By Mari Radtke

History, heritage and the future

Hartley man maintains family cemetery with rich heritage


July 15, 2021


LeRoy Steffens stands proudly beside the newly-erected cemetery directory at Steuck Prairieland Cemetery south of Hartley.

A tiny O'Brien County cemetery means the world to Hartley's LeRoy Steffens.

In 1884 Michael Steuck, Steffens' great-grandfather, buried his mother, Anna Steuck, on the family farm in Center Township in O'Brien County. She was the first in the family to be buried in the privately-owned pioneer cemetery. Born in 1819, Anna became a war widow in Germany and later brought her children to the United States to build a life in northwest Iowa.

Since then, 36 more family members have opted for burial in the family cemetery. Familiar names like Guse, Brandt and Brinkert rest there. Steffens says that...

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