Prospect School, Church, and Cemetery History

Sec. 18 - Twp. 25 - Range 21

location of the Prospect Cemetery
This is a current photo of the Prospect Cemetery.  The Prospect Cemetery lies on private property and upon my examination of this location I was able to find the grave of Eugenia Osborn Howell, damaged but still in tact.  I was able to locate this grave using information written by the Osborn Family and cited in this writing.

As I began to research the history of the Prospect Cemetery it seemed that there was very little history on the small Prospect Community and it’s cemetery.  There are a few references made in the book Historic Places of Pasco County.  The majority of the information in this history was taken from personal information from the Osborn Family who's settled in the Prospect Community ca. 1853.  Most of the information is hand written and contains personal correspondents and recorded phone conversations between family members.  Much of the Osborn information and history was written and recorded over 20 years ago by the family. 

The Community of Prospect is one of the oldest known communities in Pasco County.  The community was originally settled sometime ca. 1770 by a group Eufaula Indians, which was a sub-group of the Seminoles; during this time period the community was called “Toadchudka”, which means muddy water.  The Eufaula Seminoles located to this area from the region around Eufaula, Alabama.  The “Toadchudka” village thrived until ca. 1836 when the outbreak of 2nd Seminole Indian War completely destroyed the village.  According to "Like Beads on a String: A Culture History of the Seminole Indians in Northern Peninsular Florida" by Brent Richards Weisman: "The most informative account of these villages appears in a letter sent to Territorial Governor William P. Duval by Horatio S. Dexter in 1823. Dexter, by vocation a trader and merchant and one-time representative of the speculative Alachua Company, was also something of a frontier diplomat and was employed by Duval to inform the peninsular Indians of an upcoming council at Moultrie Creek.... Leaving Pilaklikaha, Dexter traveled twenty-eight miles southwest to the settlement of Chukochatty, variously spelled, also known as Red House, Red Town, or New Eufala (near the present city of Brooksville, Hernando County), settled by migrants from the Creek town of Eufala in eastern Alabama as early as 1767 (Swanton 1922:403). At the time of Dexter's visit, Simaka was the town chief and owned 3 slaves, 160 head of cattle, 90 horses, and a number of hogs. The prosperity of this settlement was so marked that two years prior to Dexter's visit 60 black slaves residing there were lost in a Creek raid from the north. Twelve miles south of Chukochatty, Dexter entered a village on the border of a lake where corn, pumpkins, and watermelons were grown [Toadchudka]. Four miles farther was the settlement of Tomahitche, a series of dispersed hamlets situated so as to take advantage of the savanna pasturage in the area. The hamlets shared a common field planted in corn and rice. These settlements were just southwest of present-day Dade City, Pasco County, on the highlands west of Lake Pasadena."  

After the 2nd Seminole Indian Wars the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 was enacted and opened the Florida Territory to settlement.  This Act lead to the settlement of what would become the Prospect Community.  Among the areas first settlers was Jacob Wells who located to the area from Madison County in 1842.  There was also George Dyke and F.W. Riggs who brought their family and settled in the area near Jacob Wells.  On March 03, 1845 Florida received statehood and was no longer considered a territory.  At that time the Government started surveying the new state, on April 6th 1845 the area known as the Prospect Community was surveyed and the property of Wells, Riggs, and Dyke was recorded as a part of that original survey of our area. (Click here to see original survey)  According to the original survey notes all three of these families had built homes and established farms with crops ranging in size from 5-acre fields to 20-acre fields.  Also noted on the original survey maps in the immediate area are what surveyors referred to as "Indian Old Fields".  These fields were places where the Indians had planted crops.

By the 1850’s other families began moving to the area.  Elizabeth Wells Osborn, Jacob Well’s sister, and her husband David Osborn with their seven children relocated to the area from Madison County in 1853 and settled on a 160-acre homestead; David had previously worked on a slave plantation in North Carolina and moved to Florida to escape what he thought amounted to cruelty.  Lybron Kersey also arrived to the area in the 1850’s and he built a home on the shores of the lake that is now bears the family name, Kersey Lake located near St. Leo.  Between 1853-55 Lewis Gaskin’s and his family settled on the south side of lake that became known as Buddy Lake or today’s Lake Pasadena.  These settlers arrived on one of the only roads through the community at that time, this road was called Hand Cart Road because it was only wide enough for a hand cart to travel until it was widened in the 1850’s to accommodate the newly arriving settlers who arrived by wagons much larger then hand carts.

During the 1850’s the community was also known as “The Buddy Lake Settlement” named for nearby Buddy Lake.  Soon after these settlers established their homes in the hills surrounding Buddy Lake, in ca. 1855, about one mile southwest of the south end of Buddy Lake, the community's first church was constructed using logs milled by the local sawmills.  This church was known during these times as the Prospect Branch Arbor Church, which stood at the center of the Prospect Community. In addition to serving the community's early spiritual needs, the Prospect church was also used to serve the community's early educational needs.  The Prospect Branch Arbor Church served as the community's first school house.  According to Hernando County School Board records from 1877, which are the oldest existing school records for our area, the Prospect School is listed among the schools of Hernando County.  According to Hernando County School Board records dated October 1, 1877, Wright W. Williamson, Christopher C. Harper and David Osborn were serving as trustees for the Prospect School and E.S. Benson, teacher of the Prospect School, taught a total of 64 days during this school year.  During these early times, schools were extremely dependent upon the financial support of a community for its survival.  If attendance dropped below the minimum standards then the school could face closure, however with the increasing population of the Prospect Community the school was not faced with these attendance issues.  By 1883 the Prospect School had an average attendance of 38 students and the community support totaled $120.40 for the school year, which was a significant amount of money in 1883.  As other families such as the Barnes, Hodson, Kernnerly, and Ticnor Families moved into the community the church was becoming too small and the community began seeking a new location to build a new church and school house.

By the 1870’s Benjamin Baisden, African American, brought his family to the area and settled on property which he had homesteaded, this was the first African American family to settle near the Prospect Community.  As Baisden settled, other African Americans moved to the area and began settling; some acquired their own property and built their own homes.  In a 1963 historical article there is a mention of an Aunt Jane and Uncle Ben who were early members of the Prospect Methodist Church, this is believed to be Benjamin Baisden. The area the African American’s settled became known as “Freedtown”.  By the 1890’s the African Americans built an African Methodist Church, cemetery and school.  (click here for the "Freedtown" Community and Cemetery History)

By ca. 1873 James Mack Childers moved his family from Coffee County Alabama to Hernando/ Pasco County, where his brother, Thomas, and his sister, Sarah, also settled.  James Mack was born on December 1, 1852 in Alabama to parents Harris W. and Lucinda Cook Childers.  Harris W. Childers had enlisted in the Civil War as a Confederate, when on April 12, 1865 he lost his life in the Battle of Spanish Fort, Alabama; Lucinda Childers moved to Florida with her children.  In 1872, at age 20, James Mack married to Mary Salenca Wilson.  Jack and Mary eventually had 11 children; the oldest being William Jackson, then Alice D., Mary Emma, John Daniel, Elizabeth, Edward, Harris, Oscar, Roscoe, Jessie, and Fannie.  Ca. 1875 James relocated his family from the Blanton area to the Ellerslie area where they settled on 80 acres, here James and Mary decided to raise their family and build a home eventually applying for homestead.  On April 13, 1883 James M. Childers received the deed to his 80 acre homestead located in S18-T24-R22, approximately 4 miles east of the Prospect Community.  

As more settler moved to the area some families became interested in the Baptist movement.  Three miles to the South of the Prospect Community, on Hand Cart Road, a Baptist Church was built on a portion of Jack Childers property.  William "Jack" Childers would neither sell or donate the property but rather entered into an agreement that stated as long as the church was actually holding services on his property, then they could have legal authority concerning all affairs.  The Baptist Church, called the “White Temple” by the locals, joined the Southern Baptist Conference.  This new church not only caused a split in the  Prospect Branch Arbor Church congregation but it also caused some families to become divided as the Prospect Church, which had joined the Methodist Conference South.
 According to early Prospect Church records there were members of the Childers family who were attending the Prospect Methodist Church, next to their name is says "Gone to Baptist."

James and Mary's oldest son, William Jackson born November 19, 1873 in Blanton, eventually married to Mary E. Gaskins of the Prospect Community.  After William "Jack" and Mary were married they settled in the Prospect Community along side Mary's Family.  Here William "Jack" and Mary had their only child John William who was born on September 18, 1902.  John William went on to marry Ellen Pearl Heath, John lived his entire life in the Prospect Community where he too raised his family.  John and Ellen had 4 children; William Paul, Nora Elizabeth, Chester Lee and Ruby Pearl.  Ca. 1921 Ellen Pearl Heath Childers took a teaching position at the Prospect School.  

Ellen Pearl Heath Childers tells of her days as a teacher and how she met John in a December 1988 interview, "When my youngest brother, Myron, was 3-1/2 years old, the doctor told my parents to move south or he wouldn't live through winter, he had pneumonia and whooping cough.  My father, Benjamin Paul Heath, and older brother, Menton, came to Florida and built a house a little bit north of Bloomingdale in Hillsborough.  Me, my mother, Mary Ann Dye Heath, sister Mable and my younger brother followed and arrived in Hillsborough on December 11, 1911; we came by train.  My family was Methodist and I went to school in Bloomingdale and then Brandon.  I finished the 10th grade at Brandon, which was the highest grade at the time.  To further my education I would have had to go 16 miles to Tampa and it would have cost more than I could afford, so I decided to take a state examination to be a teacher.  At that time you could earn a first, second or third grade certificate.  First was for five years of teaching, a second was for three years and third was for one year; I received a second grade.  You had to have a 95 on the exam for the First Certificate, I didn't have enough Algebra.  I began teaching in 1921 to about a dozen students at Elfers I moved to teaching from there to the old "Guy" house on Kiefer Road [see more about this school below] just around the corner from where I lived now, on Handcart Road.  I boarded and taught there in 1922 and 1923, taught first through eighth grades.  It was a five month school, August through January.  During this time I met John Childers and I saw him every day.  I was already engaged to a man named George, who was ten years older than me.  I began realizing I didn't really love him.  Christmas of 1922 I went home and broke off by engagement with George.  I told my mother about John Childers but told her I didn't love him.  I thought I didn't but when I returned to teaching in January, I couldn't wait to see John.  One night before prayer meeting I was grading paper when John came to see me and asked me to marry him.  I told him I wouldn't give him an answer until prayer meeting the next evening, however I knew before he reached the bottom of the stairs it would be yes.  He asked permission of my mother but she wanted us to wait, she couldn't understand how I could want to marry him when at Christmas I had told her I didn't love him.  He waited a week and asked again, my mother still wanted us to wait.  We eloped to Brooksville and were married by Judge Ramsey in the courthouse, he prayed for us after our vows.  That was on  January 23rd, 1923.  We had our son, William Paul on November 8, 1923, he was born at home.  The doctor came and stayed all night and William was born the next morning at eleven a.m.  Our next child was Chester born November 29, 1925; he died of dropsy on December 11, 1927.  Lucille was born on July 7, 1932 and Ruby on December 1, 1924; Ruby died in a terrible car accident on January 22, 1987.  God has been good to us.  Through all those years we tried to always be faithful, we always attended church.  John would work hard all day but he wouldn't miss a service in th evening.  I didn't join the Baptist Church until two years after John and I married.  I couldn't understand how they could teach, once saved always saved.  One night the preacher read John 6:40.  I asked the preacher what that meant?  He said, "Sister, I don't see anything in the Bible that's more positive than that God's going to keep what he saves!"  That settled it for me.  I was baptized and joined the church.  I played piano and taught Sunday School and John was a deacon at several churches after that, wherever God led us.  In 1958 we became charter member at Calvary Baptist Church in Dade City.  My mother was living with us when she died at age 69.  John died on August 14, 1977, we were married for 54 years.  I've lived on Handcart Road now for 65 years, the last few months with Paul and Elizabeth."  This information was taken from and interview by Margie Partain and Vicki Dykins conducted in December of 1988, Ellen Pearl Heath Childers passed away on June 6, 1990 and was buried in the Williams Cemetery next to her husband.

Members of the Childers Family still own and live on the families Prospect property off of Handcart Road.

Ca. 1905 photo of William Jack Childers and wife Mary Gaskins    John William Childers and wife Ellen Pearl Heath
(Left) William "Jack" Childers with wife Mary E. Gaskins and their only child John William, this photo was taken ca. 1905.  (Right) John William Childers with wife Ellen Pearl Heath and their oldest child William Paul, date unknown.  (Photos courtesy of Florida Pioneer Museum)

map showing the Prospect CemeteryAs the Prospect Community grew so did its Methodist Church and school, in the 1880's the Prospect Church joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South conference.  On April 28th 1888 the Prospect Methodist congregation acquired two acres on which to build a new church; which could better accommodate the community's growth.  This property was located only 2 miles west and a bit north of the original Prospect Church site. The new property was donated by David and Sarah Kersey Osborn.  The acting trustees of the Prospect Church, David Osborn, Wright Williamson and T.C. Wells, received the deed on behalf of the Prospect Methodist Episcopal Church South. (Click here to see 1888 deed)  Lead carpenters Jack Gaskins and Jack Osborn built the new, bigger, Prospect Church by using pine lumber, produced from one of the nearby sawmills.

From this location the Prospect Methodist Church began keeping a church registry, likely required by the Methodist Episcopal Church South Conference.  It is not known if there were early church records kept prior the church joining the Methodist Conference.  The only records that still exist today are dated from 1887-1944, these records do indicated members who joined the church prior to 1887, such as Wright W. Williamson who became a church member in 1855.   These records also indicate how each member had become a member.  To view the Prospect Methodist Church records for 1887-1944 click here.

By this time, located on adjoining property, the Prospect School received it’s own building, which was built next to the new church.  Two acres of property was donated to the School Board of Pasco County by J.D. Gaskins and his wife.  According to Pasco County School Board records, on
Feb. 6, 1888 “Also presented deed from J. D. Gaskins and wife for two acres of land on which is built the Prospect School No. 17. The house is large and commodious.”  After construction of this first school building, the church was no longer used for school purposes.  The members also wanted to establish a cemetery next to their new church.  According to the Osborn Family “Early Osborn’s body was moved to the Prospect Cemetery when it first opened, his grave was the first in the Prospect Cemetery.”  Most of the original members of the Prospect Church had loved ones interred in the Prospect Cemetery.  The Prospect School, Church and Cemetery all three stayed together at this location until ca. 1900 when the school was relocated.  Left, is a map published by the Rockford Map Co. in 1975, which shows the location of the Prospect Cemetery and Church indicated and marked with a cross; this is located to the left of the number 579.  

Group of residents of Prospect and surrounding area 1915
This photo published in the Pasco News shows members of the Prospect Community and surrounding area.  The photo dated 1915 shows Clifford Knapp with his dog Ring, seated in the first row from left are: Marvin Gaskin, D. Carl Cripe and Alfred Mayo; middle row from left: Lawrence Gaskin, Jude Gaskin, Reese Knapp and Sid Dew; standing from left: LeRoy Gaskin, Meadow Gaskin and Fred Gaskin.

Original Prospect School located next to the Prospect Methodist Church
This photo shows the second location and original Prospect School located next to the Prospect Methodist Church.  It is believed the building to the left of the photo is the Prospect Church.  Date of photo unknown.  (Photo courtesy of Florida Pioneer Museum)

Second Prospect School ca. 1905 located on the property of William GuyAbout a miles and a half south, on Hand Cart Road, William “Bill” Guy homesteaded land ca. 1880.  At the turn of the century William Guy and his wife donated the southwest corner of their property to the School Board of Pasco County.  In 1902 the Prospect Community came together and decided that they wanted to relocate their current school house from the Gaskins property, next to the church, to the Guy property.  According to Pasco County 
School board records, on July 7, 1902, “Mr. L. J. Gaskins representing the patrons of Prospect School, informed the Board that the patrons of said school by a vote had located the School site in Section 19 Twp 25 R 20, and asked permission to remove the school building to said location. On motion it was agreed to take up the question at the August meeting, provided the patrons file a township map locating the patrons in said district, by the first Monday in next month.”  During the August 4, 1902 School Board meeting, the patrons of the Prospect Community presented their map to the School Board and the board granted the community's request for relocation of their school building to the Guy property.  Left, is the second Prospect School building as it looked in 1905 when it was located on the property of William Guy, the photo was published in The Pasco Tribune in 1987 and courtesy of the Ruth Osborn Jones Private Collection.  According to School Board minutes of July 6, 1903, Gilbert Evans was appointed as teacher of the Prospect School.  This was the third location and the second building of the Prospect School.  The Prospect School continued from this location until the building caught fire and was completely destroyed.  The community rallied together and built the third Prospect schoolhouse, which remained on the Guy property and flourished until the early 1940’s when the school was closed and the children were bused to the central location of Dade City.

The Prospect Methodist Church remained active, from its second location on the Osborn property, until the 1940’s.  According to the Osborn Family and the Gaskin family the church building was sold to Meadow “Med” Gaskins who had also purchased the Sand Pond Schoolhouse named for the Sand Pond on Fort King Road where it was located.  Med Gaskins turned the Sand Pond School into a home for his family; he used the lumber from the Prospect Church to add a kitchen and porch to his Sand Pond home.  According to the Osborn’s after the church was closed in the 40’s “the cemetery was always kept in order and clean by Reese Knapp (1879-1970) until he died, usually Austin Smith was helping Reese.”  “Melvin Gaskins (1887-1973) and his sons Earmon and Lewis were care takers by choice.”  Among the families that were buried in the Prospect Cemetery were members of the Knapp, Osborn, Gaskins, Hodson, and Howell families; these were not the only families to have loved ones buried at Prospect but are among those recalled from memory of their loved ones and friends.  Reese Knapp was buried in the Williams Cemetery among the graves he relocated.

The Osborn family had several loved ones buried in the Prospect Cemetery.  Recorded in a documented phone conversation with Eugene Jones, were very detailed accounts as to how their family plots appeared and times of when the family provided maintenance.  The conversation included a letter written on August 29th 1924 by Eugenia Osborn Howell who wrote the letter to family members giving details to the plans for her final resting place in the Prospect Cemetery.

Eugenia passed away in February 1925 and was laid to rest between her two children that were already at rest in the Prospect Cemetery.  In the phone conversation Eugene Jones proceeded to give details as to what the family did to Eugenia’s grave plot after her passing he said, “Uncle Wiley and grandpa together put the cement slab over grandma (Eugenia).  Uncle Wiley put bricks of four on the little ones, two x two, length and then there was six marking where the vault like top was.  There was no date nor anything on any of them.  There was just six reddish colored bricks piled on grandmas slab.  The two little boys, Eugina’s children, are buried between Eugenia and the cedar tree.”  According the Osborn information the cedar tree had been planted along the west side of the cemetery near where Eugenia and her children were buried.

According to the Osborn information “Eugene Jones visited the Prospect Cemetery in the summer of the 1939 with his mother, father, aunt, and uncle.  Eugene was only eight or nine at the time but could remember that a fire had destroyed the white picket fence around the two children’s graves and the ashes were there by the cedar tree, aside from the fire the cemetery was very orderly and kept.  In the summer of 1951 Eugene visited the cemetery again, this time with his great uncle and great aunt.  It was on this occasion where Eugene was shown the grave of his grandmother, Eugenia, and her two infant children; again the cemetery was in great condition.  In the summer of 1957 Eugene visited the cemetery again, this time with his new wife Lucille N. Jones, all the tombstones were in place and all was clean as usual.”  This visit was the last time that the Osborn family would ever see the Prospect cemetery.

After the Prospect Church closed the property changed hand several times.  According to the Osborn information at some point Melissa Price acquired the cemetery property from L.C. Hawes.  According to the Osborn information and several other individuals I have spoken with, in 1961 Mrs. Price decided she did not want the Prospect Cemetery on her property, up until this point the cemetery was well maintained and marked.  According to the Osborn information Mrs. Price contacted only certain families with loved ones buried in Prospect and informed them to move their loved ones and their headstones; the Howell's, Osborn's, and Gaskin's were never contacted.  According to the Osborn information some graves were moved by Reese Knapp and according to individuals I have spoken to about Prospect, but wish to not be identified, say that a representative from Coleman Ferguson Funeral Home, in Dade City, was present and assisted in the relocation of graves from the Prospect Cemetery to the Williams Cemetery nearby.  However it was also stated that the few graves that were relocated had very little to exhume, few personal effects such as a comb made from turtle shell were found but very little bone or human remains were located.  It was at this point that I was told there was a couple of 5 gallon buckets of dirt were re-interred at the Williams Cemetery since little could be found.

Among those relocated was the grave of Prospect Methodist Church and school trustee, Wright W. Williamson.  According to Williamson's obituary, which appeared in the Dade City Banner on Nov. 2, 1917, under the heading "Wright W. Williamson Dies at Ripe Old Age":

"Mr. Wright W. Williamson one of the oldest settlers of Pasco County passed away Tuesday at the sanitarium at Chattahoochee after having been confined there about a week. Mr. Williamson had been in good health up until a few months ago, when he began to fail, and about two weeks ago became mentally unbalanced. The body was brought to Dade City Wednesday and taken to the home of Mr. W. W. Guy where funeral services were held Thursday. Burial was made in the Prospect Cemetery Thursday afternoon at 2:30. Mr. Williamson was born in 1836. He came to Dade City in 1856 and settled on a farm in the Pasadena neighborhood. He was one of the active pioneers of this county and was prominently identified with the early development of this section. He was known far and near as a man of good repute and could always be depended upon to lend a helping hand to any honest enterprise. He is survived by three children, Mrs. W. W. Guy, and Mrs. Willis Dormany of the Pasadena section and Mr. Giles Williamson of Tampa. Besides these he leaves a host of friends throughout the county who greatly regret his departure."

Today Wright W. Williamson's headstone is located in the nearby Williams Cemetery, no longer is his headstone located in the Prospect Cemetery where it was originally placed in 1917.  
After a few choice graves were relocated to the Williams Cemetery, Mrs. Price demanded the remaining headstones to be buried.  A large whole was dug near the cedar tree on the west side of the cemetery and the remaining headstones were removed from the graves they marked and they were pushed off into the whole, which was then covered over. 

According to information obtained from Pasco County land records, Mrs. Price didn’t even own the Prospect Cemetery property free and clear in 1961 when she had the cemetery destroyed.  The Methodist Conference of Florida still had an interest in the property since those interest were never relinquished by the Methodist Conference of Florida.  On February 19th 1985, the same year the Osborn Family began investigating into the destruction of the cemetery, the Methodist Conference finally Quit Claim Deeded the property to Colonial South Grove Inc. with the registered agent of the incorporation being M.E. Price, she was also the acting agent for Fort King Acres Inc.

The Osborn Family never knew of any of these events, the family discovered what happened during a 1985 trip to the cemetery.  They were completely distraught and disgusted to find that there was no cemetery.  In the year or so that followed this trip the Osborn’s documented and located as much information as they could.  There were several letters written to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office, neither one of these offices did anything.  In a letter from then County Attorney Ben Harrill, the Osborn’s were directed to contact the Sheriff Office.  I have also the letter that the Osborn’s sent to the Sheriff’s office and in fact the letter has “NO RESPONSE” written at the bottom.  In a separate letter to Sheriff Gillum the Osborn Family writes that “Eugenia’s grave is still in tact but the other family’s plot were gone”, they had taken a hoe and shovel to the site and discovered the grave 5-6 inches below the soil.  As much information and as many County offices the Osborn’s contacted it seemed no one wanted to act upon the destruction of this cemetery.  Today, much of the same response of disregard by County staff is given to these same issues pertaining to other historic cemeteries in Pasco County.  To date, no one has been prosecuted for the third degree felony of destroying the Prospect Cemetery.

Grave of Eugenia Osborn Howell still in tact at Prospect Cemetery
To this day Eugenia Osborn Howell's grave is still in tact at the Prospect Cemetery just a few inches below the dirt.  This photo taken in June of 2006 shows Eugenia's grave, which was located by using information from the Osborn Family.  It appears that the grave may have been desecrated at one time.  On the back of Mary and David Osborn's  headstone at Williams Cemetery a memorial was engraved in Eugenia's memory.  The memorial reads Grandchildren at Prospect Cemetery, Eugenia Osborn Howell 1870-1921 and Early Osborn.  No dates listed for Early, he was the first burial in the Prospect Cemetery.

Through my research I have located numerous cemeteries just like the Prospect Cemetery.  It seems that in Pasco County there is a major problem with the destruction of the final resting places of our dead.  With development at an all time high some of these sites are having homes built on them.  Many of these sites are handled the same way the Prospect Cemetery was, the headstones are removed along with any visible evidence of the cemetery.  Typically these properties sit idle for a while until it is thought everyone has forgotten about the cemetery, then it’s put on the market and sold where the buyer then builds a home on the site; it’s as simple as that.  This has even happened to cemeteries that are marked on Government Survey’s and maps.  Keep in mind it is our county who issues the building permits for the construction of homes on properties containing cemeteries they know about.  The laws that are written today are very vague and until new laws are written this crime will continue likely with no repercussions or response from County officials.

This article was contributed by Jeff Cannon. It was last revised on August 16, 2007.