Paying our dues with respect
It was 1860 and Alvin Moore borrowed $2,000 from his daddy to buy 147 acres
just o the Big Highway six miles north of New Madrid. Alvin was only twenty-six
years old, but he had already buried two wives. Now married for the third time to
Adeline Lee, Alvin was setting up a new household. Alvin and Addie’s farm grew
to 505 acres and would be called “Walnut Grove,” due to the stand of walnut trees
planted in a grove where the original house was built. Just behind the big house
they laid out the family graveyard. Sadly, the cemetery was used early and o en.
By 1887 Alvin Moore had buried his wife Adeline and four of their ve children.
Life was hard.
Recently the Moore family graveyard has been the focus of the farm’s present
owner, Tom Moore Root. e challenge has been to nd out who was buried there.
Although there were six legible headstones, Root thought that there were other
members of the family might be buried there also. Root said that the Moore family
historian, Mary Moore Daugherty of Sikeston, came to his rescue by providing him
with a list of other family members known to have been buried on the farm. Her list
was compiled from newspaper obituaries and the old-time funeral notices that were
printed on heavy paper cards. Both sources indicated another six burials in the
cemetery, though no headstones have been found. Based upon his research Root
recently placed at the cemetery a small concrete monument with a metal plaque
listing the names and dates of those buried there. While Root admits the possibility
of others being interred there, currently there is no way of knowing who they are.
e work that Root has done on his farm raises the question of what can be
done with other old graveyards in the county. ere are several family plots nearby
Root’s farm mostly overgrown and neglected. Ideally these cemeteries could be
identi ed, cleaned-up and reasonably maintained, as an e ort that would show re-
spect for our ancestors who built this Missouri garden spot. But permission and
consideration for the current property owners is necessary, as many of these old
graveyards are located on land now owned by people who are no kin to the people
buried there. Root says that he’s already looking at another family cemetery a mile
due west of his farm, called the Knox Cemetery.
Mr. Tom Root kneels beside the memorial plaque that lists the names
of those buried in the tiny grave plot located in the middle of a large field north of New
Madrid just west of Ristine on US Highway 61.
Lady Eagle Mary
Clara Hayes snags
one for an out
against Dexter this
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New Madrid, Missouri Friday, April 12, 2013 Number 15
Photo by • Rev. Eric Mattson
705 Hwy 61
New Madrid, MO 63869
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