ALSO KNOWN AS THE VOELKEL CEMETERY
OLDENBURG, FAYETTE COUNTY TEXAS
All photos contributed by Neal Rabensburg.
The Picker Cemetery is located on Oliver Pape's property at Oldenburg. The Fayette Heritage Archives and Museum list the cemetery as the Picker Cemetery in their files, in honor of Johanna Laue Picker. However, Norman C. Krischke found that William Burchard's death record refers to it as Voelkel's Cemetery in his booklet, Voelkel Cemetery, from which the following information is taken:
This cemetery is named Voelkel Cemetery in honor of John Jost Voelkel because it was established on his property 7 May 1893 upon burial of his granddaughter, Alma Voelkel, daughter of Robert and Clara Voelkel. It is located on property of Oliver C. and Vaudene Pape in the Samuel P. Brown League about six tenths of a mile northwest of the site of the old part of Oldenburg.
On Highway 237 immediately south of Clear Creek are a group of buildings: the homes of Anton J. Bunjes and his son, the home of the late Henry Ahlhorn and one other home; the closed Louis Eilers Garage and the closed Henry Ahlhorn General Mercantile Store. Across the highway, northwest, is a large plot, the site of a former dance hall, and a grove of live oak trees among which are the concrete steps from the dance hall. Between these two areas, marked by a wooden gate, is the entrance to a road which has not been used for a long time. Only a trace of the road can be seen as it crosses the pasture, but, in the timber, the road is well defined.
Voelkel Cemetery is located in an open, grassy prairie at the end of this road. The route is marked by a dry wash, a wooden gate in a barbed wire fence, a trash dump and a winding road to the prairie and cemetery. The cemetery plot is 32 feet square with a broken down wooden fence and pieces of barbed wire around it. some parts of the fence are still standing. Saplings grow along the east fence and at the southwest corner in a small thicket.
Among those buried here is an itinerant gristmill stone sharpener, William Burchard. About 1915 he came to Oldenburg and sharpened stones for Otto Marburger. After he was paid for the work, he bought a bottle of whiskey and announced that he was going to the creek to fish. After several hours he had not returned and Marburger went looking for him since a hard rain was in progress. The man was found face down in 18" of water in an S-shaped tributary of Clear Creek about 500 feet east of Marburger's gin and grist mill (present site of Anton J. Bunjes home). Dr. Kneip came to the site and ordered that the body be moved out of the water to high ground as the heavy rain was about to wash it out into Clear Creek. The inquest resulted in a ruling of accidental drowning and the remains were buried in Voelkel Cemetery. There is no marker; no sign of a grave.
Those buried in the Picker (or Voelkel) Cemetery include:
Name Birth Death Notes Beckmann, Elsa 9 Jul 1893 10 Jun 1894 Daughter of A. & E. A. Beckmann. She is supposed to have died of typhoid or summer fever Behrens, ___ Son of Adolph Behrens who is buried in the La Grange City Cemetery, eight bricks on edge forming a frame 18" X 24" Burchard, William Apr 1915 Buried 11 Apr 1915 Picker, Heinrich No marker. He is supposed to be buried here according to Anton J. Bunjes Picker, Johanna Laue 19 Apr 1852 18 Jun 1896 Wife of Heinrich Picker Voelkel, Bob, Jr. 8 Mar 1897 29 Oct 1897 Son of Robert & Clara Voelkel, monument is tumbled Voelkel, Alma 2 Mar 1893 7 May 1893 Daughter of Robert & Clara Voelkel Weid, Christian 6 May 1896 13 May 1896 Son of Aug. & Anna Weid, headstone broken into two pieces
For additional information and maps see Voelkel Cemetery by Norman C. Krischke in the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives.