Busy Highway 90 lies just feet away, but the souls in the Knippa Cemetery sleep peacefully beneath the stone markers which bear their names and years of existence. There are stories there, some which still haunt the living and some now forgotten with time.
Among the five hundred former residents now resting in the cemetery are the founding fathers of the town, victims of the Spanish flu, a beloved athlete who died on the football field, young lives gone too soon, victims of a horrific murder, and veterans of various wars.
Those who lived in Knippa in 1949 will not soon forget the death of 16-year-old senior Marcus Glynn Alexander (1933-1949) whose life ended unexpectedly on the football field in a final six-man game with La Pryor on Nov. 18, 1949. La Pryor won that District 21 championship game 20-8, but Knippa’s loss is still felt today by those who recall that fateful game and, particularly, by those who were on the field with Marcus.
It was the custom of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Knippa to toll its bell when someone died, but what was even more haunting was that it would often toll the age of the deceased. One former Knippa resident recalls the moment she heard the bell toll six times for Kenneth Henry Langner (1939-1945), who died of burns suffered from a gasoline fire while his father was working on his automobile.
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