GRAVESTONE EPITAPH THROWS LIGHT OF EARLY SETTLEMENT
SOUTHEAST MISSOURIAN – Dated June 29, 1939
Out on the line between the counties of Cape Girardeau and Bollinger, just west of Critesville School, where Whitewater River enters Cape Girardeau County from the west, makes a majestic sweeping curve of several rails then enters Bollinger again, only to come back after a small jog into that county, lies the 800 acre farm of T.J. Lukefahr. Not far from an old fashioned narrow steel bridge with rattling board floor, stands the commodious farm home up on an eminence, ___ all high water mark. Large barns and outhouses are scattered over the hill side.
The premises differ very little from hundreds of others in appearance but the Lukefahr homestead is situated on historic grounds. It is the pioneer home of CONRAD STATLER one of the adventurers who came to this county from Lincoln County, North Carolina, with Col. GEORGE FBEDERICK BOLLINGER in 1799. He, together with JOSEPH NISWONGER (Nyswanger), JOHN FREEMAN (Freimann), MICHAEL SNELL (Schnell), DAVID CRITES (Krytz), VALENTINE LORR, JOHN PROPST and many others, took up their abodes along Whitewater River, mostly northward from Burfordville (Bollinger Mill), where GEOREGE FREDERICK BOLLINGER had his habital. JACOB STATLER (Stotler) selected this rise at the edge of fertile Whitewater bottom as his pioneer home, and remained there until his death in 1823. Here he reared a large family, the descendants of which are now scatter all over the country.
Historians have asserted that these pioneers were North Carolina Dutch, or Swiss, or both, but a gravestone, located about 100 years from the old STATLER homestead, erected over the grave of CONTRAD STATLER, bears an epitaph or tomb inscription, couched in pure German, reading as follows:
:Hier ruht CONRAD STATLER and seine Ehefrau und Tochter, is geboren 1757, in den Ehestand mit BARBARA SEIER 1777, zeugte 5 Scbne and 8 Tochter, Starb 1823, Hat sein alter gebrachi aud 66 Jabre, 1 Monat und 24 Tage. Gott gebe thuen eine selige Auferstehung"
Translated it means, "Here rests CONRAD STATLER and his wife and daughter. He was born 1757, married BARBARA SEIER 1777, begat 5 sons and 8 daughters. Died 1823, at the age of 66 years, 1 month and 24 days. God give them a Blessed resurrection".