Part 3 in a series about the history of Blue Mound, Missouri.

Blue Mound cemetery is located approximately 12 miles south of Chillicothe (or about a half of a mile north of Blue Mound) and 0.2 mile west of State Route Z. Currently, the cemetery is almost six acres and is called the Blue Mound Cemetery.

Known by various names through the years (Burner Cemetery, Blue Mound Grave Yard, Blue Mound Burying Ground, and now Blue Mound Cemetery), there is still some question about its early beginnings. Best available evidence suggests that early settlers used an area south of the east/west road running through the cemetery for burying people long before the graveyard was organized and fenced. That land belonged to Jonathan Knox, who sold the graveyard a half acre of land for $5.00 in 1876. Some tombstones there are marked as early as 1813, but there is a possibility that some of them were brought from another place as people moved in from other areas and relocated the graves of loved ones.

We found a record dated May 30, 1874, stating that a public notice was given of a meeting of the citizens of Blue Mound for the purpose of electing trustees and making arrangements to fence the Blue Mound Grave Yard. The meeting was called to order by William Harris. Nathan M. Frizell was elected chairman and William B. Coe was elected secretary. There was no mention about the fence. This was likely the beginning of the current Blue Mound Cemetery Association.

That same year (1874), Jacob S. Burner and his wife Elizabeth (shown as Eliza at one place in the deed and on her tombstone) sold the graveyard a half acre of land for $5 on the north side of the road. Then in 1876, Johnathan Knox and his wife deeded another half-acre which encompassed the area where many of the early burials were made. (The Burner’s also deeded land for the Burner School in 1851, which was adjacent to this land.)

According to some undated notes on Page 39 of the current Blue Mound Cemetery Association’s record book provided by Ellenore Haynes, “Burner grave yard known as the Blue Mound grave yard was layed [sic]out by Nathan M. Frizzell, Johnathan S. Knox and Jacob S. Burner; Trustees, with help of Wm. H. Shields”.

The current administration of the cemetery is in the hands of the Blue Mound Cemetery Association, a non-for-profit entity that was incorporated in 1908. The first board members were James Smith, John Goff, G. W. Purcell, J. L. Condron and E. D. Jones. As of 2019, Gary Maberry is president, Eddie Childs is vice-president, Jason Minnis is secretary-treasurer with Warren Hoyt and Jeremy Condron as board members.

Jim Minnis, former board member, of the cemetery association provided me with copies of six deeds transferring land to the cemetery. They are as follow:

Jacob and Elizabeth Burner

August 24, 1874

0.5 acres

Johnathan and Emaline Knox

January 6, 1876

0.5 acres

D. P. and Mary Barnes

August 4, 1934

0.5 acres

Trustees of School District #97

March 28, 1935

0.75 acres

Clifford W. Van Horn

December 9, 1980

0.5 acres

Clarence and Terri Thompson

November 24, 1998

2.97 acres

Some of the early families from the Blue Mound area that are buried in the Blue Mound Cemetery include:

Applebury, Barnes, Baxter, Brown, Bunch, Burner, Burton, Byrd, Carr, Cooper, Condron, Davis, Fleshman, Frizzell, Gibbs, Goff, Groce, Graham, Grouce, Grozinger, Haynes, Hendrickson, Hooker, Hughes, Hoyt, Johnson, Jones, Knox, Lowrey, Maberry, Marker, McAlear, McCracken, McDaneld, McKerrow, Mead, Minnis, Mossbarger, Newman, Newton, Paris, Perry, Purcell, Rockhold, Shields, Sloan, Smith, Sperry, Stagner, Whitacre, Wooden and Zirkle.

Sources of information about people buried in this cemetery include:

Records kept by the Blue Mound Cemetery Association of Livingston County, Missouri, PO Box 50, Chillicothe, MO 64601-0050, which is the best collection of records.

Website: http://digital.shsmo.org/cdm/ref/collection/lhs/id/5587, the October 1990 edition of LifeLines, a publication of the Livingston County Genealogical Society which contains a compilation by members of the Abandoned Cemetery Care Association of Livingston County

Another website: http://sites.rootsweb.com/~mocemete/livingston/bluemound.html, compiled by Russell Haynes, Arroyo, CA, listing the names of people buried in the Blue Mound Cemetery. He doesn’t have the reference of the source, nor the date it was compiled, but it appears to have much of the same information as listed by Elizabeth Ellsberry in her 1962 compilation (see below). Mr. Haynes suggests using the list only as a guideline and recommends that if you find any information that you wish to save for your family records, take it from the original transcription to make sure it is the most accurate.

Another older source is Pages 60-74 of Volume 2 of Cemetery Records of Livingston County, Missouri compiled and published by Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry in 1962. A copy is available at the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri as well as at the Livingston County Library, 450 Locust Street, Chillicothe, MO 64601; Phone: 660.646.0547, Fax: 660.646.5504; or Email: Librarian@livingstoncountylibrary.org . At the Livingston County Library, the information is in Volume 7.

The Livingston County Library has a CD of photos of all the tombstones in the Blue Mound Cemetery up until the year 2000 taken by Fred Woods. Contact information for them is: Livingston County Library, 450 Locust Street, Chillicothe, MO 64601; Phone: 660.646.0547, Fax: 660.646.5504; or Email: Librarian@livingstoncountylibrary.org

Civil War Veterans known to be buried in the Blue Mound Cemetery include: John C. Barnes, Joseph Baxter, Peter Condron, John T. Dickens, George O. Goff, B. L. Hendrickson, Sidney Hooker, John H. Hoyt, Evan D. Jones, Hiram McDaneld, John C. Mead, Thomas Paris, Thomas J. Perry, Aaron T. Purcell, Peter Reeder, John J. Stagner, and William W. Warner.

A somewhat unique Memorial Day week event held at the cemetery is the annual meeting. Gary Maberry said that his dad, Bert, started the meeting in the early 1960's. The usual schedule of events is for a representative of the cemetery association to conduct a business meeting reporting past and ongoing activities, current financial situation, and fielding questions from the attendees followed by a message from the minister. We were able to find that the May 1961 speaker was Rev. Gene Gilhart of New Franklin and the 1963 speaker was Rev. Norman Irons. Rev. Irons was also the speaker in 1966 (Irons also preached at Dawn). In 1968 it was Rev. Shore of Federated Church of Dawn. In 1969, Bruce Trussell of Coloma gave the message and Tim Carey played “Taps.” Rev. Trussell continued to deliver the message off and on for 49 years!

Note to readers: Senior author, Joe G. Dillard, would appreciate receiving any suggestions you have for corrections to this piece, or any other information you have about Blue Mound, especially photos, diaries, or other artifacts. Those may be sent to: Joe G. Dillard, 3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia MO 65203 or DillardJ@missouri.edu