In His Words…

My father was William Echelmeyer (1892-1960) and my mother was Margaret Gartland (1889-1981). My Grandfather, August (Gustof) Echelmeier, was born in Westphalia, Germany and my father, William (Echelmeyer), was the first Echelmeyer generation born in America.  He was born in St. Charles Missouri.  

So, I am part of the second-born generation in America, along with my 5 siblings (Bernice, William, Alvina, Lester, Loretta). We were literally born in the St. Louis, Missouri Calvary Cemetery. My father and grandfather were caretakers of the cemetery. This was a very labor-intensive job. All graves were dug 6-foot down shovel scoop by shovel scoop. 

Like many other people, times were tough, but our lives were full of adventures, living in a cemetery. I always said, “we were very poor…” compared to others, but you would not have known it. Life was so much simpler back then.

For the rest of Ed’s story, click on the pdf below.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.