3599 Tyler Ave
Map Number 7 Track Number 13
• Roseland Cemetery - 5621 - 320th Ave, Sanborn
Map Number 4 Track Number 14
• St. Anthony Cemetery - 5843 - 380th St, Primghar
Map Number 11 Track Number 15
• St. Cecelia's Cemetery - 5761 - 330th St, Sanborn
Map Number 5 Track Number 16
• St. John Cemetery - 4778 Oak Hill Ave, Germantown
Map Number 15 Track Number 17
• St. Patrick Cemetery - 1820 E 9th St, Sheldon
Map Number 2 Track Number 18
• St. Paul Cemetery - 1113 Washington Ave, Sheldon
Map Number 3 Track Number 19
• Steuck Family Cemetery, Center Township - 3546 Tanager Ave
Map Number 8 Track Number 20
• Waterman Cemetery - 420 S HiView Dr, Sutherland
Map Number 18 Track Number 21
• Waterman Family Cemetery, Waterman - 4930 Yellow Ave
Map Number 19 Track Number 22