|Click photo to enlarge
|The smokestack at the cement plant.
|Ruin walls of the cement plant
Mongtomery County, Kansas
Near Elk Reservoir, Near Elk Reservoir
Mongtomery County, Kansas
Lat: 37°16'28"N, Lon: 95°45'31"W
Independence Twp, SW-NE-SW of Sec 10
Contributed by Jo Anne DeGraffenreid, May 09, 2000 [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Total records = 18.
On a recent outing from Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas, to Elk Reservoir
in Montgomery County, we decided to see if we could reach the old LeHunt
town site. We finally succeeded with some detours and, driving beyond
the abandoned cement plant, discovered an old cemetery. This site is cleared
but in poor condition and has been vandalized. It appears that stones
have been deliberately overturned and broken and have been used for target
practice. Cans and bottles littered the ground. The most recent recorded
date on the stones that we were able to read was 1910.
This area, although on a wooded hillside, is swampy. Driving
into the area, we saw a large family of wood ducks swimming single-file
over and around rotting logs in the standing water which occurs on either
side of the road. The roadway is not maintained and illegal trash dumping
that has occurred over the years lends a rather blighted effect, particularly
at the time of year when leafless plants are withered and dormant
The once-thriving community of LeHunt had been fairly extensive, with
streets adorned with gas lights. Now it can only be discerned from overgrown
avenues of trees, broken sidewalks and foundations hidden by grass and
heavy brush. The cement plant walls (covered with generations of graffiti)
are still standing, from what must have been an enormous structure, and
the large, tall chimney or smoke stack that inspired our quest is a landmark
visible for some miles on the hill southeast of Elk Reservoir. The stack
is also in poor shape, with its days no doubt numbered.
The small cemetery must have been a lovely spot at one time. The stones
are assembled under now mature cedars and deciduous trees and the plots
have been planted with periwinkle or some type of ornamental creeping
vines that are still in evidence. There may well be other perennial flowers
that will appear later in the spring.
It was fairly late in the afternoon when we reached our goal. We were
on the shady side of the hill and the temperature was already beginning
to drop. The weather was unseasonably mild and mosquitoes were already
swarming. Because of this, and the poor condition of the road over which
we must return, we inventoried the readily visible stones as quickly
as possible and retreated to the vehicle, pursued by our tiny winged
friends-who would gladly have accompanied us home for supper!
I transcribed from the last reading of this cemetery, which was on
28 Feb 1999. This contains all existing headstones at that time.
- Jo Anne DeGraffenreid
Beathe, B. G., b. 25 Feb 1822, d. 12 Apr 1899, s/w W.M.
Beathe, W. M., b. 04 Jan 1870, d. 11 Oct 1889, s/w B.G.
Caldwell, Geneva C., b. 01 Jun 1856, d. 15 Mar 1910, 'Mother',
s/w Herbert D
Caldwell, J. W., b. 24 Oct 1825, d. 15 Apr 1891, Aged 65yr 5mo
21da, s/w Geneva
Hooper, Herbert Dean, Son of J.P. & E.J., 7yr 6mo 7da.
McCloud, E., no dates
McCloud, Frankie, b. 28 Jul 1893, d. 15 Nov 1902, Aged 9yr 3mo
17da, daughter of Wm & Ida
Murphy, "Son", b. 18 Jan 1857, d. 10 Mar 1881
Murphy, Benj., b. 14 Jan 1834, d. 07 Apr 1904, s/w Ellnora, Sydney
Murphy, Ellnora, b. 17 Feb 1858, d. 22 Jan 1875, s/w Benj
Murphy, Maud M., b. 25 Jan 1881, d. 27 Mar 1884, child of B. &
M. Murphy, s/w Minnie
Murphy, Minnie B., b. 11 Oct 1886, d. no date, child of B. & M.
Murphy, s/w Maud
Murphy, Sydney A., b. 17 Feb 1840, d. 21 Jan 1875, "His Wife"
Perkins, Daniel R., d. 14 Mar 1886, Aged 61yr 2mo 23da, Sacred
memory of our Father, s/w Mariah
Perkins, Mariah,, d. 31 May 1877, Age 50 yr 3 mo 15 da., Sacred
memory of our Mother, s/w Daniel
Randall, Anna M., b. 16 Aug 1857, d. 06 Nov 1896, s/w Laura
Randall, Laura Jane, b. 21 Jul 1891, d. 19 May 1893, d/o Anna M.,
Thompson, Eugene, d. 16 Jun 1886, Aged 26yr 8mo 7da.
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