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Beresford Memorial Park
Prairie Township, Union County, South Dakota

T95N R50W Section 4
Lat: 43°04'12"N, Lon: 96°45'05"W

Contributed by Brian Hass, Nov 08, 2001 [brian_m_hass@hotmail.com]. Total records = 12.

Beresford Memorial Park (or Memorial Plot) is one of four cemeteries along the north side of Union County's 298th Street, located one mile south of highway 46 and about a mile and a half east of Beresford's Third Street. The four cemeteries are adjacent to each another; and, Memorial Park is the one farthest east. Because of the lack of fences between the four cemeteries, they are sometimes known collectively and less formally as the "City Cemetery." Because of Memorial Park's close proximity to the Beresford Cemetery, obituaries of individuals buried there frequently list the burial location as being the Beresford Cemetery.

The Memorial Park cemetery is not well labelled. Of the four adjacent cemeteries, St. John is the only one to have a sign at its main entrance. This is a frequent source of confusion to people visiting from outside the local area. Some visitors who read the sign mistakenly assume that all of the four cemeteries are part of St. John Cemetery. In reality, St. John Cemetery is only the cemetery farthest west. The next three unlabelled cemeteries are (from west to east) Beresford, Emmanuel Lutheran, and Beresford Memorial Park.

During the 2001 survey, two access roads leading into Beresford Memorial Park's "U"-shaped driveway from 298th Street were noted. At the time of the survey, the cemetery's driveway did not connect directly with that of the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery. However, a driveway between the two cemeteries was added in the fall of 2001.

Beresford Memorial Park is under the guidance of the Beresford Cemetery Association, Inc. No above-ground stones are permitted within this cemetery. Only markers flush with the ground are allowed. The only noticeable above-ground object is the large wooden cross, which stands at the cemetery's center.

The five acres of Beresford Memorial Park were purchased from Eli and Lucy Steadman in 1977. The land was obtained for three hundred and fifty dollars per acre. The driveway and large cross were both in place by early September of 1977; and, lots within the cemetery were made available at that time.

As of 2001, most of the cemetery was still empty. A former grounds keeper, H. Johnson, reported that this was due to the lack of popularity of flat ground-level markers in the midwestern United States. Virtually all of the graves were located within two small groups, the larger of the two being located near the cemetery's center and the smaller group being located near the cemetery's western edge. Despite the small number of graves, the grounds were still reasonably well maintained. Except for the row of trees along the cemetery's western edge, no trees or shrubs of any kind were noted to have been growing inside the boundaries of the cemetery during the 2001 survey. Memorial Park's western border with the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery is marked by a row of trees.

The cemetery was surveyed by Brian M. Hass on August 12, 2001. The following sources were used as references for some historical information listed above.

1) "Beresford Cemetery Assc., Inc.," pg 78, Beresford_100_Years, published in 1983 by the "Beresford Republic" and the "Lennox Independent."

2) "Beresford Cemetery," 1989. This article on the Beresford Cemetery was written for the South Dakota state centennial. It includes a paragraph devoted to the Memorial Park Cemetery.

3) Untitled article on Beresford Memorial Park, published by the "Beresford Republic," 8 Sep 1977. The brief article included a photo of the large cross at the cemetery's center.

4) Selected obituaries from the "Beresford Republic," Beresford, SD.

An additional note related to Beresford Memorial Park was made by Brian Hass on Oct 7, 2001 during a survey of the neighboring Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery.

Except for the Martin Weber information, all of the following information was obtained from inscriptions on all of the visible grave markers at Beresford Memorial Park.
Coffman, Cherlan, b. 1937, d. 2000, temporary marker
Jackson, Margaret A., b. 1921, d. 1978, s/w William C. Jackson
Jackson, William C., b. 1915, d. 1989, s/w Margaret A. Jackson
Keller, Oliver, b. 1924, d. 1991, temporary marker
Kutcher, Joseph B., b. 1892, d. 1979
Peterson, Rachel R., b. 1914, d. 2000, s/w Thorwald A. Peterson
Peterson, Thorwald A., b. 1905, d. 1990, s/w Rachel R. Peterson
Price, Leonard W., b. 1919, d. 1980, s/w Mildred D. Price
Price, Mildred D., b. 1923, d. 1998, s/w Leonard W. Price
Sharpe, Joseph N., b. 14 Sep 1981, d. 7 Oct 1981
Weber, Martin, b. 24 Dec 1915, d. 6 Apr 1998, temporary marker's top portion with data is missing, DOD obtained from cemetery records, DOB obtained from obituary in the "Beresford Republic."
Weber, Michael J., b. 13 Feb 1967, d. 21 Mar 1988, "Eagle Scout," "Boy Scouts of America," "Lambda Chi Alpha 1371," "Our Beloved Son, Brother, and Friend"

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