Barry County, MO

Memories of Burials on an old Flat Creek Farm

Submitted By: Jack Fly

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Back in August of 2007 I wrote to Mr. Jack Fly about some graves I remembered as a child. He has asked me put down on paper in story form my memories of them.

The two graves that I recollect seeing as a young girl most likely would have never been brought to mind again had it not been for my dear departed mother, Jessie (Jones) Wright. A few months before her death in late 2006 she asked me if I remembered them and my initial response was no.

I went to bed that night thinking about what my mother had asked me and wondered why at this particular time of nearing her journey on this earth why she brought this up. So, therefore I gave it profound thought, as I knew it must have some importance to her.

Oddly enough she queried me the very next day about the same matter, so I began to question her and I found memories vaguely coming to mind. I had to think about this quite a bit because I was thinking that she only brought the matter up once but that is not the case. I found it very difficult to even talk to her about gravestones with her nearing death. I think I tried to quell the conversation because I found it so painful to think about my mother being in her grave soon. It was not a conversation I wanted to have. But God does work in mysterious ways.

It was very important to me because it seemed to be to my mother. When I begun to really opine upon it memories begin flooding back in my adult mind.

The following is what I recollect: I will begin by giving the reader some background information so you may understand how I happen to be on this farm. My mother married Glendon Wright the second time around. He was the son of William Andrew Wright and Nancy Merl Robberson, they owned the farm at the time. I think previously it was called the old Jefferson place. It is an old farm dating back to the 1880's. The old farm is on Flat Creek. Miss Merl was the Rev. Merl Wright of Merl's Chapel Church near Quaker Cemetery.

The time frame already suggests in our minds that family burials most likely took place there.

We were there visiting, it must have been in mid fifties. I loved the farm and was inquisitive and liked to explore. But for some reason, mother was with me that day and we had walked down back of the house, which was very steep and extremely rocky, and there were the two graves. I found it odd that I did not remember this right off the bat when mother originally asked me but one must remember I was a very young girl and graves were of no real interest to me. Never realizing cemeteries and graves would become one of my greatest interests in life.

For some odd reason I feel sure I saw two elongated gravestones and they were shiny. True or not this is what I recollect after giving much thought to this event in my life.

I have spoken to my brother he tells me that his Grandpa Wright had the county put in a dike to keep water away from the back of the house and a great deal of soil was moved during this process. Rocks must have been moved also because as I mentioned above it was very rocky as that part of Missouri is prone to be. There used to be a small spring that ran right through where the graves were and it dried up so I am not aware if that was before or after the dike was built. I can just tell you that it was extremely rocky and dry and very difficult to walk in this particular area that I have in my mind where I feel the graves were located.

The question I have most in my upper mind is what could have happened regarding the graves. Mr. Wright was a very devout man and would not have let anyone desecrate them-did the county have the right to do so when they built the dike??

I initially wrote to Mr. Jack because of my mother then later thinking wouldn't it be wonderful to know the names of the people buried there and have them remembered.

Perhaps my documenting this site and my memories along with the efforts of Jack Fly and Ted Roller there will be someone out there who may know who these long lost folks are. That would be so nice. I do so hope that comes to fruition.

Rest in peace to the unknown.

Frances G. Albert

Frances Albert

January 17, 2008

When Fran contacted us in August of 2007 details of the location we were going to try to find were sketchy at best. Armed only with a plat book, dowsing rods and memories of a young girl, Ted Roller and Jack Fly set out to search Barry County for the lost burial site. Once we were able to establish we had the right house, we obtained the owners permission, and began our search for the graves.

Fran had remembered that the graves were located behind the house, in an area that was very steep and rocky. She also mentioned a large walnut tree was in the area. Her memories matched the area in which we were looking. We searched the property in back of the house for about an hour before Fly located the graves with the use of dowsing rods.

The graves were staked out but the headstones were not located. Three additional trips have been made to the property in search of the grave markers without success. This site is located on county road FR1135 .3 of a mile north of Merles Chapel in Section 3, T23N, R27W.

Had it not been for the memories of Mrs. Jessie Wright and her daughter Frances the location of these graves, like so many others, would have been lost forever.

Jack Fly

BCGHS Cemetery Preservation and Restoration Committee


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