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Located within the city limits of Hartville with access from Hwy. 5 South.  At one time considered two separate cemeteries, this area is now under the administration of one Board and is known as Steele Memorial.

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* * * * * * LEST WE FORGET * * * * * *

The Battle of Hartville took place in January of 1863.  After the War, the Union dead were disinterred and reburied in National Cemeteries.  The Confederates remained where they had been buried.  While the bodies of at least two officers who fell at Hartville were returned to St. Louis for burial immediately after the battle, there were 25 men buried in a mass grave "in a small cemetery just south of town."  This would have been the Hartville Cemetery.  Research led to the discovery of the names of these men and a marker bearing their names was placed in the Cemetery by the Sons of the Confederacy, McBride Camp, Springfield, MO.

With honor richly deserved, having paid the highest price for what they believed in:



In Memory Of
Erben Cassador Steele

Erben Casador Steele came to Wright County after the Civil War.  He was an Abolitionist who had served as a Private in the Union Army.  He was later called "Captain" as a term of honor.  He married Laura Austin and through her acquired the beginnings of his wealth.  Among his many successful endeavors was the establishment of the Wright County Bank; the building of the mansion (completed in 1890) that still sits on a hill overlooking the town; breaking into the Democrat dominated politics of the County by being elected County Clerk on the Republican ticket; and acquiring many acres of land.

He was buried three times.  When he died at home in 1901, he was escorted by a large contingent of Masons and GAR members to Mt. Moriah Cemetery north of Hartville and buried near the edge of that cemetery.  This was where Laura's parents were buried.  Rumors surfaced about the Mt. Moriah Church doors not staying closed and it was blamed on Steele's restless spirit.  A year later, his body was moved to the center of that cemetery. 

In the 1930s when land was donated by the Steele family to establish Steele Memorial Cemetery in Hartville, his remains were moved to the rotunda there where now the Captain rests.




  He has gone from his dear
   ones His children His wife 
     Whom He willing toiled for 
and loved as his life.





Page format copyright August 2009 by Phyllis Rippee.  Photos by Carol Robertson.