Trinity Lutheran Cemetery
Section 19, Lowell Township, Polk County, Fisher, MN
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TRINITY LUTHERAN CEMETERY
Lowell Township, Polk County, Fisher, Minnesota
By Jerry Wentzel*
September 4, 1989
If you have a connection or questions about any names listed for Trinity Lutheran Cemetery please contact Jerry Wentzel and include “Trinity Lutheran Cemetery” in your subject line.
The Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, also known as the German Lutheran Cemetery, is located in the southeast corner of the former Trinity Lutheran Church yard in Section 19, Lowell Township.
Shortly after the old church was constructed on these grounds in 1887, the cemetery came into use. Prior to the church’s construction, worship services were held in homes and members who died were buried elsewhere, chiefly Oakdale Cemetery or Greenwood Cemetery by Fisher. The first burial at Trinity probably occurred in 1889. About one half of the church’s burials during the next twenty years were conducted in the Trinity Cemetery.
The graves were arranged in three or four rows and the grave markers faced west. There was shrubbery planted among the graves with boxelder trees on the east and south edges of the cemetery. At one time the cemetery was bordered by a fence and gate.
Burials at Trinity were discontinued because of high ground water level there. In 1910 the congregation located a new burial ground in a section of Greenwood Cemetery by Fisher. The last recorded burial at Trinity took place in 1915.
In 1941 the congregation moved to a new house of worship in Fisher. The old churchyard, including the cemetery, was sold. In 1961 the old church was demolished. About that time, the gravestones in the cemetery were removed and discarded, the trees and shrubs cut down, and the site over the graves leveled.
Addendum April 2004 – In the last several years, ongoing efforts to locate the graves at Trinity Cemetery have been undertaken, as well as efforts to beautify the site. The Trinity Cemetery is located on private property. Please contact Jerry Wentzel about visiting the site.
THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE ARE KNOWN TO BE BURIED IN THE TRINITY LUTHERAN CEMETERY:
Date of Death Age
Maria Senske January 29, 1894 19
Emilie Ross May 18, 1899 51
Ernestine Radi April 16, 1901 25
Katharina Widenhoefer January 26, 1902 81
Jakob Widenhoefer July 2, 1903 85
Friedrich Radi April 6, 1904 74
Berthold Senske June 23, 1904 11 days
Daniel Wentzel December 13, 1905 1 day
Helena Wentzel September 1, 1907 8 months
Ralph Wentzel February 6, 1908 1 day
Anna Radi November 25, 1915 82
Hired man of the Wentzels Unknown
THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE ARE BELIEVED TO BE BURIED IN THE TRINITY LUTHERAN CEMETERY. RESEARCH INDICATES THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT BURIED ELSEWHERE.
Anna Maria Widenhoefer August 16, 1889 6 months
Wilhelm Widenhoefer June 8, 1891 36
Karl Widenhoefer November 12, 1892 42
Frieda Auguste Widenhoefer August 2, 1893 1
Ida Ringhand February 16, 1894 20
Nellie Bassler August 22, 1894 10
Reinhold Radi September 25, 1895 7 months
Laura Wilhelmine Luckau September 15, 1901 31 days
Albert Radi December 27, 1905 10
According to newspaper reports in the Fisher Bulletin, John G. Widenhoefer who died September 1882 at age 53, and Anna Widenhoefer who died May 27, 1883 at age 19 were buried at the Fisher Village Cemetery. Their graves are unmarked. It is possible that the remains were moved to the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery following the founding of the congregation.
The following two children were buried at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery and later exhumed and reinterred at Greenwood Cemetery.
Emma Beiswenger - Died September 25, 1904 Age 3
Elmer Ross - Died March 26, 1910 Age 5 months
There are, of course, possibly others buried in the Trinity Cemetery.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery (Old cemetery)
Lowell Township, Section 19, Polk County, MN
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on December 3, 1886 and the following year the church was built three miles east of Fisher in Section 19, Lowell Township. This church has also been known as the “German Lutheran Church” it was located very near the Fisher/Lowell Township line. The first officers were Chairman – Julius Zachgo, Secretary – Christian Widenhoefer, Treasurer – Carl Widenhoefer, and Trustees – William Senske, Julius Wagner and Frederick Radi. According to history books Michael Wentzel donated the land for this church and cemetery. Trinity was a German Lutheran church and the 1900 Polk County census shows most of the members to be of German descent.
A new church was built in the town of Fisher and dedicated on November 9, 1941 and is still active. Trinity Lutheran Church is now a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and now uses the Greenwood Cemetery, Section 22, rural Fisher. The old church was demolished and the land sold. The cemetery eventually was destroyed and farmed over. The names listed below are from the old church records and the names are of people who could possibly be buried at the old Trinity Cemetery. The descendants of these pioneers will never find the actual resting place of their loved ones if in fact they were laid to rest in this cemetery. There is evidence that some graves were moved to Greenwood Cemetery. The first recorded burial at the old cemetery sight was in 1889 and the last burials were around 1910-15. This list is only possible burials as there are no stones left. It is possible that some people listed were buried at Crookston or have unmarked graves elsewhere. The notes in (italic type) with parentheses are from Jerry Wentzel who did extensive research on Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. The notes in (regular type) with parentheses are from the submitter. At the very least a researcher will learn their ancestor attended Trinity Lutheran Church. Submitted by Ann - April 2004
Falewski, Caroline Died 1887 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Falewski, August Died 1887 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wagener, William Died 12 Dec 1888 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Widenhoefer, Anna Marie Henrietta Died 16 Aug 1889, age 6m 10d
Wenzel, Emil Albert Died 16 Aug 1889, age 3m 6d (Emil was the son of Michael and Henrietta nee Klinger Wentzel) (Wentzel Farm Burial, Section 30, Lowell Twp.)
Klinger, Karl Died 16 Mar 1890 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Liebert, Emil Died 17 May 1891, age 22y 4m 6d (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Widenhoefer, Wilhelm Died 8 Jun 1891, age 36y 24d
Widenhoefer, Karl Died 12 Nov 1892, age 42y 3m 19d
Wagener, Roy Died 11 Oct 1892, age 3m 23d, son of Wilhelm & Anna Wagener (probably at Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Widenhoefer, Frieda Augusta Died 2 Aug 1893, age 1y 9m 18 d
Senske, Maria Died 19 Jan 1894, age 19y 4m 9d (Maria was the daughter of Wilhelm and Henrietta nee Nesveber Senske)
Ringhand, Ida Died 16 Feb 1894, age 20y 2m 28d
Janz, Louis (possibly a Jantz) Died 18 Aug 1894 (probably at Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher, unmarked)
Bassler, Nellie Died 22 Aug 1894, age 10y 10m 12d
Radi, Reinhold Johann Died 25 Sep 1895, age 7m 14d
Jantz, Karl Died 18 Jul 1896, age 29y 7m 1d (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)
Ross, Emilie nee Kowitz Died 18 May 1899, age 51y 5m
Klinger, Anna, Died 21 Jun 1900 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wagner, Clarence Lester Died 15 or 16 Jul 1900, age 1y 4m 20d, son of Charles Wagner & Frida nee Michael (1900 Nisbet Twp. census shows Clarence age 1 son of Charles F. and Frieda K.) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Michael, Frederick Died 30 Jan 1901, age 67y 3m 8d (1900 Nisbet Twp. census shows Frits Michael b. Oct 1833, age 66, wife Caroline) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Radi, Ernestine nee Senske Died 1901 (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Ernstine Radi, age 29 who was recently married to August A. Radi)
Wagner, Heinrich Died 20 Jul 1901, age 35y 2m 7d (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Henry E. b. May 1866, age 34, wife Caroline) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Luckau, Laura Wilhelmine Died 15 Sep 1901, age 31d (1900 Lowell Twp. there is an Edward J and Amelia? Luckau with family, not sure if it was Laura’s)
Widenhoefer, Katharina Died 26 Jan 1902, age 81y 21d (1900 Fisher Twp. census shows Katharine b. Jan 1821, age 79, husband Jacob, both living with daughter and son-in-law Henry & Catherine Wieland)
Krauss, Wilhelmina Died 14 Jul 1902, age 43y 6m 23d (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Widenhoefer, Jacob Died 3 Jul 1903, age 85y 26d? (1900 census for Fisher Twp. and Fanny Twp. each have a Jacob Widenhoefer in the 1900 census)
Radi, Friedrich Died 6 Apr 1904 (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows two Fred Radi)
Senske, Berthold Wilhelm Died 23 Jun 1904, age 11d?
Volker, Julius Born 30 Jun 1846 Died 24 Oct 1905 (1900 Fanny Twp. census shows Julius and wife Wilhelmina & family) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wenzel, Child of August and Anna nee Radi Wenzel (probably a Wentzel) Died 13 Dec 1905, age 1d
Radi, Albert Frederick Died 27 Dec 1905, age 10y 5m 1d (The 1900 Fanny Twp. Polk Co. census shows Albert Radi b. Jul 1895, son of Julius and Lillie Radi)
Wagner, Caroline Emilie nee Widenhoefer Died 11 Jan 1906, age 38y 11m 21d (The 1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Caroline E. Wagner b. Feb 1867 wife of Henry E. Wagner) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Liebert, Johann Fredrick Born 10 Jan 1929 Died 25 Oct 1906 (The 1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Fredrick Liebert b. Jan 1829) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wagner, Gustaf Born 2 Jan 1879 Died 21 Nov 1906 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wenzel, Helen Alvine Died 1 Sep 1907, age 8m 13d
Wenzel, Ralph Charles Died 6 Feb 1908, age 1d
Wentzel, Michael Died 29 Jul 1909, age 72y 8m 11d (The 1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Michael b. Nov 1836 – wife is Henrette) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Radke, No name listed Buried 20 Jul 1910 of cholera
Reitmeier, Myrtle Lillian Died 11 Dec 1910
Radi, Anna Died 25 Nov 1915, age 82y 6m 22d (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Anna b. May 1835 – husband Fred and son Louis Karl)
Ross, Johann Died 13 Apr 1916 (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)
Wagner, Child of John Wagner, stillborn Died 1920 (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)
Schaff, Mrs. Bertha Died 3 Feb 1924 (1920 Fanny Twp. census shows Bertha age 32 and her husband Wallas living with her brother Robert Volker) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Volker, Lyle Able Died 12 Jul 1924, age 3m 11d, Son of Emil Volker (1920 Fanny Twp. census shows Emil and wife Clara) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wentzel, Bernadine Edith Died 21 Oct 1924, age 10y 11m 9d, Parents Louis and Mrs. Wentzel (1920 Fisher Twp. census shows Louis and wife Getrude and daughter Bernadine E. age 6) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wagner, Julius Died 2 Apr 1927, age 73y 7m 21d (Julius is listed in the 1900 Fisher Twp. census b. Aug 1853 with wife Amilia and ten children) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Jance, Augusta Died 31 Jan 1931 (It is not know where she was buried as her death certificate says “place of burial Fisher.” She was the wife of John Jance and was 89y 9m 21d born on 10 Apr 1841.) (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)
Schwanfelder, Mrs. B. (Babette) Died 30 Jan 1932 (Babette was the wife of Rev. Schwanfelder who served Trinity from 1919 to April 1933, she is probably buried elsewhere)
Volker, Mathilda Died 28 Mar 1934 of pneumonia (Sometimes spelled Voelker) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Volker, Mrs. Julius Died 30 Mar 1934 of pneumonia (Sometimes spelled Voelker) (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wentzel, Louis Died 25 Apr 1934 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
Wagner, Mrs. Julius Died 16 Jul 1935 of old age (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)
*Printed with permission of Jerry Wentzel April 2004
Many thanks to Jerry Wentzel for his efforts over the last several years to locate the graves at Trinity Cemetery, as well as efforts to beautify the site. The Trinity Cemetery is located on private property. Please contact Jerry Wentzel about visiting the site.
Many thanks to Ann for researching this church and cemetery and those buried there in other sources such as census and other church record information - this information is greatly appreciated.
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