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  • Last modified 18 days ago (Nov. 29, 2017)

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Cemetery gets a sign

Staff writer

A group of 11 Lehigh Rural High School alumni raised $1,450 to create and erect a sign marking the Lehigh Township Cemetery northwest of Lehigh at 220th and Chisholm Trail Rd. Robert Warkentin supervised as Gary Duerksen, assisted by Ron Warkentin, used a tractor to dig postholes and set the frame.

The township was established in 1883. Surnames of the first township officials were Oblander, Richards, Ehrlich, Obest, and Quiring.

According to Peggy Goertzen, director of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Tabor College, Lehigh Township Cemetery was established in the 1880s and was used for burials primarily of people of Low German and Volga German extraction.

The concentration of burials was from 1887 to 1899, with at least 20 unknown. Some of the surnames are Grothe, Quednau, Friesen, Harms, Knorath, Weyand, Steinert, Pauls, and Schoenhals.

Church affiliations included Lutheran, Mennonite Brethren, and Adventist.

The cemetery continues in use with four burials so far in 2017.

Robert Warkentin coordinated fund-raising for the sign. He said Harvey May was the most vocal about the need for signage. Four generations of his family are buried there.

Warkentin also was instrumental in having a sign made two years ago for the Lehigh Mennonite Brethren Church cemetery, which is three-fourths of a mile south of the township cemetery.

Last modified Nov. 29, 2017

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