Mother and Daughter taking legal action to maintain cemetery in Mindenmines
However, their work to restore the land hasn't come without complications.
MINDENMINES. Mo. – What started as a dive into family history turned into the discovery of a deeply neglected cemetery.
“Doing our genealogy we found that my great great grandmothers out here and I want to find her. My mother is still alive and I’d like to bring her out here and let her see where her great grandmother is” said Gale Best.
Cynthia and Gale Best have been doing what they can to maintain a cemetery in Mindemines, Mo, that over the years has slowly been forgotten.
“We’re trying to clean it up like mowing and cleaning up the brush, trying to find markers, headstones and when we do were probing with a stick, probing and trying to find the headstones and when we do we put crosses or flowers or something if there’s not a marker or headstone” said Cynthia Best.
They have now recorded 188 people buried here.
“It’s heartbreaking seeing this, I know there’s several other ones like this but this is sad” added Gale.
However, their work to restore the land hasn’t come without complications. They say they have been told they legally cannot mow the grass at the site, halting their cleanup efforts.
“We have to have legal rights from the commissioner or the judge or somebody saying giving us permission to do it” said Cynthia.
And a disagreement between them and the owners of the property surrounding the cemetery has resulted in the Best’s taking legal action.
They decided to file two petitions in court to be able to maintain the cemetery. A quiet title, which challenges a claim to property and a petition with 160 signatures showing that community members want to see the cemetery restored.
“Somebody needs to take responsibility of it, these people that are claiming they are responsible, it’s not theirs, so it either goes to the county or Mindemines, somebody’s got to take it” said Gale.
With hopes they can soon restore it and families can visit their loved ones once again.
“Our goal is to clean it up, fix it up fix these headstones and try to find where everybody is” added Gale.
The Bests have contacted most of the families of the deceased they found in the cemetery.
If they win in court, they hope to have the cemetery preserved so that it cannot be sold.
We previously reported on this story when the cemetery was first discovered.