Siouxland cemetery added to National Register of Historic Places

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MONONA COUNTY, Iowa (KCAU) — A cemetery in Siouxland has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its ties to early African-Americans.

The South Jordan Cemetery located in Monona County was established in 1882 while the township of Jordan was still growing.

Judy Ehlers grew up near the cemetery and helped get the burial ground placed on the register.

“I had to have some history and I collected over the last 50 years. Articles, anything that I could find that had to do with it. It’s a passion.” said Judy Ehlers, with the Monona County Historic Preservation Commission.

Though only a few gravestones still stand to mark those that are buried, the resting place for possibly a dozen of African-American settlers will now be marked by future generations.

“There are not very many African-American communities of this age and type in rural parts of the State. And so this is really the last fragment of the African-American community that lived in this area, and so that is something that’s really special and really important for listing it and protecting it.” said Ray Werner, with Tallgrass Archaeology LLC.

Werner said anyone can apply to have a location or building put on the National Register of Historic Places.

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