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Jones Place on the Osage Highlands
Page 14

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 Grainola.

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 forth Sunday.

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
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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