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What is right for the Spring Glen cemetery?

By HAROLD AND FRANCES CUNNINGHAM
Spring Glen


Editor:

With the passing of Memorial Day, we have reverence for our dead, holding dear their memories. The LDS Spring Glen Cemetery holds many of our relatives.

The cemetery ground was deeded to the LDS Spring Glen Ward in the 1890's by Mary Jane Babcock, who as a young bride came to Spring Glen in 1881 with her family. The cemetery holds the remains of many Spring Glen people, regardless of creed. Before Helper had an official cemetery, Helper residents along with miners, who worked for the Independent Coal & Coke Company, were also buried there.

About 1960, my first historical project began with the counting of all cemetery markers, visiting family members and obtaining family histories. At that time were many sunken and unmarked graves. Over the years, cleaning the cemetery has removed the evidence of them.

Since then, families have unofficially erected or enlarged fenced off areas, cemented boundaries, some of them over and encroaching on unmarked graves, staked off areas and claimed them as "theirs". Sometimes it was reported that as people were digging a grave site they came onto an old casket and pushed it aside.

It was early policies that families paid for lots, but no record now exists and it is very unlikely that any of us can prove a deed receipt for a grave site. It was also a policy that no one could be buried in the cemetery unless they were given permission under rules that only if their family was already buried there and if there was room.

Twice the LDS Spring Glen Ward asked the county to take over the cemetery, but this request was refused.

Now what is the legal and moral in the cemetery is in question.Why do some feel that they have can just go "mark off" and bury someone in this cemetery without permission?

Last reported the cemetery has been closed to further burials.





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