Union Cemetery is a historic cemetery founded in 1849 as the German Methodist Episcopal Cemetery. In 1940 the names of the church and cemetery were both changed to Wesley Methodist.
In 1948 the cemetery disassociated itself with the church and once again changed its name, this time to Union Cemetery. Today, Union Cemetery is one of the few rural Wisconsin cemeteries still under the care of its own association. In genealogy databases you may find it listed as Wesley Union Cemetery, Salem Cemetery, Pipersville Union Cemetery or Rackemann Cemetery. You will also find its location to be listed as Pipersville, Jefferson County Wisconsin.
The first interments of Union Cemetery were farm folk of German descent from the surrounding area. Generations of these same families now rest here; from infants to elderly, from those who stayed in the community to war veterans who traveled the world.
The Earliest Interment
Several gravestones in Union Cemetery are illegible because of their age. Of those we can read, the earliest interment is Anna W. Cordes, infant daughter of Ludwig and Henrietta (Hoefer) Cordes. Anna died in 1851. Her paternal grandmother, Anna Dohrmann Cordes died in 1858 and is buried directly behind her.
The Oldest Interment
That we know of, John Ruske, at 98-yrs-old, is the oldest person at the time of his death to be buried at Union Cemetery. He and his wife Wilhelmina (nee Schnitger) were farmers and lived in rural Watertown, Juneau and Beaver Dam.
The Youngest Interment
Sadly, maternal and infant mortalities were common generations ago. The youngest people buried in Union Cemetery are babies who died at birth or shortly thereafter. Many of these headstones are simply marked “Baby.”
Many veterans are buried in Union Cemetery, including Rudolph Hoff, who served in the War of 1812, and John Kleinsteiber, who served in the Civil War. War veterans can be identified in the cemetery either by their service headstones, markers, or medallions.
Cemeteries are a wonderful resource for family genealogists. There are many online sites that can also assist you. Check them out!