Pleasant Grove Cemetery
Story County, Milford Township, Section 6, Iowa

View interments and lot map here
Gravestones Predating the Pleasant Grove Cemetery

      Following is the story of Pleasant Grove Community Church that has been compiled from past histories collected and written for various anniversary celebrations of the church and also records kept over the past 131 years. I have tried here to give a brief overview of Pleasant Grove Church and to write as accurate an account of events as we have records for. Some of the information included is from memories of people with connections to the church. Also, I hope the reader will get some insight into the personality of the people of the community and the church.

      On Jan 23, 1877, the trustees of the newly formed Pleasant Grove M. E. Church purchased the ground adjacent to the church to serve as a cemetery for the church members and neighbors from Thomas R. and Eleanor Hughes for twenty dollars. The ground had been surveyed on June 1, 1874 at the same time as the church lot. They proceeded to sell the first lots of the original 39 lots {containing 7 individual plots) for $2.50 each.
The original owners, TR and Eleanor Hughes.

      Some of the original owners were Thomas R. Hughes, George Alfred, Wesley Arrasmith, Fritz Randau, Richard Hughes, James B. Swearingen, M. Davis, D. H. Spencer, E N. Kimble, Edgar O. Wilkinson, Thomas J. Sowers, J. M. Bailey, Jacob E. Hoover, William Randau, T. B. Howland, and Isaac Crowder. Three more lots were added in the early 1940’s by using the land that had been set aside as a lane midway thru the cemetery.

      The care of the cemetery was passed from the church trustees to the Milford Township Trustee when the church closed during the First World War. Later the Township Trustee handed the responsibility for the cemetery over to an association of descendents, the Pleasant Grove Cemetery Society. The cemetery has been fortunate that some of the generations have stayed nearby to care for the cemetery but it has not been forgotten by those who moved on. The new front fence was made possible with contributions from descendents across the country in 2004.

      Some of the gravestones predate the beginning of the cemetery. These stones were moved from private cemeteries on family farms to Pleasant Grove Cemetery. It is unknown if the people represented by these stones were also moved. The gravestones represent varied types of monuments from the early Victorian draped obelisk and marble heart to the modern stones, some including scenes and pictures.

      Great effort has gone into documenting the Pleasant Grove Cemetery as accurately as possible. Additional factual information has been added to the common knowledge represented on the gravestones. This information came from documents kept by the trustee of the cemetery, obituaries published in local papers, and personal family records.

      To help the genealogist gain more understanding of an ancestor they are seeking or to afford the local historian more knowledge of our central Iowa pioneer heritage, every obituary that can be found will be put in the obituary board of Story County IAGenWeb site. Forty-five obituaries have been posted at this time. Plans are also made to join the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project and document the interesting and poignant collection of monuments that make up the visible assets of Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

Pleasant Grove Cemetery Board
1801 Woodhaven Circle
Ames, IA 50010

Loretta H. Hughes
Linda Hughes Meyers
10 July 2008