History and Board of Directors
MAC has come to represent the interests of everyone concerned with the present and future of cemeteries in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Association of Cemeteries (MAC) was founded in 1924 as a nonprofit resource for cemetery managers.
MAC membership includes Minnesota cemetery operators and members of cemetery governing boards. Cemetery members may be municipal (city-owned) cemeteries, private cemeteries or cemeteries affiliated with religious organizations. MAC also includes supplier members who serve the cemetery industry.
If you’re not already a member, join MAC today.
Board of Directors
Oakland Cemetery (St. Paul, MN)
Lakewood Cemetery Association (Minneapolis, MN)
Union Cemetery Association (Maplewood, MN)
Jay Larson (2024)
Elmhurst Cemetery Association (St. Paul, MN)
Jodi Knaus (2025)
Rauha Cemetery (Aurora, MN)
Amanda Thoreson (2026)
Roselawn Cemetery (Roseville, MN)
Josie Stang (ex-officio)
St. John's Abbey Cemetery (Collegeville, MN)
History of MAC: The Birth of the Minnesota State Cemetery Association -
Written by Carl L. Hagger, President, Blue Earth, Minnesota, February 1937
In the year 1923, it became apparent that the Cemetery Associations throughout the State were groping around in the dark, each association having their very own rules and in most cases no rules or by-laws whatever.
Provision for permanent care on cemetery lots was not heard of throughout a great portion of the state. This writer was one of the many in the state who desired to do something for the cemetery, but who, like so many others, did not know where to begin. During the fall of that year letters were sent to the superintendents of cemeteries in Minneapolis and St. Paul asking them if they would cooperate with us, if we, from the country districts could come up there for a school of instruction. We advised them of the condition of our cemeteries, all of which they were evidently fully aware of.
The Twin City Cemetery men were very courteous and offered to do anything within their power to perfect an organization whereby the cemetery officials may get together and exchange ideas. Among the cemeteries as I remember being very enthusiastic were the Crystal Lake Cemetery by its superintendent Edward C. Cammon; Lakewood Cemetery by its superintendent E.C. Nuessle; Oakland Cemetery by its superintendent W.G. Reifler; Roselawn Cemetery by its superintendent H.M. Turner; Elmhurst Cemetery by John Brandtjen. The above mentioned gentlemen arranged for a meeting at the Athletic Club at St. Paul during the winter of 1923, at the meeting Mr. Turner of Roselawn Cemetery advised that he knew another man in the cemetery business at St. Paul, who was intensely interested and called him over the telephone. He came over, he was Fred W. Gosewisch, President of the cemetery at North St. Paul. After introductions all around, it appeared to me that the Twin Cities Cemetery men were just waiting for some enthusiastic cemetery man from the State. Mr. Gosewisch asked me if I really was in earnest about a State Cemetery Association. I said, "Yes, I am, and as fast as it could be done".
Mr. Reifler was elected temporary chairman and the writer elected temporary secretary. After talking the matter over it was unanimously voted that a permanent State Cemetery Association should be formed, and that the first meeting should be held at St. Paul during the summer of 1924.
February 10, 1924, the secretary issued a bulletin to the effect that he had contacted 256 cemetery officials throughout the state, 85 of whom had returned a questionnaire sent them. Seventy nine were in favor of a State Association and 6 were opposed.
The Twin City Cemetery men arranged for the organization meeting at the Old Capitol Building, St. Paul on June 20, 1924, at which time the meeting was called to order. Fred W. Gosewisch was elected temporary chairman and Carl L. Hagger was elected temporary secretary. The following attended this meeting, Mrs. E.H. Krilwitz of Aitkin; C.W. Krippen of St. Charles; H.M. Turner, John Brandtjen, Fred W. Gosewisch and W.G. Reifler of St. Paul; E.C. Nuessle of Minneapolis; Mrs. Elizabeth Steele of Little Falls; O.P. Monson of Winona; Bertha Zeese and Mrs. H.J. Petraborg of Aitkin; Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Fletcher of Sauk Rapids; Wm. Wachlin of Faribault; Hans Mo of Sleepy Eye; Louis H. Voight of Hastings; W.N. Niskern of St. Cloud; Carl L. Hagger and F.E. Sumner of Blue Earth.
Constitution and By-Laws were written and passed. At the election of officers pursuant to the by-laws just passed, it was unanimously voted that the oldest cemetery official present should become the first President of the State Cemetery Association. Mr. W.H. Fletcher of Sauk Rapids was the oldest, but declined the nomination. The next oldest was Hans Mo of Sleepy Eye, who was unanimously elected the first President. Mr. O.P. Monson of Winona was elected Vice President and Carl L. Hagger of Blue Earth the first Secretary-Treasurer.