Where’s the Ware Cemetery?

Ware Cemetery

My mother and I were coming back from one of my many visits to Wib’s BBQ when the light at the Fruitland Intersection caught us. Mother looked out her side and said, “Wonder what those markers are?”

You have to understand that’s really Mother-speak for, “pull the car over, hop out in the cold wind, take a look and bring back a full report.” After 60+ years, I’ve become pretty fluent in Mother-speak. (Well, sometimes. If it involves plumbing, I pretend not to hear.)

There’s not much to see at Exit #105

When I don’t know where else to turn, I fire up the Google News Archives of The Southeast Missourian’s microfiche records. The May 24, 2000, Letters to the Editor filled in some details.

The writer said that a small cemetery was razed to make the southbound entrance ramp to I-55 (the one we were stopped at). It’s hard to believe, but the letter said the tombstones were discarded.

Ware Cemetery contains the remains of at least 15 people, including Col. Christopher Hays, a Revolutionary War soldier who served with General George Washington. Col. Hays was also a member of the panel of judges who laid out the city of Cape Girardeau.

It’s Ernie Chiles’ wife

When I got down to the bottom of the letter, I was surprised to see that it was signed by Mrs. Ernest (Patty) Chiles, the wife of my old Central High School Earth Science teacher, Ernie Chiles. (He wasn’t an “old” Earth Science teacher when I had him in school. He wasn’t but a handful of years older than I was at the time. Maybe I should refer to him as my “former” Earth Science teacher.)

If you haven’t been reading this blog for very long, you probably missed my account of Ernie and the Rock of the Month Club. And, here’s what the new, old Ernie looks like.

Google Map showing Ware Cemetery

View Monument for Ware Cemetery in a larger map

17 Replies to “Where’s the Ware Cemetery?”

  1. I had noticed these same markers & my husband told me the story ….I think maybe his business might have done the lighting…I’m sure they had nothing to do however, with the discarding of the markers…can’t believe they were discarded….I suppose we will all be paved over, built over, have others buried over us someday….nothing really matters after we pass…except how Present we were during the dash inbetween the dates….

    1. The larger modern monument was placed by the Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society after an effort spearheaded by Patti Chiles to do so. The smaller one was set by the DAR a bit later. The Cash Book-Journal covered the ceremony, but I don’t think anyone from the Southeast Missourian noted it. This was done before all the nice history columns we now have in the Missourian.

  2. Yes, Wib’s BBQ. Interesting history in it’s own right. Always journey there when I visit ‘home’. What a lunch crowd and faithful following they always seem to have. I believe Wib’s and the Blue Hole were the only places in the country which did sliced pork BBQ sandwiches toasted that way. Another interesting and no longer used cemetery near Jackson is on a wooded hill adjacent to Rt. 34. The hill rises west, near a bridge about a half mile before 34’s intersection with Rt. 72. I had always noticed a path up that hill as I traveled by. One day my aunt told of trudging up it as a child with my grandfather to a buriel sometime in the 1930s. One visit home I parked along the highway, treked up and found a magical setting for a cemetery; a wooded, grassy glade with tombstones scattered among trees tall enough to shade all the graves. No doubt the hilltop was an open field when established as a graveyard in the 1800s. And, yes, I found my namesake buried there. The 1930s appeared to be the last of the buriels at that place. Despite this section of Rt. 34 receiving a major upgrade, the cemetery remains.

    1. Larry,

      I was reading through your comment and am curious about the exact location of the cemetery you describe. I don’t see it on a topographic map of the area.

      Can you give me some better landmarks? Maybe I’m not looking in the right place.


      1. I believe this cemetery you are referring to is named Mogler Cemetery. I have relatives buried there and have found some of their tombstones. Others must be covered up by dirt over the years for I can’t find their markers.

  3. What a shame to lose that cemetery…so much for progress. The last time I was in Cape, some cousins and I visited many small cemeteries to get photos of family headstones.

    Just thinking about Wib’s makes me hungry – it’s been many a year since I’ve eaten there.

  4. I should think the Ware cemetary was in Ware (IL, about 15 miles north toward Anna) My mom was born in Ware. It was always a joke in our house.
    Where were you born?
    and so on, sort of a “Who’s on First”

    1. Ware was a former landowner at this site. If we want to get accurate, a better name for this cemetery would be Hays or Christopher Hays Cemetery, since those buried there were his descendants or their spouses. A lot of cemeteries got names put on them by Rev. William Gammon, who inventoried them in his spare time in the 1930s. He had the unfortunate habit of naming them after current (at that time) landowners. To my mind, this destroys part of their history.

  5. Anola,

    When Grandson Malcolm was born, the parents asked what I wanted him to call me.

    “Call me when he’s self-supporting,” was not an option I was told.

    My second suggestion, Hu, was also rejected.

    Like your family, I thought it would be neat to knock on the door and hear the dialog.

    Knock, Knock.

    Who’s there?



    Hu. (Repeat to infinity.)

  6. While I have been traveling down memory’s lane …….just wondering when the Blue Hole would be mentioned……….

    Brings back fond memories of my date never missing a chance to go by …….and ordering 5 sandwiches…..a Coke and a Milde’s Strawberry soda. He ate four sandwiches and had the Milde’s strawberry soda…….

  7. I see you say the tombstones were thrown away, but what about the bodies? Did they dig them up and re bury them elsewhere? Or did they just pave over them?

    1. I’m afraid I can’t answer your questions, although I have to wonder when I feel a thump-thump going through that intersection, if that’s somebody I’m running over.

  8. It is a pity that the monuments and remains were not retained, somehow. Col Christopher Hays was my 5th great grandfather. I would have preserved it.

    He was also an officer in the French and Indian War. His SIL, John Henderson, my 4th great grandfather, was also an officer in the Revolutionary War.

    Richard Austin Yore
    Saint Pete Beach, FL & Fifty Lakes, MN

  9. One or two of the markers lie on the gravel where the new monuments are placed. I’ve heard some were thrown in the creek and others used in a patio at the house that once stood on the hill on the opposite side of the creek.

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