Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery

New Wells Church and Cemetery 04-18-2014Mother is my eagle-eyed cemetery spotter. In the scores of times we had driven to Perry County, I had never looked to the left just south of County Road 524 off Hwy C to spot the cemetery on the hill. It turned out to be the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, established in 1918.

One of the first things that caught my eye was that there were four freshly-dug graves side-by-side. Had there been some kind of tragedy that wiped out a whole family all at once? No, the graves had different names on them and different, though recent, dates.

I quickly discerned the pattern: unlike most cemeteries I’ve visited, these graves weren’t grouped by families, they were in chronological order.

First grave dated 1919

New Wells Church and Cemetery 04-18-2014It didn’t take long to confirm my suspicion. The first grave in the southwest corner of the first row was dated 1919, and all the graves to the right were in date order. The only other place I had run into that kind of order was in a cemetery in Frohna, another German community.

Meticulous details

New Wells Church and Cemetery 04-18-2014I give the cemetery credit for keeping good records.

Plenty of room for expansion

New Wells Church and Cemetery 04-18-2014There is no shortage of room for more arrivals. Later on, we’ll show you photos from a cemetery right across from the Immanuel Lutheran church in “downtown” New Wells.

Click on the photos to make them larger.


11 Replies to “Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery”

  1. That’s amazing! Only the Germans. I can’t imagine people being willing to be planted in order of death – like some row crop!

  2. This is how all the small Lutheran cemeteries in Perry County are done; I have one set of great-grandparents buried at far, and another at New Wells, where my grandfather joined them last year. Innumerable older ancestors of mine are buried at both, all chronologically just so.

    I don’t know, but I’m guessing this is how many cemeteries worked before the mid-20th century.

  3. Is the New Wells Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery records that you picture available to the public? Does anyone know if the Immanuel Church records have been printed as the Lutheran churches in Altenburg and Pocahontas have? These would be invaluable for genealogists.

    1. Carolyn, I don’t have any idea. The folks at the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg could probably answer that question: 573-824-6070.

      If Carla or Gerard answers, tell ’em “Hi” from me.

  4. My father-in-law and mother-in-law are buried at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas, Missouri. This Missouri Synod Lutheran Church also buries the deceased in chronological order. Walter Hennecke passed away April 5, 2000, and Hazel Hennecke passed away July 22, 2000. They are buried next to each other just because no one in the congregation passed away between their dates of death. They were then able to place a joint headstone in the cemetery.

  5. I’m assuming you are referring to Perry Co. in MO. Coincidentally, there is a Perry County, in PA just up the highway from where I live in PA.

  6. Is there a place where I can find a full picture of that cemetery directory??? I have dozens of relatives (near and distant) in that directory because I can see quite a few of their names. I’m a genealogy buff and would love to find some way to get a shot of the full directory! If anyone has any suggestions, I’d appreciate it! Living in Phoenix, AZ doesn’t help me when it comes to access to the cemeteries here and in Perry County over by Altenburg, Frohna, etc…

  7. Lori, Perry County Historical Society has several church directories or records, including births,deaths, marriages, and cemetery records, available at their site:
    The Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum of Altenburg, Mo. may also have publications for Cape Girardeau County. St. John’s Lutheran in Pocahontas has published their church records also, but don’t know where available. The New Wells Immanuel Lutheran Church has not published their records yet. Check website They may have time to copy the New Wells cemetery directory for you from their digital copies. Hope this helps.

  8. My uncle had a heart attack while cutting the grass in this grave yard and my grandparents are buried there.

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