You accumulate a lot of stuff in 93 years, longer than that if you count the stuff that I recognize from my Grandmother’ house in Advance. It’s hard to decide if it goes into the Annie Laurie stack for sale; the stack for charity or the stack for the dumpster.
One item that was hiding in plain sight all these years was a little copper-clad perpetual calendar made by the Couch Mfg. Co. of Denver Colorado.
You’d move that little black slider on the bottom until the first day of the month would line up with the right day of the week, and everything else would fall into place. (Except for February and Leap Year.) On the back of the inside of the stand was a handy printed chart that showed where you should line up the 1st for 1949 through 1952.
Must have been my Grandmother’s
Back in 2011, I did a bio of Elsie Adkins Welch. In it, I mentioned that I have an undated Missourian clipping that says, “ON TRIP TO YELLOWSTONE.” Leaving Sunday for a ten-day trip through the western states were Mrs. Lillian Ackert, Mrs. Roy Welch, Mrs. H. Zimmerman and Mrs. L.O. Reutzel. They will stop in Denver and Colorado Springs, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.”
To say this was unusual in that day and age would be an understatement. I remember crying when they left town because I wanted to go with them, so I had to have been around three, which would have put the trip in about 1950. (I’m the little kid sitting on the suitcase.)
If the other boys don’t want it, I guess I’ll claim it.
We passed the Cruse Cemetery north of Toga on Stoddard County Rd 203 many a time on the way to visit one of Mother’s dearest friends, Daisy Zimmerman. When I paused there in the early 1970s, it was looking pretty shabby. (Click any photo to make it larger.)
Weeds had overtaken stones
It’s always disappointing to see any cemetery neglected, but this one is a fairly large one, with almost 200 interments in it, the Find A Grave website shows. The good news is that recent Google Earth photos show that it’s in much better shape today.
Local legend of the rich man
Somewhere along the line, I heard a story about a rich man who had been buried in this cemetery. Local legend was that the man had a fair amount of money and had always said he was going to take it with him. After he was put on the dark side of the dirt, it was said that his grave was dug up by someones unknown who thought that live crooks could better spend the stash than a dead man.
I don’t remember if anyone ever said if there was any treasure found, whether the grave was successfully dug up or any any other juicy details. The other piece of the story was that when he was planted again, this time his grave had a huge concrete slab poured over it.
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the slab, but I can’t locate any photos of it.
Another tombstone mystery
There are lots of interesting stories about cemeteries in the Advance area. There was once a family cemetery on the town square in Advance. The tombstones all mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night. Nobody in town would give up the culprits. Even my mother and Daisy, who were wired in, claimed no knowledge of what happened to the stones.
Daisy, left, is no longer with us, so she kept the town’s secret to the end, if she ever knew it.