Stotler (Fager) Cemetery

Near the Osage/Lyon County line

From the sign at Stotler Cemetery:

Early Stotler Cemetery and School
On this site the Stotler Community educated its young and buried its dead.

"The Stotler Community territory was claimed by the Osage Indians. It became part of the reservation for the Sac and Fox Indians of Mississippi in 1846. The Sac and Fox Indians later sold the western part of their reservation to Seyfert, McManus and Company in 1859, which then sold the land in parcels to private individuals.

The Burlingame Trail and the Lawrence-Emporia Trail crossed the area. The earliest settlers followed the trails and near where they crossed Salt Creek, built their cabins. These earliest settlers were Frances and John Cabbage. Then a short time later in 1869 Claus Peterson and A. P. Walstrom, young Swedes, bought 100 acres adjoining the Cabbage claim.

In 1873 the families of Mangus Lungren and John Sutherland arrived from Galesburg, Illinois, and constructed caves or huts near the claims of Peterson, Walstrom and Cabbage. That year Bohn Blex and his family arrived. Earlier in 1869 a Swedish committee had been sent out from Princeton, Illinois, to investigate a settlement area and so in 1874 a group of Swedish families joined the growing Stotler Community. This group was led by Swan Fager who was born on January 1, 1835 in Smoland, Sweden. He had changed his name from Swan Peterson as that was a frequent name among early settlers. Families began arriving in larger numbers-- Gust Rudeen, Swan Lindholm, Andrew Chelberg, and C. I. Johnson. Last names of Fagerstrom, Melgren, Swanson, Gustafson, Hoglund, Josephson, Lundholm, Anderson, Olson, Hagberg, Eklund, Johnson, Pholson, Sanders, Ericson, Ogren, Holmberg, Bergmann, Eastberry, Lundstadt, Christianson and Lagergren appeared among the residents. Then in 1874 an early school--District No. 70--was built on this site. Only eight students attended school the first year. They were Pete Fager, Charles Fager, Fritz Johnson, Charles Lungren, Emma Walstrom, Tillie Peterson, Frank Rudeen and John Rudeen. However, in the 1880ís and 1890ís enrollment grew so a new school was built in 1884-85 and the highest enrollment reached 75 students in 1892-93. Three students sat in each desk. Although each school term was for six months most students did not attend regularly because of the need to help at home. It was not unusual to have pupils ages 20-21. A cistern and well were dug for water and native trees were planted. The land for the school and cemetery was donated by Swan Fager and initially the cemetery was known as Fager Cemetery.

The Stotler School, located on this side, was the social center of the Swedish community. In the 1880ís and 1890ís, there were singing schools, night schools, and literary meetings which included ciphering, spelling bees and debates. In 1878 the Stotler Mutual Aid Association was formed by early settlers in the Stotler Community. Each member contributed to a fund which could be distributed to someone who received wind or fire damage to their farmstead. The Stotler Mutual Aid Association is still in operation to this day.

The school building burned on October 18, 1922. After the fire, pupils attended classes in Stotler Church for the rest of the year. The district was then consolidated with the Miller School District. Students attended Miller School and a few transferred to Rapp School District. No. 50.

A post office was established in 1880. The community was named Stotler after Jacob Stotler of Emporia who was helpful in establishing the post office. The post office was located in home, A. P. Walstrom, then S. P. Lundholm and later William Sanders. The post office ended when rural routes were commenced in 1901 from Osage City.

Originally there were two churches in the Stotler Community, Stotler Mission Covenant Church and Stotler Lutheran Church. They were located at the intersection of south Carlson Road and Road 350. The Stotler Mission Covenant Church began in 1873 and met in the Stotler school building for several years until a white clapboard sanctuary was erected in 1892 one mile east of the Stotler School and Cemetery. The Rev. C. P. Melgren was the first pastor. This congregation is now the Community Covenant Church and is located at Lakin and Topeka Streets in Osage City, Kansas.

The Stotler Lutheran Church was started in 1907 by some members of the Stotler Mission Covenant Church who broke away over the issue of atonement. A white clapboard sanctuary was constructed in the southwest corner of South Carlson Road and Road 350 intersection. The church was disbanded in 1941 with most members either joining the Stotler Mission Covenant Church across the road or the Grace Lutheran Church in Osage City which had been started in 1874. Rev. Cyrus Wedin was the last official pastor and Oscar Fager the last lay leader.

A cemetery was developed on the hill west of the school building. The first burial based upon records was in 1867. It is estimated that 80-90 people are buried here, however actual records reveal that 44 individuals are interred here. A list of the known 44 people buried here in the 1800ís and early 1900ís is as follows:

Gustaf Peterson (name changed from Pearson), France Peterson, Helena Jonson, Edythe Amanda Elizabeth Melgren, Mr. and Mrs. Pholson, Mr. and Mrs. John and Anna Anderson and their six children, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Anderson, Benedikta Lungren, Ida Skalott Lungren, August Lungren, David Lungren, Ida Lungren, Agnes Lungren, Bena Olson, Jennie Fagerstrom, Theodor Fagerstrom, Mrs. Andrew P. Walstrom, Clarence Walstrom, Tena Lundstedt, Clarence Lundstedt, Emil Gustafson, (infant) Gustafson, Bertha Hoglund, Edna Josephson, John Swenson and two wives, Gunnil Ecklund, Mrs. Peter Gustaf Anderson (his first wife), Johan Anderson, Oscar Johnson, Daughters of Swan and Magadelena Lundholm Hanna, Alma, and Hanna Evilen, Enoch and Selma Johnson (later moved to Rapp Cemetery), Ingrid Anderson Clarence Lundstedt, Emil Gustafson"

Map of Stotler Cemetery


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Headstone Readings and Transcriptions

Headstone Readings from interment.net

Headstone Readings from genealogytrails.com

Kansas Historical Quarterly - Swedish Settlement at Stotler

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Last Updated Tuesday, 22-Jan-2013 08:53:39 MST

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