Granger Brethren Cemetery Information
Historical perspective by Mrs. Elsie Barton
Two cemeteries have served as the resting places of a majority of the members of the Granger Brethren Church, the Machu Cemetery and the official church cemetery. The Machu Cemetery preceded the church cemetery by 33 years, having been established 9 years before the congregation itself was organized. Its beginning came as an act of generosity and good will of Pavel Machu, who was sometimes called the patriarch of the early Granger-area Czech Protestants. As Mr. Machu was returning to his farm from Granger on horseback one day in 1883, he met a woman and several children in a wagon. She was in great distress trying to find a burial place for her husband whose body she carried in the back of the wagon. She had been refused burial for him in two cemeteries and did not know what to do, Mr. Machu was shocked at her plight. Right then he decided to invite her to his farm where he would provide a burial site for her husband. He allotted a plot of three acres for a cemetery which came to be called the Machu Cemetery. In 1975 this cemetery had to be relocated by the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers to a new site near the church cemetery one mile east of Granger. At the time of the dedication at the new site, the cemetery had one unmarked grave and 135 marked graves.
On Nov. 17, 1916, the Granger Brethren congregation purchased two acres of land from M. Schramm for the church cemetery. This site is located about a mile east of Granger and adjoins the Catholic Cemetery to the north and the city cemetery to the west. Early purchases of plots were made by the Vitek, Labaj, Stefka, Mikulencak, and Holubec families. The first burial is believed to be that of Frantiska Janyska, who died on June 11, 1917. 17 Four ministers of the Unity of the Brethren are buried in the cemetery: the Rev. Adolf Chlumsky who died in 1919, the Rev. Josef Barton, Sr., 1945, the Rev. Vaclav Vavrina, 1950, and the Rev. Josef A. Barton, 1979.
The cemetery committee is currently working on a project to digitally map all graves in the historic cemetery and have the information uploaded to the website. Please check back for more information on this effort.
Click here for a timeline and listing of internments in the Granger Brethren Cemetery.