The Dell Rapids Cemetery is a non-profit organization. It is governed by a nine member board of directors. The Board function is to manage the upkeep of the cemetery and monitor the finances of the perpetual care trust. The fees associated with the cemetery are set based on the expected yearly expenses. Any projects the board pursues need to be financed independently.
After much discussion at the annual meeting, the board has decided to start fundraising with the intent to surface all the roads in the cemetery. The cost of pouring each concrete section is approximately $5500. There are 28 road sections in the cemetery, so the total cost of surfacing all of the roadways is just over $150,000. The board understands that this project will need to be completed in phases and will depend on the generosity of the families whose loved ones are interred in the cemetery with regard to how long this major project for the Dell Rapids Cemetery will take.
To make it easy for those inclined to make donations, Mark Kahler and Ross Brende will volunteer to accept and coordinate the donations. Donations may be sent to Kahler Funeral Home, 107 W 4th St., Dell Rapids, SD 57022. Please indicate that the donation is meant for the cemetery concrete surface project.
The Dell Rapids Cemetery originally platted on August 6, 1881. One of the first wagon trains to come to the Dell Rapids area was 1872. Some of the first interments in the Dell Rapids Cemetery were John Thorne in 1874 and Rhoda Dutcher in 1894. In 1906 the price of a cemetery lot was $25. Prior to 1906 the Dell Rapids Cemetery was owned and maintained by the City of Dell Rapids. The Dell Rapids Cemetery Association was incorporated April 7, 1905 at which time the association took over full control of the cemetery. The pillars were erected by Chris Paulson for $351 in 1911. The original pillars still stand today. In 1913 the board members of the association voted to officially name the cemetery. The name they voted on was The Grand View Cemetery, today it’s known as the Dell Rapids Cemetery. In 1918 the cemetery expanded the cemetery and bought the north five acres from Nels Jensen those acres are still being farmed by the Jensen family. Today the cemetery contains twelve blocks with over 3300 burials with close to 600 veterans, and over 90 Odd Fellow burials and 3 Daughters of the American Revolution burials.
Susanna Hunt is the niece of Morman Founder, Joseph Smith
William McFarland, locked away South Dakota’s first inmate, known as South Dakota’s first turn key.
John January, was a prisoner at Andersonville during the Civil War, due to malnutrution and disease he had to amputate his own legs to save himself.
Thomas Lyons: ran the trolly to cross the big sioux river before bridges, his wife, Maria Lyons was the first known Rebekkah in the state of South Dakota.
Abigail Ervin, her father was part of the original colonist that broke away from England, he was even present when Cornwallis surrendered.