St. Peter's Cemetery
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth;
That they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.”
Revelations 14: 13
The Christian Church has always concerned itself with providing a place of rest for its members and friends. Accordingly, the St. Peter's congregation in 1875 purchased a plot of ground about a mile east of Washington. Through the years, this “Gottesacker” has become the resting place for almost 1,000 persons.
The demand for more space made it imperative to add to the original plot, so that the present cemetery covers approximately six acres of land, with a beautiful stone fence and iron gate entrances along Highway 100, which forms the northern boundary. The fence was erected in 1936, adding greatly to the appearance of the site.
Although it has been the policy of this booklet to refrain from mentioning individuals who have played a great part in the life of the congregation, we feel it altogether in place to give credit to two men whose voluntary service has been responsible for developing and maintaining one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the area.
Mr. J. H. Dieckmann, the oldest member of the congregation, and still very active for his almost 94 years, accepted the managerial position for quite some time. He did a splendid piece of work until
advanced age forced him to retire in 1937. Since then, Mr. Ed. M. Thias, also a life-long member of St. Peter's, has carried on in a most commendable manner. Under his direction, St. Peter's Cemetery has been maintained in such an orderly way that one need not hesitate to visit it in summer or winter. Both of those men have given or their time and effort gratuitously, and a word of thanks is here with extended to them.
Operating under the Perpetual Care plan, the cemetery lots are rapidly being purchased by not only members but residents of Washington and the surrounding area.
1875: Land purchased for cemetery (3 acres from Louis Haus Hausmann for $150 an acre)
1875-1876: Trees on land were used to build a picket fence around the cemetery
1924: More land was purchased
1936: Fence around cemetery erected
1944: 6 more acres of land was purchased
1966: 5 more acres of land was purchased to the west and south of the cemetery
1967: Storage facility erected
1968: Center Driveway Paved
1855-1918: A total of 872 funerals were performed
1855-1943: A total of 1370 funerals were performed
1855-1994: A total of 2602 funerals were performed
The cemetery board would like to plant an open border on the eastern boundary of the cemetery. This border incorporates trees, native shrubs, and ornamental grasses. The board believes this will add to the beauty and serenity of our historic cemetery grounds. Research into old cemetery board ledgers reveals that for almost three years (1936-1939) our congregation labored to put in the rock walls, gravel driveways, and planting circles. They thought to beautify the entrances by planting oak trees along the drives. A 1944 photograph shows 13 young oak trees lining each side of the driveways. Today, only 5 remain. Mr. E. Wallace was paid $30.60 in return for those trees. We believe the oaks were probably dug out of local fields, replanted in our cemetery, and carefully tended for future generations to enjoy. Seventy-five years later, we hope the congregation will view our new plantings as also worthwhile for future generations. Donations toward this project are greatly appreciated-perhaps as memorials to loved ones or in honor of a special person. Please see the proposed plan located in the atrium. We thank you for any contributions supporting our efforts.