Annual Meeting Scheduled For BCCPG, INC! The 2013 Annual Meeting for the Benton County Cemetery Preservation Group will be held on March 9, 2013 at 9:00 am at the headquarters of the Benton County Historical Society, 306 NW 2nd St., Bentonville, AR. Please plan on attending this important occasion as there will be the nominating and election of new officers and board members. We appreciate your continued support!BCCPGLogo_REV 11-27-2011

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Recent Oklahoma Visits Yield Both Positive And Negative Results

I’ve recently made a couple of trips to Delaware Co., OK and have discovered some interesting burial places with the help of a few friends.  On one of our trips we were hunting for the Thompson Family Cemetery.  I had previously tried to locate this and tried to find it and was unsuccessful.  So I got together with a local resident and we went gravin’ together.  What we uncovered was another Thompson Family Cemetery!

Thompson Family Cemetery 2

Grave of Robert Henry Franklin Thompson

I decided to call it Thompson Family Cemetery 2 since there was already another Thompson Family Cemetery.  Since we were so close, we went to take a look at the Scales Cemetery.

The Scales Cemetery

We still had yet to discover the other Thompson Family Cemetery, but we decided to research it and try another day.  We headed to another location.  The Teehee Family Cemetery is one that I had been looking for and was a major interest of mine because the stones there were all in Cherokee.  On this day we were lead right to the site of the cemetery, but to everyone’s surprise there were no stones there.  The gentleman told us that all of the stones that were left were leaning against a tree and that now they are gone.  This is what was left…

The Teehee Family Burial Site

Only Possible Marked Burial in Teehee Family Cemetery

The visit to Teehee ended our activity for this day.  However, a few days later we came back and found the Thompson Family Cemetery that we had been searching for.

Thompson Family Cemetery Gate

Grave of Joseph C Thompson

While research has yet to be done, there most likely is a connection between this Thompson family and the other Thompson family.  Both cemeteries are in close proximity.

The following are a few other interesting area cemetery I have recently visited.

Buchanan Cemetery

Ezekiel Fields Cemetery

Grave of Ezekiel Fields

Henry Scraper Burial Site

Olympus Sign, One Humongous Cemetery!

Of course, many more cemeteries were visited during the excursions in Delaware County.  More will be posted later.










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A Day Well Spent

I got up pretty early this morning and decided to go cemetery spelunking with Wilma and Judy, my partners in crime.  After picking up Wilma in Rogers we headed out past War Eagle to look for the Edens Cemetery.  We had GPS in hand and finally found the correct road.  It wasn’t long after that we found the Edens Cemetery.  This small cemetery was on land once owned by Rex Spivey.  Here is a picture of it:

Crossview of the Edens Cemetery

The cemetery was surrounded by an electric fence probably to keep the cattle out.  But obviously, it wasn’t enough to keep the deer out.  You could see where they bedded down.  Here are some other pictures of the stones we found:

Grave of Deneshia Edens

Grave of Austin Brown

Footstone of a grave

These photos are just the “tip of the iceberg” of the photos we took during the day.  We attempted to find a couple of other cemeteries and found the area, but were unsuccessful in finding them.  Those cemeteries were the Townsend in Washington Co., AR and the Rock Church Cemetery, and the Old Best Cemetery.  Those will have to wait until another day.

We did however visit the Rambo Cemetery, Austin Cemetery, Martin Cemetery (Larue) and the Upper Clifty Cemetery.  All them were very interesting!

Ofcourse, we did stop at War Eagle, AR since we were in the area!

War Eagle Mill

It was definitely a day well spent!

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Hastings Cemetery in Gentry, Arkansas

Living in Gentry, AR often provides me with plenty to do when it comes to the preservation of cemeteries.  I’ve been living in Gentry off and on for the past 20 years and learned about the Hastings Cemetery several years ago.  However, until recently I never seemed to have the time to find it and assess it.  Finding it was easier than I thought.  A person at our local library told me where it was and told me about the owner.  So I contacted the owner and went to meet her.  She was a very nice lady and she told me that the cemetery was in a field “right over there.”  So I went “right over there” and took the following pictures:

An overview of the Hastings Cemetery

Another view...

Next, I took some pictures of the stones…

Wm C. Hastings

Nancy M. Hastings

Mary A. Hastings

A few years ago, somebody visiting the graveyard decided to place a plaque.

Plaque explaining the history of the Hastings family

It mentions on this history plaque that those buried here are descendants of Henry Hastings and Mary (Word) Hastings.  They are buried in the Bethel Cemetery, near Gravette, AR.

Henry C. Hastings & Mary (Word) Hastings
Bethel Cemetery, near Gravette, Arkansas

There is another Hastings cemetery in nearby Decatur, Arkansas next to highway 102 west. However, there are no stones.  They may or may not be related to the above Hastings family.  And they may be Civil War soldiers according to local people in Decatur.   In any event, cemeteries, marked or not, add to the rich history of Benton County, Arkansas!

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Interesting History in the Johnson Cemetery, Delaware Co., OK!

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  And so I took advantage of it and went out to get started on some of the many cemeteries that I need to photograph in Delaware Co., OK.  It is a big job and it will take awhile, but will be worth the effort in the long run.

Johnson Cemetery is a beautiful cemetery in West Siloam Springs, OK and is well-cared for.  It has a lovely sign.

Johnson Cemetery Sign

It is believed that the Johnson Cemetery was started by the Proctor family and is also known by that name.  You will find several Proctor family members buried in the cemetery, including the infamous Ezekial Proctor.

Ezekial Proctor Stone

Close-up of the stone

His military marker

...And his Trail of Tears plaque

There is much information about Ezekial “Zeke” Proctor and I was able to adquire a couple of pictures of him and some of his family.

Ezekial Downing Proctor

"Old Zeke"

Zeke Proctor had triplets...Linnie, Willie, and Minnie

Of course, I didn’t spend all of my time taking pictures of just the Proctor graves.  Even though they were interesting enough, I took photos of other less known people.

Cleo Gardenhire

Jeffrey Lee Burrough
14 Oct 1983 - 20 June 2009

This next stones shows how creative some will get just to mark a grave when money is hard to come by.

Unreadable...but interesting!

All in all, I took 264 photos of the cemetery and still have over half to take in order to finish the cemetery.  If you would like to help, just contact me and I’ll put you to work taking pictures!

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Get-together at Gill Cemetery in Van Buren, AR!

The morning was crisp and a little on the chilly side.  I got up bright and early at 5:00 am and got ready for the cemetery outing in Van Buren.  I had to meet my ride at 7:30 and as usual I was lagging behind.  However, I managed to get on the road at 6:40 am after cleaning some frost off of my windshield and battling the fog along the way.

I got to my destination in Springdale and soon my ride showed up and we headed to Van Buren for the get-together.  This was a planned outing to take pictures of stones in a fairly good-sized cemetery.  With more than 4700 graves, I imagined it would take us awhile to finish it. However, after we arrived I seen that we had plenty of help and that it was not going to take as long as I thought.

I was able to meet several key people in the Arkansas Gravestones project and meet several new people who are volunteers like myself.

Entrance sign for Gill Cemetery

Overview of Gill Cemetery

Another overview of Gill Cemetery

It was very neat to finally put faces with names and the outing was very enjoyable.  But then came the work of photographing the stones.  There was quite a few interesting stones.  Here are a few of my favorites:

My section included the infant section and since this stone had a picture, I had to get a close-up of this cute little girl.


And some got really creative with the stones for their loved ones.

Cute teddy stone for an infant

Ofcourse, having a big interest on “anything” Cherokee, when one of the co-volunteers showed me a military stone for someone who was in the Civil War in the Cherokee Regiment I had to have a picture of it.

Francis Kirk
Co J 1 Cherokee
Mid Vols

This Francis Kirk served in a regiment under Brigadier General Stand Watie.  His commander apparently was Bluford West Alberty.  The particular regiment was organized on October 4, 1861 and the muster date was June 15, 1862. Francis Kirk’s Confederate record indicates that he served as a Private.

After all was said and done, I took about 271 pictures at the Gill Cemetery.  I was pleased with how most of them turned out.  However, some are not that great and I think they will have to be retaken.  But that is another trip.

We finished our day having lunch with all of the volunteers.

Lining up to eat...yum yum!

After eating, some finished up their sections in this cemetery.  Others headed off to another cemetery even bigger than this one.  We headed home.

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A Piece of History Needing Some Attention

About 7 miles east of Siloam Springs, AR just off Chamber Springs Rd is a small cemetery that if you were not aware of its existence you probably would not even notice it from Highway 412.  It is called the Carter Cemetery.  It is also referred to as the Story Cemetery, but the most accurate name is Carter.

When the writer and his mother visited the cemetery in 1996, the cemetery was not fenced and cattle were allowed to freely roam all over it, causing many of the stones to get broken.

A couple of months ago, Dorothy, Bill, and I visited the cemetery.  Bill and I walked up to the cemetery where the stones are located.  It is said that the cemetery is much bigger than it looks and that its true boundaries are different.

Here are a few photos for you to observe what we saw:

William Carter

R.R. Carroll

M.W. Story

Mary Story

Mary E. Carter

Lucy B. Warren

Footstone for Lucy B. Warren

Elija N. Warren

Elbert Carter

There are most likely other graves in the cemetery which are unmarked.

This cemetery is just one example of many others throughout the county which need some tender, loving care.  It would be so neat to have somebody adopt this cemetery and take care of it.

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