Friday, May 11, 2012

Bunton Cemetery, Gone Forever

Located in a very rural spot in southern Crittenden County was the last resting place for several members of the Bunton and Owen family.  Located off of the Paddy's Bluff Road and deep into the woods. 

Once owners of this land, they laid their loved ones to rest on the top of a ridge over looking the Cumberland River.  The old graveyard was known as the Bunton Family Cemetery.  The picture above was made in April 2007 as a descendant, Rita Owen Travis, and myself visited the cemetery in search of some of Rita's ancestors, the Owen family.  The Bunton and Owen family had married ties.

There were only two lonely monuments to mark the grave sites of Rev. J. W. Bunton, born Oct. 3, 1845, died Jan. 4, 1892, a minister of the Methodist Church, South, and Jesse M. Bunton, May 17, 1862  - May 19, 1901.  Although only two purchased monuments were there, we were sure there were several, as many as 20+ buried there, many members of the Owen family. The grave sites were sunken in and they were in rows, some had sandstone rocks as markers and others had nothing to mark their site but the sunken places. Rita had prepared a list of family members that she thinks were buried there, as no other burial location had been found for them.

Never thinking that this cemetery would one day be disturbed, we left that day happy and excited that we had located this family cemetery and the family members buried there would be remembered and noted for future history and family genealogy.

But things you would never expect to happen can appear out of the blue.  One week in March of 2012 there appeared in The Crittenden Press an ad stating (legally) that the graves in the Bunton Cemetery would be moved  to the Dycusburg Cemetery in order that the new owner of the property could develop a quarry and rock loading facility on the Cumberland River and it would be at the location of the old graveyard. 

The disinterment and removal of the bodies was hard fought by Rita and her husband, but in the end they lost the battle and the bodies were moved.  Only 5 burials sites were "reportedly" found, although it is known there were more there, as a person that once lived in that area remembered seeing at least 20 stones there at one time, plus the rocks and sunken in graves.

The new resting place of the remains from the cemetery are now located in the Dycusburg Cemetery.

At least the actions of this removal and those that were buried there has been documented for future reference, as many other little family cemeteries have been totally destroyed through the years without the information and are now lost forever.

Picture of new grave sites was made April 29, 2012.

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