By Marc Houseman
On Sunday, April 8, the members of the Hamburg Cemetery Association, or more formally the “Friedens German-English Evangelical Church Cemetery Association”, met at St. Paul’s U.C.C. dining hall in Defiance. Formed in the early 1970s to ensure the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery, the association meets annually to discuss interments, maintenance and reminisce about the history of the former town of Hamburg, one of three communities obliterated by the federal government to build the Weldon Springs Ordnance plant during the Second World War.
This small cemetery, now surrounded by nature and overlooking the Missouri River, was the original public cemetery for the town but later became the congregational cemetery for Friedens Evangelical Church, which was founded in 1906. Over thirty other cemeteries, many of them small family plots, dot the landscape throughout the Busch Wildlife area. The Hamburg Cemetery is located on the east side of Highway 94, about four miles north of Defiance.
Members of the majority of Hamburg’s early families lie buried here. The locally famous weaver of coverlets, John E. Schneider is among them, as is Theodore Yahn, who invented a machine to slice an entire loaf of bread at one time.
Current officers of the board are president, Marc Houseman; vice-president, Jude Yahn; treasurer, Gary Mades and secretary, Tina Houseman.
Hundreds of burial sites are still available and the cemetery is open to the public. For information please call Marc Houseman at 636-239-3988.