Featured Stories » Minnesota » Pine County

168-watermarked
Pine County, Minnesota, 1982. Copyright © State Aerial. Share

This is the Royalton Memorial Cemetery which is located five miles east of Braham MN. I have lived on the farm that surrounds this cemetery for sixty years and will relate the cemetery's history, to the best of my knowledge, with some short stories related to this church that has been handed down through my family.
My Grandfather, Johnny Hultman, and my Great Uncle, Charlie Hultman bought the surrounding farm in 1913. In about 1914 they gave 1.5 acres from this land for the purpose of starting a church and cemetery. My Great-Great Grandfather, who lived across the road from the church, gave $50 to help start the congregation and my Great-Great Grandmother was very upset that he gave that much money away. The church was called the Methodist Free church and it was a dual parish with Rock Creek which is located about five miles to the north east.
Some of the people who were members or were active in the cemetery work during the early years were Nels Hultman, Johnny and Selina Hultman, Alias Carlson, John and Ethel Nelson, George and Lucille Nelson, Uno Nelson, Victor and Viola Hultman, Arvid and Mildred Carlson, Adolph Mattson, the Studt and Walberg families.

The church was active until the early 1940's and then it dismanded. Today the church is still on the property and looks very similar to this picture taken in the 1980's. Each year on Memorial Day weekend and service is held in the church. Families and friends of people who are buried in the cemetery come back for a short service with potluck lunch served after the service. The service is dedicated to the miltary men and women buried there and it is also a time for the people to reconnect and remember loved ones that they have buried in the cemetery.

Some of my personal memories related to the church is the fact that the road running by the Church usually did not drift with snow as bad as other ones leading to our farm, so I remember driving by the church in many snow storms on the way home, if we made it to the church we could always make it home.

In the spring many of the country roads would be impassible because of mud, but the church road would hold up because the milk can trucks did not travel on it so the school bus would come to the end of the church road and many of the kids walked to the end of the road and got on the bus.

My two Uncles, Gordie and Kenny, were hired in the 1930's to go and start the fire in the church on Sunday mornings before services. One morning, they decided to "relieve" themselves on the stove and then fire it, don't ask me why. When the people arrived they were alarmed at the distinct odor in the church urine in the church. My uncles were marched home and sparing the rod was not in the equation. The church has hosted many weddings, funerals and other events since services were halted.
My uncle Gordie went into the army in 1943 and they held a going away party for him in the church. My Grandmothers funeral was held there in 1967 on a frigid day with no heat in the church.

I drove my daughter, Nichole, down from our farm in a horse drawn carriage to the church in 1997 for her wedding.
Stories of young men and ladies stopping at "The Church" to get better aquainted, have been told, but of course that might be a myth.

To the people of the Clint community the church has always played an important role in our lives and I hope it keeps going for future generations.

—Rick Hultman

Share Your Comment About This Photo

(will not be shared)
Notify me via e-mail if this photo is commented on
Include me in your email updates and special offers