Cemetery Documentation and Access
The Montgomery County Historical Society has identified 221 burial sites in Montgomery County. The gravestones in each, and at the Loutre Island (Brick Church) Cemetery north of Route 94 in Warren County, have been catalogued. The size of the burial sites range from a few graves at family plots to over 4,000 burials at each of the municipal cemeteries in Wellsville and Montgomery City. See also "Church Histories
" for details about the associated churches.
The project, identifying the sites and recording gravestone inscriptions, began in the 1950s as a project of the local chapter of the D.A.R. In later years Marj Markovich Miller, Society Curator, enlarged the project and included a detailed description of the location of each burial site by roads, mileage and landmarks. The descriptions noted herein (including Township, Range, Section and driving directions) HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE APPROXIMATELY 2007, SO YOUR FEEDBACK AND UPDATES ARE WELCOME. Many of the sites are away from the travelled roads and are often overgrown with brush and weeds.
Many people seeking information about their ancestors choose to visit the burial plot regardless accessibility issues. The Society is careful to advise that, while the State statute, Section 214,132, Revised Statutes of Missouri, provides that a person has a right "during reasonable hours" to visit an abandoned private burial place to which there is no public access "for purposes usually associated with cemetery visits," the person occupying the land over which one must pass to get to the site should be notified before proceeding. This is a matter of common courtesy and may result in help with access.
Some abandoned cemeteries are regularly maintained by adjoining property owners. State statutes (Sections 214.140, et seq.) provide that funds may be placed in trust with the County Commission so that the income may be used for a particular cemetery. Restrictions on investments of such funds and low interest rates yielded by certificates of deposit severely restrict this form of financing private cemetery maintenance. But the unspoken history found in the last resting places of Montgomery County people is a continuing attraction to those seeking some closer connection to their ancestors.