top of page

The cemetery located on the north side of the dam at Lake Wabaunsee was cleaned up this spring and any person wanting to get a closer view will find that the two large stone still show the names of two that were buried there. The engraving, very weathered, and not all information legible, reads Henriette Wilhelmina, wife of G. Wilke - Died March 26, 1884 - 32 yrs 5 months; the other stone is that of Ludewig Kaeckell - Aug 30, 1878. Also buried there are two infants.Information shows Henriette Wilhelmina was married to Ludewig Kaeckell and after he died in 1878 she married G. Wilke. Henriette died 10 days after the birth of Mary (Wilke) Schutter in 1884. Mary Schutter was the grandmother of Harold "Pete" Schutter of Topeka. In a letter from Sylvia (Kaeckell) Buster, Garnett, KS, she remembered her folks telling her there was a Grandpa Kaeckell buried in the cemetery and he was married to Henriette Meyer and to this union were four living children, Lena Hensel, Gertie Bingham Sutter, Gustie Kirkpatrick and Sylvia’s dad, Louis Kaeckell. When Grandpa Kaeckell died, Henriette married Wilke and they had two children, Alec Wilke and Mary Wilke Schutter. Louis Kaeckell, being orphaned when his mother died, was pushed around from one place to another. At the age of nine he went to live with a relative at Paxico.The following information pertaining to the history of the early homesteaders and the cemetery was received from Harold and Flora Mae Schutter, Topeka.The Lake Wabaunsee site was homesteaded by two families, Frank Kraus and ? Meier. Mrs Meiers name was Ida. Meier and Kraus, who was a casket maker as well as a farmer, drove a team of oxen to Kansas City for supplies. The round trip would take up to three weeks. During the mens absence the women and children were often forced to hide in the hills for days, when they were visited by the Indians. They lived on berries and drank creek water. Their fear was that the small children would be carried off by the Indians.Mary Henriette Wilhelmina Meier, a granddaughter of the Meiers who homesteaded, married Ludewig Kaeckell. They had six children two of whom died in infancy. Those who grew to adulthood were Lena Hensel, Gertie Bingham, Gustie Kirkpatrick and Louis Kackell. After the death of Kackell she married Chris Wilke. Born to this union were Alex Wilke and Mary Schutter. She died when Mary was ten days old at the age of thirty-two and was buried with her first husband and two deceased children. The graves are on the property homesteaded by the Kraus family. The original plan called for the dam to be built over the site of the graves. The plan was to move the graves to the Eskridge Cemetery.There are conflicting stories about why they were not moved. One is that the Kraus family objected, the other one is the Kackell heirs demanded a lake site for each of the 6 living sons and daughters of Mary Kackell Wilkie.The site of the dam was changed and the lake was built by the W.P.A. Who also built the stone wall around the graves.Decendents of these buried there are: Lena Kackell Hensel (deceased) children: Geneva, Hiran, Raymond (deceased) Gustie, Kackell, Kirkpatrick, Walthal (deceased), Lucille Cook, California, Iona (deceased). Gertie Bingham Sutter, Margarete Bingham. Alex Wilke (deceased), Ted Wilkie, California, Anna Pitman, Havana, KS, Infant deceased.Mary Wilkie Schutter (deceased), Orville Schutter, Paradise, Montana, Willard (deceased), Harold, Topeka, KS, Ethel Stoops, Nursing Home Rossville, KS, Evelyn Oyler, Pensacola, FL.The spelling of the names vary with Kaeckell being spelled with one or two l’s and also Kackell. Wilkie with the ie or with just and e, and Meir also spelled Meyer.

Reprinted from the Eskridge Independent, 8 - 28 - 90.

bottom of page