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Schuck's Grove

Submitted by Dave Uphoff - October 18, 2008

A few miles south of Minonk is an oasis of oak trees surrounded by cornfields. Known as Shuck's Grove the roughly 20 acre parcel of land has never been violated by the turning of the plough. It still contains the grasses native to this area before the planting of bluegrass. In addition to the many bur and white oak trees there are hackberry and ash trees. Wild berry bushes can also be found.

There are stone markers in the grove that give a glimpse into its past. Near the narrow lane that winds through the east side of the grove is a stone tablet that has the inscription "Indian Trail to Peoria 1836 - California Trail 1849."

Further back in the grove are two more stone tablets leaning against a tree. One of the tablets gives a clue as to who first settled in the grove. Its inscription read "This farm first settled by John Brewer of Ohio 1836, bereaved daughter died 1842 of typhoid - buried near Roanoke." The inscription was hand carved, probably by Mr. Brewer.

The other tablet had the following inscription, "This picnic spot in memory of Fred Melchert SS Supt -1879 Minonk Babtch. Died Lorain, Kan. 1942." Our research revealed that Rev. Fredrick Melchert was the first pastor at the German Baptist Church in Minonk and served from 1867 to 1879. The German Baptist Church was located on the corner of Fourth Street and Locust and has long been torn down.

The tablet message indicates that church picnics were held in Shuck's Grove. In fact, many churches held picnics in the grove years ago.

The grove was a beautiful and peaceful place for people to get away from the barren landscape of the open prairie.

Schuck's Grove is still a beautiful respite from the surrounding area. Flattened areas of grass suggest that deer and other wildlife congregate there at night. The sounds of hawks and blue jays echoed through the forest as we walked.

The land is apparently still owned by descendants of the Schuck family. We notice that the farm located next to the grove has been torn down except for a machine shed. We hope that the land is preserved for future generations to enjoy the beauty of the forest like our forefathers did many years ago.