sketch of a country churchFunks Grove Church
             & Chapel in the Trees





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Funks Grove

A Brief History of the Establishment and Development of Funks Grove Church & Cemetery

In 1824, brothers Isaac and Absalom Funk left their Ohio farm in search of a new location. Six months later Robert and Dorothy (Funk) Stubblefield joined them. Among the first settlers, the Funks and Stubblefields put down roots in the area now known as Funks Grove.

Early on, worship services were held in homes or the log school building constructed in 1827. A stone marker located just west of the church indicates the original site of the school. Robert Stubblefield insisted on a real church. In 1864-65 Robert, Isaac, and their sons erected the building from white pine shipped by railroad from the east coast. The ceilings were made of plaster that contained horse hair and hog hair to bind the plaster together.

Adam Funk, the patriarch of the family, chose the location of the cemetery. In 1830, he was one of the first to be buried there.

The Funk and Stubblefield families maintained the cemetery and church until 1891, when they formed a stock company named Funks Grove Cemetery Association (FGCA). Since then the Funks Grove Cemetery Association has owned and maintained the cemetery grounds and the church. In 1948 when Thaddeus Stubblefield, a former President of the Cemetery Association, passed away, he left his land in a trust to the FGCA. In 1982, the FGCA became a 501(c)13 not-for-profit corporation. Today, income from the Thaddeus Stubblefield Trust farmland is used to maintain the cemetery and church, to provide for religious and educational benefits, and for beautification of the Grove. The trust ensures perpetual care and continued growth for the cemetery, church and the1,000 acres of upland timber.

The Cemetery Association has received or purchased more land throughout the years to increase the size of the cemetery.

  • 1892 - Land that was owned by Isaac and Cassandra Funk and had been deeded to the Trustees of the school in Funks Grove Township was transferred to the newly organized FGCA.
  • 1904 - Duncan M. Funk donated 10.5 acres that adjoined the cemetery.
  • 1920 - FGCA purchased 12 acres from Grace Funk Bracken.
  • 1948 - FGCA purchased 90 acres from the Wilcox family, originally owned by Isaac Funk. Two acres became part of the west end of the main cemetery and sixty acres were reforested.
  • 1978 - FGCA purchased sixteen acres just west of the main cemetery on the west side of Timber Creek from the Olive Stubblefield Estate. Seven acres of that purchase was named the "Ollie Addition" and was divided into 1,496 lots which are expected to be filled by 2035.

In 2014, FGCA commissioned a study to investigate the development of another new addition on the above referenced Wilcox purchase. This addition, located east and north of the Ollie Addition in the standing timber, will provide the traditional burial choices and offer a scattering garden and niches in a Columbarium wall. The new cemetery will take many years to develop but the niches will be available in 2015.

Due to age and settling of the Church, a major renovation began in 2001. From January 2001 to May 2003 the foundation was repaired, the entire exterior was stripped of 18 layers of paint and repainted, the ceiling was replaced, and the rest of the interior was renovated while maintaining all of the original characteristics. Today the original features of the church include the ceiling beams and altar rail, pulpit and matching wall behind the pulpit, as well as a pew divider to segregate the men from women, all from walnut trees cut from Funks Grove timber. Cedar from Oregon lines the interior walls. Hand-planed white pine pews, wall mounted lanterns with reflective mirrors, two wood burning stoves, an 1878 pump organ, and original rolled window pane glass can also be seen in the building.


Redrafted 2-2-2015