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Wills Cemetery
Also known as: Old Blankenship Cemetery
Shell Knob
Barry County
Missouri  USA

Cemetery notes and/or description:
The cemetery is on private property. Laura Rodrock was the owner and resident, but she passed away in 2013. The person living there in June, 2014 stated she had just moved in and knew nothing of a cemetery.

Starting from the Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce to get to the property one would take YY east from 39 to YY-15, turning left past the Baptist Church. You will know you are on the correct road if you pass the Senior Center. The road will turn from north back east again. The fourth left will be Big Creek Lane which is paved and runs north then northwest until it becomes gravel and turns back northeast over the creek. Take the first left after crossing the creek and then again take the first left. This long driveway will lead to a gate with a code mechanism. The code is unknown and would not be posted here if it was.

From firsthand observation, the cemetery appears to be less than a hundred yards from the gate on the north side of the driveway. It was extremely overgrown and several areas on the property were searched with no luck before a field stone that was very faded but read 'ANGEL' was located. No other stones or markers that were clearly marking a grave were located, but time was short and a thorough canvas of the area was not possible.

Anyone choosing to visit the cemetery would probably be wise to go up to the house, which is considerably farther up the driveway, and make their presence known although whomever you might encounter there may know nothing of the cemetery.

The land upon which the cemetery is situated was owned by William Blankenship, one of four individuals known to have a headstone here as he shares one with his wife Maggie Wills Blankenship. Maggie was the daughter of Thomas Wills who was one of the earliest people to be buried here. It has been recorded as the Willis Cemetery but early newspaper records, such as the burial of Thomas' daughter Josie Gunnels, call it the Wills Cemetery while on death certificates of the Blankenships, Samuel Barrick and Susan Burris it is called Blankenship. To differentiate it from the Blankenship Cemetery in Jenkins it is often called Old Blankenship.

Reportedly the cemetery is roughly a quarter acre, containing three professionally created headstones and some 75 to a 100 field stones, but as stated above only one field stone and none of the bought stones were located on the recent excursion.
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