Bassora Cemetery - Washington, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 33.124 W 091° 00.191
15S E 674000 N 4268961
This city park is also a cemetery. Happens a lot in Missouri, people forgot and the marker decayed and they make a green place a park - only to find a lot of bodies when they try to build something.
Waymark Code: WMJY73
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 01/15/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 3

County of Cemetery: Franklin County
Location of marker: MO 47 & E. 5th St., Krog Park, Washington
Date marker erected: 1998
Marker erected by: Washington Historical Society

Marker Text:

Within this block, known since 1959 as Krog Park, lie the bodies of many early settlers of Washington. The town of Bassora was founded October 8, 1836 and this block was set aside for the city's cemetery in 1847. This cemetery received the remains of bodies disinterred from an early Washington cemetery located near the present city hall. Eventually Bassora was annexed by a rapidly growing Washington. Burial of dead human beings within the city limits of Washington was prohibited by an ordinance passed in 1880. Bassora Cemetery was officially closed in 1883. In 1926, the city agreed with directors of the new hospital that the cemetery had become derelict and should be eliminated. The majority of the remains were not moved and remain buried here. Grave markers still visible in 1959 when the cemetery was dedicated as Krog Park were buried at that time. Washington Historical Society in 1997 began a drive to obtain monies for the monument for those who remain buried here. Of special note, the founders of Washington, William and Lucinda Owens are buried here. The list of names on this monument is the result of extensive research by the Washington Historic Society. It is unknown exactly how many persons may still lie buried here. Therefore we dedicate this monument to the memory of those known and unknown early settlers of our community who lie bured beneath the sod of this beautiful park. Their determination and foresight was the foundation for the enterprising spirit which continues in our city today.

A list of names buried here, please see gallery: they are readable in the photos

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:

"The Washington Historical Society has found what Marc Houseman, museum director, compares to winning a lottery ticket.

"The tombstone of William G. Owens, husband of Lucinda Owens, founder of Washington, was unearthed over a month ago at Krog Park.

“It’s like winning the historical lottery,” Houseman said.

"Krog Park, which was formerly the site of the Bassora Cemetery, has at least 75 people interred there according to records from 1926, but Houseman said there may be more.

"A marker for William was included in the records. He was murdered in 1834.

"Houseman and other historical officials believe Lucinda, who died in 1860, also was buried in the cemetery.

“We are 99 percent sure she was buried next to her husband,” Houseman said. “We have no reason to believe she wouldn’t have been.”

Houseman said there is no record that Lucinda ever had a marker.

In January, the Washington Historical Society and Franklin County Cemetery Society received permission from Josh Pedersen, parks director at the time, to dig in Krog Park.

“The two groups have been meeting at the site, digging up headstones, taking photos and recording them and then reburying,” Houseman said.

The groups have been meeting to dig on Saturdays and some weeknights for the past few months.

“We’ve only been out there about four times,” Houseman said.

After six hours of digging on a Saturday in May, the groups unearthed the 8-plus-foot-tall monument for William.

“It got us excited,” Houseman said, describing the monument as four pieces, including an obelisk. In addition, there is a footstone with his initials on it.

Based on records showing where markers were located, Houseman said the groups started digging to find William’s headstone.

“We knew exactly where he was buried, but we would probe and dig and we kept finding these four layers of bricks,” Houseman said.

"The group began digging in another area nearby and eventually hit the obelisk.

“We had no idea how big or small it was or if it was broken, but knowing something was there built anxiety,” he said, noting two previous attempts failed to find anything.

"It took about 10 people initially and six hours to dig up the monument. Houseman said a large crowd gathered around as the groups worked.

"The monument was found about halfway between Highway 47 and Hancock Street and about 81 feet south of Fifth Street.

"The monument has since been placed in storage.

"What’s Next?

"Houseman approached the Washington Park Board June 16 to ask for input on what should be done with the marker.

"Park board members congratulated the groups for their find and recommended the monument stay above ground in the park.

“It should be put up and should be marked. This is history of the town,” said Park Board President Tessie Steffens.

"Houseman said the historical society will likely form a committee to review ideas for the monument.

“First and foremost, we want to properly honor William and Lucinda, but we also want to do something that is pleasing to the eye,” Houseman said.

"Over the next few months, the historical society will develop ideas and return to the park board for their feedback.

"The groups have unearthed about five other tombstones so far.

“We will continue to unearth the other markers and put them back,” Houseman said. - eMissourian

Additional point: Not Listed

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