Travels Through Iowa, 2013

While I was a little disappointed to not find any cornfields in Iowa, despite traveling up one side and down the other, maybe I’m behind the times: does Iowa not grow corn anymore? Is it because it’s an odd-numbered year? I have no idea.

I did find all four cemeteries I went looking for: three in Decatur County, and one in Adair County.

The three in Decatur County were the Warrick Cemetery, Decatur City Cemetery, and Bethel Cemetery. Decatur City was the only one in a town, and was very easy to locate. I found who I was looking for (Joseph Duncan Stanley, my 3x great-grandfather’s brother) quickly, which was lucky, because it looked like rain. Bethel Cemetery required some gravel roads, but not too bad. I did not find Margaret Stanley’s marker there, even though that’s where she is buried. The weather and the passage of time really take a toll on some stones, and some of the tombstones we saw were just weathered away to almost nothing. Warrick Cemetery really took some gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere, but we finally found it! Elizabeth Warrick’s stone was broken and face down, but when we turned it over, it was very readable. Some beautiful sycamore trees were growing outside the graveyard, easily 150-200 years old. All three cemeteries were very well kept, with grass mowed, trees providing shade, and just looked great. But all three also had stones that just did not last.

The last cemetery was the Winn Cemetery in Adair County. The write-up I saw failed to mention it was on private property, which was lucky because we wouldn’t have sought it out, otherwise. At the end of the road we found a very nice gentleman who explained how long he and his wife had owned the place, and what little they knew of the history in the area. He offered to walk us back to the graveyard, since the way was covered in weeds and had sheep and goats grazing. We walked back, and I found Eliza Jane Jones’s stone immediately. Her name has worn off, but you can still clearly read where it says “wife of L.H. Jones.” Whew!

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