MNGenWeb logo

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery

aka German Lutheran Cemetery

Section 19, Lowell Township, Polk County, Minnesota


By Jerry Wentzel

September 4, 1989

If you have a connection or questions about any names listed for Trinity Lutheran Cemetery please contact Jerry Wentzel and include "Trinity Lutheran Cemetery" in your subject line.

The Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, also known as the German Lutheran Cemetery, is located in the southeast corner of the former Trinity Lutheran Church yard in Section 19, Lowell Township.

Shortly after the old church was constructed on these grounds in 1887, the cemetery came into use.  Prior to the church's construction, worship services were held in homes and members who died were buried elsewhere, chiefly Oakdale Cemetery or Greenwood Cemetery by Fisher.  The first burial at Trinity probably occurred in 1889.  About one half of the church's burials during the next twenty years were conducted in the Trinity Cemetery.

The graves were arranged in three or four rows and the grave markers faced west.  There was shrubbery planted among the graves with boxelder trees on the east and south edges of the cemetery.  At one time the cemetery was bordered by a fence and gate.

Burials at Trinity were discontinued because of high ground water level there.  In 1910 the congregation located a new burial ground in a section of Greenwood Cemetery by Fisher.  The last recorded burial at Trinity took place in 1915.

 In 1941 the congregation moved to a new house of worship in Fisher.  The old churchyard, including the cemetery, was sold.  In 1961 the old church was demolished.  About that time, the gravestones in the cemetery were removed and discarded, the trees and shrubs cut down, and the site over the graves leveled.

Addendum - April 2004 -- In the last several years, ongoing efforts to locate the graves at Trinity Cemetery have been undertaken, as well as efforts to beautify the site.  The Trinity Cemetery is located on private property.  Please contact Jerry Wentzel about visiting the site.


NAME                   DATE OF DEATH              AGE 

Maria Senske           January 29, 1894            19

Emilie Ross            May 18, 1899                51

Ernestine Radi         April 16, 1901              25

Katharina Widenhoefer  January 26, 1902            81

Jakob Widenhoefer      July 2, 1903                85

Friedrich Radi         April 6, 1904               74

Berthold Senske        June 23, 1904               11 days

Daniel Wentzel         December 13, 1905            1 day

Helena Wentzel         September 1, 1907            8 months

Ralph Wentzel          February 6, 1908             1 day

Anna Radi              November 25, 1915           82

Hired man of the Wentzels    Unknown   


Research indicates that these people were almost certainly not buried elsewhere.


NAME                         DEATH DATE           AGE

Anna Maria Widenhoefer       August 16, 1889       6 months

Wilhelm Widenhoefer          June 8, 1891         36

Karl Widenhoefer             November 12, 1892    42

Frieda Auguste Widenhoefer   August 2, 1893        1

Ida Ringhand                 February 16, 1894    20

Nellie Bassler               August 22, 1894      10

Reinhold Radi                September 25, 1895    7 months

Laura Wilhelmine Luckau      September 15, 1901   31 days

Albert Radi                  December 27, 1905    10

According to newspaper reports in the Fisher Bulletin, John G. Widenhoefer, who died September 1882 at age 53, and Anna Widenhoefer, who died May 27, 1883, at age 19, were buried at the Fisher Village Cemetery. Their graves are unmarked. It is possible that the remains were moved to the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery following the founding of the congregation.

The following two children were buried at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery and later exhumed and reinterred at Greenwood Cemetery.


NAME                  DEATH DATE            AGE

Emma Beiswenger       September 25, 1904    3 years

Elmer Ross            March 26, 1910        5 months

There are, of course, possibly others buried in the Trinity Cemetery.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery (Old cemetery)

Lowell Township, Section 19, Polk County, MN

Ann obtained the following historical information from a small uncopyrighted pamphlet put out by the church many years ago - copy researched at the Historical Society in Crookston. April 2004

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on December 3, 1886 and the following year the church was built three miles east of Fisher in Section 19, Lowell Township. This church has also been known as the “German Lutheran Church” it was located very near the Fisher/Lowell Township line. The first officers were Chairman – Julius Zachgo, Secretary – Christian Widenhoefer, Treasurer – Carl Widenhoefer, and Trustees – William Senske, Julius Wagner and Frederick Radi. According to history books Michael Wentzel donated the land for this church and cemetery. Trinity was a German Lutheran church and the 1900 Polk County census shows most of the members to be of German descent.

A new church was built in the town of Fisher and dedicated on November 9, 1941 and is still active. Trinity Lutheran Church is now a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and now uses the Greenwood Cemetery, Section 22, rural Fisher. The old church was demolished and the land sold. The cemetery eventually was destroyed and farmed over. The names listed below are from the old church records and the names are of people who could possibly be buried at the old Trinity Cemetery. The descendants of these pioneers will never find the actual resting place of their loved ones if in fact they were laid to rest in this cemetery. There is evidence that some graves were moved to Greenwood Cemetery. The first recorded burial at the old cemetery sight was in 1889 and the last burials were around 1910-15. This list is only possible burials as there are no stones left. It is possible that some people listed were buried at Crookston or have unmarked graves elsewhere. The notes in (italic type) with parentheses are from Jerry Wentzel who did extensive research on Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. The notes in (regular type) with parentheses are from the submitter. At the very least a researcher will learn their ancestor attended Trinity Lutheran Church. Submitted by Ann - April 2004


NAME                                      DEATH DATE    COMMENTS

Falewski, Caroline                              1887    Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston

Falewski, August                                1887    Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston

Wagener, William                         12 Dec 1888    Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston

Widenhoefer, Anna Marie Henrietta        16 Aug 1889    Age 6m 10d

Wenzel, Emil Albert                      16 Aug 1889    Age 3m 6d  (Emil was the son of Michael and Henrietta nee
                                                        Klinger Wentzel); Wentzel Farm Burial, Section 30, Lowell Twp.)

Klinger, Karl                            16 Mar 1890    Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston

Liebert, Emil                            17 May 1891    age 22y 4m 6d  Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston

Widenhoefer, Wilhelm                      8 Jun 1891    age 36y 24d  

Widenhoefer, Karl                        12 Nov 1892    age 42y 3m 19d

Wagener, Roy                             11 Oct 1892    age 3m 23d, son of Wilhelm & Anna Wagener  (probably at Oakdale
                                                        Cemetery, Crookston)

Widenhoefer, Frieda Augusta               2 Aug 1893    Age 1y 9m 18 d    

Senske, Maria                            19 Jan 1894    Age 19y 4m 9d  (Maria was the daughter of Wilhelm and Henrietta nee
                                                        Nesveber Senske)

Ringhand, Ida                            16 Feb 1894    age 20y 2m 28d

Janz, Louis (possibly a Jantz)           18 Aug 1894    (probably at Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher, unmarked)

Bassler, Nellie                          22 Aug 1894    age 10y 10m 12d

Radi, Reinhold Johann                    25 Sep 1895    age 7m 14d

Jantz, Karl                              18 Jul 1896    age 29y 7m 1d (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)

Ross, Emilie nee Kowitz                  18 May 1899    age 51y 5m

Klinger, Anna,                           21 Jun 1900    (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wagner, Clarence Lester            15 or 16 Jul 1900    age 1y 4m 20d, son of Charles Wagner & Frida nee Michael
                                                        (1900 Nisbet Twp. census shows Clarence age 1 son of Charles
                                                        F. and Frieda K.)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Michael, Frederick                       30 Jan 1901    age 67y 3m 8d  (1900 Nisbet Twp. census shows Frits Michael
                                                        b. Oct 1833, age 66, wife Caroline)  (Oakdale Cemetery,

Radi, Ernestine nee Senske                      1901    (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows  Ernstine Radi, age 29 who was
                                                        recently married to August A. Radi)  Wagner, Heinrich  Died
                                                        20 Jul 1901, age 35y 2m 7d  (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows
                                                        Henry E. b. May 1866, age 34, wife Caroline)  (Oakdale
                                                        Cemetery, Crookston)

Luckau, Laura Wilhelmine                 15 Sep 1901    age 31d  (1900 Lowell Twp. there is an Edward J and Amelia?
                                                        Luckau with family, not sure if it was Laura's)

Widenhoefer, Katharina                    26 Jan1902    age 81y 21d  (1900 Fisher Twp. census shows Katharine b. Jan
                                                        1821, age 79, husband Jacob, both living with daughter and
                                                        son-in-law Henry & Catherine Wieland)

Krauss, Wilhelmina                       14 Jul 1902    age 43y 6m 23d  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Widenhoefer, Jacob                        3 Jul 1903    age 85y 26d? (1900 census for Fisher Twp. and Fanny Twp. each
                                                        have a Jacob Widenhoefer in the 1900 census)

Radi, Friedrich                           6 Apr 1904    (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows two Fred Radi)

Senske, Berthold Wilhelm                 23 Jun 1904    age 11d?

Volker, Julius                           24 Oct 1905    Born 30 Jun 1846; (1900 Fanny Twp. census shows Julius and wife
                                                        Wilhelmina & family)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wenzel, Child of August and Anna         13 Dec 1905    age 1d; (Anna nee Radi Wenzel) (probably a Wentzel)

Radi, Albert Frederick                   27 Dec 1905    age 10y 5m 1d (The 1900 Fanny Twp. Polk Co. census shows Albert
                                                        Radi b. Jul 1895, son of Julius and Lillie Radi)
Wagner, Caroline Emilie nee Widenhoefer  11 Jan 1906    age 38y 11m 21d  (The 1900 Lowell Twp. census  shows Caroline
                                                        E. Wagner b. Feb 1867 wife of Henry E. Wagner)  (Oakdale
                                                        Cemetery, Crookston)

Liebert, Johann Fredrick                 25 Oct 1906    Born 10 Jan 1929(The 1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Fredrick
                                                        Liebert b. Jan 1829)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wagner, Gustaf                           21 Nov 1906    Born 2 Jan 1879 (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wenzel, Helen Alvine                      1 Sep 1907    age 8m 13d  

Wenzel, Ralph Charles                     6 Feb 1908    age 1d

Wentzel, Michael                         29 Jul 1909    age 72y 8m 11d  (The 1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Michael
                                                        b. Nov 1836 – wife is Henrette)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Radke, No name listed                           1910    Buried 20 Jul 1910; of cholera

Reitmeier, Myrtle Lillian                11 Dec 1910

Radi, Anna                               25 Nov 1915    age 82y 6m 22d  (1900 Lowell Twp. census shows Anna b. May
                                                        1835 – husband Fred and son Louis Karl)

Ross, Johann                             13 Apr 1916    (Greenwood  Cemetery, Fisher)

Wagner, Child of John Wagner,  stillborn        1920    (Greenwood Cemetery, Fisher)

Schaff, Mrs. Bertha                       3 Feb 1924    (1920 Fanny Twp. census shows Bertha age 32 and her husband
                                                        Wallas living with her brother Robert Volker)  (Oakdale
                                                        Cemetery, Crookston)

Volker, Lyle Able                        12 Jul 1924    age 3m 11d, Son of Emil Volker  (1920 Fanny Twp. census shows
                                                        Emil and wife Clara)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wentzel, Bernadine Edith                 21 Oct 1924    age 10y 11m 9d, Parents Louis and Mrs. Wentzel  (1920 Fisher
                                                        Twp. census shows Louis and wife Getrude and daughter
                                                        Bernadine E. age 6)  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wagner, Julius                            2 Apr 1927    age 73y 7m 21d (Julius is listed in the 1900 Fisher Twp. census
                                                        b. Aug 1853 with wife Amilia and ten children)  (Oakdale
                                                        Cemetery, Crookston)

Jance, Augusta                           31 Jan 1931    (It is not know where she was buried as her death certificate
                                                        says “place of burial Fisher.”  She was the wife of John Jance
                                                        and was 89y 9m 21d born on 10 Apr 1841.)  (Greenwood Cemetery,

Schwanfelder, Mrs. B. (Babette)          30 Jan 1932    (Babette was the wife of Rev. Schwanfelder who served Trinity
                                                        from 1919 to April 1933, she is probably buried elsewhere)

Volker, Mathilda                         28 Mar 1934    of pneumonia (Sometimes spelled Voelker)  (Oakdale Cemetery,

Volker, Mrs. Julius                      30 Mar 1934    of pneumonia (Sometimes spelled Voelker)  (Oakdale Cemetery,

Wentzel, Louis                           25 Apr 1934    (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston)

Wagner, Mrs. Julius                      16 Jul 1935    Died of old age  (Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston) 

Printed with the permission of Jerry Wentzel, April 2004

Many thanks to Jerry Wentzel for his efforts over the last several years to locate the graves at Trinity Cemetery, as well as efforts to beautify the site. The Trinity Cemetery is located on private property. Please contact Jerry Wentzel about visiting the site. Many thanks to Ann for researching this church and cemetery, in other sources such as census and other church records.

Copyright 2004-2015, Shirley Dorgan and MNGenWeb
Updated March 2006
Updated FEB 2015