New Madrid woman's concern over damaged graveyard sparks investigation

New Madrid woman's concern over damaged graveyard sparks investigation
The small graveyard on Highway U sits on private land and it’s not it good shape. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The small graveyard on Highway U sits on private land and it’s not it good shape. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The Sheriff Department is talking to the land owner to see what exactly happened. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The Sheriff Department is talking to the land owner to see what exactly happened. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
Most of the graves in the Henry & St. Mary Cemetery date back over 100 years. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
Most of the graves in the Henry & St. Mary Cemetery date back over 100 years. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - In New Madrid County, Missouri there is unrest at one of their oldest cemeteries.

Rosa Langley said when she saw the destruction she had to speak up.

The small graveyard on Highway U sits on private land and it's not it good shape.

"It hurts me. It really does disturb me. To think that somebody would go in there and tear up a grave," Langley said.

The plot of land in the middle of a field off Highway U is hardly peaceful.

"Every time I go down Route U, I look at the graveyard and wonder who's exactly buried behind the concrete wall," Langley said.

Most of the graves in the Henry & St. Mary Cemetery date back over 100 years.

The oldest resident was born in 1814.

When Langley saw the damage, she took the information to the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department.

Now they are trying to find out how this happened.

The department is working with the county prosecutor to see what to do.

It's something the sheriff's department said they have never had to deal with before.

Langley said she would like to see the graveyard put back together.

"I would like to see them clean up as much as they can, put a wall back around it, and set up what tombstones they can, and pay a hefty fine," Langley said.

Langley said the graves are not something to be forgotten. That Eliza, John and Theresaa mattered, and so does their resting place.

"How would they feel if it was their grandparents, or their mother or father? It's against the law, but it's morally wrong," she said.

The sheriff's department is talking to the land owner to see what exactly happened.

They say they aren't sure if this will be a criminal or civil issue.

Known residents of the Henry & St. Mary Graveyard include:

  • Chamerlain, Daniel E. - 1834 - Oct. 20, 1876
  • Gray, William - 1822 - April 4, 1870
  • Henry, Ruby Lorene - No dates. Child of John E. & Ella Henry
  • Joiner, Millard R. - Feb. 7, 1851 - Dec. 1, 1894
  • Ransburgh, John - June 6, 1814 - Nov. 9 1872
  • Shank, Mary E. - Sept. 20, 1856 - Nov. 26, 1875
  • Shank, Tearessa - Sept 5, 1862 - Dec. 15, 1885
  • St. Mary, Stephen - 1830 - Jan.17, 1902, aged 72 years
  • St. Mary, Elizabeth J. - May 18, 1848 - April 17, 1881
  • Swift, Theresa - 1836 - May 29, 1901
  • Walker, Joseph - March, 1834 - Jan. 1, 1889

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