St. Joseph Catholic Church

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016Shortly after Road Warriorette Shari and I photographed Luther’s Chapel Cemetery in Perry County’s Union Township, we turned into Apple Creek to explore St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Town originally called Schnurbusch

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016Apple Creek was originally named after a prominent family in the area, and there is a stone expressing appreciation to W. Joseph Schnurbusch for donating the land for the church.

German Catholic immigrants built the first St. Joseph church in 1828; the log structure was used for 12 years, then was replaced by the “Rock Church.” The present brick building was constructed between 1881-1884.

It’s a peaceful place

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016The grounds are full of crosses and the usual statuary.

The rules are pretty clear

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016The Joint Parish Council is pretty clear about what it will and won’t allow in the cemetery.

If you don’t follow the rules, you might be hauled into the Parish Office, where knuckle-rapping might be on the list of punishments meted out. (A convent was added to the church in 1917.)


I was framing a group of crosses

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016I was trying to frame a photo of the crosses in the background when my eye was drawn to something beside me off to the right.

What’s with the red rope?

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016A stone marking the final resting place of what I think was a long-dead priest held a wrapping of red rope. When I looked closer, it wasn’t just wrapped around the stone, part of it was going up into the tree.

This didn’t exactly break any rules, but it sure seemed odd.

A decoy?

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016The rope was looped around a tree branch, and hanging from the end of it, swinging in the breeze, was something that looked like a duck or goose decoy. There was no good way to get a shot of it short of climbing the tree, and y’all don’t pay me enough to exert that much energy.

The stone was old, and the rope had faded enough that it had been there a relatively long time. I’d love to know the story behind this.

We missed the most interesting part

St Joseph Catholic Church cemetery 06-09-2016When I got back to talking with my Jackson and Altenburg museum friends, they said we had missed the most beautiful and unusual part of the church grounds. They were right. I’ll publish photos from that area soon.

4 Replies to “St. Joseph Catholic Church”

  1. Those headstones from “YONDER YEAR” are past “PARISHIONERS” YOU HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE AREA OF SOUTHEAST Missouri. My 2CD WIFE Mary Helen Seyer-83 thru 1994 showed me all of the Cathloic Wonders of Missouri. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE AND NOT ADVERTISED.

    1. Tim, My Mother made a point of hauling me around to half a dozen or more rural cemeteries in SE MO to decorate the graves of relatives who were long dead before I was even a glimmer in my Dad’s eye. Even as a kid, I enjoyed walking around reading tombstones and trying to compute local history by the patterns of dates: you could tell when epidemics struck down whole families, when young men came back in boxes from various wars.

      As an adult, I find it hard to pass small cemeteries I find on back roads. I’m confused at your statement (in all caps, no less) that the residents of these cemeteries “MAY REST IN PIECE AND NOT ADVERTISED.”

      If I take a photograph of a grave marker, it is not “advertising it.” It means that it caught my eye for some reason, and I want to make a record of it. After all, we are alive only so long as someone remembers us.

      I have received several comments from people who have appreciated that I photographed their family stone. If you have any particular photo you would like to have removed, and can tell me why, then I will honor your wishes. Otherwise, the post stands. I am sorry if I have misinterpreted your comment.

  2. Ken, I want to thank you for what you do. My parents are both from Old Appleton and I am always looking for stories and photos. I love history and I agree with you whole-heartedly about keeping our past loved ones alive through memories and photos. Please keep up the good and much appreciated work.

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