Old Corsicana/Corsicana Cemetery
(Originally named Gadfly Cemetery)
Barry County, Missouri
Shoal Creek Township
NW Sec. 18, T24N, R28W
GPS 364802N 0940000W

photo

From the photo files of Jack Fly


Directions: Take highway #37 from Monett to Purdy. Turn right onto highway B, go 4.2 miles, turn left onto fm#1035. Go about 1 mile, at bottom of hill is Joys Creek. Cemetery is located on your left at top of hill.

It is surrounded by privately owned land. The gate to the cemetery is kept locked in an attempt to try and discourage vandalism. The owner should be contacted before going across the land into the cemetery - so they can arrange to have the gate unlocked.


Page 1 - Corsicana Cemetery

Page 2 - Corsicana Cemetery

Corsicana Storm Repair

Corsicana Damage March 2012

News Item - Cemetery Restoration

To read more about the Restoration Committee
Cemetery Association Organized The people of Corsicana neighborhood, on Nov 11, 1916, met at the Corsicana Cemetery and formed the Corsicana Graveyard Association by electing C. B. Campbell, president; John Blankenship, vice-president; John Swindle, secretary; Mrs. Nannie Overton, treasure. Will Dixon, Tom Autry, Lee Howerton, Sherman Francis and Robert Davis were chosen as a board of directors. They then adjourned to meet again Nov 25, 1916, at the Corsicana school house and devise plans to improve the cemetery. All who are interested are invited. John Swindle, Sect. - November 16, 1916, Thursday, Cassville Republican, Barry Co., MO


photo

Photo of Joys Creek - sometimes said as Joyce Creek.

It is in the valley just below the cemetery. Photo is from the photo files of Darla Marbut
Information about visiting the cemetery - Click here

Jack Fly stated that the 1888 Goodspeed refers to the spring as Joys Spring. He has a transcribed deed between Jeremiah Nicholas Fly and William R. Sooter, which mentions JOYS Spring. However the USGS website refers to it as Joyce. I would think that Joys would be the correct spelling since early documentations have it that way.

And then Bill Landers told us that both of the Goodspeed's references are taken from Henry McCary's 1876 address and both refer to him as Mr. Joy. From Historic Spots in Old Barry County, by Nellie Alice Mills. "Mr. Joy was the first settler at the head of Joy's Creek, sometimes written Joyce's Creek. This is a very strong tributary of Shoal Creek." In the 1833 Tax Assessor's list of Greene County it lists George Joy. The 1834 Tax Assessor's list also names George Joy as paying tax on 1 horse and 6 cattle. (The 1833 tax list is in alphabetical sequence but the 1834 list is in near location order. Since George Joy is surrounded by Haddocks, Meeks, and Samuel Washburn it is likely that George Joy was the man who the stream was named for.) He must have moved on before the 1840 census.

This is a one room school house located at Corsicana, which is still standing. It's down in the valley below the cemetery. The cemetery sets upon the hill - which is north of the school house. From the photo files of Darla Marbut

photo
Research Note: Donna Cooper - In 1997 - Today there are no houses or signs of a town. It's a place where there once was a village of activity in the time period of 1850 to possibly 1910 or so. The cemetery is fenced but - not in very good care. The grass is often times high but there are no cows running in the cemetery. It seems like several years ago that the gate was not locked but now it is has a pad lock on it. So one has to walk into the cemetery area and can not drive up into the area where the graves are.

Corsicana may be one of the oldest cemeteries in the county. One of today's problems with this cemetery is that it sits on a hill hidden in the trees and is in a remote location. It is located where there is absolutely no vision of it from the rural dirt road down in the valley.

There may have been a lot of other cases of vandalism and destruction at Corsicana but those that are familiar to the writer of these lines. On several occasions vandalism has occurred and a number of times and stones have been completely destroyed or missing. About twenty years ago, a lot of the stones disappeared and some of them that was left were broken and left on the ground, and others were found laying across the fence in a pasture. There have been stones removed and broken - even some thrown across the fence.

About ten years ago, someone had broken up a number of the stones. About six or seven years ago someone had taken down a number of the foot markers and laid them in a pattern on the ground as to make a patio out of them. They were near where George and Sarah F. (Smith) Long are buried, but the Long family grave marker appeared not to have been tampered with and none of the graves appeared to have been vandalized.

It appeared that, for some reason, kids had been going to the cemetery - drinking and perhaps doing other mischievous acts. A long time ago there were many more tombstones located at Corsicana than there are today. It's pretty obvious when you stand at the gate and look at how many graves appear to be there that are not marked. It's possible that only about 25 or 30 percent of the graves have markers.

Buried here were many of Barry County's early pioneer families. The very prominent Corsicana early day settlers such as the Fly and Swindle families carried their dead up the hill and left them there to rest. Also buried here are George and Sarah (Smith) Long, my great-great grandparents. Julia (Waller) (Collins) Ferguson was the second wife of William Collins. Wm. was my 3rd great grandfather. He is probably buried here, but his first wife, Elizabeth Graham, may not be buried here. William and Juliette lived near here, and he was prominent in the New site community. If William is buried here, it is in an unmarked grave and most likely by his wife Juliett. Donna Cooper
Jack Fly said that he began working in the Corsicana Cemetery in February of 2005. There were well over 50 stones there which were broken or toppled. He began this project as a one man operation using his personal funds until running out of money in October of 2005. At that time he presented his work to the Barry County Historical Society. They were impressed by his efforts and decided to back the project. He was then appointed head of the Cemetery Restoration and Preservation Committee of Barry County. He also told me that he wants to have all the stones in Corsicana Cemetery standing by the end of 2006. Jack Fly


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