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Carlisle Area Historical Society

Saving History for Tomorrow

Martha Casebeer

In 2008 Janice Stemler of Glendale, AZ, wrote to the Postmaster of Carlisle, IA., "I am working on the family tree and I need someone to go to the Carlisle cemetery and read a stone for me. I hope you know someone who will do it."

Mrs. Stemler wanted the birth year for Martha Felton Casebeer, as well as her death month and date. She knew Martha had been married to Soloman, and that he is buried in northwest Missouri. She included the information that the Casebeer's came from Lima, Ohio, and brought their daughter, also named Martha, born on January 22, 1858. Young Martha was a small child when they moved to Iowa.

Mr. Tim Freeman gave the letter to Carole Gates, a member of the Historical Society. She passed it to Melody Kirk, who proceeded to do some searching at the Carlisle library in the Iowa History section. Melody knew that the late Joan Schooler had identified and organized the plots in the cemetery, and she was easily able to find the headstone because of Joan's work. Melody took pictures of the headstones and wrote to Mrs. Stemler.

An interesting side story arises, because there are two headstones for Martha Casebeer. One is the original, but a second, and much more recent stone, had also been placed there, and it had the requested information plainly carved. The headstones can be seen from Fifth Street.

Every answer opens up more questions. The most obvious one being, why is Soloman buried so far from his wife, and also, who placed the stone? It must have been a family member who wanted to be sure that Martha was remembered. 

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