Located a mile north of the Nevada Municipal Cemetery on 210th Street in rural Story County is Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
After being in a state of disrepair a year ago (due to private ownership and changes in that ownership by people not living here), area leaders got involved in maintaining the cemetery and looking to the future.
By dictate of Iowa Code Chapter 359, the cemetery is now owned by Milford Township, and leaders in the township need help from the public in learning more about the precious piece of property that they will now maintain and manage.
“We’ve received no records, no deeds from the cemetery,” said Dave Stensland, clerk and treasurer for Milford Township, which is governed by the Milford Trustees — Bob Jacobson, Brad Brooks and Bob Neihoff.
Stensland and Loren Book, who is one of the members of a committee set up to focus on the cemetery, met with the newspaper to talk about the need they have to get help from the public at this time.
Book said the committee, by talking with funeral home directors, the local monument company and searching recorded deeds at the courthouse, has been able to round up about 20 of the deeds for Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, where around 200 people are buried.
The committee needs the public’s help on re-establishing a set of records for the cemetery.
“We need anyone with deeds, records or knowledge about the lots in the cemetery to come forward and share that information with us,” Stensland said.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, which was also in the past referred to as Evergreen Gardens, was started in the early 1960s. Roy Borton was the first male buried in the cemetery and there were two females buried before him. Book and Stensland don’t have names for those two females at this time.
The committee working on the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is hoping that historic facts, names and other information about what plots are owned by various families can be figured out as they move forward with their ownership and management of the property.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is one of three cemeteries now owned by Milford Township. The other two are Pleasant Grove, which is up the hill from Soper’s Mill; and The Knoll, which has the burial plots of people who lived at the old county home.
Those serving on the Milford Township cemetery committee, in addition to Book, are Marty Chitty, Red Huff, Linda Meyers, Tim Hadley and Joe Toot, all selected because they had valuable skills and abilities to bring to the table, Stensland said.
Anyone who has a deed, or other information about the cemetery, is asked to contact Stensland at 515-290-4302 or Brad Brooks at 515-231-4020 as soon as you can, so that information can be utilized in helping the township move forward.