The following is a list of the various cemeteries, active and inactive, used throughout the history of Brooks and area. You can also access a gravemarker database for most cemeteries.
Our group regularly updates the gravemarker databases and obituaries so we encourage you to check back in here if you don’t immediately find who you’re looking for.
Alderson Bassano Brooks Cassils Cravath Corners Duchess West Duchess Duke of Sutherland Farm Gem Patricia Rainier Rolling Hills Rosemary Old Catholic Church – Rosemary North Rosemary – Gallup Farm Scandia Tilley (Bethany)
SW1/4 21-15-10 W4
The village of Alderson was originally called Langevin Siding, as it served as a train stop along the CP rail line. 1910 saw settlers arriving in large numbers and a town arose called Carlstadt. After WWI, around 1915, the name was again changed to Alderson but not much remains.
Travel east from Brooks on #1 Highway approximately 30 miles and turn south at a small sign indicating Alderson. Proceed about 4 miles to a railroad crossing, turn east and travel approximately 1 mile. At the third railway crossing go south across the track and you will see the cemetery on the left side of the road. It is bounded on the west by a rural dirt road. The CPR track is 1/4 mile from the north boundary and the Alderson second Petro Canada Oil Compressor Station is 1/2 mile to the south with pasture land to the east – about 1 mile east from where the town of Alderson used to be.
NOTE: there is a large file on this cemetery at the Brooks AGS library.
Bassano and District Cemetery, located adjacent to #1 Highway, has resting spots for many, dating back as early as 1912. Many pioneers from a radius of about twenty-five miles, rest in the cemetery. There is a large number buried in the 1920s – 30s. One reason is the boom Bassano experienced at that time and also as a result of a flu that swept through town with alarming numbers left dead.
In the early 1910s, settlers came to the area to construct the Bassano Dam. Similarly seventy-five years later, construction was carried out at the Dam to rebuild and update this vital part of irrigation for Bassano and area. The cemetery is pleasantly treed on all four sides complete with an irrigation system. Summer employees are hired each year for upkeep and continuing beautification.
The Brooks Cemetery is located near the north entrance to the city of Brooks. From #1 Highway proceed south into Brooks on 2nd Street West and can be found on the east side of the street.
The early history of the Brooks Cemetery is sketchy, but it is known that the land originally belonged to the CPR. In a 1915 edition of the Brooks Bulletin under the headline “Cemetery Plots bought by Town” we read:
“Mayor Purcell was in Calgary this week in connection with the purchase of the cemetery grounds from the CPR. This company claims the town owed interest on purchase price of this parcel set aside since 1914. The Mayor pointed out that the town had never purchased the plots and that the CPR could take the land back. In considering the matter, a very reasonable price was set and the claim for interest dropped.”
In the September 24, 1953 edition of the Bulletin, Dr. C.E. Anderson recalls the first move to obtain a cemetery here. “A keen interest in the early history of Brooks is constantly taken by Dr. C.E. Anderson, the earliest practicing physician in Brooks and now resident in Edmonton. Mention in the Bulletin recently brought to his mind the establishment of the local cemetery and an informal letter to the editor he recalls some of the details. He writes ‘I think it was in the early Spring of 1911 when we had a chap die in Brooks. What his name was, I do not recall. This poor chap was broke and so it became necessary for the lads of the village to take up a collection to bury him. They did not see the need of giving the chap a train ride when there was all of God’s outdoors about, so a cemetery was a necessity. A.S. Dawson was the chief CPR engineer and he happened to be in Brooks. It was a rainy, cold Sunday morning and Mr. Dawson found the corner marker where west road(sic) and he paced off from Wilfley’s farm joining the east and there north (I know this because I held the umbrella over him and tried to match paces with him). When he came to the southwest corner of what is now the cemetery, he pointed to the land and said, “Here is your cemetery, but bury north of here.”
Information from Wilf Hall, who once worked at the Bulletin, and lived in Brooks for many years, is that the cemetery was deliberately located one mile north from the CPR station so it would be out of town.
Les and George Philpott, early residents, say that the cemetery was situated on the east side of the north trail out of town. This trail was used by teamsters, ranchers and homesteaders traveling north. Later when the trail was widened into a road, it would have gone over a grave, so they moved the grave further west. There were several graves at the entrance of the cemetery, outside the fence, which also had to be moved. Les Philpott was famous for his skill as a diviner, not just for water, but also for graves. He used his divining rod in Brooks Cemetery and determined that the southwest quarter is full of graves. He speculated that it held the graves of many people who had died in epidemics, or transients who worked on the irrigation projects in the early days.
The last historical information is from the Brooks Bulletin, 24 July 1915, headed “Cemetery To Be Much Improved”. This is an excerpt: “The matter of the cemetery improvement was discussed and it was decided to fence the front with a picket fence, the pickets to be obtained from the flume, and to put page wire fencing around the sides and rear. This work will be done at a ‘bee’ organized by the residents. The total cost will not be high.”
SE 05-19-15 W4
A Cemetery Plot Deed on file shows that for $24.75 on July 12th of 1926 the Cassils Cemetery was registered. This inactive cemetery is west of Brooks near Cassils. From Brooks, follow Cassils Road west, cross Highway #36 and turn north at the first intersection. The cemetery is approximately one mile north on the west side of the road. There is no access by car to this cemetery. It once had a picket fence, with some pickets still lying around. It has now been enclosed by the County of Newell with a chainlink fence and a locked gate.
About 200 yards northwest, over a rise, is a smaller cemetery approximately 20′ x 20′, also fenced in. There is a joint marker at the main Cassils Cemetery put up by the County of Newell that lists the names of the people in this cemetery as well.
In Memory of the Pioneers buried in this cemetery:
Martha Huether, Marion Huether, Twins Johnson
Perry Robinson, Kenneth Pahud, Anna Roberts
Baby Ruckman, Lawrence Roberts, Thurgood
Clarence Hansen Mrs. Ella Ruckman, Frank Homan
Baby Lighter, Marvin Johnson, Baby Duncan
Osver Givens, Lewis, Baby Givens
J. E. Leach Baby Lighter, Lewis
Infant John Ruckman,, NOTE: one of the 2 Lewis was a boy.
NE 09-22-11 W4
A history of Cravath Corners was written by Margaret E. Bell and Mrs. Emil Sandgathe. The Cravath Corners Cemetery serves Wardlow, Steveville, Cravath Corners and Howie districts. It is located at NE 09-22-11 W4, about 8 miles east and 2 miles south of Wardlow. It is a cemetery of mainly unmarked, unnamed graves. In 1976 local residents, with the aid of an Alberta Government grant, erected a cairn bearing the names of 34 pioneers and their children interred there. The original records of the cemetery were lost, hence the list of names on the cairn is only approximate.
It was first settled in 1910 by Mr. and Mrs. J. Cravath, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Bell, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Kin and Mr. and Mrs. Milo Cravath. They each bought a section of land with adjoining corners. Each of the four families had a member of the Cravath family in it. Hence, the name Cravath Corners was given to the post office started by J. Cravath. Mrs. J. Cravath died in 1914. Mr. J. Cravath moved away in 1919. Mr. and Mrs. Bell moved to Bassano in 1921, Milo and Betty Cravath left in 1926. The post office was closed and Cravath Corners ceased to exist. (*Excerpt obtained from ‘This Is Our Land, A Centennial History’).
The first interment in 1916 was that of a young homesteader, David Thomas Jones, who suffocated in his shack. Here also lie the 2 Parker brothers, George Nelson and Jesse Calvin, both with young families who died within days of each other of influenza epidemic that followed World War 1. Also buried here was a young homesteader, Peter Thompson, who drowned in the Berry Creek south of Wardlow at a place long since known as the Thompson hole. An infant son is in the same cemetery.
NW 14-20-12 W4
The village of Duchess is 14 km north of Brooks. The cemetery is located north of the village on the east side of secondary highway #873. It was told that the cemetery began in the late summer or early fall of 1917 when Mrs. Weaver died. The land was then donated by Sam B. Ramer. The village office takes care of the records and maintains the cemetery.
NW 35-20-15 W4
This cemetery is located NW of Duchess near railway tracks. It was previously recorded in 1975 when there were 2 gravemarkers. They are still there but cannot be deciphered now. The names of 9 burials eventually given by various old-timers and area residents have been recorded. The Rosemary history book “Rosemary, Land of Promise” has a map and some burials for this cemetery.
Duke of Sutherland Farm
SE 11-19-14 W4
This inactive cemetery was on the former ranch of the Duke of Sutherland who came from Scotland with many settlers. A fenced-off portion about 200′ x 100′ is overgrown with tall grass and weeds. Only one grave marker remains but the County of Newell has put up a marker with names of 8 burials which have been recorded.
In memory of the pioneers buried in this cemetery.
John Rankine 1919
W. S. Mundell 1922
George Ross 1919 the only grave marker
Baby Emslie (Alex)
Baby Ellis – mother was a butter maker at Buckingham Palace
Robin Philpott – son of Albert and Kate Philpot
Baby Emslie (Alex) 1921.
Jack Thorold-Eller Died 23 Nov. ? before 1921, son of Rev. and Mrs. Thorold Eller. Wed 26. Service , St. Albans. Burial Sutherland Grave yard.
NE 24-22-17 W4
The Village of Gem is located just off secondary highway #862, about 23 miles northeast of Bassano. The cemetery is southwest of the village. The land was bought in August 1930 from Peter Thiessen by the Mennonite Brethren, who built the church on the northeast corner and a cemetery on the southeast corner of the quarter. In 1952, the church building was moved a few miles closer to the village of Gem, but the cemetery remains. The cemetery is on the south side of the road and is fenced. There are no trees so the wind blows free. The members of the Mennonite Brethren look after their cemetery. The earlier burial is that of Bennie Hamm, originally buried on a farm and later transferred to the cemetery in 1931. Names of burials that have been identified have been entered into the Alberta Genealogical Society Master Data Bank.
NE 02-20-13 W4
As far as can be determined the Patricia Cemetery was set aside by the CPR in 1921 or 1922 on the NE corner of 2-20-13-W4 and perhaps a portion of the SE corner of 11-20-13-W4 containing 4 acres. Indeed the site was not recognizable as a cemetery and Doug Henrickson once rescued it from excavation by a drilling company. In 1983 a group of residents were able to mark the boundaries of the old cemetery with steel posts and then brought in a large rock to mark the location. The plaque was attached to the rock which reads:
“Dedicated to the pioneers buried in the Patricia cemetery. Among them William Conners, Bernice A. Conners, Warren D. Corett, Austin Rubbelke and Deddier (Boy).”
Tragedy struck when a small son of Mr. and Mrs. Didier died after eating treated grain. This prompted the need for a cemetery. Before too long several other children were buried there. It was fenced and well looked after for many years. A government grant enabled Doug Henrickson, Anne Bailly, Victor Elsbett and others to accomplish this project. We have scant information about the five known early burials but as far as can be determined it is:
- William Ernest Conners was born July 23, 1979 and died Nov. 6, 1929. He brought his family to Patricia in 1920, passed away in 1922 and was survived by a young wife, Ann (Folkard) Conners and 5 children.
- Beatrice Ann Conners was born Apr. 24, 1924 and died May 12, 1924 at 10 days of age. She was the child of the above mentioned William Ernest and Anne Conners.
- Warren Owen Corbett was born and died in 1922 at 3 months of age. He was the child of Belle Bailly and her husband Regnold Corbett.
- Austin Rubbelke died at 15 months of age in 1922 or 1923.
- As for the Deddier boy there is only the information Mrs. Rumohr wrote on page 375 as noted. Ernest Didder family, lived west across the road from the Eccles and it is believed it was their child.
- NOTE: this information is from the spurs and Shovels 2014 History Book for this area. It has come to our attention that J Rouillier who is marked as purchaser of NE-11-20-13-4 on the 1919 CPR map is believed to be the first person to be buried at the Patricia Cemetery around 1920-21. This information was provided by Dan Buzogan and told to him by Dina Piette.
In 2005 a group of volunteers from the Patricia area began investigation into the possibility of re-activation this old cemetery as some residents felt they would like to be buried in their own community. In 2007, as a result of this inquiry the EID subdivided a 2-acre parcel from NE-2-20-13-4, which contained the old cemetery as well as plenty of room for new graves. This 2-acre parcel is described as Lot 1, block 1, Plan 0612024 (contained in the NE corner of 2-20-13-4 and was transferred to the County of Newell. The cemetery committee then entered into an agreement with the County for the management of the cemetery and is very grateful to the EID and county for all their assistance. The bylaws of the Patricia Cemetery state the Cemetery shall remain in its natural state, without fences, for the needs of those with Patricia ties.
In 2007 tall crosses were installed at the four corners of the new and old cemetery. On April 19, 2009 a group of residents gathered to place the permanent steel markers at the corners of each gravesite for the 1st row of 34 gravesites. To date there are 8 stones in place identifying graves and 29 plots that are either used or on reserve. Plans are being made by cemetery committee to create Row 2.
NOTE: There is further info on the recent burial on file at the Brooks AGS library.
NE 23-16-16 W4
The cemetery is located a bit south of the Community Hall in the town of Rainier which is about 20 miles south of Brooks on highway #36. The earliest grave seems to be that of Claretta Graham in 1929, the year before the cemetery was officially opened. Five acres of land for the cemetery was purchased from the CPR for $40.00 in May of 1930. The Rainier history book “Settlers Along the Bow” contains further information on the people of the area. Fifty-nine burials have been recorded for this cemetery.
NW 06-16-13 W4
Rolling Hills is located about 70 km south of Brooks on secondary highway #875 (known as the Rolling Hills Highway). The cemetery is north of the school and is well kept. The 4-H Club tidies this cemetery each spring as one of its community projects.
The area set aside for this cemetery is about 4 acres, originally owned by the Eastern Irrigation District (EID). A company of shareholders was formed at a meeting on 10 February 1940, named Rolling Hills Cemetery Company. Original elected directors were F.McMahon, J. Sinclair, R.P. Thomsen, F. Page, H. Finkbeiner, G. Kopperud and R. Daniels. The first caretaker was Ronald Rust and served from 1949–60, and then his son Pete took over, so this position has been in the family for many years. Ninety-one burials have been recorded for this cemetery.
NE 01-21-16 W4
The Rosemary Cemetery is made up of 2 parts separated by a driveway.
Old Catholic Church Cemetery – Rosemary
SW 16-21-16 W4
The old side is west of the town of Rosemary, across from the Kessler homesite, at the intersection of the Old #1 highway and the East Gem Road. It is not known for sure who is buried in the cemetery as no gravemarkers are to be seen. Twenty names are possible burials and witnesses who are in the records belonging to this church. This was a French community and after an unsuccessful few years, most moved away. More information may be found in the Rosemary history book “Rosemary, Land of Promise”.
North Rosemary – Gallup Farm Cemetery
NW 18-21-15 W4
This cemetery is located about 3 miles north of Rosemary. Before the Rosemary Cemetery was begun, this location was used as a community cemetery. The land originally belonged to Mr. Watson, a relative of the (then) present owner. It is believed the land was donated for use as a cemetery. Mr. Henry Tiessen, of Rosemary, has the names of all the Mennonite burials in this location. There are also two non-Mennonite burials here. There is a non-existing plot plan for this cemetery. All 14 names are taken from the Rosemary Mennonite Church records and a local history book.
SE 30-15-15 W4
The Scandia Cemetery can be found by traveling about 26 miles south of Brooks on Highway #36 to the Scandia corner, turn west and travel a mile to the town of Scandia and the cemetery is just north of the town. Jacob Westbeg died in December 1932 and was buried on a portion of land that was to become the future cemetery. The land for the cemetery was purchased from the CPR Land Company when L.C. Charlesworth was the Brooks manager. The Salem Lutheran Church has maintained the records and upkeep of this cemetery since its beginning. Presently the records are being kept by Kermith W. Anderson of Scandia.
SE 05-17-13 W4
The Bethany Lutheran Cemetery is located 8 miles southwest of Tilley. The Bethany Lutheran Congregation came from Nebraska in 1930 and brought their Pastor A.N. Skanderup with them. They bought the land from the CPR for $79.75 where they built the church basement in 1934 and used it for services and get-togethers for 7 years until the rest of the church was built. The cemetery was started in 1933 when Dagny Christensen died that year.