Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome and Opening Commentary - Cemeteries of Baxter County, Arkansas



Jeff Lewis

I want to welcome you to my website blog where you will find photographs and information about the many cemeteries that are found in Baxter County, Arkansas. There more than 80 cemeteries located within the geographical boundaries of Baxter County, Arkansas. Many are active, well maintained cemeteries that receive regular care and maintenance. However, many others have not been used in several decades and, while they may occasionally be cleaned up by surviving family or perhaps attended to on the occasional organized cemetery work day, they are not regularly mowed or looked after. Many others are very old, abandoned cemeteries that sadly were completely neglected and uncared for, at least until they were cleaned up by the Baxter County Jail Inmates work program starting in November, 2010 under my personal direction. A few have practically been swallowed up and reclaimed by nature, their whereabouts known only to a very few people, while still others have already vanished completely because their exact locations are no longer known to anyone still living.

When I first began researching cemeteries in Baxter County, I was frustrated to find that, although there was a fair amount of information available from various sources, there was not one, single comprehensive source covering all cemeteries known to exist or have existed in Baxter County. All sources were lacking facts or information available in other sources, or in some cases the information found in one source conflicted with information found in a different source. It was only after visiting most of these cemeteries myself over the course of several years, making my own notes and observations and then comparing them with other reference materials, that I felt confident in compiling a comprehensive list myself. My interest in these cemeteries is primarily historical in nature and not genealogical. Therefore, I have not focused on the names, dates, and family histories of those buried there; rather my focus is on locating the cemetery, accurately describing it, articulating directions to find the cemetery, and noting any overall history that I have read about or become aware of.

Sources for this compilation, in addition to my own personal notes and observations made while visiting these various cemeteries, include: 1) “The History of Baxter County” by Baxter County Historian Mary Ann Messick; 2) “Of Grave Importance - The Cemeteries of Baxter County, Arkansas" by the Baxter County Historical Society; 3) The Arkansas Gravestones Project Website; 4) (Baxter County Cemeteries Page); and 5) Personal knowledge and observations of other persons I have spoken to. My comprehensive cemetery list, which can be found on a separate page/entry, is added to, modified, and updated as new information becomes available or older information is corrected and updated. All photographs were taken by me unless otherwise specifically noted.

I welcome comments, feedback, and new, updated, or corrected information on our local cemeteries from anyone.

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