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 Prairie View Cemetery
Lewistown, Missouri
     It sits back out of sight, hidden amongst the weeds and brush. Summer crops of corn and beans help protect its location, except for the animals which visit from time to time. The cemetery which has mostly been forgotten. Surrounded by a fence, no one gazes upon its inhabitants, no one visits or places flowers on the graves from long ago. Most don't remember that it is even there. Years have passed and the world has moved on. Many of the family and friends have either died themselves or moved away, so there are few that are left that know of its existence. Now it sits quiet. A silent reminder of a time long ago. A place that cared for those who were poor or hungry, and when its residents died many were often left with no where to go in their death. So they were placed here, in what was called a Potter's Field.
     Il-Mo Entity Trackers had the pleasure to venture back to this location while investigating Prairie View. Those resting here were all once residents of the Lewis County Poor Farm. To get to the cemetery, we had to walk behind the building about a quarter of a mile, cross two fence panels, and some barbed wire. The area is surrounded by fencing, and if you didn't know that it was there, you would just think it was brush. Grass is overgrown, there are downed tree limbs, rose briars are ever ready to grab you as you walk by.  But we were not deterred from our mission.
     Records at the courthouse show that the first burial was in January 1928. Lulu Morgan died at the age of 53, cause of death was a "fatty infiltration of the heart muscle." Lulu was listed as an "inmate of the county." Mrs. Underbrink released the details of Lulu's life for the death certificate. Lulu  was buried at the northwest corner of the plot. The next person was buried just east of her, and this continued until 7 spaces were filled. They started the next row and continued in the same manner, burying each person who had no where else to go. The white people were buried to the west side of the cemetery, while the black people were buried to the east section of the space. Mr. Underbrink poured concrete for headstones, but any markings have faded through the years. 38 people are noted to be buried in this cemetery according to the map located at the courthouse. Our research found 1 more resident than the map shows, Frank Webster. Frank died at the age of 64 from a "valve insufficiency of the heart" and was also listed as an "inmate of the county home." Once again, Mrs. Underbrink provided known history for the death certificate.
     Most people have a great fear of leaving this world and no one caring, remembering,  or even noticing that they are gone. It seems the past residents of the Lewis County Poor Farm have met this fate, being in a place that no one visits. Seemingly forgotten. We dedicate this page to those that sleep the eternal sleep in this little cemetery. And we hope that they are looking down and that they know that they are not forgotten.

Three of the stones,
mostly hidden in the 
Three stones from the east side of the cemetery, where the black residents were buried.
Some of the stones have a concrete base, and remain upright. But some of the stones, such as this one, do not appear to have such a base, and with the passage of time have started to sink silently into the earth.
Markings once may have been etched in this stone, but the passage of time has erased any markings, so the person who sleeps here will be nameless.
One stone has fallen over and now rests near another. The settling of the ground, along with the animals which sometime bed down in this area are responsible for this happening.
Brush and briar vines have almost hidden this stone from sight.
Remembering those who will wake no more,
Those who are no longer poor,
Those who are no longer hungry,
Those who no longer suffer any pain,
Those who are no longer alone.
We Will Never Forget.
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