Hiddenwood Cemetery


Today, part of Gate Township, the Hiddenwood Cemetery has only twelve graves. Until recently, only three of them were identified.

In the early 2000s, Ruth Wurtz and the late Elizabeth Larson, both lifelong residents of Hiddenwood Township, resolved that there would be no more unmarked graves in the Hiddenwood Cemetery.

At that time, only three of the graves in the cemetery were identified. The families of the early homesteaders were no longer alive, nor were their immediate relatives.

The Hiddenwood Old Settlers Association had taken on the responsibility of maintaining the cemetery, which was established in 1904. There were twelve graves, but only three were marked.

Ruth Wurtz ordered twelve iron crosses from the Burdick Job Corps. The Old Settlers Association endorsed the project, and paid for the crosses in 2009.

Using the Bureau of Land Management homestead records, Google Earth, Ancestry.com, Finagrave,com, and other online resources, including articles from the Ryder News that were in the archives of the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, they were able to put some of the pieces together.

They learned that Arthur Lang was the first burial in the Hiddenwood Cemetery. He was one month old when he passed away in 1904. They were able to locate a rock with an engraving on it, identifying it as the grave stone for Arthur Lang.

George Lang had come from Medford, Wisconsin, and homesteaded where the cemetery is now located, built a tar shack, and moved his family there. He met them in Minot, brought them to Hiddenwood, and nine days later the baby passed away.

This was before the Hiddenwood Presbyterian Church or the Hiddenwood Cemetery had been established, so they buried the baby in the northwest corner of their homestead lot.

Four days after they proved their homestead, they sold one of their one hundred and sixty acres to the Hiddenwood Presbyterian Church for one dollar. That acre became the site for the cemetery, which became affiliated with the Hiddenwood Presbyterian Church. The church is now a chapel on the Hiddenwood Picnic grounds.

The church was located across from the Wurtz farm, and later moved to Roseglen, where it remained for a time. The late Herb Shafer purchased the church and moved it to the Hiddenwood Picnic grounds, where it remains today.

The Wurtz's found that Herb Shafer's father, Jessie, had the original records for the cemetery, including a church journal. The journal contained a hand-drawn grid of the cemetery when it was platted in 1907.

Superimposing this grid over the Google Earth image of the cemetery grounds, they were able to stake out the cemetery, and determine where the 4-foot by 4-foot plots were.

Then they found a stone with the engraving, "C.E. Brugh" on it, and were able to find the obituary for the baby, Clarence Edward Brugh, as it was published in the Ryder News.

The article mentioned that the family had been living in Parshall at the time, but that they had returned to Hiddenwood to have the baby buried at the Hiddenwood Cemetery.

Covered by seven inches of dirt, they found a rock with an engraving for "Baby Charles." Through research, they learned that Charles was a last name, not a first name.

Before they were done, they were able to identify all twelve of the internments in the Hiddenwood Cemetery:

  • Clarence Edward Brugh (April 30, 1912 - February 3, 1914)
  • Susannah Brugh (August 4, 1909 - September 26, 1927)
  • Baby Boy Buchanan (May 29, 1914 - June 1, 1914)
  • Baby Charles (1907 - 1907)
  • Infant Dopp (1908 - September 26, 1908)
  • Joy Dopp (1914 - September 29, 1916)
  • Charles Evans Jr. (May, 1898 - February 22, 1908)
  • William Hudson (1863 - February 11, 1932)
  • Arthur Lang (April 4, 1904 - May 5, 1904)
  • Georgia P. Merrill (November 18, 1887 - December 21 , 1912)
  • Baby Boy Schilling (October 28, 1912 - October 29, 1912)
  • Daughter Smith (1915 - July 14, 1915)

The last person buried in the cemetery was William Hudson, who was interned there in 1932.

The information they received was entered into the Findagrave.com site.