Copied from iagenweb.org
Written by Merrill James Price Nov 18 2009
SEA CAPTAIN’S GRAVE JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP - MARSHALL COUNTY IOWA SE ¼ SECTION 6 ADOLPH MATTHIAE 1829 – 1890 There is one cemetery in Marshall County Iowa that has only one grave. It is the grave of Adolph Matthiae, born in 1829 in Anhal Dessau, Germany. He arrived in New York on 01 November 1864 on the ship Germanic from Hamburg Germany. He was listed as a Captain on the manifest. He was a well educated man who for many years had been a Captain of sea going vessels. He was schooled in Medicine and Science and Horticulture. When his sea adventuring days had come to a past he chose to come to Iowa and settle on a farm, one mile West and one half mile South of Haverhill, Iowa, in the middle of a prairie in Jefferson Township, Marshall County Iowa. In the Haverhill Centennial Book it was stated that he was a stocky built German, medium height with sandy colored hair and was a bachelor. He loved the land and when he settled down on his farm in Iowa. He planted many fruit trees, shrubs, flowers and twenty acre grove of Evergreen Trees.
In the 1880 Iowa Census,Marshall County, Jefferson Township, Adolph was listed as single, 51 yrs old, farmer, Nativity country Prussia. It had been told the County proposed to put a road through his farm on the section line between sections 6 & 7 where he had his grove of Evergreens. So he chose his grave site to be place there as an obstacle for the road to protect his beloved grove of trees.
Adolph Matthiae, the “Sea Captain” died 28 March 1890 and was laid to rest in his Evergreen grove as per his request. His will and personal letters provided for his wish and burial site as follows: “ I wish to be buried in my evergreen grove on the ridge north of the yard, some trees to be cut down to make room for the grave. Having been born in the Lutheran Faith, but not being a member of the Lutheran Church in this neighborhood, if the Lutheran Minister wishes to officiate at the last rites, he shall be entitled to double his customary fees and shall have the privilege to gather several large baskets of the choice flowers the yard presents for the decorations of his church.” His wants continued with this request to his executors: "Realize the personal estate at once and do the best you can with the farm. A little sooner or later would not much matter if the sale is at the best price obtainable. My grave is to be covered with a simple slab and surrounded by a low iron railing. Which might be made a little ornamental".
An iron railing surrounded his stone for more than sixty years. Today, in the last year of the twentieth century, his tombstone is located inside a fence that protects an Iowa Electric Light and Power Company Sub station. The tombstone is not a simple slab, nor is there a grove of evergreen trees, there is no ornamental iron fence around his grave, but most importance there is no road.