Read and copyright© by Carol Spenader, Gloria Dettleff and Dorothy Falk as of 31 Aug 2003
St. Francis Cemetery can be reached by taking the Aviston exit from New Route 50 south to Old Route 50, turn east/left into the town. Turn south/right on Clinton Street, go two streets past the church to Fourth Street. Turn west/right and go past the mill to the cemetery.
This cemetery is owned by the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, which was established in 1864, primarily started by members of the St. Augustine congregation in Breese. Earlier records may be at that church. This cemetery dates approximately from 1865 and is very well maintained. It contains a higher percentage of stones still standing in the older sections than most cemeteries of this age. Many stones have been broken and repaired, and thus preserved.
We have a copy of the un-proofed burial records from the church and are in the process of proofing the records against the microfilm. Some of the entries are too faint and can not be proofed. We will put that listing online when we are finished. In the meantime, we will be glad to answer queries about the entries, many of which have no stones and are not on our cemetery listing. Just send an email inquiry to Gloria Dettleff.
Unofficial Map - For ease of locating a particular stone, we numbered each row and grave in all 4 sections of this cemetery beginning in the lower left hand corner of the section as you face the stones. This will not be the same numbering system that the church used.
Section A has the oldest stones and currently is the largest section. The last rows have many unmarked graves as well as the very oldest stones. Many of the stones and phrases in this section are written in German. We did our very best to translate these verses with some assistance from Mr. & Mrs. Heinz (Janine) Krumrey in South Africa. The stones are very worn and the old style of German used in these phrases made translating them very difficult. Stones written in German in Sections A & B are marked with an *.
The whole older portion of Section A is generally in chronological order. There are a few family lots at the beginning of each row and in the first four rows, which were added after the older section filled. We made an unofficial plat map for assistance in locating a grave.
Section B is the baby section. The stones are numbered in a general lot estimate order and are bound to be far off the true numbering. We read a total of 241 stones for all 8 rows. There were probably about 104 burials in each of the 8 rows, or about 832, that's less than 30% with stones. About 10% of the first 5 rows combined have stones and the back 3 rows have about 50%. There is one adult in the baby section and there are some babies in the adult section A.
Section C has some graves positioned east-to-west and some graves positioned north-to-south. If you plan on visiting the cemetery, and if your relatives are in Section C, we recommend you check our plat map to see how we counted the graves and rows before you leave home. If you want to know who else might be buried in a certain lot, we again recommend you check this plat, it is laid out different from the average section. This section is still in use for new burials.
Section D is the newest section and our unofficial plat is probably wrong since there aren't enough stones yet to make a good judgment of the grave placements.