Gunkel Burial Ground - Flint Hills Genealogical Society


The following is taken from a Gazette story written by Miss Laura FRENCH in Feb. 10, 1933, entitled "An Old Burial Ground".

"High on the bluff south of the Cottonwood river, half a mile east of the Rocky Ford bridge, lies the almost forgotten dust of Mrs. Margaret GUNKEL , who died in the late 1860's, whose descendants in Lyon County extend to the sixth generation, and number probably, several hundred. Her burial is thought to have been the last in this place. The little abandoned burying ground, on land which at the times it was started belonged to Mrs. GUNKEL 's son Henry GUNKEL , who died in 1860, now is part of a pasture belonging to Mrs. Anna GAMBLE , 1225 Neosho. C. H. CASSEDAY lives on the farm adjoining it on the east and rents the pasture. It was known as the GUNKEL burying ground.

Native stone markers, with initials several of them with the letter G remain, some standing, deeply imbedded in the soil, and many initials have been obliterated. Some of the stones have fallen, and some of the graves are plainly outlined by t he head and foot markers. Besides Mrs. GUNKEL , 10 of the burials here were members of her family: Henry GUNKEL and his little daughter, Sarah; her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Vienna GUNKEL , with her three children; two BRENDAL grandchildren and two HARPER grandchildren. Besides these, Mrs. Louisa WILHITE recalls that the two wives of Louis COTTINGHAM were buried there, a child of the Jasper GOODWILLS , a LONEY child, a child of Mr. and Mrs. Levi FLOWLER , two children of Mr. and Mrs. Edward EDWARDS and a WINEMAN child.

Henry P GUNKEL , who lives seven miles southeast of Emporia, is a son of John and Vienna GUNKEL , and the Misses Bell and Vernie GUNKEL , who live on a part of the farm on which the burial ground is located, and are the granddaughters of the first Henry GUNKEL . Three families of GUNKELS , John, Henry, and Nicholas, and the families of their sister and brother-in-law, Frederick and Mary BRENDEL , came to Emporia or Lyon County in 1856.

The Branson HARPER family, another sister and brother-in-law, and their children, and Mrs. Margaret GUNKEL , came a few years later.

Two elm trees have planted themselves about the center of the old burial plot, and stones lie in confusion all around, remains of the stone fences, no doubt, that once surrounded the graves. It is a sightly spot, overlooking the Cottonwood valley to the north, and wide stretches of prairie in other directions. --L. M. F."

Author's Note: Miss Laura FRENCH lived at 813 Neosho Street in Emporia, Kansas. She was the author the "History of Lyon County". There were many early writers of Lyon County history, one of the best of the earliest was STOTLER .

Frederick and Mary BRENDEL are buried in the HUNT-FOWLER Cemetery.

NOTE: This cemetery has been reclaimed by the elements and man. There are no stones to mark it anymore, so the history of those buried there is the above information. The location is thought to have been in Section 33, Township 19, Range 12 of Lyon County, Kansas.

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