History of Mausoleum Maintenance
Oscar A. Kamp, son of Sophie Caroline Schowengerdt and Henry W. Kamp, was a prominent attorney and judge for many years in Montgomery City, Missouri, and managed the Mausoleum Trust Fund left by John W. Schowengerdt in 1912. Oscar is survived by his daughter, Mildred, now married to Kerry N. Dowling, a prominent businessman in Montgomery City. Mildred has been very helpful in placing Kamp artifacts in the Mausoleum, assisting in various clean-up tasks, and has occasionally been involved in contracting for Mausoleum maintenance. Bernice Berger (now deceased), a granddaughter of Sophie Caroline Schowengerdt, was also most helpful over the years in making curtains for the Mausoleum and cleaning on special occasions; she is survived by Mary Berger Eisele who is continuing the work of Bernice. Since the erection of the Schowengerdt Mausoleum in 1886, those largely responsible for its maintenance and restoration are as follows:
1891-1912 – John W. Schowengerdt of Bellflower
1912-1930 – Oscar Kamp of Montgomery City under Trust Agreement
1930-1958 John H. Schowengerdt of Bellflower
1958-1986 – Ernest W. Schowengerdt of O’Fallon as occasionally assisted by
William E. Schowengerdt of O’Fallon and Franklin E. Schowengerdt of Golden, Colorado
1986-1988 – Richard N. Schowengerdt of Costa Mesa, California, as founder and manager of the Schowengerdt Mausoleum Fund
1988 & On – Bellflower Cemetery Association under perpetual care trust and assisted by the Ernst Schowengerdt descendants
As indicated above, John William S. maintained the Mausoleum until his death in 1912 when he left a trust fund administered by Oscar Kamp and John Herman S. Over the years many other family members assisted in various aspects of the maintenance. In 21 November 1986, Richard Neal S. explained the condition of our family Mausoleum in the Bellflower Cemetery, and asked for donations to help maintain this beautiful historic treasure. Family members and other relatives were most generous in donating the required funds. Between 1986 and 1989 the SCHOWENGERDT FAMILY MAUSOLEUM FUND was established and extensive repairs were made to the Mausoleum. On 15 June 1988, a TRANSFER IN TRUST was negotiated with the BELLFLOWER CEMETERY ASSOCIATION which constituted an agreement by the Association to provide perpetual care of the Mausoleum in exchange for a modest gift of $2,000. However, this agreement was to cover only maintenance of the basic structural integrity of the building short of a natural calamity or act of God such as an earthquake or tornado which may destroy the building or make its restoration impractical. Consequently the agreement did not extend to cosmetic features such as plaster and painting. Over the next ten years the Mausoleum further deteriorated and it was observed that the building was sinking slightly on the south side causing the brick structure to crack periodically.
The Association had wisely used the funds donated to maintain the mausoleum over the past decade but we could see that some additional help was needed from the family. In 1996 the family voted by an overwhelming majority to provide additional funds to cover the cost of labor and materials to excavate under the foundation corners, pour a footing pad, jack up the corners, and complete additional foundation work as necessary to stabilize the structure. This work was satisfactorily completed in May 1997 at a cost of around $3,426. Completion of the foundation work was followed by sealing of the external walls from the weather, restoration of the inner walls, and painting at a cost of around $1,290.
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