Holy Angels Cemetery
A brief history of this cemetery.
||John H. Jr.
This page was created by J
Richardson on Friday, March 29, 2002.
Pioneers not forgotten at Holy
Cemetery once near church
by L. Candy Ruff, Times Lifestyles Editor
Leavenworth Times, Sunday, Jan. 22, 1989
Seven pioneers traveling through Basehor just after
the Civil War died of pneumonia. They were buried near the first
Holy Angels Catholic Church in the cemetery that remains today.
For years, these people were known as the "Forgotten
Seven." During the latter part of the last century, someone
placed a flat sandstone near the graves simply marked "Grimes."
Jack Davoran Sr. headed the community effort in the
1950s to place a headstone at the gravesite bearing the pioneers'
names. His son said recently that for the people of Basehor it
was a matter of paying their respect.
Jack Davoran Jr. and Basehor Mayor Anna Mary Landau
have family buried at Holy Angels Cemetery. Both were joined by
Jack Sheehan recently for a walk through the 10-acre burial ground
located three miles west of Basehor.
The first burial in 1861 was Nellie Farrell. The Catholic
congregation, however, wasn't organized nor was a church built
until a year after the close of the Civil War. The Rev. Aloysius
Laigneil would travel from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
in Leavenworth to deliver Mass.
The first church was built in 1866 and the Rev. Laigneil
served at the first pastor. Kansas Pacific Railroad deeded land
to early-day Bishop John B. Miege to establish the parish. In
those days, Basehor historian Aileen Seeman tells us, the railroads
were given 10 miles on either side of their right-of-way.
"They would sell to speculators or settlers,"
she wrote in a "Basehor Sentinel" article from 1976.
"This was in 1860 or somewhere near that time. The deed was
recorded in 1878 by Bishop Miege."
The pioneer community of Hoge was chosen as the first
parish site. Besides the church and cemetery, Hoge boasted a post
office, a grocery store, a creamery and a blacksmith shop.
Mrs. Donnelly (her first name is not known) was instrumental
in starting the church at the cemetery site. She gave the money
necessary to secure the sandstone for the 20 by 16 foot structure.
Burials began to fill the church yard as years progressed.
Mrs. Seeman explains in her history of the Holy Angels Cemetery
that the first church and cemetery stood alongside one another
"The old church was torn down and a new one built
with a beautiful brick edifice built in Gothic architecture. It
was dedicated March 17, 1914, and renamed St. Patrick's."
Tragedy struck a short nine years later. Mrs. Landau
was a young girl when a faulty furnace cause a fire that destroyed
the church. Basehor's mayor wasn't allowed to get a first-hand
look. Her mother, Catherine Doege, made her stay at home. Her
brother, Albert Joe, managed to get closer to the action.
Mrs. Seeman says the decision was made to build the
new church in Basehor prompting the formation of the Holy Angels
"The founders of this association were John Murphy
Sr., James kelly, Scott Reardon, James McInerney, Joseph C. Doege,
James Lynch, Margaret Fox McNamee and Edith Reiger Doege,"
she explained in her pamphlet.
With the fire came destruction of the cemetery records.
Davoran Sr. made a new burial map in 1950 and lot were renumbered.
Mrs. Seeman says about 400 burials have taken place since 1861.
An altar provided by Elsie Waldron, Margaret Kemler
and Pearl Coffey was erected in the late 1940s and dedicated on
Memorial Day, 1950. The site for the altar was selected by the
Rev. Harry Imhoff, who presided by the dedication.
The shelter that houses the altar was built two years
later through the generosity of the Lynch family.
Mrs. Seeman tells us the arch over the north drive
was erected in 1902 with wrought iron gates added in 1972.
Officers in today's cemetery association are Joseph
Nick, president; John Noval, vice president; Clarence Kelly, secretary;
and Joyce Bowlin, treasurer and sexton.
Article donated by Debra Graden, President
Leavenworth County Genealogical Society, 1998