Iona Cemetery

Iona Cemetery 04-20-2011

Old tombstones are generally the most interesting, but here’s a contemporary one in the Iona Cemetery that was worth a second look. James R. Peters was born in 1946, and he ordered his tombstone well in advance of its need. He died in 2010, so the font is slightly different.

It reads:





Peters was an author

Iona Cemetery 04-20-2011

Peters wrote under the pen names George L. Bond and George Gray. Someone who actually knew the man described him as a bit of an odd duck, but I can’t find my notes. Maybe they’ll chime in.

You pretty much have to know what you’re looking for to find the cemetery. It’s up a steep gravel lane on the north side of  Route V outside Oriole. (If you have to ask where Oriole is, you’ll probably NEVER find the cemetery.)

John McLard served in War of 1812

Iona Cemetery 04-20-2011

Some of the graves date back to the mid-1800s. John McLard, it is noted, served in the War of 1812.

Tornado scrambled stones

Iona Cemetery 04-20-2011

LaFern Stiver, who was guiding me around the Oriole – Indian Creek area, said an isolated tornado touched down on the hilltop cemetery in June of 2003, knocking over tombstones and carrying some away. A Missourian story said that it may never be possible to place all the stones in their proper places because the cemetery was never plotted.

Nearly 200 internments

Iona Cemetery 04-20-2011The Missourian reported the Iona Cemetery Association had compiled a list of 120 internments in 1984, and said only a few people have been buried there since. The FindaGrave website, on the other hand, lists 198 names.

Martha “Marty” Humes Manes on that site has done an excellent job of documenting many of the people interned there.

15 Replies to “Iona Cemetery”

  1. Ken, James and I collected genealogy info and produced a two volume set of books containing over 48,000 people in over 2,000 pages. That is his source of “Too Much Info”. We worked on it at least 10 years with the help of many others contributing. James would readily tell you that he was nuts. He would, on occasion, check himself in at a mental hospital near his home in St Louis for treatment. He eventually committed suicide by Vodka in his car outside of a package liquor store. He had a passion for getting grave stones and erecting them for damaged or missing ones to mark the graves of relatives he was researching. He had his own stone made and placed and when he died he was cremated and according to the promise I made to him I buried him myself. The Iona cemetery remains but the original church at that site disappeared long ago. Most all of those buried there are close kin to me and chronicled in his/our book. He was adopted and got into genealogy while trying to find his biological parents.

    1. Dick, I will be eternally grateful to you and James for your work. I have the two red volumes and refer to them at least twice a week. I don’t know whether to hug your neck or wring your neck as your wonderful work got me “hooked on genealogy! My lines are McClard, Dillingham, Abernathy and Clifton with numerous relatives buried in Iona Cemetery. I will miss James!

    2. Dick,
      I just found this old thread today while I was doing some research. I am so sorry to hear of James Peter’s death. He and I communicated several times back when I started my genealogy project. He was so kind and helpful and usually sent a Christmas card every year. My grandfather was Barney Hitchcock French, son of Isaac Hitchcock and Missouri Mae Reynolds. All we ever knew of Barney was information from two of his brothers who reached out to my father just before Barney died. Grandmother had told a white lie and said he was killed in the war. If you have any information on the Hitchcocks I would love to communicate with you about them. I recently retired, so I am now trying to devote more time to the family tree, while there are still a few sources around.

      Martha French Capps

  2. Ken, I knew that my grandparents were buried at Iona Cemetery, so I “did” the link to find them, along with some other relatives. I would like to print out the information, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Help, please! Thanks.

  3. Yes, there’s interest in the book. My husband’s g-g-grandmother was Elizabeth McClard Henderson. Her father, Daniel, was in the War of 1812 and died in Cape.

  4. Our son adopted the cemetery after the tornado for his Eagle project. Including continued clean-up, he put the mailbox you have photographed up and planted the tree. We miss the big tree that used to be there and replaced the mailbox and guestbook that was lost in the tornado. Also, we photographed all the stones, transcribed them, and made layout marking where they are located. Of course, this does not include those lost in the tornado, but it helps for the future. Our family’s mother, grandparents, great-grandparents, and distant relatives are all buried at Iona.

    1. My grandparents are buried in Iona cemetery. I would really like to know who’s taking care of the cemetery now and if you can still have someone Buried there. If your son still takes care of this or if you know who does I would please love to have this information. Deborah Sadler 205 Frates. Chaffee Mo . 63740.

  5. I also am a McClard and McLain descendant. I love the wonderful McClard books as I have a set. I also refer to them often. My mother, Elsie McLain Reynolds, helped to provide the information for the McLain line (Catherine McLard married a McLain). I provided some of the McLain photos that were in the 13th edition. James was a very nice and interesting guy. I was so sad at how he ended his life. His legacy is a wonderful genealogy source.

    1. Love the info sent to me by Dick McClard! Still hunting the elusive McLain family- esp. James P. Was told to find a book by Betty Mills and hope to receive it soon. Thrilled to see post by Nora Zimmer as I think she is the daughter of another source I was following. It seems all roads lead to Cape Girardeau – not sure about Rome! Would love any other tips on the McLain/McLane history

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