ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC
CEMETERIES
Since 1850, St. Mary Help of Christians Parish has had its own cemetery.  The
first one-acre site was donated to the church by H. Buheman.  It was located
about two miles north of Chester (now the Niermann farm).  In bad weather,
access to the cemetery was very difficult, which made it necessary to obtain a
new site.  A five-acre site northeast of Chester was purchased in 1876 from Mr.
G. Warren at a price of $450.00.  The parish then acquired the adjoining John
Hamm property in February, 1944.  These 6.7 acres and the existing buildings
were purchased for $4,500.00.

In the center of the current cemetery, Rev. C.J. Eckert had the Statuary
Crucifixion Group erected.  It was dedicated in November, 1925, just three
weeks before Rev. Eckert's death in an automobile accident.  Rev. Eckert, Rev.
A.B. Lehmen and Rev. Joseph Sense are buried at the foot of the cross.















In 1985 Dominic Pautler, as part of his work in obtaining his Eagle Scout Award,
organized the initial phase of removing debris and brush from the first parish
cemetery.  With the help of family, friends and other scouts the project grew to
where the Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality in remembrance of their 90th
anniversary helped to erect an enclosure around the cemetery with a stone
entrance and a metal gate (the gate was part of the original Randolph County
Jail).  A stone plaque commemorating the event was placed in the center of the
entrance.  The Wilfred Niermann and Roger Marcinkowski families continued to
oversee the care of the cemetery, and on June 13, 1992, as part of the parish's
150th jubilee, a prayer service was held at the cemetery.















June 13, 1992 - Prayer Service at Original Cemetery

The original cemetery continues to be maintained thanks to the generosity of
Steve and Derek Niermann.

Our current cemetery has also seen many improvements in recent years.  In
1998 the Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality and the Knights of Columbus erected a
memorial to the unborn.  Under the pastorate of Msgr. Dennis Schaefer, a
Cemetery Committee was formed and on September 1, 2000, a new section of
the cemetery was opened on the north side.  Since 2004, under our current
pastor, Fr. Gene Wojcik, a metal archway was erected at the main entrance to
the cemetery.  The roads were asphalted, and many landscaping improvements
have been made to the entrance and around the Crucifixion Group.  Concrete
benches have also been placed at various points in the cemetery.
ETERNAL REST GRANT
UNTO THEM, O LORD.