June 19, 2020
Tracy Brookshier, Secretary
Although the many hours put into re-creating our missing plat-book where hot, my water bottle got warm, and I had to take a few breaks… it was fun seeing all the names, dates and inscriptions on all these tombstones. I am a weirdo and was having conversations with some, complementing their interesting names, telling them that we shared the same birthdays and above all praying that they can use their assumed other-world powers to help get the plat-book returned to us in good shape…and sooner rather than later.
This cemetery is very peaceful and luckily, the days that I had available to work on this project were not too hot and offered a nice breeze. My legs were most definitely sore from all the bending and squatting, but the serenity and quiet was very much enjoyable. I have two children under age 5 so I don’t get much quiet time, haha!
Any-who, enough about me. I had finally got all the tombstones logged and photos taken. Then I spent even more hours logging them into an excel spreadsheet, and IF they had a memorial ID on FindAGrave.com, I added the hyperlink to it. My ultimate goal is to have ALL tombstones uploaded to this website with photos, Section/Lot/Plot information and anything else relative. I think it is imperative to the growth of this cemetery to have as much information as possible available to the public. Additionally on that note; it also will hopefully help so that records can’t get lost in the future, or at least be easier to retrieve. Download the spreadsheet by clicking on “Bethany Cemetery Map” above.
The unfortunate part that I found when logging all this information on the spread sheet and linking to findagrave.com; was that I found quite a few memorials of people who I did not locate when I was on-site, and their obituaries clearly listed them as buried in Bethany Cemetery (I logged a total of 231 names on-site; findagrave.com has 260 on record). UHG. Yes, you know what that means. The tombstones are gone, buried, or who knows. This saddens me to my core; without that original plat-book, we have NO WAY of knowing where these souls are buried within our cemetery. We can make educated guesses considering we know where their family are laid to rest here; but that’s all it is… a guess. So on our extended adventure of cross referencing my records with findagrave.com we have supposedly 29 people laid to rest here with no tombstone. 😦
If you are a person that prays often, can I ask you to pray for the return of this plat-book? Please?!
Now, even though the recreation is technically “complete”. I noticed discrepancies between the stones and map. Of course not all of the stones are in perfect lines and some are hard to tell exactly which lot they fall into. It also seems like a lot of 4 plots seem to have 5 or 6 buried there… riddle me that? I would like to assume that maybe the ashes of one may be laid to rest with someone but again, without our plat-book we have no clue. I really took on a project here, but I can promise to any of you reading this; that this cemetery will not be ignored on my watch and I will do everything within my power to see us succeed in the upkeep into the extremely distant future.
The other board members, Carolyne (Conner) Puskas, and Patty (Turpin) Dortch have been a blessing to work with. Carolyne took on this venture along with many other concerned families back in 2015 when the cemetery was nearly abandoned, and she has made great progress. I found Patty through Ancestry DNA; we share the “Moore” family which is buried at Bethany and I conned her into serving on this board as well HAHA. 😉 We are working hard now to get everything uploaded to findagrave.com and are continuing to try and get the word out about our missing plat-book.
Lastly, as you will read on nearly every page of this website; we run purely off of donations and we barely receive enough to cover mowing maintenance. Any donations, any size are appreciated if you are able to assist. We hope to eventually become an endowed cemetery or a registered non-for-profit that will help us raise funds; but of course it takes money to get there. So for now we are praying on continued donations and trying to get creative with some fundraisers. Charles Stewart of Centralia, MO was a past board member who was last known to have our missing plat-book. He claims that someone took it and did not return it so we have no clue where it may be. Please help us in our search.
Good luck in your searching, we hope that this website and the new map helps and we will continue to work on ensuring Bethany Cemetery is taken care of as it should.