Stapper Cemetery History
The cemetery property was deeded on March 12, 1900, from William Theodore Stapper to Robert Stapper (nephew) and certain other brothers and brothers’ and sisters’ descendents. The family conducted the cemetery affairs from that day to May 18, 1968 without formal organization.
The Stapper Cemetery Association was formally created on May 18, 1968 by the then-present owners of burial plots in the Stapper Cemetery and descendants of those buried at the cemetery. This formality gave structure to the operation and maintenance that had been handled by various family members and descendants for decades without any formal organization. Now the family elders were entering their 70’s and 80’s and wanted to ensure the Stapper Cemetery would continue as a viable and maintained cemetery for future generations.
A committee of interested family members was formed, research done, bylaws drafted and a nominating committee appointed to select the group’s first officers. Hilmar Stapper, Bruno Stapper, Arno Fritz and Teddy Pfeil were significant participants. A month later, the first meeting was held on the grounds of the Stapper Cemetery, a slate of nominated officers was presented to the membership and a new era began. The first elected officers included Alwin Lieck, President; Teddy Pfeil, Vice-President; Leila Stapper Penshorn, Recording Secretary; Henry Stapper, Corresponding Secretary; and Robert Real, Treasurer.
At that same time, the new officers and their family members chronicled the information of all family members buried in the cemetery to date, by copying names and dates from the tombstones. In addition, the remainder of the fenced in acreage of the Cemetery property was plotted for burial sites, so that spacing was standardized and numbered for future burial plot sales and interment. Thus, by the end of 1968, the Association had the internal organizational components needed to serve future generations.