Stream cleaner recovers tombstone - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Butler County, MO

Stream cleaner recovers tombstone

Stream cleaner recovers tombstone
By: CJ Cassidy

Butler County, MO - You normally find tombstones in a cemetery, so how did one end up in the middle of the Black River?

That's exactly authorities in Butler County want to know.

"I was shocked to see it. You just never know what you're going to find," Brenda Powell says.

As a member of the Black River Stream Team, Powell thought she'd dug up just about everything, as she helped clean up Missouri's waterways.

That is, until she came across a tombstone.

"At first when I saw it, I didn't know what it was. I thought it might be witchcraft or something," Powell says.

A closer look helps explain Powell's confusion.

Apart from the name Georgia Jordon, and a date, the tombstone also bears a star inside a circle etched on to it.

Adding to the mystery, the acronym F.A.T.A.L.

"It's a Masonic Order symbol of the female sect which is the Eastern Star and the lettering on it stands for "Fairest Among Thousands, Altogether Lovely," Deputy Butler County Coroner Joe Chapman says.

He's taken on the task of tracking down the history behind the stone.

So far he's discovered through the State Department of Records, Georgia Jordon was born on May 25th 1887, and buried in the Morocco Cemetery in Butler County; close to where the tombstone was found.

Interestingly enough, it appears Jordon died on May 25th, 62 years to the day she was born.

Now, Chapman hopes vandals aren't to blame for the stone turning up in the Black River, and shares Brenda Powell's desire to return the stone to it's rightful owners.

The Morocco Cemetery no longer has a caretaker, so authorities ask you to call the Butler County Coroner's Office if you have any information you think might help.

That number is 1-573-785-8484.

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