Iron Cross Created by David Krumm is Dedicated to his Sister's Memory

"Iron Cross Created by David Krumm is Dedicated to his Sister's Memory." Emmons County Record, 10 October 2000, 1.

Relatives of the late Cathy (Krumm) Hulm attended a special Mass Saturday afternoon at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hague and then participated in the dedication of a 15 and a half foot wrought iron cross at the church cemetery.

The cross was designed and built by Cathy's brother, David Krumm of Eureka.

A farmer and custom harvester, Krumm said he does wrought iron work as a sideline. He has made archways for several area cemeteries, including three in South Dakota -- Greenway, Artas and a rural cemetery east of Pollock. He also makes ornamental porch swings.

Cathy, who owned Cathy's Cafe in Strasburg with her husband, Gerald, died June 10, 2000, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle-deer accident.

Krumm said he suggested to the rest of the Krumm/Hulm family that there be some kind of memorial to Cathy. The idea of a lighted cross came up, but it was agreed that it might not be appropriate in the historic St. Mary's Cemetery. Then the family agreed that a large wrought iron cross would be ideal for the cemetery, which is known for its iron cross grave markers that date back to the 1880s.

Krumm got ideas for the memorial by studying the iron crosses in the cemetery. He was drawn to three crosses that are outlined with iron.

"An idea just kind of popped into my head, and I went home, sketched it out and showed it to the other family members," Krumm explained.

He made the cross with two-inch square tubing that he outlined with one and a half inch square tubing.

"I put the metal in my homemade jig and rolled and twisted it into shape and then welded it all together," he said. The project took about three days to complete.

With the help of a company in Watertown, S.D., Krumm had the cross painted with a special paint that is sprayed on as a powder. First, the cross was sand-blasted to prepare the surface for the paint. An electrical charge was sent through the metal as the powder was applied; then, the cross was baked in a large oven.

"The paint and process we used should be good for at least 25 years," he said.

The cross has some intricate curly-cues and is outlined with small crosses. The cross arms measure nine feet.

In August, David brought the cross to the cemetery for the installation. Assisting were Duane Hulm, Duane Wald, Francis Krumm and Darek Wald. Duane Hulm suggested putting a gray retaining wall around the base of the cross, and he and Wald installed it.

The plaque for the memorial is a stainless steel Bible which Krumm and Delbert Schrum of Eureka Manufacturing made.

"I went to see Delbert to ask him how to make a Bible out of metal. He sketched it out, and a half hour later we had our Bible," Krumm said.

The stainless steel pages were engraved by a company in Aberdeen.

Krumm's wife, Barbara (Kauk), suggested mounting the Bible on a large rock. The family had a perfect rock which was several hundred feet from the farm where Gerald and Cathy and their family lived before high water forced them to move off the farm. Two generations of the family had played on the rock, starting with the children of Delores Hulm and the late Pius Hulm. When Gerald and Cathy raised their family on the farm, the kids liked to play on the rock.
An engraved stainless steel plaque rests on a rock at the base of the memorial cross. The rock is from the farm yard of the Hulm farm; a couple generations of Hulm children had played on the rock.

The Bible is now attached to the rock at the base of the cross.

Krumm said he sees a lot of symbolism when he looks at the cross. The retaining wall reminds him of Christ, the fortress, and the rock symbolized Christ, "our rock, our foundation," he said. The Bible is "God's word to us," and the pages of the Bible symbolize the Book of Life "where our names are recorded," and, of course, the cross itself reminds us of the price Christ paid for our lives, Krumm explained.

"We didn't envision how it turned out," Krumm reflected. "I can't explain why things fell together like they did, but that's the way it happened."

He said it was one piece of artwork he wishes he would not have had to make. "But I'm glad the cross turned out as it did. It is a work of love that I wanted to do for my sister," Krumm said.

Krumm said the wrought iron cross is not a shrine. "It is just a memorial, and I hope others find some comfort or inspiration in it," he said.

Costs related to the cross were shared by members of the family, Krumm said.

On behalf of the Krumm and Hulm families, David said they thank St. Mary's Church for giving the space in the cemetery for the memorial.

David and Barbara live in Eureka and farm in the Zeeland area. He graduated from Hague High School in 1974 and started custom harvesting right out of school.

The Krumms have four children: Jessica, 19; Sarah, 16; Rachel, 8; and Joseph, 4.
Father Leonard Eckroth dedicates the memorial cross at St. Mary's Cemetery after a Hulm/Krumm Family Mass was held Saturday afternoon at St. Mary's Church in Hague. David Krumm of Eureka, S.D., designed and built the cross in memory of his sister, Cathy (Krumm) Hulm, who died June 10. Mass Servers with Father Leonard are Brian Hageman, son of David and Ann (Krumm) Hageman of Hoven, S.D., and Lisa Hulm, daughter of Gerald Hulm of Strasburg and the late Cathy Hulm.
Pictured after the dedication on Saturday are David Krumm of Eureka, S.D., left, who designed and built the cross, and Eileen (Hulm) and Duane Wald of Hague, who were among those who helped with the installation and site preparation.

Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller