Compiled by Donna J. Johnson
This project started with the idea that it was going to update headstone readings already in existence. It had been about 40 years since this had been done so there were many corrections to be made and much missing information……..
I decided the easiest and best method was to start from scratch. To this end several members of the CCGS took a Saturday about 2 years ago and headed to the Panama Union Cemetery with our pencils, clipboards, hats and lunches. We spent most of the day there and only completed about half of the cemetery. Several trips later and using all kinds of lighting conditions I had what I felt was a pretty accurate reading. Last year this same group came back to read the Grant Cemetery, completing the reading of all the cemeteries in the town…….
In order to organize this into a working format, the cemetery was divided into sections and numbered. Each headstone is now identified by a series of 3 numbers -the first is the numbered section of the cemetery, the second is the number of the row in that section and the third is the number of the headstone in that row. Each section was read from the driveway into the center. I have since realized there are obvious problems with this system but it does get you to the correct section in the cemetery and makes it relatively easy to locate the stones from there. A map of each cemetery is included showing the numbering system used……
In the notes section for each headstone it became necessary to come up with abbreviations to Iinclude as much Information as possible. This is a list that I used: .
w/o -wife of , sis/o sister of,
h/o -husband of, c/o -child of,
d/o -daughter of, p -parents,
s/o -son of, b -born,
m/o -mother of, d -died,
f/o -father of, m -married, ……..
As I was inputting data I realized I could fill in some genealogical data on many of these people, and I asked others for additional information. People soon became so generous with information that it became necessary to expand the note section into an entire separate listing. Each cemetery with the exception of the Tillotson Cemetery now has 5 parts in this book. The first part is the headstone reading with any additional information not actually on the stone, printed in italics. The second section is additional information from many sources that would not fit in our one-Iine format. The third section contains genealogical information from burial records. The fourth section is a list of lot owners, and the last section is a map of the cemetery with each section numbered to correspond to the headstone reading number. There are some names in each cemetery with no headstone location. We were able to place many people who had been buried in each cemetery but did not have a headstone. In some cases a lot number was found and inserted. In others, unfortunately, the lot location had to be left blank. The sexton of each cemetery will be able to show the location of these lots with numbers……..
The sextons of each cemetery provided me with maps and lot owner lists as well as some burial information. This publication is possible only through the knowledge and time that so many people have generously given me:……
Betty Bascom -Blockville Cemetery,
Holly Osborne -Grant and Tillotson Cemeteries,
Jerry & Jarvis Ireland -Panama Union Cemetery,
David & Lavina Lindberg -Panama Greenwood Cemetery,
Jane Spencer -Sunnyside Cemetery,
Casper Goodrich & Norman Torsell -Town Line Cemetery,
Brenda Ireland, the former Town Clerk for Harmony, made the initial work for this publication so much easier. She not only opened doors for me to people who did not know me, but made the gathering of a great deal of information less cumbersome. Her office seemed like a second home for a long time. It is because of her that a lot of the information contained here was available…….
Mrs. Evelyn Crosby has been so kind and unselfish with her time and knowledge and has contributed greatly to this book. Mr. Willis Waite from the Harmony Historical Society has spent time digging out information for me. Mrs. Betty Bush has given of her time to go over records and fill in blanks, as have Mae and Leo Cook. Mr. & Mrs. David Lindberg spent many hours with me comparing records and providing data. I never made a call or asked for information from anyone in the town that I was turned down, in most cases I came away with much more than I ever anticipated. Wayne Learner has given many, many hours of time and help through every phase of the book….
Mae and Leo Cook, Teresa Johnson and Lavina Lindberg spent a lot of time in the local cemeteries doing headstone readings and rereading…….
Norwood Barris is responsible for the maps contained herein. There were many hours involved in generating these maps and I am thankful that he is so easy going and didn\’t get too excited every time I called with another \”small\” change needed. Lois and Norwood Barris also spent many hours in page manipulation and editing to bring this book to fruition…….
I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Frank Schruis for all his time and help with this project. Frank has been gathering information on the town and its inhabitants for most of his life. He was able to fill in many blanks and help me track down people who did not have stones. He was able to give me the names of other people in the community to contact for additional help. He not only gave of this knowledge but spent much of the last month and a half working nearly everyday on this project with me. Every time we thought we had a cemetery done, another source of information would become available and we would be off and running again…….
I do have to acknowledge my husband, Dave Johnson, who is not a genealogist and has no wish to be, but has spent nearly as much time in cemeteries over the last 2 years as I have. He has become very good at reading the nearly illegible, tracking down the illusive and lifting the ones that have tipped over………