Annual Pioneer Cemetery Day

Written by Theresa Rose on September 18, 2017

(courtesy of Pat White) The Henry County Pioneer Cemetery Commission [HCPCC] hosted its fifth annual Pioneer Cemetery Day September 16th.  Old Richwoods Pioneer Cemetery, on Franklin Avenue about halfway between Mount Pleasant and Trenton, was the chosen location.  Close to fifty people attended this annual event to honor early settlers and veterans buried in our pioneer cemeteries.  Refreshments were served and commission members were available to answer questions.

Chairperson Debbie VanDerSnick welcomed the crowd, introduced commission members and gave some personal background information about each.  Charlotte Zihlman told the history of the commission and their accomplishments since its April 1999 beginning.  Pat White and Sharon Walden spoke briefly about the history of the Richwoods community, the Old Richwoods Chapel and the cemetery.   David Gates named the eight veterans buried in Old Richwoods and then introduced county historian, Carol Klopfenstein.  Carol shared the story of how she was approached by Shelly Langston, a descendant of Civil War veteran William Degroodt.  Upon discovering that Degroodt was buried in Old Richwoods, but did not have a grave marker, Carol contacted the HCPCC to see what could be done.  Application was made and a new grave marker was delivered and set for William Degroodt, in time for a visit by Shelly Langston in July 2016.


The Henry County Pioneer Cemetery Commission meets the first Monday of every month, April through December, at the courthouse in Mount Pleasant. Those interested in the pioneer cemeteries of Henry County are welcome to attend.  Contact 319-385-4983 for further information.