Ray County, Missouri
Although Union Cemetery continues to be a much-used burial place with well-kept grounds, a written record of burials had never previously been compiled before 1978. Because of an interest in my husband's family history & inquiries from others pursuing genealogy, we began the project of copying the inscriptions in the summer of 1978.
Unfortunately, many older stones were virtually unreadable, some were broken, & several graves were never marked. Therefore, this listing cannot be complete. The stones that were readable have been checked & rechecked, & the list has been read by several members of the community familiar with pioneer families to insure accuracy in so far as possible. In addition, persons known to have been buried in Union Cemetery with headstones missing or graves unmarked are listed on page ix of the Appendix. (There are other Union Cemeteries including one in Kansas City & another near Orrick, creating confusion when obituaries are not specific.)
Several groups & individuals cooperated in the 1978 reading, & their help was deeply appreciated. Union Church's Youth Endeavor (including Ross & Cindy Akers; Denise & David Baker; Jana & Shirley Easley; Sherri, Mike, & Kristi Grove; Kim Kimball; Mike Letcher; Ted & Barbara Meeks; Cherie Tucker; & Margie Baker, co-sponsor) canvassed much of the cemetery copying inscriptions & measuring the grounds. Also, my family (Bob, Sherri, Mike, & Kristi Grove) spent many additional hours copying & checking stones & proofreading copy. The Family Tree Climbers of Lawson (especially Ruby Martin & Letha Knoch) checked much of the Info with their recently developed index of obituaries from the Lawson Review. Most of the valuable Info on pages ix-xiv came from their research. Other proofreaders included: Okel & Lena Bowers, Raymond Grove, Betty Helm, Elsie Nolker, & Jim & Vena Nolker.
Without the assistance from those mentioned & many others, this collection would have been extremely difficult to complete & certainly much less accurate. It is still possible I may have unintentionally overlooked a stone while walking the cemetery to update my records in 1999. To double-check burials, I save obituaries & would have missed one stone had I not called the family for Info.
To paraphrase an anonymous proverb, this preservation of tombstone history is dedicated to those who realize that cemeteries are truly meaningful NOT because there was DEATH but because there was (& IS) LIFE!
Mrs Bob (Dorothy) Grove
37019 Highway D
Polo, MO 64671
Alphabetical Listing of
Tombstone Inscriptions from Union Cemetery
Ray County, Missouri (1850-1998)
These inscriptions are listed alphabetically by surnames & then by first names. Since several family members often appear on one stone & are therefore included in the same entry in this book, it is impossible for this list to be in exact alphabetical order.
For the benefit of those who might wish to visit Union Cemetery, the approximate location of each grave is indicated by Row & Section. (For this purpose, the cemetery has been divided into four imaginary sections, A-D, as shown by the map on page i of the Appendix. The front quarter section of approximately 100 feet is A; the back section is D.) The rows (numbered 1-42 with Row 1 on the east & 42 on the west) run north & south, but not always in straight, evenly spaced lines. (The Appendix section Inscriptions Listed by Row is useful when searching for an older stone & also for locating adjacent family members.)
Inscriptions that were difficult to read are followed by a question mark or by a notation to that effect (to alert the reader that the stone may have been misinterpreted). Unengraved dates are designated by a notation also. If reliable sources have indicated that a person with an unengraved death date was still living in 1999 or was buried elsewhere, such Info has been included.
Deaths & Obituaries: Newspapers 1690-Present