Forgotten no more Matthew Barnes works to restore Bush Cemetery

Forgotten no more Matthew Barnes works to restore Bush Cemetery

Members of the Tarkio Cub Scout Pack 88 use shovels and rakes to load a wheelbarrow. Despite the cold and wet weather the boys worked hard and did a great job. Thanks for your help.

This area was once overgrown with trees and underbrush.

Chase McAndrews and Drake Riddle work on cleaning one of the markers that had fallen over. Using a cleaning solution, a scraper and brushes, they slowly remove the dirty and debris.

If you have ever been on Hwy. KK off of Hwy. J between Rock Port and Fairfax, I would be willing to bet you have never noticed  Bush Cemetery. Located in a field with overgrown trees, underbrush and high grass and weeds, Bush Cemetery has been sitting there since the mid-1800’s. Matthew Barnes of Clarinda, Iowa, who, if you recall, did some work on a family plot at the Hunter Cemetery south of Rock Port, is once again working to restore and clean up one of our forgotten cemeteries. Matthew is the son of Carrie Karg and Joel Barnes and the grandson of Jutta and Douglas Slemp and Carol Barnes and the late Kenneth Barnes. A freshman at Clarinda High School, Clarinda, Iowa, Matthew started volunteering at the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum and developed a passion for restoring grave markers in the area cemeteries with help from Director Trish Okamoto.
Yes, Matthew has relatives located at Bush, but this time a lot more than just digging out the corner stones and cleaning the marker was involved. He received some help from local friends, Renee Craven, Judy Kinney, Sharmen and Lee Slemp, Patrick Kinney, Kelly Wolterman, the local Tarkio Cub Scout Pack 88, and volunteers from the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum, Chase McAndrews, Tatum Watkins, Drake Riddle, and Trish Bergren (curator). They met on Saturday, March 17 to start the process of cleaning out the brush and resetting the markers. Despite the cold weather they were able to get most of the trees and underbrush removed.
Matthew would like everyone to know that all help is welcomed. He  is trying to start an adopt-a-grave group similar to the one in Page County, Iowa. If anyone is interested his email is or phone: 712-303-8388.
There is also a GoFundMe page:
This is a big project and help is needed to complete this project.
Matthew is also asking that if you have an interest in history and especially Atchison County, the Atchison County Historical Society is an all volunteer group that would welcome new members.

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