Jurisdiction: Bertrand Township Section 12
Status: Inactive. BCGS Cemetery Records updated March 2011.
Location: Buffalo Road East of Red Bud Trail
Cemetery Governing Body: Bertrand Township
Location of Cemetery Records:
Size: 5 acres
Frederick & Polly (Bliss) Howe gave the land for Howe Cemetery in 1838. They gave the land on the condition that it is named Howe Cemetery and that no one should pay for a grave and that all could use it for burial. This plan was in effect until about 1900 when the township took over the care and the lots were then sold to help defray expenses.
When Frederick Howe came to Portage Prairie with his wife Polly, and his 11 children, he also brought “all his worldly possessions” and his widowed mother, Joanna Howe. Joanna Larrence Howe died at the age of 93 years, just 3 years after they arrived. She was buried in the field her son was planning for a cemetery. Her grave was the first in the cemetery in a line of Howe graves, near the entrance. The inscription on her stone proudly carries the words, “wife of Antipass Howe”. Antipass Howe was buried back home in a lonely grave in New York, but she was still his wife.
Frederick Howe and his wife Polly are next in the line of Howe graves. The next graves are that of Frederick A. Howe, (son) and his wife Sarah. With so many Howe graves in the cemetery, it is believed that the most recent was that of Mrs. Phillip Merrifield, who died in 1967. She was a great-great granddaughter of Joanna Howe.
It is believed that the French are next in number with Titus French and his wife, Betsy Thayer French, Sam French and his two wives, Willard French and his wife Ella and some of their descendants. Also found are the Franklins – Ben, Caroline and their children and the Haslett’s – William and his wife Margaret.
More surnames found in Howe Cemetery are Bailey, Roe, Johnson, Reynolds, Treat, Lister, Merrifield, Crofoot, Smith, Miller, Farron, Bliss, Sherwood, Pope, Dempsey, Pears, Barlow, Perrott, Gray, Rooke, Blake, Vasser, Royer, Best, Carpenter, Kennedy, Huff, Gordon, Hanover and Welsh.
In 1975, David Savage, of the Berrien County Genealogical Society transcribed the headstones and at the time, he found 191 names with some stone being illegible.
Written By Alma V. Hartline