The Benjamin Wagoner Memorial Cemetery, Lot 1 NE4 Sec
28-1-10 is located
on the originalhomestead 4 miles south and 3 1/2 miles east of Red Cloud.
Benjamin Wagoner, wife Catharine Fouts, and nine of their ten children (eldest
son John stayed to work off some debts, came the following year)left Clinton Co IN 23 Sept.
1869. Benjamin, sons Daniel and Noah and son-in-law, Edwin Mohler homesteaded in Webster
Co. NE; sons John, David and Joseph a few miles south just over the line in Kansas.
Benjamin died 27 Aug. 1880 and was buried in the northeast corner of his
homestead. A few days later, a grandson, the infant son of Ed and Sarah Mohler was buried
On 31 July 1882, the widow, Catharine Fouts Wagoner deeded 2 1/2 acres in the
northeast corner of the homestead for a cemetery for "the benefit of the community at large and
the religious people known as Brethren or German Baptists for the purpose of a free burial
Through the years Noah's journal records many burials, for some he helped dig
the grave or helped make the coffin. And at some he officiated. An entry for Fri. Oct. 21 1887
says "John's came and we pulled grass from graves and Joseph and I burned off the cemetery in
the evening. Sat. 22 John came and we staked off cemetery p.m."
The first trustees were Edwin Mohler, Henry C. Wolfe and James McCartney.
In 1929, on 30 August. succeeding trustees, Ira B. Wagoner, Frank Lippincott and Charles Ailes
gave a Warranty deed of this same property to the "Benjamin Wagoner Memorial Association" of
Webster county for the purpose of continuing the control and uses of this same ground for
For some years, through the efforts of Laban Wagoner, Leonard Barnes and
others, the cemeteries of Webster county were taken care of through the Webster County
Cemetery Board. That board found it increasingly difficult to finance the maintenance of the many
cemeteries in the county and while continuing their support, encouraged efforts for as many as
possible to become self-supporting.
On 03 Oct. 1983, Leonard Barnes, Elizabeth Wagoner Rudd, Pauline and Daniel
Wagoner met at the Wagoner Cemetery for the purpose of discussing the future care of the
cemetery. On 10 Oct they met with the Webster County Cemetery Board and it was decided to
raise funds and officially reorganize the Wagoner Cemetery Board and Association. Michael
Offner set up a set of by-laws for us and an organizational meeting was held 29 May 1984. The
Articles of Association were adopted and trustees elected to wit: President Daniel Wagoner, Vice
President Elizabeth Rudd, Treasurer Kay Goll, Clerk to the Trustees Esther Emmons. A record of
the meeting, the Articles of Association and an Affidavit of Publication were certified and
recorded with the Webster County Clerk
Funds were raised and put into a certificate of deposit with the interest being
sufficient for three mowings per year. Much of the maintenance was done by by the board
members and others, tree trimming, clearing out undesirable growth around the edge, planting
new trees, putting in trash barrels,etc The tombstones have all been read and recorded.
On 18 May 1991 a Nebraska State Historical plaque was placed at the cemetery.
This was the culmination of more than a year's effort by Esther Wagoner Emmons and the
cemetery association during which they had the cemetery approved and designated as a historical
site, raised the funds and set the sign in place.
We have lost three of the original trustees, Elizabeth Rudd, Esther Emmons and
Daniel Wagoner, all of whom are resting in the cemetery on the hill. The present Trustees are
President Linda Wagoner Lygrisse, Vice President LaVaughn Richards, Treasurer Kay Wagoner
Goll, Clerk to the Trustees Daniel Lygrisse, Superintendent of Mowing Dallas Rudd.
Pauline A. Wagoner
64 North Park Road
La Grange, Il 60525-5937
© 23 Feb. 2000
updated Aug 2000