Old cemeteries a link to the past – News – Stuttgart Daily Leader – Stuttgart, AR – Arkansas News

Old cemeteries a link to the past – News – Stuttgart Daily Leader – Stuttgart, AR – Arkansas News

With maintenance costs going up and descendants becoming more and more scattered throughout the country as time passes, those left to maintain old cemeteries like Sunshine, Frazier and Williams are struggling to make ends meet.

“If we don’t keep up these cemeteries, I mean, that whole community, all these people, that’ll all be gone, lost,” Louise Gibbins, Sunshine Cemetery Association member, says of maintaining old community cemeteries.

With maintenance costs going up and descendants becoming more and more scattered throughout the country as time passes, those left to maintain old cemeteries like Sunshine, Frazier and Williams are struggling to make ends meet.

Gibbins said the families who used to support and donate to these small community cemeteries have passed away and the costs of mowing, clean-up, dirt work will increase, which is why the associations for these cemeteries have come together to plan a fish fry and bake sale Friday, Sept. 29 to raise funds for maintenance.

Sunshine Cemetery

Sunshine is five miles south of Cotton Belt railroad on Goldman-Sunshine Road and the cemetery is bordered on the west by an irrigation canal and one-eighth mile north is Bayou Meto. The Sunshine Cemetery Association was formed in 1956.

The oldest known marker belongs to Williams P. Dobbins, who was born in 1849 and died in 1870. This indicates that the land was being used for a cemetery before the land was donated. The site for the cemetery was said to have been started by a group of travelers who were camped there when one of them died. Another unconfirmed story is that a horse thief was caught and hanged…

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