A small country cemetery ( Part 2)

I have a passion for history. As I have mentioned in other posts that history can have many forms and is not always in the written word. The Davis monument is a beautiful form of history to take in if you are ever in the northeast part of Kansas.

Ok, I realize that this may not have been an item on everyone’s list of things to see but for me it a definete ☑️ on my “life list”.

A small country cemetery. (Part One)

I have a list.

A list of places I want to go, things I want to see, things I want to do. Now some call this type of list ” a bucket list “. I call my list – “life list”. I’m not planning on leaving this earth anytime soon but I have become more aware that life is for living and the moment is now. These lists, by the way, are often started later in life and after child rearing has been completed. This is the place in life I find myself today.

I try to keep my list realistic. Financially and physically realistic. My oldest daughter helped me to complete my first list item two years ago with a 19 mile bike ride through the Grand Canyon! It may sound like a simple list to some but I enjoyed those few days in Arizonia with my daughter and a memory to cherish. 

Some of my list items are within my own state. I live in Kansas and I can honestly say that I have not even see 1/4 of my home state. Which brings me back to my “life list”.

My youngest daughter lives in Minnesota. This summer I took a detour from the interstate on my way to visit her to travel a corner of northeast Kansas. This part of my home state is filled with luscious farms, trees galore, and rolling hills one after the other. ( if you have never traveled to Kansas then you won’t understand the excitement of hills )

Hiawatha, KS has all of the above along with a very unique country cemetery. It’s not the cemetery itself that is unique as it is ONE very unique monument within the cemetery.

The final resting place to John & Sarah Davis tells an amazing story or I should say the monument itself tells a story. 

Who are John & Sarah Davis? What is their story?

John and Sarah Davis were residents of Hiawatha in the early 1900’s. They were farmers as most residents of the town were at the time. The Davis couple, childless throughout their marriage, were laid to rest in the town’s cemetery. What is different about their final resting place is that John had the monument built from marble and stone imported from Italy after Sarah passed. Just by walking around it you can see the story of their lives together.

That’s not the entrance to the cemetery and that’s not the caretaker shed either. That is the final resting place for two residents of Hiawatha, KS by the names of John & Sarah Davis.

You can google their names and you will find many interesting stories and theories as to why John chose to build the monument. Before you do just take a moment to see the story for yourself below……

The History Keeper

We all like to share stories from our youth with people that we love. It is out of love that we share and save our own history, and admit it, we like to think we live on in those stories.

But would you be willing to save someone else’s story so it could be told? Would you show that story respect and honor? Would you be willing to do that for someone who lived more than a century before you?

I shared in a post a few months back about history is not always online or in books. What we must remember as we go forever forward with digital history is that the information in a book or on a website was once neither. It takes an individual or a group of individuals to record our history into books or onto a website.  This is about one such individual.

The history keeper is what I will call him for the sake of this story. The history keeper crossed my path when he ask if he could order some plain white crosses. Now selling plain crosses is something I don’t normally do. I completed his order and didn’t give it another thought. When he reached out and wanted to order more plain white crosses  I immediately thought “why”? .”what does he do with them”? When I pressed for an answer he shared his story with me.

His property is located in Smalltown USA. On his property was a cemetery that had all but disappeared.  How does an entire cemetery disappear?

It could be….. previous owners thought that the cemetery was a waste of land and used it       for pasture.

It could be …….previous owners did not want the responsibility of a cemetery.

It could be …….previous owners did not want their property ruined by curiosity seekers or teens looking to have a perfect Halloween party.

When the history keeper found one , and only one, of the original headstones from the  cemetery he too made a choice about the property. He placed the headstone back onto the cemetery site.

Susan J died April 10, 1877 aged 2 days
Ann M Pringle wife of R Pringle died April 8, 1877 aged 28 years

This is not where the story ends .

After placing the marker back on the cemetery site he groomed the entire area, planted trees, and purchased plain white crosses to put in the ground with each indentation he discovered.  As this restoration continued he bought more crosses for six more indentations discovered in the earth.
The history keeper has no idea who Ann Pringle was, why she and her baby were buried there. He does not know the names of the others buried there. What he does know is  taking a moment in time to preserve history is important. It is also the reason that somewhere in the future ,on a website , or in  written word, this story will be told.