This past Saturday was a beautiful fall day.
Almost all the leaves are off our trees.
Mom told me an interesting story this past week about 17 immigrant children buried in a cemetery north of Peabody. As it was such a beautiful afternoon, we decided to follow this up.
We drove northeast past Walton and just before we got to Peabody, we turned north on Mustang Road. (we didn't see a sign, but had looked it up on GoogleEarth and knew where to turn)
So many babies died in those early years.
These little markers had only the initials of the children on them. Can you imagine the pain these parents experienced?
There were not too many current graves at this cemetery. Most of these are from the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Here is the stone to memorialize the immigrant children. The story is below:
"In 1874, as 8,000 Mennonites emigrated from Russia into Kansas, Swiss Mennonites who first
settled in the area near today’s Moundridge, stepped off the train at Peabody. The men went to
scout and buy land in Mound and Turkey Creek townships. When they returned three weeks later,
they discovered that “almost all the children became sick. Some children died. The town had no
cemetery at this time. A few miles north there was a place with a few graves. Since there was no
other way of transportation, the bodies were carried there and buried.” Until recently, that
location has been a mystery.
An article came to light in the January 1875 issue of the Herald of Truth newspaper out of
Elkhart Indiana. A correspondent from Peabody, KS wrote,
“I found this country completely devastated by the grasshoppers, but the farmers now have
out a very fine crop of wheat... They seem well pleased with the country. Brother Stucky’s party
buried about fourteen children here on Brother H. Hornberger’s farm.”
A quick check of land records show that this Henry Hornberger farm was exactly the site of
what is today’s Catlin Mennonite Cemetery. So, we know that the Swiss children are in this
cemetery, which is located 3 miles North, 1 West, and ½ North from the Northwest corner of
Peabody. After 138 years, they have been found." - swissmennonite.org
posted about 300-400 Russian Mennonites that died in a smallpox outbreak after they immigrated to Kansas as they wintered in Florence. I am sure they wondered why they ever left the old world and came to this land!
We drove north out of the cemetery just to take a scenic country drive.
We could see the elevators of the town where our kids live so thought we might drive in and surprise them! We came upon this little country church.
I remember seeing some boys hanging out of the windows as we drove up. I told Jill "One of those boys might be your future husband!" It probably was Adam!! His sister played the piano with someone else we knew who was from this church and we recall her well.
We drove on to the kids' home.
The children had hand, foot, and mouth disease this past week.
Allen is inspecting the blisters on Claire's hand.
Claire loves to play with toddler apps.
The older girls played outside a lot this day.
Adam will be turning off the sprinklers since winter is going to be coming. But today, the girls were having one last hurrah!
We were invited for supper. Delicious!
Playing "introducing Claire!" She runs out to the living room full of giggles as you holler this. It was a game we played with the other 2 when they were young too. She was feeling so much better after her oatmeal bath. It helps with the itchy blisters on her body.
A fun and interesting day!