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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Johnston's Jottings: History of Mt. Zion Cemetery in Leavenworth

  • On June 10, 1858, a group of men with the leadership of Jonas Wolman, Joseph Ringolsky, and Simon Abeles organized the Society of the Sons of Truth, which was to be a society for the benefit of a cemetery.
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  • On June 10, 1858, a group of men with the leadership of Jonas Wolman, Joseph Ringolsky, and Simon Abeles organized the Society of the Sons of Truth, which was to be a society for the benefit of a cemetery.
    The Constitution and Bylaws of the Society of the B'nai Ameth or the "Sons of Truth" was adopted on June 1, 1919. The original Charter of the Articles of Incorporation of the Society was filed on June 24, 1941, with the Office of the Secretary of State, Topeka, Kan.
    In 1859, Jonas Wolman donated 36 acres of land on R.R. 4 in Leavenworth County for a Jewish Cemetery. This cemetery was named Mt. Zion. To visit the cemetery, proceed west on Metropolitan. The cemetery is on the right hand side, about four or so miles west of the city limit.
    In 1902, Julius Abeles donated more land on this acreage for cemetery use.
    In 1911, through the munificence of Henry Ettenson and Al Rothenberg, Ben Haas, B. B. Wolfe and Abe Rosenfield built a chapel, walls, gates and stone tablets for the cemetery. The current concrete and stone mausoleum was built in September, 1931 with proceeds from the Estate of Ernest Salinger of California, in memory of his parents. Ernest Salinger who died Dec. 27, 1929, is buried with his parents in this mausoleum.
    This cemetery was used by the congregation of the Temple B'nai Jeshurun, located at 6th and Osage in Leavenworth. The oldest grave in Mt. Zion is marked 1860. The first recorded death in the cemetery register is 1858. Records are somewhat incomplete for what was considered the "old graves." Some of the records that were kept at the old caretaker's house adjacent to the cemetery were destroyed by fire in 1931. Information provided in the cemetery register include: name, place of birth, last residence, age, date of death, date of interment, disease, kindred, block number, lot number, and remarks. This cemetery remains active with the latest burial that of Joel Grodberg. Friends of Joel gathered at the cemetery to clear weeds and overgrowth, prior to interment.
    On Aug. 27, 1974, the Leavenworth National Bank & Trust Company was appointed trustee of the Society of the Sons of Truth Trust. Now known as Country Club Bank and Trust Company, the trustee oversees the management of the cemetery assets and appoints the caretaker and ground maintenance personnel.
    Records available for review at MidAmerican Bank include:
    Minutes of the Society dated 1897 through 1974;
    Ledger of dues paid by members dated 1897 through 1941;
    Financial statements and record keeping;
    Checkbook registers from 1900;
    Funeral, burial records and obituaries for some members;
    Correspondence regarding Society matters;
    Deeds conveying properties to Jewish Society;
    Dedication map of the cemetery dated March 10, 1913;
    Survey maps;
    Current ownership: Sons of Truth Society Irrevocable Trust.
    Page 2 of 2 - MidAmerican Bank & Trust Company, n.a., trustee – aka Country Club Bank & Trust Company 401 Delaware, Leavenworth, KS 66048.
    Annie Johnston is a Leavenworth resident and wife of the late J.H. Johnston III, former Times publisher.

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