A Brief History

The first burial in the Roland district was in 1880 when nineteen year-old Webster Pomeroy, son of the Rev. Daniel Pomeroy, froze to death during a snow storm. In 1875, Rev. Pomeroy constructed a log church at the crossing of the Missouri Trail and Tobacco Creek with hopes that the establishment of a town might follow. The churchyard served as the burial site for his son Webster, as well as others in the Pomeroy district for several years.

Concurrently, Richard Weir granted some of his land for the establishment of a cemetery a few miles south-east of Pomeroy's log church. A rise in the land provided an idyllic location for Fairview cemetery. Fairview opened in 1882 with no church affiliations and so was designed to serve the needs of the influx of settlers to the area.

In 1889, seven years after Fairview opened, a rail line was laid a mile south of the cemetery. The railway line marked the site for what became the town of Roland and ended Rev. Pomeroy's vision of a town by Tobacco Creek. By 1896 the people of Pomeroy constructed a new church approximately a mile north-west of the original log church and those buried at Pomeroy cemetery were removed to Fairview.

Within a year after the rail line was laid, Grace Methodist Church had opened in the new town of Roland. The church drew some of its congregation from the pre-established Bethel district south of Roland. Bethel Church, which opened in 1884, was moved in 1898 to better serve its remaining congregation. The new location for Bethel was further south on a plot of land given by James C. Loree. Land across the road from the church was then donated by Henry Hennan for the creation of Bethel cemetery.

Today, the final resting place for many of the original settlers of the Roland district can be found in the Fairview, Bethel or Myrtle cemeteries. Over time many of the settlers' descendants, along with others who chose to make the Roland district their home have been buried alongside those early pioneers.