There was an article that ran in the spring regarding Matthew Barnes working to restore the Bush Cemetery, that I would like to reference.
I contacted Matthew at that time as to my interest in his project. The Bush Cemetery is a family cemetery that had been neglected many years until 1958 when my father, Dick Slemp, took on the project of cleaning it up, installing a new fence, resetting some of the stones, and whatever else needed attention. He and my mother, Leona, continued the upkeep of the cemetery until he passed away in 1964. My mother and her niece, Lucille Thompson, continued the mowing and upkeep for another five years or so until age factored in. The cemetery reverted back to overgrown brush until Matthew took it on.
Matthew and his family have been cleaning and resetting stones as time allowed, and he communicated with the farmer for scheduling a work day once the crops were out. On Sunday, Nov. 4, Matthew’s parents, brother, sister, grandparents, cousins, Cub Scout Pack 88 from Tarkio, Lucky Clover 4-H group from Rock Port, and many other adults showed up to assist Matthew in his efforts.
Matthew is an amazing young man to undertake the overall project, and Sunday was exceptional. In addition to scheduling the workers and the needed equipment, he made sure there was plenty of food to feed everyone. Due to everyone’s efforts, the cemetery was quite a bit cleaner when we left than when we started. Matthew still has plans to reset a lot of the stones and proceed with cleaning the ones remaining that are in need, as well as continuing the clean up of all of the debris.
I just want to compliment Matthew on his efforts to restore our family cemetery, as well as THANK EVERYONE who showed up Sunday to work.