As people gather to decorate the graves in local cemeteries, most focus on their loved ones. But, each cemeteries has a story.

As people gather to decorate the graves in local cemeteries, most focus on their loved ones. But, each cemeteries has a story.
Many country cemeteries were started by a family or in a country churchyard. The object of most cemeteries in the past was to provide burial sites close by so families could visit often. Almost no one was buried more than five miles from where they lived.
That is why there are so many little cemeteries in Newton County.
 Much of a cemetery's story is about the people buried there. A quick look at the cemeteries in Newton County will show where many locally prominent citizens took their final rest.
Larry James, the county's cemetery expert. shared his knowledge about some of the "residents" of the county cemeteries.
Several prominent people are buried in the Neosho I.O.O.F. Cemetery. Two United States congressmen are buried there. Congressmen M. E. Benton and Stratton Shartel lie in this, the county's largest cemetery. Also, buried there is William Minor Quesenbury, an artist who sketched scenes out west while returning from the California Gold Rush. The victims of the Great Tipton Ford Motorcar Wreck are in a mass grave there.
Several predominately black cemeteries are located in Newton County. Aunt Mariah and Uncle Andrew Watkins, who played a large role in the early life of George Washington Carver, are in Hazelwood Cemetery. Pleasant Hill Cemetery has the graves of Stephen Frost, Carver's first teacher; Calvin Jefferson, Granby businessman and childhood friend of Carver; and Thomas H. White, one of the famed Buffalo Soldiers.
Many of the Jaeger family are buried in a small cemetery on the old Jaeger farm. The most famous Jaeger was Herman, who was given the French Legion of Honor for helping save the French Wine Industry. When Herman died his body was never found, but his brother, John and other family members, including Herman's widow, are buried in Newton County.
Dice Cemetery, in eastern Newton County, has a relatively new section devoted to John C. Hammond and his wife. Hammond was a very successful and wealthy businessman who built hotels all across the country.
The Civil War Cemetery at Newtonia was the site where soldiers who died at the two battles of Newtonia were buried. After the war, the Union men, except for one, were removed to the National Cemetery in Springfield. The Confederate dead remain in unmarked graves.
Thomas Farrell, a Revolutionary War soldier, is in Macedonia Cemetery near Stella.
The Buzzard Cemetery near Racine is an example of a family cemetery. Approximately 20 members of the Buzzard Family are buried there with graves as early as 1889. Even though they share their resting grounds with others, it is still the Buzzard family cemetery.
But even though some people are better known than others, the most important people in cemeteries are the ones we love and remember best—our own friends and family members.