Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Muddy Cemetery

While on our family history trip through northern Missouri in May, we visited Pattonsburg - a very small community located just off Highway 35, kind of in the middle of nowhere!  Our goal for this stop was to visit the Muddy Cemetery which is where James and Mary Carpenter were buried.  I had located this little cemetery using mapquest, but we stopped in Pattonsburg to confirm that our directions were correct.

In spite of its small size, Pattonsburg prides itself on its genealogy society, "The Pattonsburg Tree Climbers."  Our stop at that little store front on Main Street was rewarded with discovery of this brief notice in the Pattonsburg Call newspaper:

March 28, 1916
"James Carpenter, of St. Joseph who was a resident of this place along in the early 80's was a very pleasant caller at this office [newspaper office], Friday afternoon.  His wife had died a day or two before and he brought her remains to Santa Rosa for burial."

It was exciting to see an ancestor's name noted in an old document, and to realize that he really had been in the area.  In addition, the simple explanation "probably at Muddy" added in someone's handwriting at the end of the article confirmed that we were on the right track.

The locals we visited with at the genealogy society sent us on our way with directions to the cemetery which included instructions to follow the "Santa Rosa blacktop"  which I finally figured out was the paved road that runs to Santa Rosa - a neighboring community that doesn't really exist anymore.   A couple of dirt roads and several turns later brought us to the cemetery located right at the top of a hill.  

And in the first row of graves, just left of the arch, we were delighted to find these stones:

Mary A. Parker Carpenter
September 20, 1863 - March 21, 1916

James Buchanan Carpenter
1856 - 1941

 We all felt a little sad to see that Grandpa Carpenter had such a plain and deteriorating stone marking his grave.  I hope to find out how we can have a nicer headstone placed at his grave.

This little cemetery really was a jackpot for us, as we found many more family graves that we didn't even know we were looking for!  Those discoveries will come in a future post.