Benecke Family Cemetery & Hinze Family Cemetery
Brookfield Township, Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Because both of these listings were short, I put these two cemeteries on the same page

Hinze Family Cemetery

There is one known burial in this cemetery:
Christian F. Hinze/born December 9, 1809/died May 17, 1861
The cemetery is on private property.

On November 4, 1864, the site was sold to Louise Hinze (wife of Christian) for the sum of $25 by Hendrick Gregg and his wife Clarissa for the use as a burial ground for her husband.

Benecke Family Cemetery

The Benecke Family cemetery was established on the Benecke farm in 1851 for the Ernst and Augusta Meininger Benecke family. There are 12 known burials in this cemetery. The last known burial was in 1929.

In 1960, the remaining interments were moved to Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha Township. Wisconsin Hills Junior High was built on the cemetary site. This school was later converted to Wisconsin Hills Elementary School. In 1999, the school was converted back to Wisconsin Hills Middle School.

Years ago a number of tombstones were found left in the woods north of the school.

From a newspaper clipping, Waukesha Freeman circa 1979
Ernst & Augusta (Meininger) Benecke established the cemetery around September 1851 to bury their 6 month old daughter Mary. Within 10 years, they had buried 4 other children there:
Matilda, Age 5, March 1853
Herman, Age 4, March 1853 (5 days after Matilda)
Amely, 5 Months old, April 1855
William, 4 Months old, one year later
Ernest, Gustav, Emma, Albert & Sarah (none married) were also buried there years later.

Their daughter, Harriet, was buried in Oakhill Cemetery next to her husband John Hoffman. (see Oakhill cemetery, Brookfield). Harriet and John, were married 9 Jan 1880 in Milwaukee. John was born 16 Jan 1854 in Brookfield, son of Johann & Anna Elizabeth (Wellauer (also Wallauer) Hoffman, both natives of Canton, Thurgau, Switzerland.

Ernst Beneke was of a wealthy family in Germany. He was educated at Gottingen University in Germany, studying philosophy and architecture. He spoke fluent English and French. He was an accomplished pianist and played in the King's Orchestra. His father was a Baron of the Brunswick & Hanover Line.

Before Ernst was ready to inherit the castle and estate, he fell in love with Augusta Meininger, a waitress at the University. She was of Prussian decent, daughter of Valentine & Christina Meininger. They were married a full year before Baron Benecke found out. The Baron was very unhappy with the marriage and gave Ernst $10,000 and was told to move from the castle and estate.

The couple moved to America, traveling by boat from Buffalo to Milwaukee. They purchased land in the town of Brookfield on July 15, 1847 on which they had built a cabin. Augusta's brother and sister later settled in cabins nearby.

Ernst died Aug. 8, 1857 and was buried in the family burial plot shortly before the birth of his daughter Sarah. Sarah never married. She became a teacher teaching at Goerke's Corners, Calhoun, & Cottage Schools. She died in 1929 a few weeks from her sister Emma.

Augusta lived to be almost 79. Gustav was killed in a horseback riding accident. Ernest, the oldest child, preceded Augusta in death.

Waukesha Daily Freeman | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, April 28, 1955 | Page 7
Nestled in Woods in Town of Brookfield
(Freeman Staff Photo)
Forgotten Little Private Cemetery
Holds Secret of Prominent Family

GOERKES CORNERS — A forgotten little private cemetery, nestled among the trees on a lonely hill near Brookfield road, holds the secrets and memories of a once well known and prominent Brookfield family of Brookfield township.

This cemetery, long forgotten and unkempt, is surrounded by a stone wall about four feet high built in octagon shape. An iron gate, rusty and partly off its
hinges, stands guard at the entrance to this strange and sacred place. Two towering spruce trees spread their branches gently over the graves, while creeping myrtle and lilies make a soft green carpet underneath.

Twelve members of that family lie buried here. The graves, outlined with a low
cement frame, are not marked, but a headstone, cast in the shape of a tree trunk, bears the name of Benecke.

The first child to be buried in this little cemetery was six months old Mary Benecke, who died in September 1851.  Did the young mother, a stranger in a strange new land want to keep her babe, close to her perhaps, where she could often see the small mound of earth, and feel she was protecting her babe?

Ernst Benecke and his young wife, Augusta, came to America, and to Milwaukee in 1847, settling in the town of Brookfield.  Ernest first built a log cabin, but later, using his architechtural knowledge built a frame house which still stands, solid and enduring, with the same hand carved black walnut banister on the well worn staircase.

Tragedy seemed to strike the Benecke family for soon after he death of the babe Mary, there followed deths of two more children, Mathilde, 5 and Herman, 4, dying within five days of each other in march, 1853, Amely, 9 months old died in April 1855, and William died a year later, at the age of 4 months.  We can all imagine the grif of this family as they buried five small children in five years.

There were 11 children in all in this Benecke family, five of them dying in infancy, two others in their early youth, and the others, Ernest, Emma, Sarah, and Harriett, lived to maturity.  Harriett is the only one who married.  She married John Hoffman in 1880 and is buried beside him in Brookfield Cemetery [Oak Hill].  Sarah taught school at Goerkes Corners, and other schools in the township in her early days.

The Benecke farm of 4 acres has been divided and subdivided into two and four acre lots.  The old family home, still lives on, having been remodeled and changed, but still retaining the general outlined planned by its architect.  It is owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Weber and family.  The Edge of the Woods Motel now stands on what was once part of the Benecke property.

Ernst Benecke was laid to rest in the little cemetery on August 8, 1857, just 10 years after he came to America, ut Mrs. Augusta Benecke kept her family together and stayed on at the original farm home for many years.