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Christ Lutheran Church cemetery turns 150-years-old

June 18, 2014 - Hadley Twp.-On June 15 Christ Lutheran Church commemorated the 150th anniversary of their cemetery.

David Paslean, a church member for 71 years and chairman of the cemetery operations, said township resident Wilhelm Rose donated about one acre on the northwest corner of Hadley Road and Fox Lake Road in 1864 to establish the cemetery.

Christ Lutheran Church is located at 5245 Hadley Road.

"The land was not good for farming, it's rolling country, so they leveled the top of the hill and it became the Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery," said Paslean. "The cemetery started in 1864 but there are graves that date back to 1861. We assume they moved the graves to the cemetery to the southeast corner of the donated property."

Christ Lutheran Church, actually started meeting at homes in the community about 1858 under the leadership of visiting pastor Rev. F. Eppling. Originally called the Old German Lutheran Church, the name was later changed to Christ Lutheran, which established the cemetery for its members. In 2007 the congregation celebrated the 120th anniversary of the existing structure built by church members in 1887 on donated land north of Fox Lake Road in Hadley Township.

Today there are about 350 graves which include 18 veterans, from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

"It used to cost $1 for a church member to be buried and $2 for a non-church member," he added. "Some of the stones are damaged or missing. Many of the early markers are written in German."

The church expanded the cemetery in 1959 when they purchased an apple orchard from Cleve Munger. An additional acre was purchased in 1969. Currently the cemetery accepts current church members and past members.

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