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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Trustee hopes to make cemetery visible

Monday, August 3, 2009

Several grave markers lay on top of the hill located at County Road 1350 N., and 100 E., Brazil, an area Van Buren Township Trustee Paul Hackett hopes to clean up soon. [Order this photo]
Troubled by the lack of visibility at a local cemetery, a Clay County Township Trustee is hoping to spark action that creates a more respectful remembrance of fallen citizens.

Paul Hackett, Van Buren Township Trustee, is hoping to be in the remodeling process of Girton Cemetery, located off Knightsville Road.

Hackett said there are two primary problems with the cemetery.

The first problem he said was the difficulty one faces when trying to locate the cemetery from the road. Hackett said he was first alerted of the problems with the grounds by Trustee Board member Joe Mogan, and when he first went out to evaluate the level of desecration, he wasn't able to find it.

Hackett said there is no road leading into the cemetery, and patrons have to get there by walking up a hill.

"If you don't know where (the cemetery) is already, you are going to have a tough time finding it," Hackett said.

He added the lack of visibility is greatly aided by the second, and larger problem, which is the porous conditions of the cemetery itself.

A gravestone for Elias Stallcop and Mary Jennings Stallcop is one of several located on top of the hill at County Road 1350 N., and 100 E., Brazil. [Order this photo]
However, Hackett said once you enter the cemetery, the sites aren't particularly eye-popping, as several stones have been knocked over and are rotting away. He expressed displeasure in the conditions of the burial ground, saying it wasn't showing the deceased, which includes several Civil War veterans, the respect they deserve.

To combat this, Hackett is trying to start a clean-up project with various local citizens.

His first goal, he said, will be to try and get in touch with area scout troops hoping they would be available to assist him. If that doesn't pan out, Hackett said he would try to seek the aid of the historical society, saying he believed they would be interested in preserving the grounds.

Current plans have yet to take shape. Hackett says he is still trying to gather information about how such a project is to be set into motion, and that things are currently "in limbo."

Though there is a degree of uncertainty with the project at the current time, Hackett said he was very hopeful things would get going. He said it was a crucial project as being buried in such shabby conditions wasn't a respectful sendoff to all the people who have passed on.

"There are veterans (in the cemetery) that deserve our respect," Hackett said. "But most of all, it's respect for those who've gone before us."

Hackett hopes to get the project underway before the start of the cold weather season, but said he would be flexible to the schedules of any organization that was willing to help him.

He said the best way for anyone interested in lending a hand to get in touch with him was via e-mail at phakcettbrazil@aol.com.

He asked anyone who e-mails him to leave proper contact information.

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There is a lot of distruction at Cottage Hill too . Saw a mower topple a stone while I was there last year . The cemetary at 340 / 40 split has distruction too . No respect of the dead .

-- Posted by Schatsie on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 8:00 AM

I came back home to visit over the 4th of July week after many years away. I went to several cemeteries and was sickened to see, cottage hill,union cemeteries. They are in pathetic shape and those responsible should be ashamed and be made to clean up and upright tombstones. They are the resting places of loved ones and the last place we leave them on this earth and for no reason should they be allowed to look like they do.

-- Posted by stevesmarble on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 10:00 AM

The Phoenix project in Putnam county used to help with cemetery restoration as their staffing allowed.

-- Posted by tigger47834 on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 5:33 PM

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