The annual West Granville Cemetery Tour will take place on Saturday, June 17, 2023, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Please meet at the main cemetery entrance at 6815 N. 107th Street which is one block south of the intersection of 107th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue. Parking is available across the street at the historic Salem Landmark Church.
West Granville Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Milwaukee County located in the far northwest corner of the county that was known as Granville Township. The first burial took place in 1844, and the cemetery was incorporated in 1852. Many of the early settlers and their families who lived in the settlements of Granville Station, Granville Center, and West Granville, all parts of Granville Township, are buried in the cemetery.
The location of the cemetery was a deciding factor in the founding of one of the oldest Christian congregations in Milwaukee County. The Evangelical and Reformed Church of Granville, founded on December 25, 1847, was located directly south of the cemetery. Today that church is Salem Lutheran Church located across the street from the cemetery. The Salem Landmark Church, built in 1863 which served the congregation until 1977, is today a museum for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
This year’s tour will center on Jonas Fuhrmann Barndt, one of the earliest settlers of Granville Township. Jonas F. Barndt was a civic leader serving in early Granville Township government, and the donator of the land on which West Granville Cemetery, Salem Landmark Church, West Granville Presbyterian Church, and the original Maple Tree School were founded. The Barndt family history is a unique story in itself (there were at least three Abner Barndts) which makes a study of their family history an interesting challenge.
The lives of some of the “Salem Saints” will also be discussed. These individuals, not native to the West Granville community, were members at Salem Lutheran Church, served the congregation and community in a variety of ways, and now rest at West Granville. The tour will look at Al Albrecht, Clarence Miller, and Charlie and Edna Lutz.
The tour will be conducted by Jim Moeller, a son of Salem congregation who has several generations of relatives buried at West Granville Cemetery. He is a retired elementary school principal and teacher who served in the schools of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod for 44 years. This year’s tour is the eleventh tour conducted by him, and he enjoys sharing the history of Granville Township and these early and later settlers. For more information he can be contacted at [email protected].