Remembering the Dead . . .
Written By: Lisa Schlichtman
Making sure the dead are remembered is one of the reasons Jack
Fly and Ted Roller have spent days pouring over pages of county
court records to find the names of Barry County paupers buried in
one of two Barry County Poor Farm cemeteries.
From the last quarter of the 19th Century through the mid-1950s,
many of Barry County's poor were buried in unmarked graves on
property located near the county's two poor houses.
"Back then, the county would bring poor and indigent people
to one place where they housed and cared for them," said
Fly. "A lot of these people were disabled and mentally
challenged, but those who were physically able actually farmed on
the property to help support themselves."
Fly, who is an active member of the Barry County Cemetery
Restoration Project, has taken on the challenge of identifying
those who were buried at these cemeteries because he would like
to have their names engraved on monuments that will be erected at
both cemetery sites.
"It is our goal to place a single monument at both
cemeteries to commemorate the burials of the paupers and poor of
our county who are buried there and so long ago forgotten,"
said Fly. "They lived in disrespect and they lie in
disgrace. It is time to right that wrong."
Fly was been joined in his research on the Barry County Poor Farm
cemeteries by Roller, a fellow genealogical enthusiast. Through
their research and efforts, both cemeteries were located.
The original cemetery, which dates back to 1874, is located in
the Mineral Springs area where the first Barry County Poor Farm
once stood. It is located on private property and was completely
unmarked. Fly was able to use dowsing rods to locate 28 unmarked
graves, and those graves were staked out, platted and
photographed for historic record.
The second Poor Farm cemetery is located on the hill behind the
Barry County Care Center, which was once known as the
The cemetery is fenced but has fallen into disrepair over the
past several decades. Recently, members of Cassville Boy Scout
Troop #76 were recruited to help clean up the site and more work
days will be scheduled in the near future.
Once the site is cleared of overgrowth, Fly will dowse for graves
and then stake their locations within the cemetery. Although
individual grave markers will not be erected, Fly said he would
like to see simple white crosses marking each grave site.
The Almshouse on County Farm Road was built in 1906 after the
poor farm in the Mineral Springs area fell into a deplorable
In addition to locating the original poor farm cemetery and
cleaning up the second, Fly and Roller continue to search county
and state death certificates and records to compile a list of
people who were buried in the Poor Farm cemeteries. To date, the
men have documented 29 burials at the Almshouse Cemetery.
The names of those buried there
include: Mrs. Frederick Schuman, died Sept. 20, 1911; John A.
Bowman, died Feb. 6, 1912; Harvey Martin, died Dec. 20, 1912; L.
Kirkpatrick, died Nov. 6, 1913; Mary
Jones, died Sept. 7, 1914
- death certificate has Sept. 6, 1910 as her
death date cause of death TB; George W.
Jackson, died Nov. 3, 1914; W. H. Crowe, died March 2, 1916;
Lillian May Wheeler, died March 3, 1916; Lottie Jane Shaffer,
died Feb. 10, 1917.
Isreal Grover, died Oct. 5, 1853; Samuel Harris, died May 27,
1919; Tressie Perkins, died Oct. 21, 1921; Ross Woodward, died
Oct. 27, 1924; Fannie Dodge, died Jan. 29, 1926; Henry Baker,
died April 18, 1928; Charles Williams, died Sept. 26, 1929; Tommy
Williams, died Oct. 19, 1929; Bartley Cook, died May 5, 1931; H.
E. Weber, died Jan. 28, 1932.
King Rhodes, died July 16, 1933; Edward Detty, died, July 16,
1933; John Perkins, died Dec. 6, 1933; Charles Foster, died June
8, 1935; John Wilson, died Sept. 29, 1935; Samuel Ellsworth, died
Nov. 2, 1935; George Wesley Pope, died April 13, 1939; infant
Hawk, died Dec. 5, 1940; Joel Alfred Martin, died Aug. 14, 1948;
and Audie Hayes, died Feb. 9, 1952.
Each of these names will be placed on a monument, which will be
erected at the Poor Farm cemetery sites. As more names are
uncovered, they will be added to the monument.
Currently, donations are being sought to pay for the two
monuments. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Poor Farm Memorial
Stone Project can mailed their donations to: The Barry County
Genealogical and Historical Society, P.O. Box 291, Cassville MO
65625. The notation on the check should read Poor Farm Memorial
"I want to get the nicest monument possible for the money we
can collect," said Fly. "I also want to list as many
names as we can document.
"I think everyone should have a monument," said Fly.
"It's your mark in the world to say you were here. I
think people should be remembered."
This one below was added by Jay
COOLEY, Golden Marie
Birth: Jan. 12, 1915
Cassville, Barry Co., MO
Death: Mar. 1, 1915
Cassville, Barry Co., MO
Research Note: Cause of death "not known, may have been
pneumonia, judging from history given." Father listed as
Linn(?) Cooley of Greenfield, MO. Mother listed as Amanda Lee
Ayers of Greenfield, MO. Informants were the father, and someone
with the last name Bayless, which may have been listed as a
Resource: Missouri Death Certificate