We had an obituary from the Walnut Bureau for John Hildebrandt that did not say where he was buried. He died on November 9, 1943 on T. L. Tierney’s farm 6 miles northeast of Walnut. John was found dead in the yard there.

We found his death record, where his name was listed as John Fredrick Hildebrand (no t on the end) in Clay Township, Shelby County near Marne. It gave the information that we wanted, saying that he was buried at Walnut, Iowa. He does not have a gravestone at the Layton Township Cemetery. However, his parents, John F. and Bertha Hildebrand and his siblings, Henry and Anna are buried here and have stones. It seemed logical that the son John was also buried on the 20’ x 20’ lot on the south side of the road, Section D, Block 10, Lot 4. After many trips to the Hildebrand plot and prodding and dowsing, Jim and I believe the son John is buried in the southwest corner of the plot, just west of his brother Henry.

On one of our many visits to Layton Township Cemetery, we saw a man studying the index board. We asked if we could help him find someone’s grave. Greg Gallardo was on his way from Florida to Oregon and stopped to visit his grandfather’s grave. He thought that he remembered coming here with his grandmother to bury his grandfather’s ashes. We could not find that Clarence Peter “Cap” Hansen was buried here, so we invite Mr. Gallardo to our home to investigate. Clarence Hansen’s obituary was in the Walnut newspaper; he was born in Atlantic, Iowa on February 23, 1906 and died on January 12, 1977 in Yreka, California. It did not say where his ashes were buried. With the help of the Botna Valley Genealogical Society cemetery book for Graceland Cemetery in Avoca, Iowa, we found a listing for Clarence and for his wife, Josephine. They are buried on the same lot as Josephine’s parents, Peter and Josephine Lorenzen. I added memorials to Findagrave for Clarence and Josephine Hansen and for Peter and Josephine Lorenzen and we added gravestone photos.

C. P. (CAP) Hansen, the name on his gravestone, had parents and four grandparents, who are buried in the Atlantic Cemetery. His parents were Peter Fredrick and Anna Katharina Hansen. Their parents were Jesse Heinrich and Catharine Dorothea “Dora” Krogmann Hansen and Hennings and Magdalene Nagle Westphalen. On the following day, Greg Gallardo was able to visit his six ancestors in the Atlantic Cemetery and his four ancestors in the Avoca Cemetery. He was so thankful that he was able to find all of the graves.  

There was a knock on our front door on Thursday afternoon, the day before the start of Walnut’s Antique Walk on June 14. David and Deby Knupp from Rochester, Minnesota were looking for information on Dave’s Uncle Eugene Craig (actually a great-uncle), who is buried at the Layton Township Cemetery. We found obituaries online for Eugene W. Craig, Sr. and his wife, Eva Alta Nelson Craig. Dave had a photo of the Craig farmstead. We checked the 1919 Pottawattamie County Atlas and found that E. W. (Eugene), Eva and daughter, Velma were renting 160 Acres in Section 26 of Layton Township. Many will remember Velma Craig as Velma Bledsoe. Eugene had been in the county for 33 years, all of his life. The land was owned by J. W. Craig, the father of Eugene. The Craig homestead was at 53163 Highway 83, where Dick and Phyllis Sievers lived. Dave and Deby found Karol Calabro at ‘a bit of IOWA’ Café and she confirmed that this was the house that they tore down and built their new home on the site.

Dave remembered that as a child he had eaten a steak at Eugene’s café, Craig’s Café, in Avoca. I found 3 café sites from the Avoca history book. Eva Craig’s obituary said they also had a café in Harlan.

The Knupps found the graves of Eugene and Eva Craig, but will have to return to visit many other burial places.  Also buried in the Layton Township Cemetery are Eugene’s parents, Joseph W. and Hada M. Brown Craig, Dave Knupp’s great-grandparents. Joseph’s parents, Rufus and Caroline Lyford Craig, are buried here as well as Joseph’s siblings Hattie Whitney and Ella Griffith. Hada Craig’s parents, David S. and Pauline M. Hadley Brown are also buried here. I emailed many family obituaries and findagrave memorials to Dave and Deby, linked family members and found obituaries. I also discovered that Joseph Craig lived at 504 Antique City Drive in Walnut, which is now the home of Ray and Doreen Rasmussen. Dave’s mother was born in this house on November 23, 1917, although her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Grant, were from Eagle, Colorado.