Chapter 6.1

6th Line Wallace (Zion) EUB Cemetery

 

In his message on May 31, 1998, at the 135th Anniversary of the 6th Line Zion E.U.B. Church, Larry Krotz said the following:

 

ZC-001 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery - May 2014 - IMG_0114 (1024x768).jpgWhenever I want to get in touch with the deepest roots of this community, I go up the road to the corner of Milton Bender’s farm. And I pull in beside the cemetery there. I get out of my car and I enter under those wonderful spreading maple trees, and then I walk through the quiet of the gravestones row on row.

 

The ones at the front get my attention first because they are all people I know – my father, my grandparents, uncles, aunts, so many people who were neighbours and mentors and pillars of this community and this church. But then I go to the back rows, to those thin limestone slabs that lean at precarious angles against the back fence, their inscriptions faded and barely legible. 1865. 1880. 1912. Their inscriptions in German – geboren, gestorben. And from the pocked, weathered, lichen-covered carving you can make out the names. All those names which are the same names as so many of us still in this church today.

 

There’s a story told by the wife of a minister who was assigned to this church some years ago that, shortly after arrival she was taken aside by one of the senior ladies of the congregation and good-naturedly put on alert. “You’ll have to be careful not to say anything bad about anybody here,” she was warned, “because we’re all related.” Well, in those early days they pretty much were.

 

Many of the people whose graves are deep in our cemetery came from the same German village. And when you look at the dates you are forced to imagine those lives. Every one of them set out on a fantastic adventure. I want you to engage with me in a transcendent act of imagination. I want you to picture people setting off on a journey that was every bit as forbidding and foreboding as the children of Israel marching out of Egypt. Those people, 150 years ago, leaving Europe in waves, moving by chugging smoky dusty trains up to the seaport cities and then boarding the ships to cross the ocean. Imagine what it must’ve been like. They were farmers and villagers, they weren’t sailors. Yet they would be on the sea for four, six, nine weeks. No sight of land to reassure them, only the endless flat, gray horizon. Lots of time to search their souls and wonder if they were doing the right thing – for they had committed all. Not much comfort. In steerage most of them. I’ve been told that my own great grandmother tried to pack enough turnips to keep the family fed for the duration of the voyage. Day after day turnips. And now I complain about airline food.

 

They had left everything behind. Only what they could bundle together and carry. What they could sell, they sold and transferred into a stash of cash which they hoped might help to finance their new start. They became immigrants. They were headed somewhere they could not even have seen a picture of. But they clutched a dream. A dream for a better life. A dream of land. A dream of a sort of freedom they could not experience in Europe.

 

And the end of their journey was here. This place. This was called the Queen’s Bush. Think of the wood lots that are still at the back of your farms and imagine that bush thick all over the land. The roads were quagmire trails. But they settled. They cut trees and made their first log houses and they cleared enough land to seed, among the tree stumps, their first little crops of oats. They had no sooner settled but they got busy and put together the vital, important things that would make a community.

 

A paragraph later Larry said:

Well, one of the very first things the pioneers did in this community was build their church. Wallace Township was surveyed and opened for settlement in 1854. This congregation was organized in 1863 – out of a circuit mission that originated from Waterloo. Four years before Confederation. Four years before Canada became a country. Those people, those pioneers whose graves are so close yet to our life today had a vision. They wanted to worship and thank their God. They wanted a place for their ceremonies – the celebrations of birth, marriage, the farewells of death and they wanted a center for their community.

 

Part of the “Farewells of Death” was the need for a place to lay their family and friends at rest. They created the cemetery near the original church, on the corner of one of their farms, at this intersection in their community.

 

Here are only a few of the Gravestones in the 6th Line Cemetery.

 

ZC-003 - Georg Schneider 1813-1897 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georg Schneider 1813-1897

ZC-003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-004 - William Schneider 1869-1949 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Schneider

1869-1949

ZC-004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-005 - Henry Schneider 1845-1927 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Schneider

1845-1927

ZC-005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-006 - Sarah Ann Walter 1867-1891 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Ann Walter 1867-1891

ZC-006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-007 - John Quanz 1866-1949 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Quanz

 1866-1949

ZC-007

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-008 - Fred Quanz 1895-1972 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Quanz

1895-1972

 

Veronica Walter

1895-1991

ZC-008

 

 

 

 

 

ZC-009 - Gordon C Walter 1898-1987 - 6th Line EUB Cemetery.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordon C Walter

1898-1987

 

Almeda L. Quanz

1899-1977

ZC-009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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