James Wesley Lewis Family Cemetery

Photo added by Kent Forrest

James Wesley Lewis Family Cemetery

Also known as Lewis Cemetery

Reynolds County, Missouri, USA
Memorials 10 added (90% photographed)

Search James Wesley Lewis Family Cemetery:

 Last update 10/30/2009

History: (A Work in Progress)
Location: Latitude: 37.311 N
 Longitude: -90.781W
Reynolds County, Missouri
Township 30N - 11 

Family member Linda Simpson has researched an existing lease on the cemetery deed that states that, despite present ownership, any descendant of the Lewis family has all rights to enter there at any time living or "dead".

(State Statute 214.132.1, Revised 2001):

"If a formerly private family cemetery, once a part of family-owned land, is found to be on or surrounded by land now in the title of new owners, the cemetery must be accessible to any descendants of the original owners at all times (presumably during daylight hours). Also, any burial plot for any subsequent descendant interment would be free. Lineage must be proven, however. Unless the new property owners or family members of the deceased take it upon themselves, or a committee is created to do so, these cemeteries are not required to be and generally are not kept up."

The present land owners are aware of this statute and are also very "neighborly." On several trips to the site they showed us parking spaces alongside the cabin and "warned us about the snakes." Yes, be careful of the copperheads, especially in the summer and equally important the insects and ticks are in swarm proportion :) Do not visit the cemetery in the spring or summer especially without long sleeves and shirts tucked in. Be sure to have someone check your clothes out before you leave for ticks an and insects. UPDATE: Apr 2009 - Cousin John Harlow has again orchestrated the yearly maintenance of the cemetery making it very accessible. You can now easily see all the grave stones and "ground reliefs" of unmarked graves.

Revised Cemetery Name: "James Wesley Lewis Family Cemetery"

Our Lewis cemetery was once supervised and maintained by a local kinfolk (Elmer Kyle) with annual contributions paid by family members. With the passage of time family participation in the project declined and with the death of Elmer in 1988 the cemetery reverted back into brush country with only infrequent maintenance by relatives and neighbors. In 2007 Cousin Owen Lewis and myself made a cemetery visit and decided on a plan of restoration. Consulting with our cousin John Harlow, who lives outside of Annapolis, several local residents were hired to cut, prune, and carry away a mountain of brush and growth. This was supported by interested family members to try and recreate again some semblance of a properly maintained cemetery. The book cover shows the state of cemetery in our initial visit of 2007.

There have been historically three LEWIS cemeteries in the Annapolis area and the ambiguity of having the same name has always been a source of difficulty when making proper historical references. Following some discussions with Owen Lewis, James Harlow, and myself, and some e-mail discussions with other interested family members, it was decided to create a "James Wesley Lewis Family Cemetery" sign as a mark of distinction.

Owen Lewis has spent many hours creating the new cemetery sign. A picture was posted to our Ancestry.com site earlier this year. The actual installation will take place this summer (2009) as time, weather, snakes, and ticks permitting. :)

PS - If you visit the cemetery and it is not maintained it means we are "gone" and it is your turn. :) Kent Forrest


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GPS Coordinates: 37.3119, -90.7819

  • Added: 2 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #29810