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My husband, David, and I have done restoration work in Round Point Cemetery, near the town of Agency, in Wapello County, Iowa since 1997. We always use the cleaners and procedures recommended by the Association for Gravestone Studies. I also take pictures and document our work, and I will eventually put copies of the documentation on file with our local genealogy society and the Association for Gravestone Studies. In the years to come if the stones should fall into disrepair again, it is my hope that these pictures will let researchers see what their ancestors' stones looked like. |
The original records for Round Point were destroyed in a fire many years ago. As we work, we compare the writing on the stones to the reading of the cemetery done by Miles and Helen Bacon in January of 1971. Miles and Helen did a very thorough reading and carefully documented any discrepancies they noted with the WPA readings done prior to 1940. Their documentation has been invaluable to us as we work. As we have cleaned the stones, we have noticed some differences in the carvings and the Bacon's notations. Some of the stones had been so coated with layer upon layer of lichen that letters and numbers had filled in and appeared differently than when the lichen was removed. I have also noted any discrepancies with my documentation.
I have also researched the history of some of the people whose stones we worked on, and I have corresponded with several families. I will post my pictures on any memorials that do not already have pictures on them, and if we worked on the stone, I will tell about our work in the caption - just click on the picture to read it. If anyone has any questions or wants any further information about the work that we did on a stone, please feel free to let me know.
When I started working on genealogy in the late 1970's, I discovered that many of my ancestors were buried in Round Point. Upon visiting the cemetery, the thrill of discovering their graves was quickly replaced by sorrow at the condition of their final resting place. The grave site of my 3rd great-grandparents William & Susannah Dimmitt and their family was particularly deplorable. All but two of the stones were on the ground and could be seen only by crawling around in a mass of overgrown trees, poison ivy, and brush. They were so dirty and discolored, the carving on them could barely be read.
The grave sites of my 3rd great-grandparents John & Nancy Bedell and 2nd great-grandparents, Caleb & Mary (Bedell) Miller, were also a sad sight. John's stone was broken out of its base and was lying on the ground. The top was broken off of Caleb's stone and both parts of the stone were lying on the ground, partially buried in the dirt and grass.
I was saddened by the situation, but I had no idea what to do. Twenty years went by. In the summer of 1997, Indian Hills Community College offered a short course on gravestone repair, taught by Beverly Bethune. We took the class and learned many basic steps for cleaning and repairing gravestones. Our text book was, "A Graveyard Preservation Primer," by Lynette Strangstad.
Heartened by our newly-learned knowledge, but leery of the job ahead, we tentatively started work on William and Susannah Dimmitt's grave site in July 1997. Shortly after our work began, we realized that while our class had taught us many of the basics, there were many things that we did not know how to do. Our textbook was a help; however, many times we just had to explore our options and use our best judgement. Sometimes we would discuss our options for repairing a stone for several weeks before we would proceed. On a few stones, we waited for two or three summers before making a final decision. These decisions are noted with each stone's documentation, and it is our sincere hope that our work proves durable over time.
We had originally intended to repair my family's stones only. However, as we worked that first summer, we found ourselves repairing the other stones in the area. After three summers of work we were finished with my family's stones and those who were buried close by. By that time, we were feeling more confident of our abilities and had found this was an endeavor we really enjoyed. We asked for and received permission from the Cemetery Trustees to continue working on the cemetery's gravestones. Through the years, we have also bought new gravestones for three people who had never had a stone and replaced two stones that were damaged beyond repair.
For anyone who comes to visit the graves of their ancestors, it is our hope that you will be pleased with the appearance of the stones. As we work, we treat each stone as if it was marking the grave of our own ancestor. I would enjoy hearing from anyone who has any additional facts concerning their ancestors that they would like to have me add to my documentation of the cemetery or this web-site.
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|Messages left for djtruitt (245)||[Leave Message]|
|Sandra Burtness||Shaul Cemetery|
Thank you so much for the Pool photo. I have had 2 more Shaul requests up for awhile. My requests don't seem to be picked up. If you go again could you maybe do those. One is my Uncle Norman Hendricks, and would really like to have it. Thanks again for your time.
|cfenters||Oliver P. Loveless #96487814|
Thank for your message. I do know of the familysearch.org site and have used it many times. I tend to use it more for group searches on my main families. Loveless was mt great-grandmother's maiden name. There were many Loveless here in Indiana - some migrated on to Illinois and Iowa. I have not found a tie yet to Oliver and his father Ira. I read your bio with great interest. I have read accounts of cemeteries near me having been cleaned up and stones repaired. If I were younger and more agile, I know its something I would like to do. I've only been into genealogy for the past 10 years and jumped into it with both feet. I have always loved listening to my parents tell stories about their childhood. I never had any grandparents around. Each of my grandfathers lived a few states away and I only met them a couple of times. They died before I was ten years old. I did have a grandmother that lived long enough for me to get to know and visit and a great-grandmother, who lived near us and whom we visited often. When I was 6 or 7, she had to go into a nursing home and we were not allowed to go inside. I feel like I missed out on a lot by note having grandparents around. For my grandkids, I've been the grandmother they stayed with when they were sick and could not go to school and Mom & Dad had to work or when school was out and Mom & Dad had to work. I loved having them around. The kids spent a lot of summer days with us when they were too old for a sitter and too young to be left alone. Those were fun times for me also.
Anyway, I have added Oliver's death date to his memorial. Thank you for all the work you have done in the name of genealogy!
Added by cfenters on Mar 29, 2015 6:09 PM
|Doris Jaques Bair||Raymond Benjamin|
Thank you for your help on photographing
the headstone. It always helps to make sure we have all the correct information.
But appreciate your help very much!!
Doris and Charlie Bair
|Jenny Zaver||Dickerson Family|
Thanks so much for all the info of my husbands great grandpa!
|JMGenther||For Thomas and Indiana Hall|
Thank you for taking those photos, I really appreciate it!
|Lynn Demytruk||Huff 's|
Thanks for the pictures for Robert Grover, Myra Ann and Laura J.
|William Croghan||Manro Family|
Debbie,,,i added all the Manro's that u found in the cemetery...thanks so much
|John Bracchi||Davidsavers at Calvary|
Thanks for the help with the photos. All concerned are elated.
Added by MFC on Mar 18, 2015 9:11 PM
|Cherie J McNaul||Mahla Fisk Moffet|
I am a direct descendant through Henry Charles Fisk, Edward Curtis Fisk Sr's older brother. Mahla, is actually spelled Mahala. so names after Henry and Edward's mother Mahala Kemp. (see christening records & James Wesley Fisk's memoirs on my family tree at Branches In Time, ancestry.com user id: CherieMcNaul66)
Does anyone have photos of these men? I have yet to find their photos on line yet. I would so like to see what Henry and Edward looked like. They apparently were quite the wanderlust kind of fellows.
Me - Daniel Boone Fisk / Alfred Grubb Fisk / Daniel Bacon Fisk / Laura Charity Fisk (Marshall Bacon) / Henry Charles Fisk / Richard & Mahala Kemp Fisk.
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