Iron Men Index Page

Iron Men

Blacksmiths Represented in the Continuing Survey of Iron Cross Cemeteries, 1998-99

The sketches of iron cross blacksmiths here presented are adapted from the public version of the project report, Wrought Iron Cross Cemeteries in North Dakota--Continuing Survey, published 2000 by the NDSU Institute for Regional Studies.

Local blacksmiths were the folk artists at the heart of the wrought iron grave cross tradition. Making grave crosses was only part of their general business as smiths, but it was an expressive and culturally significant part. Smithing grave crosses, they played roles as perpetuators of tradition. Within that traditional framework, however, they also expressed individual artistry.

Survey photos in the blacksmith files illustrate the work of each.

The Smiths
Ignatz BobbJacob Friedt
Jacob HoepfnerJohn Heidt
Anton HutmacherJoseph Klein
Philip KupserJohn Paluck
John PfeiferJacob Schneider
Louis SchneiderConrad Segmiller
Thomas StebnerGeorge Streit

Center for Heritage Renewal