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Union Cemetery

     Just off a rural Missouri blacktop, and down a gravel road, you will find a very small cemetery. Quiet, with little traffic driving by, one can hear the birds singing and the wind whistling through the trees, which flank the cemetery on two sides. Taking a stroll through this cemetery, one can wonder at the history of the area as well as the persons for which these stories tell a past. Anyone from the area reading the stones knows some of the names, as many of the families still live and work in the area.
     To this quaint little cemetery we went one day in May of 2011. The peacefulness was amazing. Some of the stones are works of art. Some told stories of sadness. Some were falling into decay, some touched by the elements, and some possibly by vandals. But what we the history of this cemetery and how did it come to be. This is what we wanted to learn, to know more of the history surrounding this little cemetery that time has not entirely forgotten.
     A search through the court house revealed some of the history of this cemetery. Sometimes researching older locations and people can be complicated. Record keeping was not as exact as it is today, but this is what we found.
     In September, 1891, Mrs. Willie Powell, wife of Bazil Powell, deeded to S. Powell, trustee of Pleasant Hope Congregation of McGee Presbyterian Church AND S. Peterson, trustee for New Salem Congregation of the Missionary Baptist Church AND F. W. Allen as trustee for both said congregations. This included that one of said trustees, as long as possible, be a lineal descendant of Bazil Powell. The Church would be used by each denomination 1/2 the time, and when neither denomination was using, could be used by other Evangelical Denomination. (Through research, we have discovered that Barzellia was listed as one of the first settlers in Macon County from 1830-1840.)
     September 1956, J. Scrutchfield deeded to the Trustees of Union Cemetery Fund the property. No mention of the above provisions.
     In August 1984, E. Guffy, Trustee of New Salem Baptist Church AND R. Powell, Trustee of Pleasant Hope Presbyterian Church to Union Cemetery, Incorporated. Again, the same provisions as above are listed.
     In February 1986, A. Powell and T. Powell deeded the land to Union Cemetery Fund. No mention of the above provisions.
     In doing the research for this cemetery, we were able to find mention of the cemetery being called New Salem Church and Cemetery, as well as Union Cemetery. The photo above is from the newspaper of what the church used to look like. The building is no longer standing, and we are not sure of the date or reason for it being gone. Hopefully continued research will produce some  additional answers to these questions.

Willie Ann, wife of Bazlia (Barzellia)
Spelling often was not correct on 
these stones. 
Barzellia Powell. Husband of Willie Ann, who donated the grounds to the cemetery and church.
On first glance, this inscription looks funny. But on further examination, C.C.C. Company. stands for Central Coal and Coke Company Mine #28. Coal Mining generated a lot of jobs in this part of the state for many years. Several men lost their lives as a result of falling rocks inside the mines.
Reaching towards Heaven.
Fancy carving that resembles wood.
View of the older part of the cemetery.

Dedicated to those who have gone on before.

Not all that die have lived a long life. This is dedicated
to those that left this world much too soon.

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