----- ............Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery! Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told........... -----

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother Bickerdyke Cemetery

A piece of the puzzle...for Beth Foulk

In July 2009 I shared this brief post,
regarding the Mother Bickerdyke Memorial Cemetery that I had visited during a cemetery walk in Ellsworth County, Kansas.

Fast forward two summers and I received this email from Beth Foulk [July 2011]:
Hello!  You made my day.

I litterally stumbled on your marker photo of the Mother Bickerdyke Memorial Cemetery, and much to my surprise I found Louisa Watson listed.  Louisa is a gggrandmother.  I knew she lived at the MB Home.  But I didn't know she died and was buried there.  WOW.

Do you happen to have pictures of the individual headstones at this cemetery?  I would be MOST grateful if you could share Louisa's with me.

Your site says, every person has a story.  I believe that firmly myself.  If you're interested in Louisa's story I'd be happy to share.  It's pretty neat/ sad.

Thanks again for your great contributions to genealogy and cemetery information sharing...
Why, yes, I would be interested in her story.

Fast forward to April 3, 2012 and Beth has posted Louisa's story on her blog. 

A Civil War Wife's Story...

But, it appears the story didn't end with her first post...

Mysteries, Scandals, and an Ancestor's True Identity Revealed

And, from Beth's email of April 5th:

Hi Gale,

I just received this newspaper excerpt about the cemetery. Thought you might like to put it on your blog.

From an article in “The Ellsworth Reporter” written 7 April, 1988, “On a hill overlooking Ellsworth from the south lie 31 graves of women who were Army nurses or the widows, mothers and daughters of men who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Three graves in the cemetery, which is called the Mother Bickerdyke Memorial Cemetery, have stone markers with inscriptions. Twenty-eight are marked with small white stones engraved with a cross. It is now a part of the Good Samaritan Center. --It is not known when the cemetery was first laid out, or when the first woman was buried there, but records kept by the daughter of A. r. Kyle, who was superintendent between 1902 and 1910, show that it was some time during those years. Kyle made a plat of the cemetery and a record of who was buried there. The records were lost and it is now impossible to identify the graves that are not marked. In 1961, the State of Kansas erected a monument with all 31 names listed on it. The three tombstones that originally had inscriptions are Jane Billington ,Mary Hutchison, and Mother Anna E. Mills.”

And an article I found in the Salina Journal from 8/13/1961:

I'm glad my brief post on the cemetery helped fill in the blanks on the death and burial of Louisa.


  1. I love it when that happens. It always warms my heart to get those types of emails. Though they sometimes seem few and far between, one can give me the motivation to keep researching and posting for a very long time. You do fantastic work!

    1. It is a great feeling! And yes, one can carry you for a long while. And your work and contributions in our beloved south are just as wonderful!


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