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Katie Lou (#46950342)
 member for 9 years, 8 months, 23 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Of course I'm not related to all these memorials!

Help me link all these memorials in Polk County, Iowa. All info I have added come from census's, SSI, cemetery records, and YOUR info. I do not keep records of where this info comes from. Please send obits, etc by CLICKING ON THE EDIT TAB IN THE UPPER RIGHT OF THE MEMORIAL. You can do a lot of corrections yourself now! Send transfer requests, obits, etc. by clicking on the "Suggest..." button & I'll do those ASAP. And remember... EVERYBODY is adding corrections!
Please, Please, Please do the corrections that you can do yourself, because my cable provider is now charging by the mile, so help me out!

Be sure to click on photos, as the captions might have some great info.

Remember when you add a photo of a person, click on "Add a photo..." THEN the very next page, where it says "Browse", be sure to change "Type of photo" from "grave" to "person." This is important, because it will put an icon next to the memorial in the index showing there is a photo of this person, AND it will make sure no matter how many grave pictures there are on this memorial, the PERSON's photo will always be on top.

Those of you who add memorials from obits, add the obits that don't list a cemetery too. I know it's time-consuming to transcribe, but Find-a-Grave is removing the scanned images of obits big time now, so be safe & transcribe. What a pain! We may never find the gravestone, but at least the obit will be saved!

With the addition of the public cemeteries in Polk county adding records on line (, I have SLOWLY
been adding memorials for people who have no stone. I will generally add a a lot photo so that you can find the location of the lot. If I was dedicated to just a few surnames, I would hunt endlessly for the stones, however, that doesn't mean YOU can't go looking in your family lots. You may also add a stone for someone who has none by buying a stepping stone kit & a bag of letters & numbers. No idea how long it will last, but take a photo & put it on the memorial!

I cannot swear that every person listed is buried in the lot listed. I found some strange couple supposedly buried in MY family plot, according to cemetery records. Well, they're not physically there-there's no room! And of course there's no stone, but I've never found their stones elsewhere, so where are they? But I did find something interesting. When people had big family plots, they would give a tiny space to a friend/neightbor who had no means to bury a baby, so there may turn up a cemetery record showing some stranger buried in the family plot.

Cemetery 101:
Cemeteries care about burial dates, not birth or death dates. If they bury someone, and then move them somewhere else, they will have 2 burial dates, or maybe a date much later than the death date. Very confusing! If there is no stone, then take the dates on the memorial with a grain of salt. Actually, even with a stone....

It's very easy for me to approve your edits when you add them yourself. Now having gone thru tens of thousands of records for Woodland cem, I have found lots that are missing or incorrect. You can check yourself. To get these records corrected, the RELATIVES must call the cemetery & request a search of records & correction. Expect a long process. I've found entire lots of stones with the same surname, & yet the records show each interment with a slightly different spelling.

Feel free to ask me to transfer. But remember many edits can be done without a transfer, and I continue to go back over these memorials and change or add info that cannot be easily done if it is not being maintained by me. Even though my goal is to link everybody to everybody else, I'll need your help! And if I transfer it to you, be sure to add stuff! You must be a member of FAG to maintain a memorial. See instructions on the left under "Help with Find A Grave."

Please be patient! My e-mail is pretty heavy. Most e-mails are straight forward. Do this, transfer that, but then there's those ones that get me scurrying around in the files trying to find a trail, a connection, a vague memory of something, someone. The more memorials I add, the burieder I get.

Also remember, there are mistakes on gravestones. Mistakes on marriage records, death certificates, birth records, census records. Recent records appear to be more accurate, but people have told me of engravers making mistakes on very recent stones. Whatever info is on a memorial, it's the LATEST info provided.

And remember-I make typos all the time. Let me know or correct it yourself. Lots of my info comes from If you see "s/o Joe Blow & Bibbity Boo", I'm just copying it straight from the records and they've got terrible spelling & transcription mistakes.

I have a challenge for those of you who do not live in Iowa. Snoop around in Find-a-Grave & find obits or look for them by Googling a name. (easiest way: Full Name followed by city) As more & more memorials are added here, it becomes easier to link children to parents, wives to husbands.

I'm finally getting better at taking photos. At first, the max was 50k. Very bad photos! Now it's 8M. What a difference!

So here's what I know:

Sunny, Sunny, Sunny. Early morning, you can get light under the trees. Late afternoon, you can get light under the trees. Summer's full of plants, decorations & grass clippings. Fall's full of leaves & mud. Spring's full of mud & peonies. Winter light is poor but the trees are bare! Plus you get the light at an angle that creates shadows you may not get in June. You need to go in the morning & in the afternoon, every season. The hardest is the north facing stones. Iowa is not known for its north sun. Luckily there are not many such stones. You may have to go back several times to get a good shot. I use a 2" paintbrush to clean stones. A nice one for grass clippings, an old one for dirt & mud. Scissors for clipping grass. If you are doing very old stones, remember shadows. You can create them by using a 4' mirror, the kind you tack to the closet door & it costs around $5-$15. Helps to have a helper but sometimes that's not possible. Just play with the mirror until you can cast sunlight at an angle across the stone, creating shadows that make the stone legible. Have fun!
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Messages left for Katie Lou (39)[Leave Message]
Jenny Clarke
Thank you for photos and your time
Added by Jenny Clarke on Jul 25, 2017 5:32 PM
George Sanford at Glendale cem.
Hi Katie Lou,
Thanks so much for adding the wonderful new gravestone photo for George Sanford. The picture I took was with my old camera and I didn't know what it looked like until I got the film developed. Thanks again and keep up the good work.
Added by Mary on Jul 20, 2017 8:45 AM
Janice Oberlin Smarr
Rebecca Shepherd
Thank you for the great photo
Added by Janice Oberlin Smarr on Jul 18, 2017 2:47 PM
Katie Lou your the best!!!
Thanks for Irene Emersons stone picture very much!!!!
Added by SHERYL MASON REYNOLDS on Jul 16, 2017 12:34 PM
Barbara Lamb
Mary Hein P.S.
I deleted the old existing grave photo.
Added by Barbara Lamb on Jul 15, 2017 8:31 AM
Barbara Lamb
Mary Hein
Dear Katie Lou,
Thank you for posting the updated grave photo for Mary. Also the grave plot. I wish Find A Grave could devise a method to transfer the original photographer's name with a grave photo every time the photo is moved to a spouse.
Added by Barbara Lamb on Jul 15, 2017 8:22 AM
Margaret Mangers
Elizabeth Smith/ Sarah E Smith
From my records Elizabeth Smith (35324312) and Sarah E Smith (141679197) are one and the same person. Sarah E/Elizabeth Smith is my children's ggg aunt.
Added by Margaret Mangers on Jul 13, 2017 2:34 PM
John Page
Annie L. Williams mem 194736377

You appear to be a busy person, your memorial for Annie L. Williams, I do not believe she is buried there, her maiden name was Hecht, after the death of her 1st spouse Lewis R. Williams, she married Thomas Rhodes and they are at mem. 109978533.

Thank you

John, Largo, Fl.
Added by John Page on Jul 07, 2017 5:11 AM
Memorials# 62991539, 153023583, 90569799, 62991658
Thank you for these edits/links for the Elliott family. My best wishes to you in your work here at Find a Grave, you provide a great service to so many people looking for their family history.
Added by RoseOfThePlains on Jul 06, 2017 4:53 AM
Jamie Cunningham
I was curious if you are related to any of the Jays that you have done memoral for??
Added by Jamie Cunningham on Jul 04, 2017 2:51 PM
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