Albert and Theresia's monument

St. Mary's Church graveyard, near Pesotum. Standing in the churchyard I turned around 360 degrees and saw flat farmland, green June-high corn, interspersed with white farmhouses and barns. I could imagine the parishioners driving their buggies to church from the farthest visible farm, and I realized that one of the houses I was looking at was probably where Albert had lived his final years. He was most likely living with his daughter Mary Anne, married to Peter Wilhelm. Theresia died Sept. 11, 1897; Albert died January 5, 1903. The Wilhelm's graves are not at St. Mary's but at St. Joseph's in the town of Pesotum.

Next to the stone is Bette Lou Ernst Hartzell, with a big smile -- we had almost given up the search, but turned around one more time and found the graveyard. The wind was blowing so hard that day that driving - and walking - were hard. We were covered with dust. The corn in the fields was bending over.

The church building itself is gothic-style with a large steeple, visible across the fields, to the horizon. The well cared for church was built in 1893; Joel observed that Albert and Theresia had only been going there a few years before they died. We were able to go inside. One wonders how such a small population built such a large, lovely church!

Theresia's side of the monument. Here you can see the decoration at the top which got cut off in the previous picture! Frost heave has tipped everything slightly. Inscription reads:

Theresia M. (Mueller/Miller)
Wife of
Albert Ernst
Sept 11, 1897
69 Yrs. 9 Mos. 3Ds.
Rest in peace!