Tag Archives: cemetery

Huron Indian Cemetery, downtown Kansas City

I’ll readily confess my lack of enthusiasm when Jeanne, miles off in Missouri during one of our motor adventures of exploration, suggested we head in to Kansas City.    We’d had an interesting time, visited a 19th century school-church-cemetery, and Watkins Wool Mill museum.   We’d pulled into the urban hell surrounding the Jesse James Museum and farm, noted the $8 plus change fee for entry, and retreated as befits citizens who donealready seen and heard the endless yarns of the James-Younger gang.

But, there’s a nice book store, Prospero’s, we could visit if we wished, I figured.   And a Vietnamese restaurant I hungered for during the weeks I was across the street in the KU Hospital for the Not-Necessarily-Sane a few months ago as a consequence of a condition appropriately labelled, Guillam Beret Syndrome or something of that nature.

But Jeanne had cemeteries in mind.   Particularly the Huron Indian Cemetery sitting on prime development soil occupying an acre or so between the KC Police HQ and the KC Library.

 

Helena Conley – Floating Voice – Wyandotte National Burying Ground
“Cursed be the villain that molest their grave”
Eliza Burton Conley – departed this life May 28, 1946 – Attorney at Law – Only woman ever
admitted to the United States Supreme Court
http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

Turns out there are somewhere between 700 and 1000 graves in that acre of ground.    It’s been fought over by two branches of the tribe, one wishing to sell for development, or for a casino, the other wanting to hold it sacred as a burial ground.    Salivating developers spent nearly a century hoping if it were vandalized enough, if enough stones were lost, broken, stolen, they could build their offices, bars, porn shops, or fast food joints where those 1000 bodies lie.

200 here, 500 over there, 700 that way, the acre is Grand Central Station of the dead. http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

In service to their country
The William E. Connelley Survey of 1895-1896 indicates a large grave in
this area. By tradition, Union dead were buried in this part of the Huron Indian
Cemetery following the Battle of Westport, October 21-23, 1864. http://www.kansastravel.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

http://www.kansastrave
History of Wyandot
l.org/kansascitykansas/huronindiancemetery.htm

We didn’t go to Prospero’s, but we did have some great Vietnamese.    And we found a place I plan to return to sometime and sprinkle some tobacco around that acre of dead folks, just in case it matters.

But hell, that’s just me.

Old Jules

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Kansas City Star

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The KS Star gave Boy Scout merit badge hunters a gold star on Sunday.  Jeanne and I figured to visit the Union Cemetery, oldest one in KC, on Memorial Day just for the hell of it.  Then I saw the KC Star front page had Boy Scouts out decorating graves of veterans there.  And everyone using the words ‘Veteran’ and ‘Warrior’ interchangeably.

This isn't Union Cemetery, but you get the idea anyway.

This isn’t Union Cemetery, but you get the idea anyway.

As it happens a lot of  one-time Confederates are buried at the Union Cemetery.  Once a person gets into the spirit of putting flags on graves, might as well send the troop out with Confederate battle flags, too.  Most were one-time Confederates who died decades after the Great War of Secession, but there’s a monument over the mass grave of Confederate POWs who died in a prison camp near here.  That one got a forest of Confederate battle flags.

I say this with some authority, though we took a pass on the Memorial Day visit.  Went out there Sunday, Memorial Day Eve, instead.  Though most of the burying that’s ever going to be done there has already happened, 55,000 funerals seems plenty for most normal purposes.  And a surprising lot had flags sticking up from them courtesy of Boy Scouts.  Back in the heyday of Union Cemetery veterans had a lot bigger wars to get drafted into.

Likely as not somewhere out there the Boy Scouts put German flags on WWI Germans who fought in the Big one on the wrong side before migrating to the US.  Maybe even a few from WWII.

Because the only way past the post-WWII series of incomprehensible US military adventures in foreign lands with any hope of inspiring those Boy Scouts to enlist to buy a piece of one is to ignore the Wars and glorify the warriors.  Dead or alive.  Company clerks, regimental band trumpet players, helicopter mechanics.  All heroes, all warriors, all guilty of conspicuous courage without having to do a damned thing to demonstrate it to anyone.

If you’ve never done anything worth mentioning in your entire life and never will, visit your Army recruiter.  Gets you a flag on your grave after everyone’s forgotten everything else about you.

A lot of old US Veterans have to be getting a lot of secret laughs about this in the privacy of their home bathrooms before they hoist their trousers, pluck their galluses over their shoulders, and carefully place their cammy ball caps with VETERAN over the visor onto their gray pompadours.

Old Jules

 

 

Post-Pyramidial and Post-Mass-Grave grave concerns

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates.  However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere.  A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates. However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere. A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

Hi readers:

The grave markers depicted here are located in the Olathe, Kansas, Desoto, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas [Oak Hill] cemeteries.  Lawrence is probably best remembered for the Quantrill raid and massacre of the men and boys of the town slaughtered by Quantrill’s Irregulars during the Civil War.  The town was burned to the ground and most of those killed are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in a mass grave.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here.  Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc.  I'm guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another.  However, Jeanne tells me this one is a 'deaf person' sign.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here. Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc. I’m guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another. However, Jeanne tells me this one is a ‘deaf person’ sign.

cable grave

This stone and the one below have been selected by geographers to serve a dual-purpose. Initially they both merely marked the location of buried telephone cables, as noted on the orange tape. But later circumstance conspired to make them useful as markers for human burial locations as well.

Phone cable memorial marker

Limestone or marble markers are probably inexpensive, but they are prone to become unreadable in a century, century-and-a-half. The stone dissolves in acid rain, accumulates lichens and moss, and break more easily than granite, steel, or wood of most types. This is unworthy of concern unless the people placing the stone intend the grave to be identifiable over a period longer than a few decades.

bookout

A person who went through life being called by the name, King David Bookout, probably won’t object to large granite stone sitting above him a few centuries afterward. Nothing any stranger says while looking at the stone generations later is likely to be original. It all got said while he was alive.

sitar or oud teachout

Patricia Ann evidently played the oud or sitar during her life and someone considered it enough a part of her to be noted on the stone. The name Teachout would be less intriguing if the grave were located further from that of King David Bookout. A Bookout buried 50-100 feet from a Teachout seems more coincidence than needed in death.

Finding a purpose in death isn't necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life.  Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Finding a purpose in death isn’t necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life. Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family.  Probably it's actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family. Probably it’s actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

Here's an example of what happens to limestone when it's utilized as burial marking material.  Fortunately there's nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Here’s an example of what happens to limestone when it’s utilized as burial marking material. Fortunately there’s nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: "She never met an animal she didn't like."

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: “She never met an animal she didn’t like.”

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

If those people killed in the Quantrill raid had survived they might have accomplished great things.  Some might have been able to be part of the Wounded Knee incident.  As the song says, “Only the good die young.”

Old Jules

The TimeWarpVille Saga – Junction, Texas Cemetery

A robe that’s so wooly it scratches

Hi readers.  I don’t recall when I first discovered the joys of hanging out in cemeteries.  I don’t remember ever not doing it.  Somewhere back there I discovered that old cemeteries, tombstones and the ways individuals choose to remember their dead tells a lot about the communities, the local histories and priorities.

Vandalism’s a problem in a lot of the older graveyards, has been for a considerable while.   But up-keep of some of the older graves where the families have died or moved away also reveals itself.

A visitor’s left to mull over how those folks standing beside the hull of someone they cared for enough to construct this managed to forget so completely.  A few generations, a few wars, depressions, and something went away.  Every cemetery in the US, probably in the world, has a lot of graves of 1918 flu victims.  Frequently they’re all grouped together, but this one’s not arranged in that way.

The Junction cemetary has 50-100 graves of Confederate Civil War veterans, mostly marked by government-provided stones, each with a Confederate Battle Flag, Confederate flag, or Texas Confederate flag.

A dozen-or-so Texas Rangers are also buried here.  Most were also Confederate veterans.

I’m wondering whether this one mightn’t have been a relative of Sherrod Hunter, commander of the troops that occupied Tucson.  The world was a smaller place back then.

Not necessarily in that order

Sometimes the survivors had the stones marked with the life experiences of the dead they considered most important, sometimes the nicest things they could think of so say about them. 

Sometimes just the way the dead wished to be remembered.

But Junction people have another, more visible way of remembering their dead.  This one’s nearer the center of town.  Almost certainly a lot of those antlers were contributed by people now residing in the cemetery.  Thrilling moments of their lives, or mundane moments in hard times, bringing home meat for the table.

Old Jules