Mark Davis, the Stone Saver
"This is a picture of the Enyeart cousins who helped at the Lagro Township Cemetery in the restoration project along with Mark Davis who did the actual restorations.
On our trip to Pennsylvania last spring, the cousins talked about the terrible condition our ancestors' tombstones at Lagro were in. We had talked that we needed to do something about it.
Mark Davis was recommended to me by the lady that works at the Marion Public Library in Marion, Indiana. So, I contacted Mark about taking a look at the old cemetery to see what could be done to restore the Enyeart section. I emailed a before picture to Mark to get his opinion. He agreed to meet me at the cemetery and take a look at the tombstones. I then contacted the other cousins to join us at the cemetery. Three of us met Mark out there, and he quoted us a price of $800 to restore and clean the few tombstones that we found. As the work begun, we kept finding more tombstones, but Mark did not raise his price.
Mae and I talked to the township trustee to get her permission and tell her what we planned to do. We also met with the caretaker of the cemetery and told him also.
I emailed several cousins and mailed letters to others to see if we could get some help with this project as the three of us couldn't afford to take it upon ourselves to have the work done. Those cousins that were so gracious to help with the financial part of the project were: Alice Baldwin, Christine Boonie, Steve Briar, Bernice Enyeart, Mae Garrett, Linda Gephart, Betty Hart, Chris Ottoson, Jim Shibley, D'Ann Still, Blaine Tingley, Linda Thompson, Joan Weigold and Andrea Years. Thanks cousins! Your help was "greatly appreciated". I also received donations from two other people that are not related. I had done some research for them and had mentioned the project we had going. After I had helped them locate information on their families, they thought this was the least they could do to pay me back for helping them.
Sheila, Mae and I worked alot of long hard hours right along beside Mark. We assisted him in doing some minor cleaning of the tombstones before he did the deep cleaning, and we helped dig the holes to set the tombstones in. Man! Did you ever try digging in rock and clay? Sure wasn't easy. We helped hold the tombstones while he set them, and then helped in other ways that we could. We raked leaves, cut down brush and carried it off and moved stones and rocks. Sheila and her husband cut down some trees and carried the linbs away. We had two loads of dirt brought in. Mae and I shoveled and hauled dirt to put around the tombstones to make the ground in the area more level. A lot of long, hard hours of work went into this project, but it was well worth it. It meant so much to each one of us, because it felt like we were showing our love to our ancestors and relatives. Are we proud of the work we did out there? You bet we are!
The restorations of the tombstones are now complete, but we still have plenty more work we want to do. Because of the cold weather, we have decided to hold off until spring to do the rest. Our goal is to cover the area with mulch to help keep the weeds down, and also to perhaps put some flowers by each tombstone. So, if we have any volunteers to help in the spring, just let me know. I've already had one cousin from Michigan to tell me to be sure to let her know when that will be. She wants to be here to help.
Again, 'thanks' to those of you who helped with the financial part of it, as well as the 'hands on' working part of it. Mere words can't express the pride that I feel when cousins can come together for such a worthwhile project."