THE ALEXANDER CEMETERY

INTRODUCTION


In researching my Osborn Genealogy of have compiled the following information:

 

Father – Richard Andrew – b.1931 Tulsa, OK

Grandfather – Clarence Andrew – b.1906 Carterville, Jasper Co., MO

Great-Grandfather – Zedie Leroy – b.1885 Springfield, Green Co., MO

2x Great-Grandfather – Andrew Marion – b.1850 Jasper Co., MO

3x Great-Grandfather – William Wiley – b.1809 SC

4x Great-Grandfather – William – bc.1780 VA

 

As you can see, my family history is tied to Missouri and Jasper County therefore I was naturally inclined to further my research into the Jasper County area.  The first thing I found was that my 2x GGF, Andrew was married to Prudence Alexander thus making Thomas Alexander (b.1979 SC) also my 3x GGF.  Unfortunately, that’s as far as I have been able to get with either line, however, it was through this research that I discovered the Alexander Cemetery.  This is when it got fun.

 

At first glance the Alexander Cemetery was a treasure trove for me containing 4 of my direct ancestors and at least 19 addition blood related relatives (10 Osborn & 9 Alexander).  As you might expect, I was thrilled with this discovery.  Not only was excited at the thought of further research but immediately resolved  to make a personal visit as soon as I could as I live less that a 2 hour drive away.

 

Luckily, several people, including Renessa Lewis and John Schehrer, have done considerable research into the Alexander Cemetery or I wouldn’t know nearly as much as I do today and I am deeply in their debt.  Renessa has made at least 2 visits to the cemetery as well as to local libraries to gather names of those there interred.  From the words and pictures from her web site it appeared the cemetery is quite over-grown and in bad shape as it seems to have been almost completely unattended for years if not decades.

 

Early in the spring of 2007 I made my first visit to the cemetery with a pick-up truck full of lawn mowers, weed-eaters, chainsaws, shovels, rakes and other implements of destruction.  Now, I’d seen the pictures beforehand but I was not expecting what I found.

 

After turning onto the gravel road off of Fir Road it was about a quarter-mile to another gravel side-road with the Alexander Cemetary(sic) sign.  An off to the side of the side road was a another cliff and, no wait that’s a different story.  This was a very small road leading past a relatively new looking house followed by almost unbroken forest.  From the directions of Renessa and others I knew the cemetery must be right behind this house but there was nothing but trees filled with undergrowth.  I peered into the gloomy shadows as I slowly drove forward and after about one-hundred yards I saw a tombstone.  I immediately stopped the truck got out, climbed through a very old barbed wire fence and walked over to the headstone. 

 

There in large letters was “HARMON” and above that in smaller letters, “Adeline” and “Charles”.  From my research I knew that one of the family names in the cemetery was Harmon so I knew I was in the right place.  I had Renessa’s map so I knew that this tombstone should be at the extreme south-east corner of the cemetery but as I looked from north to west I could see no more that 4 of 5 other headstones.  It was like walking through a thickly brushed wood and coming upon a tombstone.

 

After speaking to the owner of the house adjacent to the cemetery, who is married to the daughter of the land owner, I had a better look around.  I quickly realized that I could hardly make a dent in the undergrowth all by myself in one afternoon so I set my self to clearing the family plot of my 2x Great-Uncle James Osborn which was so overgrown that you couldn’t see the headstones while standing right next to the plot.

 

After 4 gruelingly hot hours and many, many ticks bites I was done but it was obvious that it would take and army, or maybe just a large, extended family to set this place right.  I again spoke with the owner of the house about returning in the late winter or very early spring while everything was dead and cleaning up.  He said he would continue to do his best to keep at least a clear path through the cemetery.

 

It was to that end that I have undertaken the task of figuring out who all these people are and why they are buried in what seems to be a family cemetery.  As of today there are 86 people thought to be buried in the Alexander Cemetery with 27 different Surnames from Alexander to Yates (no Z as of yet).  The dates of interment range over 100 years, from 1870 to 1978.  It seemed to be a daunting task but I love a good mystery as well as the subject of history so I dove in head first and was completely surprised at what I found.


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