Aubry Cemetery

About this Cemetery

In the 1850s, some of the first land in Johnson County to open up was the land along the Missouri border that was on the outskirts of Black Bob Shawnee tribal common land in the southeastern part of Johnson County. Similarly the fringe area of the Wea Miami tribal land was quickly settled just south of Aubry.

The first land purchase in Aubry was to William H. Brady in Feb 1857, and many settlers quickly followed. The Town of Aubry was surveyed and a town company formed in March 1858, and the Township of Aubry was organized shortly after, on May 11, 1858. The first school, the top priority of the new community, was built in the summer of 1858 and served as the school, church, and social center of Aubry. In May 1859 the Christian Church was formed and the first formal church building erected.

The Town of Aubry had a tough start that may have contributed in part to its short existence. Just 3 years after its official formation, the Border Wars broke and Aubry was the first town across the border. In 1862 Aubry was subject to a series of brutal raids, including several by Quantrill's infamous band. While a large number of Aubry's population had left to fight in the Civil War, the Town of Aubry became one of the bloodiest areas of Kansas. With the railroad at nearby Stilwell, Aubry eventually dwindled away and by the late 1880s, the Aubry post office closed. Today Aubry is an unincorporated area.

Aubry Cemetery

While the Town of Aubry might have dwindled throughout the raids and the Civil War, many of the farming families remained. Many of these early settlers were Catholic, and in the 1860s they banded together to form the Holy Rosary Catholic Church and located this church 5 miles south of Aubry Town, in Wea Township, Miami County. And this is how some of the early pioneers of Aubry established the Wea Community and are found interred at the church cemetery, and likewise and some of the Wea area families can be found in the Aubry Cemetery. Wea continued to grow into a strong and lasting community, and the church, now the Queen of the Holy Rosary, still remains the heart and soul of the Wea community.

The original section of the Aubry Cemetery shows signs of past neglect, though it is maintained today with great care. While some stones are unreadable from the sandblasting wind, a number of stones are obviously missing. There are many large gaps between stones and it is believed there are a number of unmarked graves in this Old Section. The original records for the Aubry Cemetery were destroyed by fire years ago and the names and locations of the unmarked graves are lost to history.

As no records survive, we do not know exactly when the Aubry Cemetery was officially established, but we can find clues to its beginnings. In William G. Cutler's book "The History of Johnson County", published in 1912, Cutler tells us the first death that occurred in Aubry was a son of A. Purley in September 1859. Though we do not find a marker for this child in the cemetery, we do find a memorial for James B Franklin, d. 27 Feb 1862, aged 53 yrs, 11 mos, and 19 dys. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude the settlers created a cemetery between 1859 and 1862 based on need.

There is a total of 3 births recorded in the 1790s, with Thomas Short, 1784 - 1876, having the oldest recorded birth in the cemetery. The person with the oldest calculated age is Volle P. Tracy, Feb. 1 1887 - July 26 1993, approximately 106 yrs old. There are two other calculated ages over 100 years old.