This was an article taken
from the Pawhuska, Oklahoma Daily Journal, September 29, 1972. It was
written by Thelma Conner:
St John's Lutheran Church
was built in 1910 on land donated by the John Roper family which is three
miles north and two miles west of Foraker, Oklahoma. The location is said,
"to be on or near the highest elevation in Osage County." The small frame
structure was surmounted by a bell tower and cross and could be seen for
miles from any direction, also from both the nearby towns of Foraker and
The Church grounds consist
of four acres, surrounded by maple trees. A small Cemetery was located at
the east side of this acreage. There are perhaps 29 graves, the earliest
dates on the stones are, August 12, 1910 and September 21, 1910.
Rev. Vollstedt, a young
student minister lived in Foraker and was the first pastor at St. John's
Lutheran Church. There were five families in the congregation. Rev.
Vollstedt assumed the duties at the Church for five years. Later minister
commuted from Newkirk, among these were Rev. Weber, pastor for nine years,
Rev. Bumgardner and Rev. These.
The Church was severely
damaged by a wind storm in 1931, rebuilt in 1932 and moved to Grainola in
1949. Starting in 1954 St. John's Lutheran Church was served by ministers
of Winfield, Kansas and professors of St. John's Lutheran College in that
City. Dr. Wolfram and Rev. Munderich were pastors here for some length of
time, the later having served for twelve years.
Since the Church was moved
to Grainola, the building has been altered some, by the addition of a room
on the north and the removal of the damaged bell tower. It is now located
one block north of Main Street on Broadway. St John's Lutheran Church
has approximately 30 members and the current ministers are Professors of
St. John's College of Winfield. Church services are held every second and
St John's Church, now no longer being used as a Church. Pictures of stone
markers were taken in 1999. These are of the Roper family. The cemetery
has been vandalized and these markers are no longer there. So, by some
twist of fate it was a fortunate thing we did take pictures of them.
St John's Church
It is hard to keep markers
in these far out places. Bertha Big Eagle and her son Warren had two
lovely rose stone markers. They were taken, but the thief was kind enough
to leave two smaller white markers with their names on them.
The cemetery where the
Jones family is buried is not here, even though it was right across the
road from the Old Jones Place.
The Jones family is buried
over close to Foraker. Dennis Jones's grave is across from the base of a
very large stone hand built marker of the Head family. Dennis's marker is
modest with arrows and fletches around his name. The Jones's did not
believe in elaborate, showy stones. This came under their thinking as to
making an agreement with death rather than as the scripture points out,
"death is an enemy."
Lee Otis Jones, Dennis's
brother, and Joseph Hubbard Jones are buried at the Ponca Indian Cemetery
out of Ponca City, Oklahoma. In the back ground on the third picture one
can see the clump of trees which is the Old Jones place. This is how close
the old cemetery was.
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