Posted by: marthabernie | October 20, 2014

LONESOME HILL CEMETERY, Laclede County, MO circa 1905

This photo isn’t very clear, but based on the dress of the men, I would guess it was taken about 1900 – 1905 or thereabouts.

Lonesome Hill is an area not too far from the town of Phillipsburg, Missouri, where my mother grew up.  This photo came to me from a cousin whose mother had handed it down to her.  The photo has “Lonesome Hill Cemetery” written on the back side.

At first I thought this photo might have been taken on Memorial Day, when people went to their family cemeteries to clean up and cut back the spring growth.  This was an annual event for most families in this area, and I wrote a piece in 1997 about how my mother’s family always took a picnic lunch and cleaned up their family cemetery, the Union Cemetery which was located on their farm.  The Lebanon Daily Record published it on the front page of their Memorial Day edition that year.

However, after looking at the photo close up, I think this is either a funeral group or some sort of remembrance service (which might have been on Memorial Day since the weeds and such have not yet been cleared for the summer).  If you look at the photo closely, you can see that the man middle left of the center grave stone is holding up what appears to be the American flag.  Also, the other men left and right front row are all wearing badges and ribbons of some sort.  Odd Fellows were active in this area, but that is only a calcualted guess.  These men are too young to be veterans of the Civil War, and the weather appears to be moderate since there is no heavy clothing.

This cemetery has an interesting history.   It was said that “witches” were buried in the back portion and that one of the older trees was used for hangings.  This led to many ghost stories and alleged “sightings” in the last century.  Today the cemetery is a very peaceful place.  I have visited this cemetery a couple of times and have more updated photos which I will post when I come across them.  One of my mother’s cousins, Francie McMenus, married into the Montgomery family.  She and other Montgomery family members are buried here.  See enlarged portions below.  Note that you can click on the smaller images to enlarge them and have a closer look.  And if you would like a better copy of this photo, just let me know.


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