Location; Hudspeth/Hedgespeth Cemetery is located about a mile south of the City of Rushville, MO on the Old Highway Road. Or at the intersection of 59 Hwy and 45 Hwy in Rushville, cross over railroad tracks and go left about ¼ mile. The cemetery marked by a sign on the bluff side of the road, it is accessible by parking on the road and going over a wire fence.
Condition; The terrain consist of over grown trees and weeds. The location is on the side of the bluff. It is a steep climb to reach the top, broken up by 3 tiers of flat land. There is a fence around the area, but most of it was knocked down by grazing cattle. The entire area that contains visual headstones is about 2 acres, some of the stones are outside of a surveyed 1 acre unmarked area. A rock quarry is located at the top of the bluff, the old highway is at the bottom of the bluff. The area is flanked on the north by more bluff area, on the south by a home.
There are only 30 stones visible as of this writing. Four stones were still standing, while most are leaning up against trees. The closest stone to the road is the Schmidt stone, which can be seen from the Old Highway Rd. during the winter months. Most of the Baileys, Andrews, Hudspeths are at the top of the hill, with the Andrews and Worrell stone located just on the north side of the fence line. Other stones seemed to be placed in a random manner. There was also what seemed to be a pile of stone that looked as if it was a small building of some kind at the top, built of stone found in the area.
History; A recently discovered article about the Hudspeth Cemetery, explains some of the history. According to the article in the Atchison Daily Globe, Nov. 12, 1904, the earliest known burial was about 1840. The latest burial was in 1913. The land between the Missouri River and the Missouri Bluffs was prone to flooding, therefore higher ground was chosen for a burial site. Sometimes this is referred to as the Hedgepeth Graveyard.
Apparently this was a public burying ground, with little information about the plots, since no records were kept. According to Ruth Pitts Bailey a former resident of the area, before the Old Highway Rd. was built, there use to be a road that started about the area of the north side of Sugar Lake. This road continued east up the bluff area, turning north across the old Pitts land area, to the area of the Hudspeth Cemetery, and then down the bluff to present Old Highway Rd. This would explain how the burials were accomplished on the side of a bluff. A former owner of the land also stated that he understood that there use to be a church on top of the bluff. I have found no evidence of this, but the large pile of stones does make one wonder. (This was probably the "modern houses" built over the Hudspeth graves). As for the name of the cemetery, on a map of Buchanan Co, MO Rush twp T-55 R-37 in the year 1877, E. J Hudspeth was the land owner.
GPS Coordinates: 39.56899, -95.04083
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #29441
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