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Lone Tree Cemetery
Arkansas County,

*Located on twenty (20) acres in the SW 1/4, SW 1/4, Sec 32 T2S R5W on the north side of Highway 79B (West 22nd Street), Stuttgart, Northern District, Arkansas County, Arkansas.

A group of Lutheran settlers who arrived in Arkansas 1878-1882 met at the home of Christian F. Rittman in the Clear Point community west of present Stuttgart (1) in May of 1882 to organize a church. Eight men signed the church charter: Rittman, Henry Avers, Theodore Meunse, Johann Julian Apel, Heinrich Dryer, Frank Hollaman, B. Bringmann, and Henry Koenig. (2)

On 25 November 1882 Charles L. Kelsey and Emma, his wife, acknowledged in Pulaski county, Arkansas, the sale of the "SW 1/4 SW 1/4 SW 1/4 Sec 32 T2S R5W containing ten acres" to the "German Evangelical Lutheran St. John Church in Clear Point, Arkansas", for $30.00. (3)

By 1883 a church house was completed on the site. It stood in the approximate center of the ten acres facing north. According to tradition a big oak tree stood to the north and east of the building and was used as a landmark for travel across the prairie where the native grasses then grew "as high as an elephant's eye".

When the church building was moved in 1885 into the growing village of Stuttgart to the corner of Fourth and College Streets, (4) some burials had already been made behind the church house. Sometime during the following two years apparently the Church Trustees decided to open the ten acre site to the general public as a cemetery. At the time Stuttgart had only three church connected burying grounds – Holy Rosary Catholic on the east side, Emanuel Lutheran to the north and St. John on the west. A community cemetery was sorely needed for the metamorphosis of the "Village of Stuttgart" into the "City of Stuttgart".

Although no written record concerning found, tradition is that the cemetery took its name from the landmark oak previously mentioned. After some years the old oak died and was removed. The pine tree midway north and south near the east side of the original twenty block plat became the "lone tree" to many, the spreading magnolia near the west entrance, to others.

By mid-March 1887 twenty blocks of gravesites consisting of four eight grave plots each had been platted by County Surveyor W. R. Hagler. Surveyor Hagler indicated he located his suruvey in the center of the ten acres which is generally believed included the former building site. Plots already sold at the time of the 1887 filing of the plat at DeWitt would seem to be those with owner's names written in the appropriate lots. (5)

The earliest located record book for the cemetery activity is that opened by Fred H. L. Juhl when he became sexton in 1913. Mr. Juhl wrote on the flyleaf "Copied from the old book into this book by Fred H. L. Juhl in the year 1913. In the old book it said (Recorded in Book Q No. 2 page 228)". (6) The oldest copied records are undated. This list of plot owners to whom deeds had been made appear to be the same as written on the plat so would have been sold prior to the 1887 filing and recoding of the plat.

Bernhard Bringmann Lot 80 Block 20

J. W. Parks Lot 5 Block 3

J. P. Simmermacher 79 20

E. J. Roberts 43 12

Koenig (sic) 61 20

James S. Trimble 6 3

Henry Dryer 62 20

Henry Flood 23 9

F. W. Horstmann 77 19

F. L. Smith 38 9

C. F. Gergmann 28 19

W. H. Walcott 22 10

Samuel Moll 64 19

John Krupp 17 2

Mathias Mayer 63 19

J. M. McCoy 4 2

Fr. Vogel 57 12

G. W. Fagan 75 18

J. Henry Kirchoff 44 12

J. S. McClish 24 9

Louis Dusing 37 9

I.O.O.F. & K.P. 74 18

Fr. Hollomann 45 13

James Caroll 76 18

Adam Britsch 60 11

W. Theo Smith 55 13

Jacob Simmermacher 58 12

G. W. James 73 17

G. H. Simmermacher 46 13

Wesley Procop 35 8

George Schmidt 28 7

Henry Downs 26 8

Jacob Weber 30 6

Appel (sic) 56 13

C. B. Searles 59 11

Bariclo (sic) 67 17

A. D. Sheets 41 11

L. Grimm 68 17

E. D. Mahle 42 11

G. C. Phares 36 8

Peter Rapp 40 10

F. L. Graves 15 3

H. W. Heinmiller 39 10

Christian Beachler 29 6

H. W. Simmons 21 10

Gotleib Carle 13 4

Mrs. M. Harper 2 1

Met Lewis 53 14

J. J. Hosteter 20 1

A. Phillips 48 14

David Loe 1 1

W. J. Savage 54 14

Frank Pepperd 19 1

H. J. Deyarman 52 15

J. Hilbert & A. Rhodes 3 2

Rudolph Kleiner 18 2

In a cursory search of the DeWitt deed records only one recorded deed was readily located. On 10 Aug 1888 J. J. Hostetter filed for record the deed issued to him by "J. H. Kirchoff, J. L. Dusing and E. F. Bergman, Trustees of the German Evangelical Lutheran St. John Church" for "Lot 20 in Block 1 as described upon the plat of said cemetery on file in the office of the Clerk of the county of Arkansas" for which he had paid $10.00. (7)

The "old book" referred to by Sexton Juhl has not been located and it is not now known who the earlier sextons were. From 1913 to date sextons of record are: Fred H. L. Juhl, 1913-1916; F. W. Conrad, 1917-Apr 1920; George Schmidt, 1921-1939; Will Moritz and Alfred Wessels, 1940-1952; Henry J. Beumer and son Victor, 1953-1965; Olin Calhoun in 1966; Dellos Beard and son Paul 1967-date.

The short history of St. John Church printed in the Centennial pictorial (8) states that "In the July 1945 meeting, it was reported that 10 acres of ground adjoining our present Lone Tree Cemetery has been purchased as the cost of $100.00 per acre". This completed the land acquisition to date, making total present area 20 acres. The records are incomplete for the period 1950-1952, but burials in the added ten acres are thought not to be commenced until the early 1950s.

There are a few stones in the cemetery with death dates prior to the organization of the German Evangelical Lutheran St. John Church who acquired the first ten acre site in November 1882. Undoubtedly, these were moved from family plots to the Church burying ground. An interesting story is told about what is reported to be the first burial. Mrs. John Bringman (nee Elohm) died in childbirth and was buried on the family farm. When her body was disinterred for reburial in the cemetery, the facial flesh was remarkably well preserved but the hair had the appearance of ashes. Some of the "ashes" were breathed by the father Mr. Fred Blohm, who reported died a year later a as result. (9)

A section on the north side of the cemetery was opened for the burial of blacks in 1978 after Love Rest, Stuttgart's black cemetery, was filled. The first black burial was William Connolly on 18 Feb. 1978.

Sexton Beard has in preparation an updated map of the cemetery showing all available data concerning location of graves. This map is displayed in the sexton's office on the cemetery grounds.

The burial records of the St. John Church begin in 184 and include only burials for members of the faith. The early records are in German language and script. The pastor is the custodian.

An inventory of the tombstones was made in 1980 by the Grand Prairie and Arkansas Post Chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. A typescript of the inventory is held by the NSDAR Library, Washington, D. C., the Genealogy Room, Little Rock Public Library, the Stuttgart Public Library and the sexton's office on the cemetery grounds.


(1) When Adam Buerkle made application to change the site of the Stuttgart post office 19 Apr 1883 from his home on the Gum Pond in the NE 1/4 Sec 20 T2S R5W to within the Stuttgart town site beside the Texas & St. Louis Railroad, the Clear Point P. O. was shown as situated in NW 1/4 Sec 6 T3S R5W. Post Office Records, Geographic Site Locations, Microfilm, Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock. (2) See Bennie Burkett, "Grand Prairie History", Stuttgart Standard, 3, 10, 17 Aug 1972 (Microfilm, Stuttgart Public Library) (3) Ark. Co. (DeWitt) DEED BK I2:345 (4) Centennial Pictorial Brochure "One Hundred Years of Grace, 1882-1982" St. John Lutheran Church, Amici Club Historical Files, Stuttgart Public Library. (5) See accompanying Photostat Ark. Co. (DeWitt) DEED BK Q2:228 (6) This book begun by Sexton Juhl is currently being microfilmed by Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock. It is very fragile and the copy made by Mrs. Victor Beumer when her husband was sexton is in the sexton's office on the cemetery grounds. (7) Ark. Co. (DeWitt) DEED BK V2:393 (8) op. cit. (4) (9) As related by Blohm family members, Mrs. Ross Beard and Mrs. Louis Fischer, Stuttgart

Contributed on 5/12/13 by hawkinsdonna48
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Record #: 877962

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Submitted: 5/12/13 • Approved: 9/12/13 • Last Updated: 9/28/21 • R877962-G0-S3

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