Bethany Cemetery Association
Bethany Cemetery has had family laid to rest since the early 1800’s. In 2015 a group of concerned families got together to speak about how the cemetery was being handled; grass was higher than the hips and bills were not getting paid. This group worked hard to get the cemetery cleaned up and issued an update to Charles Stewart, the only known board member at that time, in hopes they could join forces to ensure that the funds are raised to keep the maintenance up.
From our understanding, Mr. Stewart was handed down the cemetery plat book and duties from his parents and in 2016 when he was invited for the new board members to be sworn in they had asked that he bring with him the plat book. Unfortunately, he did not come and when he was contacted again, we were told that someone had borrowed it and not returned it. We have yet to receive the original plat book after many attempts to find out who it was lent out to.
WE ARE OFFERING A $400 CASH REWARD FOR THE SAFE RETURN OF OUR PLAT BOOK!
Bethany Cemetery is a small cemetery right off HWY 54 in Louisiana on HWY UU. It has over 280 people laid to rest and a little over half of the cemetery’s 32 lots are occupied.
The re-creating of our missing plat book is time consuming but necessary if we want our cemetery to flourish again. Those laid to rest in our cemetery can be found on findagrave.com, if you have any interest in family history, this is a very valuable site. We have spent much time attempting to “re-create” our plat-book from the only map we had on file. Once we had everyone logged and started to cross-reference with findagrave.com, we came to find that we have 47 missing people. This means we have record of them being laid to rest there (death certificate/obituary, etc.) but can not locate a stone for them. This is just another HUGE reason why we are so eager to retreive our missing plat-book. We want to honor these people but can not properly do so until we know where they are located.
Since our original plat-book still has yet to be retrieved, we are doing our best to re-create it. It’s last known whereabouts was with Charles Stewart of Centralia whom has family laid to rest in the cemetery as well. If you happen to know or find this plat book, we hope you to return it to our cemetery association as it has all of the records regarding the cemetery that are invaluable.
If you own plots within Bethany Cemetery it is imperative that you contact us so that we can be made aware and properly record your deed.
Bethany Cemetery is a very small, non-endowed cemetery that is not currently a registered not-for-profit either, which makes it difficult for our cemetery association to raise funds to keep this cemetery going. We have gracious donors each year who send in what they can to help us with the cemetery maintenance, and without those donors we aren’t really sure where we would be right now. Those donors have family laid to rest and want to ensure their family’s final resting places are taken care of; and that is our duty to ensure it is; not only as board members, but because it would be immoral of us not to especially considering that we have family laid to rest there as well.
This responsibility is especially difficult when those donations barely cover mowing expenses so we are trying to come up with ways to help raise funds so that we can ensure the cemetery does not end up abandoned as it nearly was in the recent past. Our board has worked very hard to get Bethany back to where it is but unfortunately, there is not too much extra that we can do without funding.
We encourage those with family buried there to make a donation of any size to assist in the upkeep and beautification of it. If you are unsure, please visit Bethany Cemetery on findagrave.com to find a listing of nearly all who are laid to rest there. Check it out using the link at the end of this post. You can also visit our Bethany Cemetery Map here on our webpage.
If you haven’t learned your family history yet, I encourage you to start looking. This is how I came about finding this cemetery, and found three relatives that I did not even know existed; if it wasn’t for their tombstones, I don’t think I ever would have known. If we don’t take care of our family that is laid to eternally rest here; who will? What will become of our great grandparents and descendants final resting place?
Thank you to all of those who got us to where we are today and for those that will help us in the future. If you would like to be on our direct mail and/or email list for notifications and information, please reach out to me anytime. Lastly, visit our facebook page “Bethany Cemetery” as we share updates and memorial/grave information as well that could assist with family history research.
Tracy Burnett Brookshier
Bethany Cemetery Association, Secretary
P.O. Box 51, Bowling Green, MO 63334
Alice Niles created a book and logged Bethany Cemetery back in 2010. She is working on a new updated version after we have worked together to update it with the information we now have. Download the old version that has our notes for updating on it below: